In 2019 my brother Sam finally persuaded my mum and I to join his family on a cruise. Cruises had never appealed to me as a holiday option, mostly because I suffer from travel sickness, but I was assured given the sheer size of the ship I wouldn’t feel it moving at all (yet I still packed all the motion sickness preventative measures).
We booked a seven day Royal Caribbean cruise on Independence of the Seas, setting sail from Fort Lauderdale and docking at Cozumel in Mexico, The Grand Cayman Islands, Jamaica and the Royal Caribbean’s private Island of Labadee in Haiti. My mum and I chose to extend our trip by a further week to explore Miami, camp in the Everglades National Park and take a road trip along the famous Florida Keys. This trip would enable me to visit 3 new countries and contribute to my #40countriesbefore40.
We flew in to MIA the evening before and booked a dodgy budget motel near to the cruise port. We embarked before midday and the size of the ship was initially overwhelming. The ship boasts an impressive 15 decks and I don’t feel like we explored all the ship had to offer during our time on board. For sailing days there was plenty to keep you entertained including shops, spa & fitness centre, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, casinos, escape room, cafes, ice rink, theatres, and cinema open all hours of the day. And on deck – water parks, sky pad, flowrider, water slides and much more.
We booked shore excursions at three of our destinations including snorkelling in Cozumel, swimming with Stingrays in Cayman and Dragon’s Breath zip line in Haiti. I made many incredible new unforgettable memories.
There were many things I loved about the cruise, the staff were incredibly friendly and would greet you by name. We ate at the same table each night in the main dining room as our waiters were so nice. The cruise planner is packed with daily entertainment, with several themed evenings which we enjoyed getting glam for. I recommend pre booking the drinks package, it is great value for money and we were sure to sample the full range of frozen cocktails.
I wouldn’t choose to go on another cruise holiday, but I am very glad I got to experience it. Each time I travel I like to explore the new country I am visiting and immerse myself into the new culture on my own schedule. A cruise holiday is very restrictive in terms of time available to explore which made me feel quite claustrophobic.
If you like a holiday that is relaxing and everything is in one place, with unlimited food/drink and entertainment then cruising is the holiday for you.
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