Sailing the Caribbean Sea

I have never tried to go on a cruise and since I am already living the American dream so, I have thought of venturing on a Caribbean cruise. The Caribbean is close to the state of Florida, a convenient location for out-of-country travel by sea. It was in the month of November where most states in the northern part of the United States are getting colder each day, thus, I have decided to go somewhere south and sunny by choosing in sailing the Caribbean Sea thru Carnival Cruises.

Carnival Glory

The itinerary for the 7-day long Caribbean cruise goes like this:

Day 1: Sail Away

Well, it says what it says. It was the sail away day when the cruise ship pulled the anchor up and started navigating the sea. We were in the port of Miami and check-in time was at 1400H. The boarding process was long since there were like a thousand passengers trying to get to the cruise ship but departure time was at 1600H. At around 1600H, the ship that we were in which was Carnival Glory went off of the port. I got to see Miami Beach view by the sea.

The sail away party in the cruise ship also started. Crew started calling all guests to come and have fun. There were drinks, dancing, foods, swimming and many more going on. It was one of the liveliest days.

Sail Away Party

Party Dancing in Lido Deck

Day 2: Half Moon Cay, the Bahamas

The second day was a first stop of the cruise in the Half Moon Cay. Half Moon Cay is a private island with 9 mile of beaches, a 1700-acre interior lagoon, and exotic vegetation.

Stunning Beach View with Carnival Glory in Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas

For the full story, visit my previous blog article titled, Stunning Beach View of the Bahamas.

Day 3: Nassau, the Bahamas

On the third day, Carnival Glory docked at the port of Nassau, the Bahamas. We were allowed to disembarked from 0700H to 1600H. Nassau is the most popular island out of 700 Bahamian islands.

Carnival Glory and Carnival Liberty in Nassau Port, The Bahamas

View from the Government House overlooking the Caribbean Sea

In Nassau, guests can do some sightseeing since there are tourist attractions in the island. It was scorching hot though but I was able to stroll around the place. Click here for the full story.

Day 4: Fun Day At Sea

It was a whole day just cruising the Caribbean Sea. But vacationers won’t get bored when confined to the whole ship coz there are a lot to do in the ship. Travelers can have fun in activities hosted in the Lido Deck, bars are open most of the time, pools and Jacuzzis are available to everyone, foods are overflowing, casinos is open, trivia quizzes and board games are provided, the spa and adult retreat are awesome relaxation, some sports such as basketball, golf, corn hole, and jogging are also available. You won’t be bored if you know how to have fun.

Slide and Dive in Carnival Glory’s activities while onboard

Sex on the Beach cocktail

Day 5: Amber Cove, Dominican Republic

The next day on my Caribbean cruise experience was a whole day spent in the Amber Cove, Dominican Republic. Amber Cove is Puerto Plata and the cruise ship provided excursions for sea-goers for a fee. That day, I got the opportunity to see the best of Puerto Plata.

Amber Cove

Carnival Glory in Amber Cove, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

San Felipe Fort in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Check out my vlog about the Best of Puerto Plata.

Day 6: Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands

The last leg was in Grand Turk in Turks and Caicos Islands. The capital of the TCI is named after the Turk Cap Cactus. The island is abundant of different species of animals from the land to the sea. But during my visit, it was still recovering from the damages it got from the hurricanes that hit.

Grand Turk shoreline view from Carnival Glory

Grand Turk Historic Lighthouse

To check for my Grand Turk adventure, just visit Get Up, Grand Turk!

Day 7: Farewell Day At Sea

On the last day at sea, we were having the farewell day. It was the same activities that we did when we were on day 4 but this time, it was like a culmination of everything. They had the last lip sync battle and were doing a lot of functions in every stages and decks in the cruise ship. It sure was memorable but a little sad coz my Caribbean adventure was about to end the next day.

Enjoying Jacuzzi on Farewell Day At Sea onboard Carnival Glory

Sailing the Caribbean Sea was one of the best moments of my life. I will definitely sail back again but in other different locations. There are still a lot to see in the Caribbean such as St. Maarten, St. Lucia, British and US Virgin Islands, Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago and many more to mention. The whole experience was fun and relaxing and I love cruising the Caribbean Sea.

For my Sailing the Caribbean Sea vlog, just check this out.

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The Best of Puerto Plata

If you haven’t heard of Puerto Plata, Puerto Plata is in the north part of the country of Dominican Republic. I was in the Dominican Republic for a day and I took a day excursion by visiting the best of Puerto Plata.

