Normally I plan my next location no further than a few weeks out. But Patrick had bought this ticket back in 2016. After intelligently splitting with my ex in January I promptly bought a ticket to join him.
This dictated our previous few months. And it now came to this. The itinerary: (Wow, I spelt itinerary correctly the first time, no shit)
- May 12th: Set sail from Cartagena De Indias, Colombia
- May 14th: Antigua
- May 15th: St. Maarten
- May 23rd: Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal
- May 25th: Lisboa, Portugal
I have to say that boarding a cruise ship is kind of exciting. This was my first cruise so I didn’t know what to expect. The all you can eat and drink aspect was exciting while the dial-up internet was not.
For those who are more seasoned with cruises you can understand the idiocy of taking a 14 day cruise as your first. The first half was pretty fun. Each day consisted of a day excursion or a travel day where you can work out. Each night there are a couple shows and a club with awful music. The second half was a different story.
To start the cast off was a lot of fun. Drinks flowing thru a mix of singles, couples, and families. On the third day we had a day trip to Antigua. It was an island.
The second stop was St. Maarten. It’s a dutch settled independent country that shares the north side of the island with the old french settlers that seemed to strip the island of its resources and spirit then split.
There is Maho Beach. It has an airport with the end of the runway separating a small beach with a small two lane street. You have probably seen videos where brave and souls with more common sense than you or I wait for a large jet to taxi up for take off. Situated directly behind the runway they sit on the side of the road, or with even more reason, they hang on the fence waiting for the jet to gun it and try to hang on while the air pushes them across the street and onto the beach. Or they just hit their heads on the pavement or the wall and die.
Aside from the life threatening entertainment the island was nice for a day. There was a fort in ruins a luxurious center of town and other hidden beaches and intimate coves.
Back to the boat. Eat. Drink. Hangover. Gym. Repeat.
This went on for the worse part of 7 days. This is where you can regret taking a cruise this long. If you are good at managing your time with minimal sensory inputs this time can be wonderful. Though for some cabin fever sets in. We spent the days working out in the morning, eating as much as we can, enjoying the pool and hot tubs, gym again, then playing cards and drinking the night away.
Side note: If you want to get from Cartagena to Lisboa it will cost you a minimum of $700. Two weeks with accommodation and consumables will add up. This cruise on the other hand cost about $1500. I’ll break it down and add it up later.
Our last stop in Funchal was pretty neat. It was the first non-Caribbean weather we experienced. The island is like a mini Lisboa with less history. Lots of photo opps and touristy things to do. A good day trip.
Finally setting ashore in Lisboa on the 25th of May; A full 14 days (two weeks) later. The trip was great and ok at the same time. Im glad I experienced it but I do have these take aways:
- I wouldn’t do a cruise longer than 4 days single.
- I wouldn’t do a cruise longer than 14 days without children.
- I wouldn’t do a cruise if I knew I needed to get some projects finished.
And finally a breakdown of what I paid during the cruise:
- $850 ticket charge (single occupancy sea view).
- $60 in total between the 3 day trips.
- $550 bill which included daily internet, daily service charge, tax and port charges.
- $1,460 total for two weeks on a transatlantic cruise from the Caribbean to Europe. Not bad
Do you know Lisboa, Madrid, or Morocco…