As we continue planning our Caribbean cruise portion, it has been duly noted that none of these locations are on the board. We have declared it alright to take some side trips and add destinations as we are able to and desire to. When plans were being made on how to travel our National Parks Monopoly board we saw the Florida Everglades and planned on adding a cruise to this property. What was unexpected was adding Biscayne National Park and a drive through the keys. In order to accomplish all of these places and at least get an introduction to them we had to compromise and shorten the length of the cruise. Our Eastern Caribbean cruise was chosen because there are 3 stops on a 5 day cruise, 2 of which we have never been to before.
Our first stop is to Grand Turk after a fun day at sea. While researching some of the attractions of this location, I was surprised to learn that this is where John Glenn was taken after he splashed down in the Atlantic. He also trained at the US Air Force Base and space tracking station located on Grand Turk. We are expected to be in port a little over 7 hours. Looking through some of the excursions offered by the cruise line, this should be enough time to enjoy one excursion and still provide time to do some exploration and shopping. There are many references to the coral reefs around this island and the chance at seeing humpback whales as they migrate for the winter.
Next on the itinerary is Half Moon Cay (Little San Salvador Island) in the Bahamas. The revues of this stop have all raved about how nice the beach is with beautiful sand, crystal clear blue Caribbean water, and very friendly people. Half Moon Cay is all about the sand and the water. There really is nothing else on the island to see. Perfect!! Fishing, snorkeling, diving, and playing in the sand sounds like a great way to spend a vacation day. Snorkeling and an encounter with stingrays top our list of excursions at this island. Becoming immersed in the coral and colorful fish allow your mind to forget all of the facets of daily life and concentrate on the creatures beneath. Little San Salvador Island has a protected area of stingrays where you can interact with them and feed them. Watch out for the Stingray hickey! Afterwards, taking a few minutes to bury your feet in the white, soft sand would be great way to end the day at Half Moon Cay.
Our final stop in the Caribbean is Nassau, Bahamas. Watch out as you disembark from the ship or the hair braiders will get you. Fortunately there is much for them to work with on my head. There are many different experiences to be had at this location. Those who enjoy gambling have a plethora of casinos in which to spend their day. There are a number of pirate themed adventures that can be entertaining and educational as you discover the history of Nassau. For me, I prefer to be outside exploring nature and enjoying the warmth of the sun. There are snorkeling, diving, fishing, and boating trips available for a day full of sun. For us, one of the new experiences we would like to explore is swimming with the dolphins. I’ve tried to do this before but unfortunately the trip was canceled or altered due to weather. Hopefully this time will be different.
After a short time back on the ship we will be back in Miami going through customs and re-entering the United States for the last part of our trip. Fortunately we will still have a few days in Miami so that we don’t have to go from the warm Caribbean to the cold upper mid-west. After getting off the ship, we get to take another property off of our National Parks Monopoly board – the Everglades and then off to the Keys.