A Travellerspoint blog

January 2019

Cruising to Grand Cayman

Of all of the port’s that I have been to yet. Grand Cayman trumps them all. In this port you must tender from the ship to the pier so plan to take a bit longer getting ashore. But once there be prepared to be amazed.

This island is clean, the locals are kind, the scenery beautiful. It is a tiny little island, and as many Caribbean islands happen to be you will be driving on what those of us from North America consider the wrong side of the road.

We visited a town called Hell. Here the landscape goes from green and luscious to black like Hell. If you look closely you will see a shape in the jagged rocks that looks much like the devil. It’s caused by the current volcanic action going on underneath the island. Grand Cayman is continuously growing because of the movement of the volcanoes it resides upon.

We also spent time at the Cayman Turtle Center. I have heard many people say how horrible of a place the farm is. But in all reality the farm is good for the population of turtles. For the last two years the hatchery has collected on average 27,500 eggs. As well the Cayman Turtle Center has released over 31,000 yearling turtles into the wild. For a species under such a threat those numbers are massive towards conservation and re-population.

We then took a bus over to the Tortuga Rum factory and got free samples of many different types of rums and rum cakes. I cannot say that we didn’t leave with bags laden down with goodies.

We ended this tour with a stingray encounter. Following a short boat ride out to a sand bar we entered the water with hundreds of wild stingrays. I will admit I was terrified. I didn’t want to step on one so I tread very lightly. Snorkelling around them however was exciting. Graceful creatures that they are.

My time in Grand Cayman was not long enough. I want to return and explore the island further. The kind demeanour of the locals and the majestic appearance of the ocean have me itchy to return to the tiny island. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

For my followers I have started another blog, this one is free standing. Check it out at www.wanderlustcanuk.com

Until tomorrow, keep travelling, keep exploring. Wanderlust.

Posted by Wanderlustcanuk 17:29 Comments (0)

Cruising to Montego Bay

Our stop in Montego Bay was a repeat trip for us. We had gotten married here a few years prior and spent a week at the Sunset Beach resort. During our previous trip to Jamaica other members of the group had gone to Negril the day that we were meeting with the wedding planner. So our excursion of choice was a trip to Negril.

We found our tour group and were loaded into a bus with a rather small group of people. I always prefer the smaller groups. I hate being shuffled around in a group of fifty people. The drive from the port to our first stop in Negril was rather enjoyable. We wound our way along the coast line through tiny villages. Our first stop was Margaritaville on seven mile beach. Here we got a free lunch. I of course chose jerk chicken. One of my favourite Jamaican dishes. We then laid on the beach and played in the surf drinking red stripe for around half an our.

The next stop was Rick’s Cafe. Famous for it’s views and cliff divers. I had been excitedly waiting to go here. The view was astonishing. Nothing in the way of miles and miles of ocean. The sun sparkling along on the top of the teal blue water. We walked down the stair case towards the ocean where the divers jump. Across the tiny inlet is a gap in the rocks shining through to the other side. The locals had told us to go down there. They say that it looks like Bob Marley. It indeed looks like a mans head has been carved into the rocks by the waves.

I wanted to jump from the cliff but I wasn’t sure how much time I had so instead we enjoyed some beer while looking out at the view.

We got the chance to watch one of the cliff divers jump from the very top. Then we headed back to the port. The day seemed rather quick. But the travel time from the port to Negril and back had unfortunately eaten quite a bit of our exploration time. I definitely recommend going to see this despite the around hour long trip to and from. It was beautiful and enjoyable. Our tour guide was amazing and the driver as well.

I have plenty of things to say about Jamaica, plenty of recommendations of what to do and what to see. I intend on writing a post specifically on the island as a whole. But for cruising, it’s a wonderful port to visit. I would happily cruise there again.

Until tomorrow, happy adventures everybody.

Posted by Wanderlustcanuk 11:33 Archived in Canada Tagged cruise jamaica bay carnival montego cafe cruising rick’s Comments (0)

Cruising and Seasickness

I promise that not all of my blog posts will be about cruising. I’ve done plenty of travelling. Cruising has been my most recent forms of exploration. I also swear that I have not been endorsed, sponsored or paid by Carnival in anyway. Although that would be the dream wouldn’t it? I just happen to really like their ships.

