Posted by: Thomas | February 10, 2013

Eastern Caribbean Cruise

Since a few years back I have wanted to experience this particular party cruise through Caribbean islands, and this year my dream finally came true. In November 2012 during a dinner in city that never sleeps, New York City, two of my friends said that they just booked the cruise and immediately, without any hesitations I took my phone, found the number of the booking agency and booked the same cruise. I was waiting for this particular cruise for a few years and of some odd and unknown reason to me I have never went. Anyhow, February 2013 could not come fast enough, and it was time for us to board the second biggest ship in the world, Independence of the Seas, in Fort Lauderdale and voyage through Eastern Caribbean and visit four magical islands.

All three of us were extremely excited about this cruise and it would be our very first. I have, however, gone on shorter cruises before. Once to Bahamas and once from Sweden to Norway, but I have never gone on a 8 day cruise in Caribbean, and never on a party cruise of this kind where everyone is over 18 years of age.

When we got to the ship I could not help but show my great excitement. I was jumping of pure happiness and seeing all those people boarding the ship was even more exciting because I knew it would be an experience of a life time. The ship, Independence of the Seas was a beauty. About 4,000 passengers got onboard and about 1,360 crew members. Like the other Freedom class vessels, Independence of the Seas featured all kinds of amenities such as an interactive water park, a dedicated sports pool for volleyball and basketball, surfing pool, wall climbing, big gym, spas, number of whirlpools that extend from the vessel’s sides, and so much more. It had 15 decks and also it featured an internal shopping street inside of the ship called the Promenade, which was lined up with number of bars, pubs and shops. There were also bunch of great restaurants, lounges, ice skating ring and a big two story theatre that could seat about 1,200 people. Anyway, the ship had it all. And most important of it all, it had me on it.

The itinerary was great as well. First four days we would be on the sea, then our first port would be on a beautiful island of St. Marten, where we would spend entire day, then we would sail and stop at an even more beautiful island of St. Kitts, then we would be at sea again, then stop in Puerto Rico and final stop would be Lombardi, Haiti. I have only been in Puerto Rico before so the other three islands would be new destinations for me to explore. As soon as we boarded the ship my friends and I went to the information desk to book some excursions while on these islands. We booked ATV ride in St. Marten, island safari in St. Kitts and worlds biggest zip line over water in Haiti.

The entertainment on the ship was mind blowing. I was really blown away with the whole experience. I was flabbergasted and I have lived on four continents and travelled around the world and visited some of the most amazing places this wonderful planet we call Earth has to offer, but this 8 days on this particular cruise was mind blowing and one of the best vacations I have ever had. First, I did not use my cell phone; I haven’t checked e-mails nor have I watched TV for 8 straight days. Second, the people on the ship were so friendly and everyone seemed to have the time of their life. And of course, comedy and Broadway shows, entertainment, and the ship itself were excellent.

There were activities for everyone 24/7. I personally slept only 2-3 hours a day, because I was always doing something, hanging out with people by the pool, dancing and purely just enjoying myself. There were worlds famous DJs that played excellent music and I was dancing the entire time. Basically the expression “dance till your feet hurt” was my motto. T-parties were at 4pm, then dinner and show till about 11pm, then on the upper deck at 11pm night party starts that goes all the way till 5pm and that is when after party starts at Studio B, so basically lots of dancing. Every day was a different theme party where people were dressing up in costumes. What I have seen on this ship during these wonderful and unforgettable 8 days some of us have not seen in their life time.

I have met incredible people and became friends with a quite few of them. I even was brought up to the stage to perform Tina Turner’s Proud Mary where I both sang and danced together with the singer and her band. I got so many applause for my Proud Mary dance that was unbelievable, and lots of people recognized me afterwards on the ship and said “Oh, there is a great dancer who performed excellent Tina dance of Proud Mary”. One night one of my new friends and I went to casino to gamble, well, he was gambling and I was just bringing him the good luck. After he was loosing money on black jack I suggested going to roulette and putting only $50 on 4 numbers, and after just one spin and one trial I selected the winning number, then we moved to craps table, which I have never ever played in my entire life. So after about 10 people all throwing dices and loosing lots of money the turn came for my friend to roll and he asked me to do so. I was rolling winning numbers every single time for straight 25 minutes. Every single time I rolled everyone screamed of happiness since I was making them money. It was so unbelievable. Almost every time I asked my friend what number he wanted and he tells me to give him two threes, and I roll and there they were, two threes, then he says give me 10, and I roll and there was a ten, then he said to give him two twos and there it was two twos. It was like in a movie. I got a big applaud afterwards and made a couple of thousands dollars to each player. Well, I did not play and probably that was the reason. But afterwards, people recognized me and thank me for making so much money for them.

Words cannot describe this wonderful experience. One must simply go on one of these cruises to see it for himself. This was my first, but definitely not my last. I am looking forward for the next year’s cruise. Even though my future cruises my be far better than this one, but since this is my first it will always be my first and far more memorable than any other. The first great experience is very hard to beat.

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