Five on Friday: Royal Caribbean Cruise Edition

June 28, 2019 Miami, FL, USA

Happy Summer!

Sean and I recently returned from a much-needed vacation. Instead of constantly snapping photos and compiling research for a ton of blog posts, we took the relaxation route and simply enjoyed the trip. Instead, here's the highlights reel:

1. Empress of the Seas

Empress is Royal Caribbean's smallest ship. We were booked on her for one reason only: Cuba. It's long been on our bucket list. 10 days before embarkation, the laws changed and so did our itinerary. Womp womp. As it turned out, we needn't have worried because we loved the ship! As two adults without kids we don't need all the bells and whistles that come with megaships. Empress was easy to navigate, never felt crowded, and had the most incredible staff! I'd happily sail on her again.

2. Perfect Day at Coco Cay

Our first stop was Royal Caribbean's private island, Coco Cay, where we enjoyed a chill day between the beaches and ginormous pool! We booked an off-island stingray city excursion which was cancelled due to weather, but as it turns out, we encountered stingrays (and a few sharks!) on our own anyway! It was a nice surprise.

3. San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan Puerto Rico

San Juan has long been one of my bucket list ports so I was excited to see it on our updated itinerary. However, a 5 PM debarkation didn't give us much time to explore. With the few hours we had, we enjoyed some delicious mofongo and a walk around Old San Juan.

4. St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

The most surprising thing about this island to us was the people. Many of the people we encountered were visitors from the US who simply decided not to go home. I can't blame them. The island had a relaxed vibe throughout and we loved our snorkeling trip to Buck Island with Big Beards Adventure Tours. It's a must-see!

5. St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

On the other end of the USVI spectrum, St. Thomas was bustling, and like many Caribbean ports, locals were always approaching us for one type of sale or another. spent some time in a pool with Remo the sea lion at Coral World Ocean Park before exploring the town and eating a tasty island lunch from a local food truck.

And with that, I think we're ready for our next cruise! What's your favorite cruise port?

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