Mar
16

Traveling is one of the best things you can possibly do. It creates relationships (it’s how Tony and I met), pushes you to learn an incredible amount about yourself, encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and expands your knowledge.

Over the past year, I made a commitment to travel more. To see the world, other cultures and also to just relax and enjoy life. Everytime I come back from a trip, I am rejuvenated, full of ideas and a little more ambitious. Lucky for me, my job enables me to travel and share my experiences with all of you!

Most recently I went on a 7-day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean with Princess Cruises. I’ll have a couple posts in the next month sharing my experience with all of you. There were so many different experiences, it becomes difficult to narrow it down to just one post.

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We left on a Sunday out of Fort Lauderdale and set sail on the bright blue ocean. This was my first time going on a cruise ship, so I really had no idea what to expect.

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We arrived at our rooms to find two twin beds, a shower and a beautiful balcony. I think we ate more food than we could handle too… but I’ll show you all of the food in part 2 of this post.

First let’s get right to where we went and what we did!

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Princess Kays, Bahamas

Our first stop was Princess Kays in the Bahamas; we arrived the day after we left the US. The weather was superb and I hadn’t remember seeing water that clear since I visited Australia last year.

Since my mom and I both LOVE staying active on vacations, we chose to do a kayaking excursion while there.

P.S. It’s a good idea to do active excursions while on vacation, especially if you know you’ll be eating your fair share of dessert.

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The wonderful part about the kayak is that the bottom was actually transparent; although the water was clear, we didn’t see any fish. OR SHARKS.

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After our day at Princess Kays, we went back and recieved massages from their beautiful Lotus Spa. You can take a 360 degree tour of their spa to get a sense of how gorgeous it is. I got a bamboo massage which is similar to deep tissue.

I’ve been having some neck and back issues lately, so the massage was such a nice treat to enjoy.

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We enjoyed fabulous meals every night and had a blast having Mom & daughter time together, especially since I live in Chicago and she’s in Minneapolis.

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St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

We spent a day at sea and then arrived at St. Thomas; the weather was warm and the people were kind. We had a hiking, kayak and snorkel guided excursion and met our tour guides at the port. It was an easy process and again, I loved feeling active and experiencing all of the island’s natural beauty.

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The kayaking was beautiful and smooth. The tour guides spoke about the jellyfish, the plants, algae and certain fish we might see. The water was a pale, clear blue and I was easily able to see jellyfish in the lagoon.

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We paddled to a separate part of the island, then left our kayaks and went for a quick hike. During the hike, we learned about one of the most poisonous plants in the world and also found hermit crabs by the hundreds. It was amazing!

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The crab ended up pinching me! That jerk.

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We followed the hiking path down to a pebble rocked walkway near the ocean where waves were crashing over the rocks. I literally had no idea how beautiful St. Thomas was, but now I can understand why we stopped there. Have any of you been? Tell me!

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After our hike, we snorkeled and saw a few rainbow fish, barracuda, and plenty of coral. I’m glad my Mom was able to experience the snorkeling; it was her first time and she was a trooper.

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Before we got back on the ship, we grabbed lunch at Barefoot Buddha. Highly recommend if you’re ever in St. Thomas!

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St. Maarten

I spent the day in St. Maarten with Lee from Fit Foodie Finds and her boyfriend, Blake. We were supposed to go on a catamaran but both felt like we wanted to get a feel for the island and scope out some of the food.

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We stopped by a Caribbean restaurant and I ordered bruschetta and a Caribbean chopped salad with chicken. It wasn’t anything crazy delicious, but since Lee and I had both ran 3 miles that morning, we needed fuel in our bellies.

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AND DESSERT, obviously.

After lunch, Lee and I were practically begging for ice cream and luckily we stumbled upon Gelato thanks to a local recommendation. I had coconut and caramel. SO good and refreshing!

Also happy about running those three miles, because I think I ended up having dessert that night too. I told you.

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My only regret is that I wasn’t able to spend more time at St. Maarten. The history of the island is pretty interesting, as half of it’s French and the other half, Dutch. I hope to go back some day and check out some of the food and culture from both sides.

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Question: Have you ever been to any of these places? I’d love to hear what you did and any recommendations for others. It’s always fun to hear about delicious eats or activities!

I’ll be back with part 2 soon and showing you my intense body shred workout from the ship! xoxo.

{Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Princess Cruises. However, all options and statements are my own! Thanks for continuing to support AK!}