There’s nothing like spontaneously booking an ” independent ladies” get away with one of your best girlfriends. It had been a few years since I’ve been on a “girls trip,” so the sunshine, drinks on the sand, and good laughs on a Carnival Cruise was a perfect choice.
10 Day Carry-on Packing List: 2 Pairs of work out pants. 1 Pair Denim Shorts. 4 Bathing suits (let’s be real most time is spent in the water), 1 Maxi Skirt, 1 Black Dress, 2 Workout tanks, 3 Casual Tank tops (2 Black, 1 White), 1 pair of Flops, 1 Pair of Sneakers, 1 Pair of Nude heels, and Romper.
Tip: Always pack in a color palate that way you can mix and match fewer items giving you a little more variety.
Makeup Bag: Rimmel Tinted SPF Moisturizer, Sunscreen, Loreal waterproof mascara, Stila Patina, Stila Fiery, Stila neutral eyeshadow set, Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminating palate, and Loreal waterproof eyeliner.
Toiletries: Mini Mouthwash, Mini Toothpaste, Mini Soap, Travel size Shampoo & Conditioner, Coconut Oil (Great for keeping skin and hair from drying out), Dove Deodorant, Mini Body Mist, and Advil.
Truth Tip: The First two nights on the waves I did feel slight motion sickness but got used to it, if movement sensitive pack Dramamine to avoid feeling queasy.
Greeted by pastel colored buildings, our adventure kicked off in San Juan, PR. Apparently, in the Carribean, every hour is a good time for rum cocktails, especially if they priced buy one get one free for a buck! With time to kill after landing, we roamed for some brunch followed by one shot, two shot, three, before we knew it, it was time to sail off.
Tip: Carnival Cruise Line was incredibly accommodating. The staff always had a positive attitude, and the ship overall was kept clean.
This venture was my first cruise experience; I had no idea exactly what to expect on the actual ship. Some cruises have specific demographics which was news to me. The voyage we were on, in particular, was more geared to young families mixed with the adventurous retired, some on their 20th cruise! Our agenda wasn’t to hunt for a short term sea romance, so chilling poolside in a family fun environment was totally okay.
Tip for new cruisers: Hoping to meet a future Prince Eric or Ariel? Check the theme or course environment before booking, there are individual voyages for every single wanting to mingle, families, and even preferred hobbies!
A few things I did notice observing frequent cruisers was that most don’t leave the boat to explore a new port, they eat a lot due to 24-hour buffet accommodation, and hit the slots. Captain’s dinner is not only a highlight of the journey but a night to show off your best dressed. Everyone that evening looked red carpet ready in ball gowns and suits. My travel companion did mention this to me, but myself am a very light packer, the idea of stuffing a Cinderella style dress in my carry on seemed like a task for a fairy godmother. In result, I kept it classy with a black dress styled with nude wedges, not too shabby, right? My favorite meals were in the dining hall over the buffet. Wherever our next stop was the menu reflected traditional food which pleased my adventurous palate (I eat EVERYTHING).
Tip: The buffet does modify food, don’t feel guilty asking for egg whites and whole wheat toast. ( I sure didn’t)
Tip: Staying hydrated is important due to the heat and salt water, bringing a bottle from home to refill from the dining hall is a better option than buying a new bottle every day on board.
First Time Plates: Fried Alligator, Frog Legs, Bread Pudding, Conch.
First Time Cocktails: Rum Punch ( So sweet but watch out this stuff sneaks up on you!)
What caught my attention for the days spent on the sea was that our ship had a gym. Score! The first two days were great; I managed to get a sweat sesh in before sightseeing; then suddenly it happened out of nowhere, I caught a cold. Thankfully it wasn’t too bad to totally ruin the trip, but a lesson learned to bulk up on vitamins and bring immune support for future adventures. I didn’t think of it, but my body isn’t familiar to close quarters of the boat, so catching a little bug was inevitable. Overall besides dealing with a drippy nose, the trip was epic.
TIP: If prone to getting sick supplements Vitamin C, Emergen-C packs, B-12 are helpful in my experience for globe-trotting.
Our ship ported at ST. Lucia, ST. Thomas, ST. Kitts, ST. Martin, Barbados, and Puerto Rico. Each island was booming with its personality of customs and activities. Luckily my friend has a shared interests in finding handmade jewelry along, eating local goodies (sugar cane, spiced tamarind) and being active, so it was easy finding things to do on all the isles.
On Shore Activities: Party Boat & Snorkeling, Shipwreck Adventure, Sea turtle experience, Banana Plantation Tour, Waterfall & Botanical Garden Tour, Local shopping, Catamaran & catch rays on the beaches.
** Most Tours included a snack, packed lunch & beverages**
Tip: If looking for some natural recreation, keep an eye out for baked goods. (Wink, wink just saying).
Truth Tip: Although most locals are very pleasant, for female solo travelers stay aware of surroundings for cat calling and aggressive behavior are a usual thing. Keep a buddy system either with a friend or travel mate for your reassurance of safety.
My first cruise was a success! Would I do it again? Absolutely! Now learning that sea travel is another enjoyable way to see the world it makes me excited that either by air, ground transportation, and cruising wandering indeed has no limitations.
Was this helpful? Leave a comment!