As a follow up to the Q and A I did with my mother about her first cruise, I asked her to jot down a few thoughts about the port calls we made. For someone who has not really ever traveled alone, I was impressed that she was willing to go off on her own on three of the islands we came to (since I was back on the ship working). It might be helpful for you, if you are considering going on a trip as a solo traveler, to read about how easy it is!
So without further ado, here are the islands…in her own words.
“I was a little nervous as I was by myself, but once off the ship walking through the main building, which was a giant gift shop and then out into a plaza with many more fun shops, I was very much at ease. After browsing, I found myself a nice lounge chair under rows of palm trees and enjoyed my time sunbathing and people watching. When I got too warm, I went for a swim. After a while I decided to check out some music I was hearing and to my surprise, I found Margaritaville. What a great time everyone was having!”
(Note – My mother took a shore excursion to El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest system)
“I was lucky to be able to visit the rain forest just outside San Juan. I could tell our driver, Louie Louie, was experienced at driving up and down the mountain. We stopped at a wonderful brick lookout tower and were able to climb the stairs and look out over the valley and mountains below us…a memory I will never forget. We were all given little backpacks with water and snacks and hiked about a mile on wonderful, sturdy paths to a beautiful waterfall. We crossed a little stone bridge and sat on the rocks enjoying the falls and were also able to swim in the pool. The trees, shrubs, moss and the dampness were nothing like I had ever experienced before.”
(Note – I was able to accompany my mother when she went ashore in St. Thomas.)
“It was a rainy day but we took an open air taxi into town and browsed the many, many shops, picking up gifts for our family back home. It was fun getting to see the sights and getting a feel of the island and the people that live there. The side streets and alleys were full of wonderful little shops, and restaurants with outside seating were a lot of fun to see.”
Half Moon Cay (Holland America Line’s private island)
(Note – My mother got off the ship on her own in the morning and tendered over to the island. I joined her in the afternoon.)
By far my favorite for sunbathing…the sand so white and soft, the water the most beautiful aquamarine and sun so warm and soothing, after coming from Minnesota. The lunch barbecue that the ship hosted was a lot of fun and we ate in little open air huts. We took a nice stroll along the beach enjoying the sand and water. We enjoyed a mojito in the upstairs bar of the shipwreck and relaxed in the sun.
I did not want to leave so soon!