A SKEPTIC START
I live in Minnesota, and therefore daydream about lying on a beach in Bali approximately two or three times a day. However, I'm more of a land traveler, so I was pretty nervous when I found out I was going on a week-long cruise in collaboration with Princess. As great as my awe for the ocean is, I also have great fear of its vastness and depth. It's easy to fear the unknown, especially when you consider that
UNDER 5% OF THE UNDERWATER WORLD HAS BEEN EXPLORED.
Under 5%! Whaaaaat. Consider all of the scuba diving, submarine dunking, and deep sea excursion-ing that has gone down in our oceans. That is barely a hair or a whisper of what the waters of Mother Earth have to offer. Just let that sit. Let that blow your mind.
I was so thirsty for information after the trip had been planned that I read everything I could get my hands on about cruises. This vacation was different for me in this way. Usually, the first thing I do is I look up coffee shops or tourist sights or start planning my outfits, but this time? I just wanted to make sure I would make it off the boat alive in case we capsized (disclaimer: highly unlikely, but this is the fear I live with.)
But then I woke up on a Monday morning anchored in front of a beautiful and vibrant beach, (privately owned by Princess) and it changed the game.
FROM SEA TO SHORE
I'll talk about this more in an upcoming post, but I'll be honest about my initial attitude toward cruising—it sounded pretty corny. I may have rolled my eyes when I found out our first port day was basically "Princess Island." I'm usually on the lookout for adventure and unique experiences when I travel, and being taken care of 24/7 is not usually on the schedule.
But it really took me being there to change my mind. Things switched for me as soon as I met the crew on board, and Princess Cays turned out to be one of the highlights of the voyage. The crew that works the island is the same crew onboard the Regal Princess, so the island is essentially deserted unless there's a Princess ship present. They brought boxes of food and coolers of drinks ashore and put together a big buffet lunch, and the rest of the day was spent lying on the beach, enjoying the sun and the shade, and living for a few sprinkles of rain that came out to play in the afternoon.
GET THERE FAST, TAKE IT SLOW
I've mentioned it in a past post, but generally, most of my trips are unplanned. An opportunity arises and I'm all, "Let's do it!" and I never realize how much I love island life until I'm there, sand stuck to my skin and the smell of sunscreen in the air. Taking 1,000 photos didn't even feel like work as my mom and I strolled the sandy sidewalks back and forth, poked at hermit crabs in the rocks, and waded just far enough into the waves. It was late evening when we finally packed up and headed back to the boat in one of the ship's tenders, bringing the bustle of the island back with us and leaving the wind breezing through empty bungalows.
Thank you to Princess Cruises for sponsoring this post! I have 3 more Caribbean updates coming up this month, so stay tuned.