Hello from the Caribbean once again!
Time is a fleeting concept. Our 50 day brazil journey seems so far away but it was only a few weeks ago! Since returning to our Caribbean route, exciting things have been happening left and right! I’ve seen my family multiple times, my Mom and Steve came sailing as passengers on the Maasdam, I turned 23, and I’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid in my best friends wedding! Talk about an incredible 2014. Not only have we almost finished our Caribbean route on the Maasdam but we have arrived at our HALFWAY point during our contract. This means we have spent 4 months at sea as entertainers and we have 4 months left. This job is flying past me! Soon we will be off to Charleston, SC and then Boston as we transition to Canada/ New England 7 day cruises for the rest of the summer. Then we will be putting away our bikinis and tanlines, and consuming all sorts of Lobster and beer and walking around historic areas! Although I will miss the beachy paradise, it will be a nice change of scenery.
This past 14 day cruise happened to be the best cruise yet. Why? Because my mother and my stepdad Steve came sailing on the Maasdam as passengers for the first time. Having family on board made my routine far more blissful than ever. I had so much I wanted to show them, from the facilities, to the shows, to the crew, to the food, to my favorite ports. Eventually they knew the ship inside and out. It was so nice to see them walking around the ship during meals, laying out at the pool, sitting in the front row at my shows, and dancing in the bar. They loved every second of their vacation and made relationships with all of my entertainment friends and crew friends. On top of all that, they were sailing with me for my 23rd birthday! Having family on board made it so special. I had a lovely steak dinner at the Pinnacle with my loved ones, then roses delivered to my room by my handsome Johnny, drank Veuve Cliquot champagne, ate cake delivered at midnight to the bar, had breakfast in Mom’s room overlooking the ocean, received chocolate, presents and goodies from Brit, was serenaded to the Top Gun theme song by my best friends, and spent the rest of night celebrating with my new Maasdam family. 23 felt great! To top it all off, I disembarked April 11th and my dad picked me up Starbucks in hand and drove me to Naples for a few hours to see family and friends. After visiting my grandfather who has had a rough patch in the hospital (please keep Pops in your prayers for those of you who know him) I was whisked away to the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort for a surprise birthday brunch with my family, grandma, Caitlin and Morgan. Once again, they all made me feel enormously loved and spoiled! We toasted with some birthday champagne, ate like kings, and caught up on life. Before I knew it I had to hop back in the car with my birthday gifts and carrot cake cookies and go back to Ft. Lauderdale to board the ship again. Though it was a whirlwind, it was the best 4 hours home I could have imagined.
Other than my birthday, these past few weeks have been filled with adventures that have to be highlighted for any of you who ever get the chance to visit these places. Here are some Caribbean tips and memories from my favorite places! (since we are about to end our Caribbean route I thought I’d rattle em off)
- St. Lucia- zipline through the rainforest here! It’s absolutely full of tropical trees and birds, 9 different long zipline routes. Stunning views on top of the island.
- St. Maarten- There’s the beautiful Dutch side, with a plethora of restaurants and beaches that provide beautiful views of the cove that we port in. And even better, there’s the fancy French side. We shopped in Marigot (upscale shopping Marina) which had countless French restaurants on the water. We ate amazing food and dessert and wine and did some shopping damage before making our way to the french beaches.
- ORIENT BAY(St. Maarten)- Warning: Upon entering this beach it seems fairly normal, until you walk to the very end of the beach and run into a “natural” resort. Natural– means nude. And Nude means you must be 60 years or older and have dried up private parts. These views are not for the light hearted and weak minded. It was nearly impossible for me not to laugh when I spotted 200 naked old people with their junk out. However, Brit and I braved the storm, went topless for an hour, and tried to rid our tanlines. After all…. You only Nude beach once?? Why Not?
- St. Barths- Oui Oui Les Francais! This island is super posh, very expensive, and very quiet and quaint. The French who live there are skinny, trendy, smokers, with money. The boats, restaurants and shops are so beautiful. We only had 5 hours at this island but it was well worth the walk around.
- St. Thomas- great shopping and restaurants, beaches are decent, but the resorts are where you should go if you want the package deal. Head to the Ritz for a nice private view.
- CURACAO -Willemstead- One of my favorite ports of all! The shopping is insanely good here. There is a portable floating bridge between the town. On one side of town its more local food, goods, and shopping, and on the other its the fancy, touristy side with amazing views of the water and the renaissance center shaped like a fort. Favorite spots here: Le Bistro in the Renaissance (French waterfront restaurant), The WaterFront Arches (more water views crashing water on the rocks), the Rensaissance shops (watch out- you can blow easy money) and the floating bridge lit up at night.
- Bonaire- the Spice Club is one of the most relaxing secret spots. Its a hotel right on the water in Bonaire that offers snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, watersports, and cheap chairs with amazing food and a pool. I posted up here twice just to lay and soak in the sun. Bonaire is also one of my favorite running spots!
- St. John’s- Beaches beaches and more beaches.
- Rosseau, Dominica- Champagne beach for snorkeling views well worth it, and the emerald pool waterfall! A stunning hike up the rainforest to see a little pool surrounded by greenery and sunlight.
- St. Croix- Polly’s at the Pier restaurant has the best food and coffee I’ve ever tasted. Oh and wifi!
- Half Moon Cay- Holland America’s private island that is my favorite place to run a 5k! Beautiful untouched land and sand.
- Barbados- One word. BOATYARD. For those of you cruise line entertainers I don’t need to tell you about this place. It is beautifully set on the beach, amazing food and bar with free wifi, a rope swing into the water, jet skiis, and tons of crew members from other cruise lines hanging around.
I think that’s all the tips I have for now! Thanks once again for reading glimmerandglamour ! Here are a few photos of my last 4 weeks at sea. WIshing love and happiness to all of you!