Here’s the second installment of this travel journal, day 3 of 10; embarking on our cruise.
We decided last minute to ditch our previous plans for a family road trip for this cruise. And when I say last minute, I mean less than a month before we scrapped everything! We had planned for months on taking a road trip down the East Coast, but as soon as we booked a few places we just stopped and canceled all reservations. Crazy right? It was kind of weird how we both just looked at each other and thought to change this trip. It didn’t feel like the right thing or the right time to go on that type of road trip. I mean, we both want to take this road trip, just another time. We always plan these elaborate trips, which are great fun, but we just wanted to relax, swim with our kids, and see some sights that would be interesting. After a bit of talking and research, we decided upon a cruise. We had such a great time on our first cruise, which was a Western Caribbean cruise on Princess Regal back in 2016 with friends. It was relaxing, super fun and a beautiful cruise ship. This trip, we decided to go on an Eastern Caribbean cruise through Celebrity Equinox on our own.
This experience was ….Totally Awesome In Every Way!!
Celebrity Equinox Eastern Caribbean Itinerary
I will update these day links once I finish this trip journal. 🙂
Day 1 –Embarking the Ship, Fort Lauderdale
Day 2 –Day at Sea (#1)
Day 3 –San Juan, Puerto Rico
Day 4 –St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Day 5 –Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Day 6 –Day at sea (#2)
Day 7 –Nassau Bahamas
Day 8 -Disembarking the ship, Fort Lauderdale
Day 1- Cruise embarkment
We got all of our bags packed the night before we took off for the port. We made plans to check every bag so we can walk freely around the boat right away. The only thing I had done was pre-pack all of our bathing suits with a change of clothes in my cross body purse in case we decided to go swimming right away. This way it was not an inconvenience like carrying a big carry on bag.
I highly recommend a bucket style cross body bag! They are so convenient for all types of travel.
We shipped off on our cruise from the same port as last time, Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. As I mentioned in my last post, we stayed in Fort Lauderdale for three days before our cruise. It was a great idea because we got to enjoy relaxing sun and fun in Florida. Which left us the morning of the cruise with nothing more than get up and go! We grabbed a Lyft over to the port around mid-morning after grabbing coffee. The ride over to the port was quick and easy. No traffic. All we needed in hand for the ride were our identification/passports. Big props to our Lyft drive, too. He was great fun and made our ride even better. He even made a reference to the Golden Girls, which was kismet, right?!!
It took no time at all to get from checking in our bags to checking into the port. Baggage is done curbside where you are dropped off, which was different than our experience with Princess. A few things at check in were different. There were fast streaming free form lines to check in with a representative using hand held devices to check passports and taking your photo. It was quick and precise, which was pretty great. As we embarked the boat we were greeted with staff along the way, and then directed to take a photo. After that, we were greeted to enter the boat where we were handed rosé champagne, which was perfection. After that greeting we walked around to acclimate ourselves to all the floors and take in the quiet of the boat.
What a beautiful boat!
Everything is set for you to roam the boat and head up to your room even if it’s not ready. If it isn’t ready, there will be a note on the door, but you can still grab your room keys from the mail slot (behind your room number). We shot up to our room within minutes of looking around. Our room happened to be ready when we went by so we went in. It was exactly what we needed. We had booked room 8201, a veranda stateroom with balcony. The room and bathroom were spacious, and the bunk bed configuration was thoughtful. With the bunk down we could still access our balcony, which we couldn’t on the Princess cruise. Which bummed me out that whole trip, I love sitting on the balcony while my family sleeps. We had a surprise waiting for us, a bottle of wine, for my husband’s birthday that was coming up along our trip. It was so thoughtful! (and good! we just drank it this week!)
After we checked out the room, we decided it was time to eat. We grabbed a quick bite in our hotel room that morning with coffee, so you know my kids (and husband) were DYING to eat. haha This is their motto through my life.
Since the dining room and specialty restaurants were closed, we (and everyone on the ship) went to grab some food in the Oceanview Cafe. We found a table right by the water, with a great view opposite of the port, as the boat started to sail we ate some really good, fresh food. And had our first cocktails! Margarita for me and rum and pineapple juice for him. He is a rum guy. So.. My husband and I had gotten the drink package on this trip, something we did not get the previous cruise, and it was a great package to have. Also, this may explain why you will see me with so many drinks throughout these seven days. 😛
After we ate we walked around the rest of the ship. We headed first to the grassy area on the top level. It was as cool as it looked in all the photos of the ship. Super soft on the feet and a great place to take in a movie late night. From there we kept going along our tour to check out the specialty restaurants and all the bars. This was when my husband saw my drink was gone, and ordered me another! haha This was our game all week. This time he got me a Mexican Firing Squad.. Holy heck! So good! And it lasted me quite a while! From this cocktail bar we went to the coffee bar to grab the girls two chocolate milk shakes, and headed for the decks to watch the boat still make its way out of Fort Lauderdale/Port.
We hung out around the ship figuring out where everything was for a while. The girls loved taking rides on the glass elevators, so much so they actually left us a few times to take trips on them!
Then we hit up our room to chill a bit, look at the ocean go by and get dolled up for dinner. Ahh, dinner! We had such great experiences in the main dining room all week long, and this was the first night of them all. We got seated at table 502 which overlooked the ocean. We had the utmost professional and courteous service with this table, especially by the lead waiter, Irfan.
We ordered an appetizer, a main dish and a dessert each. We ordered a Thai spring roll, which was amazing. A shrimp Louis, which was shrimp cocktail in an avocado type salad. My husband and oldest ordered the salmon, which they said was great. My youngest and I opted for pasta, the spaghetti Bolognese and the ravioli. Both pretty great. It was indulgent to be waited on so well at dinner, that I truly miss it. haha There was the table waiter, the food waiter, the drink waiter, the cocktails waitress who also ran coffee, and, the sommelier! Each person was a master in their own field. Everything was presented with smiles and fun banter and conversation. We had such a great experience. We ended up dining on this night for about two hours, that is what is expected too. Not
The night was still young, so my husband and I grabbed a cosmo and a chocolate coffee martini, at the frozen martini bar on level 5, as we made our way to play a few rounds at family night trivia. It was a ton of fun! My husband is one of those guys who is not just intellectually smart but has an abundance of useless pop culture knowledge! He played way more rounds than I did, due to the fact of the cosmo was easier to drink sitting down.
After drinks and games we took a long stroll around the ship to check out the other night life happenings and all the nooks and crannies we missed before. We walked all around until it was pretty late.
It was truly a magical start to our trip!
Next up our first full day aboard, our day at sea/chic night.