We are back from our 7-day MSC Cruise and we had the best time!
We visited the Straw Market, took the taxi to Atlantis to Paradise Beach and enjoyed the sun and water for a while. We had planned on getting a couples beach massage, which we normally do every time, but they were already busy, so we decided to just enjoy the sun a little. Later, we headed back to Atlantis and visited some of the cute shops behind Atlantis and also the gorgeous yachts and marina by the restaurants. We walked around and took some photos and headed back to the ship. We had to board at 1:30 so it was a fairly short day.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Old San Juan is always my favorite stop. The first thing we did was stop at Starbucks to grab a coffee and look at the map. We go here often, so we wanted to try something different. We ended up finding a secret scenic area by the water that goes all the way around the El Morro Fort. There were so many Iguanas everywhere. We took lots of pictures and then headed towards town to find Barrachina's- I had read all about their amazing Pina Coladas. They originated at Barrachinas, so I figured they had to be amazing! And I was right, they were the best Pina Coladas that I've ever had in my life! The bartenders use almost 3 shots of rum per glass and the hubby and I shared 3 large drinks and some grouper fritters- I was definitely feeling relaxed. My husband liked them so much that we walked all around town to find the same rum that the bartender used and we finally found it and purchased 2 different Puerto Rican Rums to use at home.
We also visited Pigeon Park where you will find hundreds of pigeons and you can feed them. I chose not to because I saw a girl almost get attacked when she had food in her hand (no thanks!). My husband did go in and I stayed outside the gate and observed. One pigeon ended up landing on his shoulder and sat there for the longest time. It's also by the waterfront, which is really beautiful. From there, we did a little bit of shopping and I found a nice white dress to wear to dinner. On the way back to the ship, there was a long line of local vendors who sell their wares for a living. I found a sweet little old lady selling shell bracelets, necklaces and other things. The hubby and I chatted with her and ended up buying matching shell bracelets and headed back to the ship.
Phillipsburg, St. Marteen
We opted to take the water ferry over to Great Bay Beach. They had so many cute little shops and bars/restaurants. We visited Diamonds International where my husband almost bought me a pair of diamond earrings. I just wanted to look at the jewelry and enjoy myself, but the salespeople were so aggressive that it turned me off from wanting to purchase anything. They even tried to bribe us with a private open bar upstairs at the last just to get us to purchase some jewelry. I had to make the hubby leave because he really wanted to buy them for me, but I was just so ready for the beach. Maybe next time, some place where they aren't so pushy. Thanks, but no thanks. I was so happy to get out of there! We also had to leave early this day so we bought a Guava Berry drink from the bar and sat on the beach for a little while. It was nice to have a view of the cruise ships in the near distance. The beach was loaded with these tiny little shells. The hubby helped me collect a few to bring back home.
We really enjoyed the Cruise Ship as well. We ended up purchasing a couple's 1 hour facial on the third or fourth day and it was amazing! By purchasing the facial, it gave us access to the thermal spa which we enjoyed for about 4 days in a row.
I also loved that MSC Cruises offers the option to purchase the smaller drink/beverage packages. We had purchased an 18 alcohol package plus a 15 coffee beverage package. It ended up being perfect for just the two of us. We tried every tropical drink on the menu- pina coladas, Miami vice, mojitos, daiquiris, sweet and sour,tequila sunrise, Jamaican rum drink,Mai tai. Dinner was also amazing- lobster, escargot, scallops, shrimp, surf and turf. The desserts were out of this world- tiramisu, baked Alaska, cheesecake. Which is why I gained almost 10 lbs! Also, their pizza and pastas are all hand-made and so amazing! We watched the chefs hand-roll the pizza dough, add the toppings and bake it in the pizza oven. The pizza was so good! There were several nights that we grabbed a slice for a late night snack (and sometimes, a plate of dessert as well).
Now, we're back home and I've started a new exercise routine with the hubby. We are doing HIIT workouts. We started yesterday and did only 20 minutes and it was amazing! We also plan on getting back on gluten free, soy free, low sugar and mostly dairy free eating plan. I'm pretty sure my body is in shock from all of the sugar, dairy, alcohol that I consumed for 7 days!
It's so nice to be back home. Now I'm just catching up on laundry, we just had gluten free waffles and chicken sausage for breakfast and are getting ready to get some things done! Have a lovely weekend!!
Where are you going on vacation this year? I'd love to hear all about it!