Otter Expedition: Caribbean
Ok. New game plan every February: run away from the horrible awful winter in New York and head to the Caribbean!!
A few other blogger boys and myself spent a week sailing around the islands with Royal Caribbean, and it was such a great #OtterExpedition! Our ship, the Anthem of the Seas, stopped in San Juan, Puerto Rico before docking in Antigua, Saint Maarten and Saint Lucia. It took a few days to get down there, but I spent most of my first day at the spa, so time flew by! It was hands down the best deep tissue massage I have had in a long time.
The ship also has indoor skydiving, bumper cars, surfing, roller skating and the 'North Star', a capsule room that gets lifted high above the ship. It gives you 360 degree views about 300 ft above sea level. It's pretty cool! Check out the photo below.
It was my first time to San Juan, and I could not get over how beautiful it is! All of the homes are painted in bright colors and there's a rustic charm to all of the narrow streets. I highly recommend grabbing a drink at La Factoria in Old San Juan. They make an incredible lavender mule. ;)
We only had an afternoon to explore PR, so I'm definitely making plans to return again soon.
The advantage of a cruise is that it takes out all of the guess work in vacationing. You don't have to worry about daily travel plans, you just wake up in a new destination every day and can book island excursions way in advance! The ship has 7+ restaurants that are complimentary with your booking. Even your room service is free!
You best believe I took full advantage of that EVERY SINGLE MORNING. There's nothing that makes me happier than someone bringing me breakfast in bed.... or to my stateroom's balcony.
Speaking of people bringing you things, I have to give a major shoutout to the on-board wait staff. Royal Caribbean's staff is from all over the world (something they take great pride in), and they are some of the most genuine, happy, lovely people I have met in the industry. They are truly welcoming and there to assist you with anything you might want. I even had a bartender I only went to two or three times during the trip greet me by name every time.
I worked in retail for over ten years, so great customer service makes a world of difference in my overall experience.
OK!! This fish and chips pictured above... THIS was the best meal we ate on the entire trip (no shade to the ship's dining room). When we were in Antigua, we took a cab 45 min across the island to a remote area called Half Moon Bay. It had the most incredible, crystal clear beach you have ever seen! The sand was pink, the waves were crashing, the sun was shining, we were tan and everything was right in the world.
It's far enough away from town that we basically had the place to ourselves all day. Alongside the beach there is this little restaurant shack that serves this delicious fresh fish. I had Mahi Mahi that was bathed in (probably) an entire stick of garlic butter. We washed it down with local rum punch that tastes like juice, but we were warned it "packs a punch".
I can confirm the warning is true.
If you're ever in Antigua, you have to check out Half Moon Bay. It was the highlight of my trip.