One of the biggest concerns that I have heard about cruising is, “I will get sea sick.”

It is not a guarantee that you will or will not get sea sick and most people will not. My husband is a person who is struck by motion sickness. He doesn’t like to fly, hates being a passenger in a car. Yet he doesn’t feel the slightest bit sick on a ship. Myself who has never had to worry about motion sickness finds myself needing to acquire some sea legs during the first few days of a cruise. However, neither one of us takes any kind of medication during our cruise. Previous to our first trip. I spent a lot of time researching sea sickness. I was honestly a bit concerned about my husbands proneness. I wanted to be prepared just in case so that if he got sick I could treat it and he could continue to have a great trip. Here are some tips about how to prevent and treat seasickness and keep yourself healthy for a fun trip.

If you are prone to motion sickness the best rule of thumb is to start preparing a few days before the start of your cruise.

1. Taking motion sickness medications, the type that you can purchase without a prescription such as Bonine® is a big help. Many people make the mistake of not ensuring that they purchase the non-drowsy formula. The last thing you want is to sleep your vacay away. The general consensus is to begin taking this previous to boarding the ship so that your system is already prepared for when the movement starts.

2. Doctor prescribed medications exist as well. This includes oral options and a patch that goes behind your ear.

3. Sea-Band® Is a very popular option as well. Many people choose this over medications as there is no side effects. These bands have a tiny button on the inside that presses against your wrist. This is supposed to be acupressure that relieves nausea. I have had no experience with this option but many people swear by it.

4. I found that being in the cabin and not being able to look outside created a bit of unease in my head. I had booked a balcony and as soon as I stepped outside into the air and looked into the horizon any discomfort alleviated. Spend the majority of your time out on deck in the fresh air until those sea legs kick in.

5. Cabin location. It is recommended that those who are prone to motion sickness should stay in a more central room. Lower and in the mid ship area. This point experiences less sway.

6. The larger the ship the less movement that you will feel. The cruise ships of the day are anywhere from 70,000 to 200,000 tons. They are equipped with stabilizers that reduce the movement of the vessel. All of these things help to ensure that you will have a comfortable trip.

In short, don’t spend your time worrying about the potential for sea sickness. Instead prepare to have fun. Bring along anything you may want in case of an illness. But the mind is a powerful thing and don’t allow yourself to generate the mental idea that you will become sick. If the worst case occurs the medical staff on board have extremely powerful medication to help with any sea sickness you may experience. Have a great trip and keep cruising and exploring!

Posted by Wanderlustcanuk 14:03 Archived in Canada Tagged sea cruising sickness Comments (0)

Cruising to Freeport

Freeport Bahamas. What do I say about you? It’s hard to have a negative view on any island in the Caribbean. Freeport was not quite what I expected.
The port itself was extremely industrialized. I can’t complain too much. I live off of industry and I live with industry around me. But when I vacay I tend to try and escape that. Out on my balcony, I watched a ship be unloaded of all of it’s shipping containers. Carnival and Royal Caribbean both currently have ships on the dry docks here. Off in the distance I see large oil containers poking up against the horizon. Disembarking was simple and finding our tour was relatively easy. The drive from the port to our excursion was pleasant enough.
Palm trees and cute little residential areas. We had chosen to try the My Bahamian House excursion. Once again booked through Carnival. I don’t always recommend booking through the cruise line you travel on. But for my own personal comfort the first time that I visit a new place I choose to do so. The house we were taken to was a cute little place on the canal, with a beach directly across the street. We were escorted in through the home and out into the back yard to sit upon the canal. The people working here were extremely kind, they laughed and joked with us. But I cannot with good faith recommend this excursion.
The canal had diesel fuel floating in it. This is something that I know the employees cannot control. But all the same, I could smell it wafting up into the backyard. We had been told there would be paddle boarding and they did indeed produce a paddle board. But not one person was ever put onto it. I got a drink. Which was great and waited for help onto said paddle board for over half an hour. Unfortunately that never happened. I finally got tired of that and walked over to the beach. This was beautiful. The water crystal clear and the sand was lovely. I spent an hour floating around in the waters.
Lunch was served back at the house and it was delicious. I followed it up with another drink and a few minutes later we were loaded up and taken back to the port. For $99 USD per person I was rather disappointed in this excursion.
Back at the port I found the shopping to be extremely dissapointing. I spotted a tortuga store and power walked my way over praying for tortuga vanilla rum. No such luck this store sold tortuga rum cakes and some souvenirs but none of the alcohol.
I do feel that Freeport needs more exploration If I am to give a true opinion of it. The disappointing excursion and the industrial port tainted my view of it. I know plenty of people who have enjoyed their visits there.
As per my usual opinion I suggest taking a visit to this place. I would still take a cruise if it stopped here and I wouldn’t tell anyone not to go. But so far this port has been my least favourite stop.

