Cruising the Caribbean

Cruising was never my first choice of vacation. Trips that are all inclusive, surrounded by tourists or only in a resort just aren't my go-to. I know many serious travelers may see this post and immediately turn up their noses. But hear me out...

Last month, the office at my new job was closing for a full week after we hosted a big event in Florida. So I would already be in sunny Florida with a week vacation and limited budget. I researched my options, weighed the pros and cons and booked a 4-night cruise with Royal Caribbean.

This trip allowed me to visit three tropical locations and relax on beautiful beaches while staying under budget.

My boyfriend, Mike, flew down to meet me and we boarded the ship in Miami. Our first port of call was Nassau, Bahamas. I visited there once with my family and knew that I wanted to get out of the city and find some solitude on a tropical island. So our one and only cruise excursion was to Blue Lagoon Island in Salt Cay.

Next up was Coco Kay, a private island owned by Royal Caribbean. Again, this was beautiful: turquoise water, white sand and palm trees. Really, all I needed. The only downside was that the island was also filled with every person from our cruise ship.

However, it was no trouble finding quiet areas to swim and lounge. We spent most of our day "snorkeling." Well, we didn't want to pay to rent the snorkels & fins, so we found discarded goggles on the beach and swam around the island looking at the colorful fish, stingrays and lobsters. It was quite the workout and so much fun!

Our final stop was Key West, Florida. Although the scenery is gorgeous, the beaches aren't as appealing. Or maybe we were just too spoiled in the Bahamas! On this day, we rented some bikes and toured the island on our own. We stopped to take in the views, do a little shopping, check out the local bars and of course get some famous pie bars from Key West Key Lime Pie Company.

Overall, the trip was relaxing and fun! My favorite part was that fact that I didn't have to think! Food, amenities and entertainment were always available. I didn't have to stress over the travelling part and getting place to place. And I didn't feel the need to find the local hangouts and secret spots. It was nice just embracing my inner tourist and relaxing.

Have you ever cruised before? Would you do it again?
Let me know in a comment below!

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  1. Calculated TravellerJuly 18, 2015 at 9:16 AM

    I'm a big cruiser. I've actually stopped counting but we've been on more than 30 and our reason is purely because we don't have to think. You just check in and enjoy - there is no searching for where to eat, no wondering if our hotel will be acceptable etc... It's the perfect getaway when you just want to do a whole lot of nothing!

  2. It sounds like you made the best of it! I'm not personally a cruiser either but relaxing sure sounds wonderful!

  3. I'm not typically much of a cruise traveler either, but the more I read about it the more it looks like I should reconsider. Looks like you had a great time.

  4. I don't think you always have to be just one type of traveler. Sometimes it's fun to take a cruise or lay on the beach - sometimes that's just what you need. Anyone who would judge you for that is just snobby. Besides, it looks like a wonderful time!

  5. I'm not a Huge fan of cruises, but I did enjoy the cruise I did to the Bahamas some years back. My preference is to just fly to my destination though.

  6. Brianna @ The Casual TravelistJuly 19, 2015 at 9:44 AM

    I'm typically not a cruiser but I couldn't say no tho the Regent cruise I won from my local grocery store. While we had a great time I still prefer to plan my own trips and go at my own pace.

  7. It looks like you had an amazing cruise! I've heard great things about Coco Kay. It's been a long time since I've been to Key West. We also preferred exploring the island to the beach there.

  8. I think one of the huge advantages of doing a cruise or any mostly-inclusive vacation is that it takes a lot of the guess work out of budgeting and it feels so fantastic when you get back from a trip and don't have to worry about awful credit card bills.

  9. The idea of taking a cruise is becoming more and more apppealing! I love planning trips but it sounds relaxing to be able to sit back and know that you don't have to worry about checking into various hotels or transportation.

  10. Thanks for putting this travel experience in my radar! I have never been to the Keys but can't wait to explore that part of the world!