Soufriere, ST. Lucia

So–my trip to St. Lucia started off a little rocky. Our flight was delayed and we ended up stuck in Miami for two days, yes, TWO DAYS!! It was not terrible simply because we were in Miami, however, it was a terrible start to what was supposed to be a four day vacation. Needless to say, we are no longer American Airline customers.

When we finally arrived to St. Lucia, we were truly amazed at how beautiful the island was. The Pitons (mountains) were gorgeous and just blew us away. We decided to stay at Ladera Resort in Soufriere, St Lucia. This hotel is amazing because all rooms conform to a 3-walled concept. This means the entire room is essentially outside. We opted to stay in an enclosed unit with a fourth wall. I’m not a fan of wildlife, but still wanted the experience.

We learned that the hotel itself actually sits in an inactive volcano. Most people would be concerned of eruption, but the St. Lucians assured us not to be worried. There are geologist that come to the island every few moths to monitor the islands’ volcanoes.

There is still gas that emerges from the volcano. Surprisingly, the gas smelled awful–worse than rotten eggs.
We spent most of our time at the hotel by our private pool relaxing. We took so many naps, but they were much needed. Each night, we were served dinner at the hotels restaurant, Dasheene. We ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at this restaurant. Each meal was excellent. I really wanted a chance to mingle with the locals and try some authentic St. Lucian food, but we just ran out of time.

We were able to get out and take a tour of the island. This was great because it gave us a chance to really dive into the culture and see what the island was all about. If you ever visit St. Lucia, Diamond Falls and the Sulfur Springs are a must do! The Sulfur Springs is a mud bath composed of volcanic ash. This bath is believed to have healing properties for the body. The water was naturally warm, which was an added plus .

If I had the chance, I would return to St. Lucia, but go to the North side where there is a little bit more action. Ladera is a once in a lifetime experience and should be on anyone’s bucket list, however, if you are interested in many activities on a resort, this is not the place. Come prepared to relax–read a book kind of relax. I appreciated the tranquility Ladera offered. It is the peace we all need!

If you decide to stay at Ladera, I would recommend staying in a 3-walled room if you can handle an occasional lizard and a few bugs. All beds are covered in a mosquito net, which prevents most pests. Being that Ladera is at a high elevation, there is a lot of wind. Be sure to choose a suite with a heated pool (something we did not do). The weather is nice, but with the added wind, it would have been nice to have a warm pool.

If you do not plan to deviate much from the resort, it may benefit you to obtain an all inclusive package. I only suggest this if you intend to drink a lot. We ate three times a day and it added up, but the all inclusive plan was a lot more than the amount we actually spent on food a drinks per day, so, to each his own.

Overall, we had a great trip. I would recommend this experience to anyone seeking a little adventure.

Dinner at Dasheene

New Providence, Bahamas

Oh the Bahamas! Let’s just say you will experience no place like it. On August 17, 2017, we set sail on a three day cruise. Now, this was my first time on a cruise and it was the exact opposite of my expectations. I expected the Titanic, of course. For anyone wondering, excursions were booked through the Carnival cruise line. When sailing, booking excursions through the cruise line is the safest route to go.

After our luggage was delivered to our room, we spent the first few hours of our time on the ship learning our way around and throwing a few back, if you know what I mean. Everyone was nice and was ready to have a good time! We explored the restaurants and the multiple bars. There were available activities every day–pool parties, games, comedy shows, night clubs, live musical entertainment and much more. Just as a side note– do not over pack! I think we packed two bags each, big mistake. Pack lightly and only your essentials. One bag is enough.

Most days at sea were pretty much the same. By the time we actually arrived to the Bahamas, I was ready to explore. We got up early that morning, ate a hardy breakfast and took a mini boat from our cruise ship to reach the island. When we arrived, we were in complete awe of how beautiful the views were. We had two excursions planned for that day. Our First excursion was jet ski riding. I’m sill not sure why I agreed to do this. It was the best /worst experience of my life. I am a pretty good swimmer, but I’ve never had to battle it out with ocean waves. It started out great and ended great, but I still have mixed feelings about everything in between.

Here we go!

Needless to say, my honey had no problem taking off on his jet skies, as if he’d done it one hundred times before. If you’ve never operated a jet ski, I would highly recommend it for the experience. If you crave a little excitement, then this is an excursion for you. This excursion lasted roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes. All equipment is provided for you.

Next up: ATV Island Tour. This by far was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. I will say, I was a bit more relaxed with this excursion because we were on land. We began by getting suited up and picking our bikes. This tour was done in a group of about 12 people. We rode together, following our tour guide around New Providence Island. We had the freedom to go as fast as we wanted, just not passing the tour guide for safety reasons. One guy in our group was actually thrown off his bike, into the bushes. He ended up okay, and came out with a small scratch. When everyone knew he was okay, we could not do anything but laugh with him! If you are not experienced with ATVs, just be careful! Accidents can happen.

By the time we got back to the ship, we were exhausted and full from the amazing island food we had on our tour. We ate at a little hut on New Providence Island after we finished our tour and it was amazing! We had jerk chicken, shrimp, macaroni and cheese and cornbread. Some of the best island food I’ve had. It’s hard to find the authenticity in the states.

Let me say this: if you are cruising, BRING EXTRA MONEY. If you do a short cruise like we did, I would say bring a minimum of 250 dollars USD just for entertainment, drinks, and other food options. The cruise line also allows you to purchase their beverage program. With this, you pay around 50 dollars a day for the length of your cruise. Keep in mind, if there are two of you in one room, both people must buy the package. I didn’t feel it was necessary, but if you are a big drinker, go for it!

We spent a lot of our time in the Casino and it’s easy to cash out . Like I mentioned earlier, bring extra money for things like this. My honey spent a lot of time playing in the casino, and he actually won! He’s not a millionaire, but he won, TWICE.

One restaurant that we found really enjoyable was Guy’s Burger Joint and the pizza shop. There are buffets in the morning and around dinner time. People say you can eat 24 hours, and you can but there are only a few restaurants open 24 hours, at least on this particular cruise. We mostly ate pizza on late nights and room service was available 24 hours.

Don’t forget to bring your fancy attire for the Captains dinner. Here’s the time to get dressed up and enjoy a meal. To our surprise, the seating arrangements were strange and we were upset because we were not aware. Basically, if you are a party of two, you will more than likely end up sitting at a dinner table with other people. If you want a private dinner arrangement, be sure to ask in advance. I think some of the food is over hyped on cruise ships and just not aligned with my pallet. Some may argue, but I know good food when I have it. I didn’t make a big deal of it because I understand they are feeding thousands of people, and you can’t please everyone.

Overall this was a great experience and definitely one for the books. We had a ton of fun and experienced new things together. What more could I ask for? I would recommend this be a trip you take at least once. No matter where you cruise, you can expect to have a great time.