When my parents announced this past winter that we’d be leaving snowy Minnesota for the waters of the Caribbean, I started dancing around the kitchen.
A month later, we arrived in Puerto Rico to embark on The Adventure of the Seas. The ship was huge. Looking at our vessel felt almost like looking up at the night sky-it makes you feel incredibly small.
Sleep on the first night was undisturbed, even by the rocking of the ship. The next morning felt almost dreamlike. Walking out into open air and seeing nothing but water was incredible and a little eerie. The day went by quickly, with a jewelry-making class, rock climbing, food, and lots of free time. It also happened to be formal night for dinner…my denim dress stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the silk and chiffon. After my mini wardrobe crisis, we shut our eyes, only to open them in Aruba the next morning.
After a breakfast at the buffet, Mom and I headed off to the Atlantis Submarine tour. Underwater, everything was bathed in blue, other colors disappearing with the lack of light. We glided by sunken ships, moray eels, and stingrays. After re-emerging into open air, we boarded the “King Banana”, a brightly colored bus blasting 70s music, which would take us to our next tour. “Sail, Snorkel, Swim, and Swing!” began at the Jolly Pirates dock, where we boarded our ship. We snorkeled amongst sunken tugboats, jumped into the ocean off of a rope swing, and watched people get drunk off rum punch. Eventually, we returned to land for dinner at Queen’s. It was a short walk from port, and was the best meal of the entire trip. Finally, we called it a night and headed back to the ship to sleep.
At the port in Curacao, we met up with our group and took a bus through the fascinating city of Willemstad to arrive at our boat for snorkeling and sightseeing. Curacao was by far my favorite snorkeling spot. We spent our time at a sunken tugboat site which was much more intact than the other shipwrecks we snorkeled by, and further out was colorful coral. Fish swarmed the place. It was wondrous.
Our last full day at sea was a good one. The highlight was an ice-skating show, which was very impressive! Overall, it was a relaxing day cruising in the Caribbean.
Dominica was our third stop. I had been anticipating this island the entire trip. Dad and I were going to be doing a “High Hopes! High Ropes!” course in the rainforest. The Wacky Rollers Adventure Park had zip lines, tightropes, and other exciting, challenging obstacles. The rainforest was beautiful, and hotter than any other place I’ve been. They gave us water after the course, but unfortunately I ended up with a migraine later that night anyway. I have to say, though, it was worth it.
Scuba diving has been a dream of mine for a while now, and though I didn’t have my license, I could snuba in St. Thomas. Snuba diving is like scuba in that you breathe through a regulator, but the air hose only goes down twenty feet. When we weren’t snuba diving, we could snorkel, and both were amazing. We encountered sting rays, nocturnal-looking fish, fascinating plants, and more. Our final Caribbean adventure was the St. Thomas butterfly garden, which was very pretty.
The final night on the ship was tinged with some sadness that this all had to end; but if it never ended, it wouldn’t be a vacation.
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