A day-by-day journal of one of the easiest and most popular ways to explore these beautiful islands
There are approximately 26 island countries in the Caribbean, and one of the easiest and most popular ways to explore these beautiful islands is definitely by cruising.
Seabourn Cruises is a luxury cruise line that offers some of the best itineraries when cruising the Caribbean. I was on board Seabourn Odyssey in December of 2018, and we began our journey from Sint Martin, and ended our 7-night journey in Barbados. Each day we docked at a different island country, and it is the best feeling to wake up to a new destination every day. Follow along as I take you on this amazing journey:
Day 1 - Philipsburg, Sint Maartin The ship is docked at Philipsburg, Sint Maarten (the Dutch side), this is a unique island where the island is split into two countries, the French (Saint Martin) in the north side and the Dutch side in the south side. There are many beaches and resorts, and quite a few casinos and bars around the island, so it is quite popular for tourists to come and stay on the island. I arrived a few days prior to getting on board the Seabourn Odyssey so I rented a car and explored. Few of the must-see spots on the island include:
Day 2 - Carambola Beach, Saint Kitts and Nevis Instead of visiting the main island, Seabourn Odyssey anchored near the coastline, and reserved the entire Carambola Beach for guests to enjoy a lovely beach BBQ day. There is a signature Seabourn event that is called "Caviar in the Surf," and this time it takes place on this lovely beach on St Kitts and Nevis. The Hotel director was sailing into the beach with a giant can of Caviar, and crew members were serving the caviar on a surf board along with endless champagne, truly a creative and fun day!
Day 3 - Road Bay, Anguilla Anguilla is a small island in the Caribbean, and we arrive in one of the main piers called Road Bay. The locals consider Road Bay a destination as it's not only a beach, but also an area filled with shops and restaurants. We decided to rent a taxi and tour around the island, and I highly recommend those who are visiting Anguilla to go to Shoal Bay East! By far, it is the most beautiful white sandy beach that I've been to in the Caribbean! It is also one of the most popular places on Anguilla for snorkeling as the best coral garden is just off shore. There is a Shoal Bay East and also a Shoal Bay West, so make sure you go to the right one.
Day 4 - St John, Antigua We docked at the capital and largest city in Antigua and Barbuda - St John, that is also the administrative center of the islands since the 17th century. We joined a tour called the Scenic Antigua to check out some of the most popular spots on the island. During the tour, we visited Fort James, Nelson's Dockyard, and my favorite - Shirley Heights Lookout. Fort James still has a full complement of cannons on the hillside from the 1700s, where the British is guarding the island from the French attack. Nelson's Dockyard is a beautiful harbor filled with many historical buildings, and Shirley Heights Lookout is the highest point that overlooks the entire city.
Day 5 - Terre-de-Haut, Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe Just 10km off Guadeloupe is Terre-de-Haut, the largest of the 8 islands that make up Les Saintes. Because the island is too hilly and too dry for sugar plantations, slavery never took place here. It is now the most cosmopolitan of Guadeloupe's islands. The island is very small, only about 2.0 square miles, technically you can walk across the island (width) within 30-40 minutes. One thing that I found fascinating on this island is the wildlife, within a few short minutes, I saw large iguanas, lots of pelicans, and plenty of fish just along the beach. Pelicans are constantly diving into the coastline to hunt for fish or following local fishermen. I would suggest going to an ocean-facing restaurant or coffee house and relax!
Day 6 - Castries, St Lucia Castries is the capital city of Saint Lucia, and it's built on reclaimed land. We joined a tour to explore this island and to check out one of the famous Rum Distilleries in the Caribbean! First, we started the tour with a breathtaking view of the city from the Morne Fortune (translates to "the Hill of Good luck"), then we moved onto the only Rum Distillery on the island. Rum used to be the number 1 product on the island, but over the years, bananas have replaced rum - banana ketchup is very popular!
Day 7 - Port Elizabeth, Bequia The population of Bequia is approximately 5000, it is 1 of the 9 inhabitant islands amongst the 32 Grenadine islands. We started the tour at Port Elizabeth, the only town on the island where you can find hospital, police office, public library, pharmacy, and government building all on one street. It is quite a charming island with beautiful landscapes, you can find the best panoramic view of the ocean and coastline from Mt. Pleasant. One of the highlights on this island has got to be the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary - the owner Orton G King tells his life story and how he came to dedicate his life to protect the endangered Hawksbill turtles.
Day 8 - Bridgetown, Barbados On the final day of this journey, we disembark Seabourn Odyssey from Bridgetown, Barbados. This is probably one of the most developed and populated islands in the Caribbean, with over 280,000 people. Famous singer, Rihanna, was also born and raised on this lovely island, the locals have preserved her childhood home and named the street after her. I highly recommend visiting the East side of this island it is really lush and still undeveloped.
There are few more things I wanted to highlight besides the itinerary - the suites, restaurants, crew members, and facilities on board.
The Suites As a luxury cruise line, Seabourn really pays attention to each suite design. There are a total of 229 suites on Seabourn Odyssey, which includes the Ocean view suites, Veranda Suites, Penthouse Suites, the Owner's suites and more. Besides the Ocean view suites, all of the other suites have a spacious private balcony. The bathrooms also have separate shower and bathtub. One attention to details that I really love the marble finish in all the bathroom, even inside the shower. The suites on Seabourn really highlight the luxury aspect, and deliver a comfortable home away from home experience.
Restaurants - There are a total of 5 dining options:
Crew Members You're always greeted with a beautiful smile, everyone on board is very helpful and super friendly. This is such an important element in curating a wonderful sailing experience, from housekeeping to restaurant staff, etc... Seabourn never fails to make you feel welcome.
Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil To my surprise, besides a well-equipped gym, yoga station, hair and nail salon, and of course the cozy treatment rooms, guests can also receive acupuncture treatment and even Chinese herbal medicine consultation on board! There are daily schedules of different Seabourn Fitness programs that guests can participate in for FREE or with a private instructor.
This article originally appeared on MichuTravel.com.
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