To get to Puerto Plata, a traveler should dock thru Amber Cove coming from a cruise in Amber Coast. Amber Cove brims with bars, pools, lounging and shopping spots. It’s located just outside Puerto Plata, founded by Columbus and the first European settlement in the Americas.

We stayed in Amber Cove for half an hour waiting for our tour guide and our excursion to start. While waiting, cruise guests can shop in different stores. They can get souvenirs made out of the country’s pure source. When the tour guide announced that he already have the exact head count for people going to the tour, we directly headed to the bus that will take us to these sites. These sites were Brugal Rum Factory, Amber Museum, Fortaleza San Felipe, Plaza Independencia and Catedral de San Felipe.

1. Brugal Rum Factory or Distillery

Brugal Rum Distillery

Free Rum Tasting

The Most Expensive Rum, Papa Andres

Rum Store

It is located less than a kilometer east of the town limits on the main Sosua-Playa Dorada highway. The distillery is open every day of the week except the weekends. Open at office hours from 9AM to 12PM then 2PM to 5PM. Going to the distillery is for free. Guests will be met by pleasant guide in the reception area and will escort everyone inside the distillery that produces about a million and a half liters of white and dark rum each year. The guide will also explain the distillation and fermentation process to get the perfect rum from sugarcanes. At the end of the tour is a free taste and guests can buy slightly discounted rum by liters and some decent souvenirs.

2. Amber Museum or Museo del Ambar

Amber Museum

An insect trapped in amber.

And some more

Amber Museum which was about 10 minutes drive from Brugal Rum Factory is a museum that displays pieces taken from the amber mines in the Northern Mountains with millennial fossils. The museum is located at Duarte Street #61 and is close to Central Park. The building that houses the museum is considered a splendid sample of neoclassical architecture with Victorian influence. Amber is considered a precious gem but it is actually formed when tree saps fossilizes that sometimes catches insects, leaves and plants. Amber mining has been a big business in Dominican Republic over the centuries.

3. Fortaleza de San Felipe

Fortaleza de San Felipe

History of Puerto Plata’s Fort San Felipe

The lookout of the fort

View from the fort

Overlooking the sea

Cannon ready

Statue of General Gregorio Luperon

San Felipe Fort

Another side of the fort

The sea

Fortaleza de San Felipe or San Felipe Fort is located on a small peninsula on the Bahia de Puerto Plata. It is the bay where Columbus once had such high hopes for. The Fort is the only vestige of Puerto Plata’s colonial past. Since we were on excursion, we don’t have to pay for admission. In the fort, we were able to look in on a small historical museum and the tiny cell where the hero of the Independence Movement, Juan Pablo Duarte, was briefly confined. Fortaleza San Felipe was utilized to protect the province of Puerto Plata from pirates and corsairs. It is located on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It has its strategic location protecting the entrance of the seaport. Now, it serves as a museum showcasing its role  in the history of Puerto Plata.

4. Plaza Independencia

Plaza Independencia Gazebo

Dominican Republic Hero: Juan Pablo Duarte

Dominican Republic Hero: General Gregorio Luperon

Plaza Independencia

Landmark Sign and Directions

Located at the center of the historic square, Plaza Independencia is a prominent cultural symbol and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city of Puerto Plata. This serene site evokes a sense of nostalgia with its Victorian-style designs and landscaped gardens and flower beds. The plaza has cobbled pathways, park benches, shaded trees, and lots of pigeons. It is a perfect place for a quiet walk in the evening or a great place to kill time in daylight.

5. Catedral de San Felipe Apóstol

Catedral San Felipe Apóstol

The Cathedral

The Cathedral’s belfry

Front of Cathedral

The inside of the cathedral

Catedral de San Felipe Apóstol is located in Calle Jose del Carmen Ariza. The cathedral is built in modern Victorian style and is the mother of the Diocese of Puerto Plata. It is the biggest Roman Catholic church in the city and most of the locals are Catholic.

As a summary, the whole experience I had in Dominican Republic specifically in Puerto Plata was wonderful and full of information of the rich culture of the country. It sure was the best of Puerto Plata. If I would go back to Dominican Republic, I want to try their beach which is in the eastern part of the nation at Punta Cana. But for now, Puerto Plata was interesting.

Here is my vlog on the Best of Puerto Plata: