As a graduation present we were gifted with a 7 day Carribbean Cruise. This trip was very exciting because it was our first time traveling together as a couple. What an amazing trip it was too!
This was a 7-Day Eastern Caribbean From Miami with stops in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and Tortola on the Norwegian Breakaway.
Puerto Rico was amazing, Kay is a huge Hamilton fan and wanted to explore Lin Manuel Miranda’s home land. We both really love history and culture and it was fun to explore the forts on the island. The Umbrella Street was beautiful too. We also headed to a local bar and enjoyed a beer while watching other cruisers pass by.
In St. Thomas we booked our only onshore excursion, zip lining, this was Kay’s first time zip lining and it was really fun. Our only problem was the group who went with us, a group of New Yorkers complained the entire excursion and one of them even got injured on the first course. We still made the best of it and enjoyed ourselves.
Tortola was such a fun adventure, we went off on our own to a rum distillery and got to taste some local rum. This was a highlight of the trip. After, we purchased a small bottle and got a virgin pina colada on the beach to mix with our rum. Drew says this was some of the best alcohol he has ever had and I agree. It was super yummy! I didn’t even mind drinking it straight.
We also stopped for an afternoon on Norwegian’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay. This was a horrible stop and not even worth getting off the ship. The food was not good and there was no space on the beach. To get on and off the island took about an hour or more each way leaving little to no time on the beach. Many cruisers around us also complained about this port as well as other aspects of the cruise.
The trip itself was absolutely horrible. Turns out our cruise was one the dirtiest according to the CDC (see article listed below). We did not care for the buffet at all and even did not enjoy the plated meals. At times dinner service for the two of us took over two hours. The entertainment on board was not very good either. It felt like the cruise catered to those who had the drink package as they were too drunk to care about the food and entertainment. Also the main deck had no room for anyone to swim in the pool nor even lounge on the deck. The pool was crammed with drunk people twerking and yelling. This area was even near the children’s play area which was not the best decision. Drew had been on many cruises in the past with family and he can attest that it was the worst he had ever been on.
As bad as the actual cruise part of the trip was, it was also one of our favorite trips of all time. For our first trip together the cruise was the best thing to choose because we didn’t have to worry about a thing. The food was included (even if it was bad) so we could enjoy meals whenever we wanted and didn’t have to worry about the cost or who was picking up the tab.
Also we had no cell service or internet so we spent 7 days of uninterrupted time together. This gave us the time to have conversations and strengthen our already solid foundation. We felt that our relationship had grown over the trip.
Kay had never experienced a trip like this before so it was a good opportunity to see if she could handle it. For reference Kay has horrible motion sickness, to the point where movies and tv shows can sometimes be too much. Overall, she had no problems on the trip and enjoyed it enough to not rule out another cruise.
Would we do it again?
We would 100% recommend going on a cruise. It is convenient to be able to pay before and not have to worry about your food, transportation, or lodging. However, a cruise is definitely a unique type of trip. While it is nice to have these things taken care of for you, you also have limited freedom and are at liberty of the cruise’s time. We would have wanted to spend more than a few hours in Puerto Rico exploring. Even the time we did have was in the evening when things had closed for the day. And some of the other ports would not have felt as rushed too if we had been able to devote more time to them. Also, whenever the ship was docked it felt like there were a swarm of cruisers which inflated the port we were exploring. This felt overwhelming and took away from the charm of the port. All in all, we would not plan for our next few trips to be cruises but we will keep them in mind if we want a trip but don’t have the time to plan or really want to stick to a budget.
On a Norwegian Cruise? We would never say never, but we would definitely want to consider every other cruise company first. The only way we would consider a Norwegian cruise is if it was not on the Breakaway and if our budget was low. We do believe in second chances for this company but Kay would like to experience another company before returning to Norwegian first.