Any vacation, even one that includes riding the high seas comfortably on a luxury ship, can take its toll. When you have only a day to spend at each port, you try and squeeze in as much as you can into those few hours because, let’s be honest, the chances that you will fly half way across the world to visit the same place again are pretty slim.
The “At Sea” days might sound relaxing, but with the barrage of activities that are planned on-board, you don’t get time to even eat and end up running around trying to participate in as many activities as you can – Cricket in the morning, dance classes with the misses in the afternoon, movie quiz somewhere in between, and then there are shows to see, food to eat, swimming to be done, and the list goes on.
The problem though is that you don’t realize how tired you are till the time you finally return back to the cabin in order to take what is supposed to be a breather, a quick nap, but end up waking the next morning.
Eventually, everything catches up – just as it does in life (how’s that for a little cruise philosophy) and the only way to rejuvenate is to finally hold back, rethink your priorities, and skip going out on some of the port days.
Intermittent heavy rains made us cross off going to the beach and sitting in a taxi and heading for an adventure seemed too tedious at this stage in the cruise.
Thus, it was decided that all of us – yes, no matter the age, we were all in the same state of mind – will simply stay at the port and drink some beer (before you go nuts on me, the kid had juice).
I would however like to mention that Antigua boasts of having 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. I say, give me a year-long visa and the number of a winning lottery first, and then we will talk.
Even though I don’t regret staying back and not exploring Antigua – I was already suffering from the “too many beaches in too short a time”syndrome – it was a little disappointing to witness St. John’s Bay fill up – from our cabin balcony – with what I can only assume was waste from the docked ships as they were cleaned. Everything has its consequences and it’s at least good to know how and what you contribute, even if unknowingly, so as to make an informed decision the next time over.
Luckily, as the skies cleared up above us and the waste settled down below, a beautiful rainbow, followed by an equally gorgeous sunset, was all it took to bring the day to a gorgeous end.
St. Lucia on the other hand turned out to be a saviour because when we started the day we were unaware of the ordeal we would face over the next two days as we made our way back from the vacation. Delayed flights and heavy snowfall in England meant we’d had to spend the night at the Airport, and the unplanned rest we got at St. Lucia was eventually welcomed in the end.
Since St. Lucia was our last destination on the cruise, there was mellowed excitement all around. Passengers strolled off the boat half-a-heart filled with melancholy as they would soon be returning to their daily grinds, while the other half was enthusiastic to make the most of whatever time was left in the Caribbean.
We did make it to the beach in St. Lucia; The taxi took us to a hotel where we passed through the reception in order to get to a beautiful public beach. Sadly, some rather strong waves scared our little one to the extent that after only an hour we scrapped the idea of spending all-day at the beach and instead spent a couple of hours at the shops before heading back to the ship where we spent time watching airplanes land at the nearby airport and waving at the various catamaran cruises departing and arriving, carrying fellow cruise passengers.
As the day came to an end, the end of this little adventure finally dawned on my mind (as it does once again when I write this last post from the series). I began to pack with a heavy heart. It had been an eventful 14 days and we – as a family – had seen a part of the world, so far away from our everyday lives, that was vibrant, green, warm, and colouful, filled with escapades and encounters that we all got to share together. The excitement of waking up in a brand new place each day and the pleasure of living it up was everything that travel should be about.
As the time for bed arrived with the opportunity to catch a falling star that would hopefully take me to another part of the world where once again I can gather Captivating memories, similar to the ones I had accumulated in the Caribbean, I was happy for these memories will, and have, remained a part of me for years to come.
A family vacation, a cruise – half way around the world, one of the severest winters seen by Europe, the warm Caribbean weather living up to its name; Captivating Caribbean is a small series where I shall cover some of the stops we made during this 14-day cruise. Hopefully these “photo-essays” with the occasional tips can give you a glimpse into island life in this part of the world.