Watching your kids grow up and move away is bittersweet. Part of you wants them near and part of you wants them to venture out, finding their independence. Distance is just logistics and can easily be remedied with phone calls, email and even Facebook. However, there’s no better way to reconnect with your far away loved ones than to plan some vacation time together.
Julie Guill called me saying her daughter Audrey was celebrating her 30th birthday. They wanted to take a cruise together somewhere “interesting and different” and they’d already experienced the Eastern/Western cruise destinations. They just wanted to have fun, see more exotic ports and and spend time together. I knew the natural fit would be the Southern Caribbean.
Flying into Puerto Rico puts you closer to the more remote islands of the Southern Caribbean. You visit more ports with less sea days…something that appealed to Julie and Audrey. Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas had the ideal 7-night itinerary. Audrey flew in from Arizona to join her mom here in MiraBay for some pre-cruise pool and pedicure time before hopping an easy nonstop flight from Tampa to Puerto Rico. They then set sail from San Juan for the islands of St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados.
Our mother-daughter duo wasn’t looking to schedule lots of actives and tours ahead of time. They really just wanted play it by ear, taking time to stroll the different locations, stopping for a bite to eat and a local brew from each destination. Julie remarked, “we had a wonderful flying fish sandwich in Barbados. We weren’t even hungry when we saw the sign but oh well, it’s vacation.”
One exception to the “no plans” plan was in Antigua where Audrey wanted to go horseback riding, much to Julie’s dismay. Audrey remarked, “I got mom to ride horses with me…without a saddle...in the ocean. That makes me the best salesman in the family.” Ah yes, parents will do anything for their kids, and when it was done, Julie admitted to having a great time.
Without any game plans, they still found a way to maximize the fun and embrace island life in each destination. They enjoyed whale watching, snorkeling and lots of shopping. I wasn’t surprised at all to hear, on arrival to the island of St. Lucia, how incredibly gorgeous they found it to be. A UNESCO world heritage site, the twin Piton Mountains rising thousands of feet right out of the ocean are a sight to behold. Decorate them with swaying coconut and banana trees and you have paradise perfected.
Back to that flying fish sandwich. While savoring every bite, suddenly the local trinkets for sale began jingling and things started to shake a bit. It was a small earthquake. Looking at each other, Julie says to Audrey, “do you think we should head back to the ship before a tsunami hits?” Audrey’s response, “let’s finish our beers first.” And that sums up their relaxing, fun, mother-daughter, Royal Caribbean reunion.
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