About Us: Canadian couple, mid-60’s, smart, active. Enjoy people, culture, history, food, dance, entertainment. Priority: comfort at reasonable cost. Experience: cruising rivers and oceans, guided and self-vacationing and all-inclusive resorts, around the world.
Travel, eat, relax, and learn geology, history, geography, engineering (optional for some, enjoyable for me). This trip was the 10-day South Caribbean cruise, from Miami, to: Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao (ABC), Key West. We specifically appreciated … pretty well everything. But be warned: I’m easy to please: give me sparkling clean accommodation, super service, food to feast, enjoyable entertainment, interesting sights and shore excursions – I’m good to go.
I note the favourable quality of the passengers; polite, educated and genteel. (In this group, I include myself and my pretty partner.) This leads to very pleasant and thought-provoking conversations (in various accents) at meals and social functions. So a highlight of the journey is the interesting people we meet.
Superb variety of gustatory delights exciting for the palate are presented at supper. We tried the light breakfast in the Solarium; occasionally the more relaxed service in the dining room; most often enjoyed the full breakfast buffet. We rise early so buffet lines are short; otherwise I might waste a minute of my holiday, and could be resting my gaze on the azure horizon. I enjoyed the galley (kitchen) tour, not having to slave over the stove or the dishwasher. Imagine the technology of feeding over 2,800 critical mouths 3 meals a day.
The cruise program includes daily presentations and nightly variety show entertainment. The shows were excellent: Broadway singing and dancing in great costumes, comedians of two seasonings – sweet and spicy, violinist. I rated the quality as high, but I concede not everyone has my taste! Not your thing? Head for the casino, or hang out at the bar like many do (indoors or poolside). I am repeatedly amazed by volume of money spilled for drinks. But then much of it is complimentary (perks) for these guests who already spent the money on suites. Well, it’s only money, and they worked for it. [Editor: quit grousing and get on with the review.]
My partner and I are dancers, we love to prance to the sound of music and we love to show off ... modest? No? You don't dance? Not your thing? Head for gym, or peer out your porthole.
Don’t forget the reason why you chose the trip. The south ABC islands include significant history and engineering. These include refineries, desalination, salt production and aloe-vera manufacture. Not your thing? Head for the sun deck, or a dip in the pool or hot-tub.
Quality observations: is it perfect? Mostly, the cruise lines have learned from passengers and try very hard. Now there’s shopping as a palliative for those with room in their suitcases and on-board-credits. A nice feature of this schedule is the stop in Key West; this permits a timely US customs inspection on board, expediting the disembarkation in Miami.
Did I mention we had a fantastic trip? Always do! It’s a matter of attitude. Bon Voyage anyway!
See you around. The world.
Prefer inside because we are accustomed to total sleep darkness. When awake, we're always out.
We visited these attractions on our own: Miami Holocaust Memorial, Wolfsonian Museum — Florida International University and New World Symphony Hall. We travelled atop the free Miami Beach's Trolley. Our fancy residence was the El Paseo Hotel in the heart of the action in Miami Beach, having received a nice discount by attending a timeshare presentation (2 hours) for the Crescent Resort.
Visited attractions on our own, hiring a group van (taxi) on the dock for $20. During about 3 hours we enjoyed an informative tour. We passed by Seven Mile Beach, visited town of Hell, Cayman Turtle Center, Dolphin Discovery, Famous Tortuga Rum Company in George Town, and our driver stopped along roads to allow us to take photos.
Visited attractions on our own, hiring a group van (taxi) on the dock for $20. During about 3 hours we enjoyed an informative tour. Visited the famous Natural Bridge, Bushiribana Ruins, Alto Vista Chapel, California Lighthouse, and then drove by the beaches, where you can relax and cool off with a swim (if desired). Our driver stopped along roads to allow us to take photos.
Visited attractions on our own, hiring a group van (taxi) on the dock for $20. During about 3 hours we enjoyed an informative tour: the city of Willemstad and street art, visited the Liquor Factory, then drove by the beaches, where you can relax and cool off with a swim (if desired). Our driver stopped along roads to allow us to take photos.
Visited attractions on our own, hiring a group van (taxi) on the dock for $25. During about 3 hours we enjoyed an informative tour. Visited almost the whole island with interesting stops: The salt flats and the history of the industry, slaves and the huts, actually beautiful, sparkling pink in the sun. Highest point on the island and a popular dive site with tons of iguanas. Stopped at Cactus Distillery for a taste. Learned of the culture of the island and about daily life. An extended drive took us to the flamingo and donkey sanctuary, the oil mixing facility, then drove by the beaches, where you can scuba and relax (if desired). Our driver stopped along roads to allow us to take photos.
Baby green iguanas generally do not bite. Iguanas make intelligent, friendly pets. Unlike snakes and many other herps, iguanas can identify their caretakers, and some have remarkable personalities.
Visited attractions on our own, travelling on the free Duval Loop bus. There are many interesting sights & museums. We chose to tour the Harry S. Truman Little White House and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, excellent guides at both places. First museum offers a wonderful insight into the life of an honest man and president. Second home is a wonderful insight into the life of an historic author. Check on-line for advance purchase discounts.