October 16, 2009

Cruising the Caribbean on the party ship!

If taking a cruise is on your wish-list, here’s some advice: make sure you choose the right ship, right destination and right companion… I have done 5 cruises and each has been so completely different, that you really need to research them before you book.

Deck chairs on the Lido deck

Deck chairs on the Lido deck

My sister and I headed off from Miami on the ‘fun ship’ Carnival Liberty to swan about the Caribbean for a week. (I know!) She has abandoned husband and kids and we’re off to pretrend we’re 20-something without a car as we visit Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios Jamaica.

This ship has a totally different clientele to others I’ve been on. Carnival’s tag line is ‘fun ships’ and there’s not a mobility scooter in sight. It’s all honeymooners, college friends, high school groups, families with little kids and just a handful of retirerees on this monster ship of 3500 passengers and 1200 crew with 3 pools and a gazillion deck chairs laid around them. There’s a big screen TV over the main pool on the Lido deck for late night movies and concert DVDs under the stars and below that is a stage where DJs and live bands play into the wee small hours.

For kids and energetic adults there’s a crazy slide that interestingly ends right beside the pool (not in it). But don’t get me wrong, it’s not all about yoof – there’s a well equipped gym, a spa for a bit of pampering and a casino which begins each week-long cruise stocked with about US$3million. (More about that later..)

Johnny Depp anyone?

Johnny Depp anyone?

Of course a cruise wouldn’t be complete without the all-inclusive and never ending supply of food. There’s a whole deck with a buffet  for breakfast that becomes lunch and then morphs into dinner. There’s a kiosk pizza bar, a nacho counter and soft serve ice cream stations that always have a few kids lined up. Then there’s the fancy sit-down restaurant with tables for just you and your group (you’re not assigned to sit next to strangers). Pip and I have a little table for 2 where Sandra from South Africa and Mitchell from Indonesia look after us. They became friends after a couple of days and we’ve taken to debriefing our day and getting their advice on what to do tomorrow.

But that’s enough for now. More later – I’m off to get the cocktail of the day….

About Megan Singleton

Megan

Megan Singleton is a travel writer, blogger and radio correspondent. She's been gallivanting around the world telling stories for the last 16 years and has her suitcase always half packed (or half un-packed!) Follow along on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for monthly newsletters if you want to keep up with the journey!

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