Haley and I were so excited to go on a vacation literally minutes after getting engaged. We were so happy to do it this way! It really made the week following super exciting with every passing moment. We loved it so much that I want to share our adventurous proposal-moon with you!
Image for Old San Juan, Puerto Rico here (coming soon)
After I proposed to Haley in the beautiful town of Old San Juan, we walked around for a couple of hours as your typical tourists – just taking in the scenery, sounds, and doing a bit of window shopping. It was every bit as beautiful as we had imagined. The character of the town is quite unique & charming.
We wish we would have had a bit more time to enjoy some of the food & local culture, but we had to head back to board our Carnival cruise ship. Thankfully, there was a lot to do onboard – mini golf, swimming, as much food as we could eat, an outdoor movie screen on the top deck, a casino, and even a comedy club (which was entirely hilarious).
Off to an amazing start! We couldn’t wait for the week to come! Keep reading for an overview of our absolutely incredible week island hopping through the Caribbean.
Parasailing in St. Thomas was so much fun! It was our first experience with parasailing, and I’m pretty sure we’re hooked now. From the time we launched, we were a bit nervous – but our time was magical. It was so peaceful. We really felt like we were just flying around. If you haven’t tried parasailing yet – on your next tropical adventure, do yourself a favor and book a trip! I remember closing my eyes for about 30 seconds and just feeling the tropical wind rush by me and listen to the water below. Other than the wind and the water, there were no other sounds – and that in itself was magical.
Next up for our day in St. Thomas was a bus tour through the island – stopping by a rum factory (with a free pina colada) and a couple hours to spend on the sandy beach at Magen’s Bay.
For me, I’ve done a couple of bus tours through cities in Europe in the past, and I am not a fan. So, booking this bus tour wasn’t on the top of my list, but I really wanted to see as much as we could of the island in a short amount of time. And I’ll tell you what – I shouldn’t have been so quick to pre-judge it. This bus tour was SO MUCH FUN! It was largely due to our fantastic bus/tour guide and the fact that he made it so interactive. Within minutes, he had me right up front with him and I was serenading the tour participants (and my lovely fiance) in the back with some Caribbean music and my [not so] lovely singing voice. Thankfully, the rum punch was there to back me up. Ha!
Image for Carnival Cruise here (coming soon)
Details about the cruise here.
Barbados was beautiful, rustic, and the water… amazing. We read a lot of reviews about what the best things are to do if you are only spending a single day on the island, and they all pointed to book a catamaran and snorkeling tour — and that is exactly what we did. It was absolutely gorgeous. The weather was perfect, we made friends with the other tour group guests, and we also happened to make friends with the turtles we swam with.
It was another “first” for us since neither of us has been on a catamaran before, and it was amazing for a tropical experience going around the island and to a couple wonderful diving spots that are filled with local sea life.
What can I say about St. Lucia that’s more than a glowing recommendation? It was hands-down our favorite island throughout our Caribbean cruise.
When we got to port, we immediately started our tour. First, we did a bus tour where they served unlimited rum punch, took us through the jungle and took some time swimming underneath a waterfall. Then nearby, we followed that with an incredibly hot (nearly felt like we were burning) volcanic mud bath. What a cool experience! Thankfully, we also got there at a time where it wasn’t completely packed with other tourists. It was perfect. Yes, I destroyed my board shorts with the mud and she destroyed her crochet swimsuit, but who cares – we had an amazing time!
After our land tour through the interior of the island, we spent the last half of the day going around by speed boat. It took us along the south end of the island, and ended up between the Pitons at Sugar Beach. Part of the beach is reserved for the resort’s guests, and the other (smaller) section is public and available for use by tourists. Of course, the guests’ side was much more beautiful… so Haley and I decided to go up to an employee of the resort and inquire about getting married here! It was AMAZING. One of the best, most luxurious resorts we have been to (and we’ve been to a lot). If I had to rate it between 1-5 stars, this would truly be a 6-star resort.
We inquired about what it would cost for us to get married here, and while the ceremony site rental was actually fairly affordable, the accommodations that we would need for 10-15 people for a week would be very expensive. Regardless, we considered doing it, but with some family members who would ultimately not be able to fly to St. Lucia, the dream quickly became more practical and we knew we had to get married in Washington State. Not to worry, though! We will be back here for an anniversary or vow renewal in the future, for sure.
VISIT THE SUGAR BEACH, A VICEROY RESORT WEBSITE HERE!
When we reached port in St. Kitt’s, we knew we were in for a real treat. And it was the one thing that I wanted to surprise Haley with. A HELICOPTER TOUR!
Yet another first for us, booking a helicopter tour in St. Kitts was outstanding. We took off and flew over-top the island’s jungle, waved to some monkeys, and then the most amazing thing…. RIGHT INTO an old, dormant volcano! We lowered right into it. What a cool experience that was! Holy smokes. Definitely one of those “once in a lifetime” experiences for us!
After an hour or 90 minutes in the air, the helicopter took us to a different landing site – and dropped us off in a grass field right by a train that we were planned to catch. Our grand entrance!!
We hopped onto the train, had more unlimited rum punch (YUM!), and it took us around the island. The 100% perfect way to see the entire island in a quick overview. From the sky, into the volcano, then around the entire island by train that takes you through many of the island’s villages & towns.
Image for St. Maarten here (coming soon)
There was one thing, and one thing only on my mind for St. Maarten. I needed to go to the airport beach and see (experience) the planes flying overhead, landing, and taking off. So many travel shows I’ve watched over the years feature this super unique airport, and coming from a family of pilots (my dad and brother are both commercial airline pilots) — this was definitely a “must see/do/experience” for me. Of course, there is some danger involved – but who doesn’t like a bit of a thrill, right? (Haley isn’t super stoked on my adventure-seeking side sometimes, haha).
Of course, I ignored the signs and went right up to the chain link fence to hang on for dear life as a couple of large plans took off – and it’s every bit as exciting as all those YouTube videos show… and every bit as dangerous.
The area has become a super popular tourist attraction, and the spot brings a LOT of tourists. Sometimes I think to myself that they should really shut this area down, but then I remember how much this island relies on tourism for their economy to survive & thrive.
The largest airplane that took off while I was there was a 737, and that was nearly too much power in the jet’s wake blast zone for me to handle. I couldn’t even imagine what it would’ve been like had there been a 747 there (which people hope for). The local beachside bar even keeps track of the incoming and outgoing planes so that people can plan to be there at a certain time to watch (or experience) that jet blast first-hand.
Getting back to the port in Old San Juan was bittersweet. It meant the end to our proposal-moon, but it also meant the beginning to our time together as an engaged couple – and that was incredibly exciting for both of us. It meant we can start planning our wedding, figuring out where we want to book our venue, and to start planning the rest of our lives together.
The Caribbean will always have a special place in our hearts because of this proposal-moon, and we will always love doing cruises, especially these types where we can see so many different places in a short amount of time. We felt it was the perfect way to get an overview of these islands in the Caribbean, and it showed us which islands we would want to go back to in the future. For us, our favorite was definitely St. Lucia.
If you have any questions about this trip or any others that we do, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! We are here to help, and we are an open book. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Kyle Goldie: Adventure Seeker
Oh, and while I have you here, you might also love to check out these other awesome blog posts!