Keep travelling and keep exploring my fellow travellers.

Posted by Wanderlustcanuk 22:37 Tagged cruise carnival bahamas freeport Comments (0)

Cruising to Nassau

Diamond

I recently visited Nassau for the first time. I had read about the tiny island before but a lot of that information had not been good. The Canadian government warns travellers to the island of crime and other unfriendly issues. But when I stepped out on the balcony the morning we docked I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it truly was. Beautiful blue ocean and waving palm trees. Atlantis resort in the distance. We had booked an excursion through the Carnival website and the tickets told us to be on the pier at 1:30. With time to kill we headed off into the shopping area of the port known as Bay Street. In the walk from the ship to Bay Street we were offered multiple taxi rides, tours and even wagon rides. I just politely said no thank you and walked along my way. I found that the people peddling their services here were less pushy than in other corners of the world and I was pleasantly surprised.
I had purchased a coupon book from the shopping specialist on the boat. She had also directed me great places to shop. I utilized the information I had been given and explored the stores. On Bay Street you will find a large variety of jewelry shops. While I don’t have a massive budget I did purchase a beautiful tanzanite bracelet for $99.00 USD at Tanzanite International. I was given a tanzanite necklace and earrings for free to match. Just a few steps away I exchanged one of my coupons for a one carat loose sapphire. I also ventured into Diamonds International to collect my free Bahamas charm for my bracelet.
If like me fancy jewels are out of your budget there are other places to shop. Del Sol for instance which has items that change colour in the sun. Pandora. There is a pharmacy in case you were needing something and didn’t want to spend the extra price on board. There are a few souvenir shops along the way.
We returned to the ship after our morning of exploring Bay Street, dropped our shopping bags in the room and headed to the pier for 1:30.

Here we boarded a small boat which took us out the water way past some of the massive mansions on paradise island. Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Buffet and Tiger Wood’s ex wife all own houses in this area. These extravagant homes tower over the bay with their perfectly manicured lawns and glowing white paint. Just past the homes a few minutes we stopped to take a picture of the Island where Gilligan’s Island was filmed. Hurricane’s have destroyed the trees on it leaving it much less forested than what it had been. But a few of the buildings still stand. A fast and bouncy ride from there we jumped into the ocean to swim with sea turtles. The water around us was a bit rough and cloudy so it wasn’t the best day for this excursion but it was really nice. I didn’t see any turtles but my husband saw two. I just enjoyed watching the fish as I snorkelled along in the warm Caribbean waters. Jumping back into the boat we drove to Rose Island where we snorkelled again. Here over a reef we snorkelled for about half an hour. The reef was beautiful and bountiful with fish. It was colourful and the water here was clear. Our life guard swam bellow us spreading food for the fish. We then spent about a half an hour basking in the sun on Rose Island before returning to port and boarding the ship.
I would like to return to Nassau and explore more of the island one day but I am a true water baby at heart and I always enjoy doing any sort of water excursion. In conclusion anyone concerned about visiting the Bahamas I would recommend Nassau as one of your stops for exploring this beautiful area of the world. The shopping is tax and duty free and the locals that I meant were wonderful people.

Posted by Wanderlustcanuk 21:36 Archived in Canada Tagged cruises carnival bahamas nassau Comments (0)

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