Trip Report – Winter Cruise

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Jewel of the Seas

Jewel of the Seas

I realize that this post is very delayed, however this blog was not around until a month after I took this trip. So here we go… This past winter (December 19 – December 30) my family and I went on a cruise in the caribbean. We love cruises, because they are simple and easy. All you have to do is plan the flight and pay for the cruise, that’s it. You get unlimited food, you have a place to sleep, and you have events planned for you. It’s great, since it is so very easy!

Trip Details…
Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean
Jewel of the Seas
12 Days Total / 7 Day Cruise
San Juan, PR – St. Thomas – St. John – St. Croix – St. Lucia – St. Kitts

When we went on this trip, I had no idea I was going to start a blog. So unfortunately, I do not have as many photos as I would like.

We started out flying from Grand Rapids, MI (GRR) to San Juan, PR (SJU). We flew Delta coach which is far from special, so I will spare you the details.

Once we got there, our first stop was the hotel. We stayed at the Wind Chimes Boutique Hotel.

Wind Chimes Boutique Hotel

Jenni walking up to our room.

The rooms were laid out quite strange. All of the rooms were accessed from the outdoors and our room was very far away from the rest. Right outside of our room was an outdoor lounge that connected to someones house. Like I said, very strange. There was a friendly hotel cat though!

The next day we went to explore the city. First, we shopped around and visited Pigeon Park. There were hundreds of Pigeons everywhere. In fact, my brother got pooped on by one or two.

Pigeon Park San Juan PR

Parque de las Palomas (Pigeon Park)

From there we walked to Old San Juan, which was FULL of cats. We counted 26 during the two hours we were there. Most of them were very beat up, but friendly.

Oscar the Cat in Old San Juan

Oscar the cat (I named him) playing with a lizard

We finished up the day shopping and visiting San Juan’s giant mall. Normally we wouldn’t stop at a mall while on vacation, however Major Nelson was visiting the Microsoft Store to promote the Xbox One. Being the nerd I am, I really wanted to meet him.

Major Nelson in San Juan PR

Major Nelson and I – we matched

That pretty much wrapped up the our day in San Juan. The next day we boarded the ship. Since our cruise was over Christmas, the ship was completely decked out.

Our first stop was St. Thomas. We did a lot of shopping and drinking on this island. Every jewelry store we went into, basically had a full bar that they gave out for free. It seemed like a great business plan to me.

Jenni Shopping Around St Thomas

Jenni in front of the jewelry bars…err shops.

After shopping around, we went back to the ship. If you have ever been on a cruise before, I’m sure you’ve seen the animals they make from your towels. Here is a compilation of the ones we got during the cruise…

The next day we visited St. John. This time instead of bar hopping, otherwise known as jewelry shopping, we decided to go snorkeling. It took about an hour and a half of driving and boating to the place we were snorkeling at, but it was worth it. The water was super clear and it was a beautiful day.

After snorkeling we headed back to the ship where we had an amazing dinner. I love steak, so I get it basically everywhere we go. The filet I had at the steakhouse on the ship was excellent.

The next island was St. Croix. We didn’t do much here other than walk around the local tourist shops and enjoy the beach.

Booty Mannequin

Mannequin with a Booty

I am not much of a gambler, however I do love going to the casino on cruises. During this cruise my dad taught me how to play craps, which was super addictive. My brother, my dad, and I all ended up playing almost every night of the cruise after that. I actually ended up making money, which was very surprising.

One of the nights while we were playing, they were having a raffle where you could win an entry into their slot tournament. My name was chosen, so I got to play in the slot tournament. There was no skill or challenge to this tournament, all we did was press the spin button as fast as possible. I ended up winning that tournament which got me $50 to bet on red or black in roulette. I chose black and won! Like I said, I never gamble so this was very exciting for me.

Casino Winnings

Casino Winnings

The next day we docked at St. Lucia. Unfortunately, St Lucia was hit with a nasty storm the day before we got there and they were just recovering from the flooding. It was very sad to see people’s houses flooded while we were there on vacation. We already had a zip-line excursion planned, so there was not much we could do other than enjoy ourselves in light of the disaster.

We started out zip-lining through the jungle after which we visited a small waterfall. On our way back to the ship after our excursion, our guide saw someone he knew and pulled over to talk to him. This guy had a dead snake on a stick that he was examining. Apparently, this snake got into his yard, so he killed it since it is very deadly.

Dead snake in St. Lucia

The deadliest snake in St. Lucia

The last island we visited was St. Kitts. We have been to all of these islands before besides St. Kitts, so we did not know what to expect. We didn’t have anything planned for this island, so we started out looking at shops. Again, every jewelry shop was basically an open bar…it must be an island thing. From there we went to a local restaurant on the beach.

The craziest thing about St. Kitts is that there were monkeys everywhere. Our taxi driver said that there were more monkeys on the island than humans.

One of my favorite things about cruises is that you get to meet a lot of people from all over. Also, the events that they have throughout the ship are entertaining as well. Here are some pictures while we were on the boat.

After the cruise we had two more days left in San Juan. We went to the beach and did some shopping those days. We also went to the Heineken Jazz festival since it was right outside of our hotel.

I’m not sure if it was the warmth, the people, or the food but this was one of the best cruises I’ve been on. If you have never been on one, I would highly suggest it since they are super easy and very relaxing.


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