Bucket List Cruise: 9 Caribbean Islands In 10 Days
This. Is the historic, city of San. Juan Puerto Rico the. First of nine great, places in the Caribbean that, we visited, during a 10-day cruise, on, the Viking. Sea one, of five cruise, ships in the Viking ocean cruises, fleet and they've, got 12, more, new ships coming in the, next eight years. Our. Itinerary is, known as the, West Indies, Explorer, and it will take us to the islands, of Puerto, Rico. Tortola. St.. Kitts, st.. Lucia. Barbados. Dominica. Antigua. Saint. Maarten and st.. Thomas. In. This video I'll show you what my wife and I did at each, Island, along the way including, some, wonderful. Shore excursions. At some, pretty great beaches in, the Caribbean, and, also. A couple of the tours that Viking offers at no, additional charge, to all passengers, I, think. You'll enjoy the video which, will give you a sense of what it would have been like if you, had been along with us for the whole thing. The. Journey kicked off on the island, of Puerto Rico, where the Viking sea was docked at the cruise pier, in historic, Old San, Juan the. Ship actually stays overnight, here the first night and all the way until 5 p.m. on, the second day so, that the guests have plenty of time to, explore, San Juan including. Enough time to enjoy the, local nightlife if they want to and the, local restaurants. When. A cruise ship visits, a port of call there, are always numerous. Shore excursions, that you can choose from but, one signature, feature of a Viking ocean, cruise is that, in every port they visit, in addition, to the regular shore, excursions, you can purchase they. Also offer one, shore excursion, at no, additional charge. And evolve. A complimentary shore excursions, on the West Indies Explorer itinerary. The best one is, right here in San, Juan a, knowledgeable. Local guide will, lead you on a tour of Old San Juan including. A historic. Old fort at the entrance, to San Juan Bay known, as El Morro or. Castillo, San Felipe del Morro if you want to use the full name I, have. Toured El Morro on several, different visits, to San Juan and it, is really interesting to. Have a knowledgeable. Guide to, explain what you're seeing and to, tell you some great stories, about.
The History here. Construction. Of El Morro began. In 1539. On, orders. Of the king of Spain and, its, purpose was to protect, San Juan by, controlling, this body of water right here the, entrance, to the harbor, controlled. This strategic, spot and you prevent, an invasion by sea. Puerto. Rico was under the control of Spain, and if you remember your world history, you know that England, and Spain were, bitter, enemies for, a long, long, time in. 1595. There. Was an incredible. Battle right. Here, at this spot. British. Captain Sir Francis Drake, tried. To invade the city of San Juan with. An armada of 27. Ships and, 2,500. Men his. Plan was to ransack, the city and steal, their very large stockpile. Of gold. So. Drake's. Armada, of 27. Shifts boldly. Tried, to sail right through the harbor entrance but. He didn't know that the Spanish had a secret, weapon a submerged. Chain, along, the seabed there, at the Harbor entrance all, the Spanish had to do was, ratchet, up that chain which, stretched all the way from one shore of the harbor to the other and Drake's. Ships, got all blocked, up right, there in front of El Morro and right. About there all, of Elmo Rose cannons, started. Firing, on Drake's, ships, they. Even, put a cannonball right. Thru Drake's cabin, he. Got badly, injured, in the battle and later, as he tried to recuperate from his wounds he came down with dysentery. And died, a couple of months later. It. Is amazing. To walk around El Morro and consider. The history of this place. Drake's. Botched invasion, is just one of the stories that you'll hear about in. 1898. During, the, spanish-american, war. U.s.. Navy warships. Fired, shells, at El Morro for almost a full, day, imagine. What that must have been like, six. Months later that war ended with the Treaty of Paris and Puerto, Rico became, a u.s., territory. Of. Course, the tour of San Juan that Viking provides covers, a lot more than just El Morro you'll. Get a really great walking, tour of Old San Juan taking. You along a beautiful. Walking path along, the edge of the harbor the, very same path where. Visiting, dignitaries. Back in the day would, walk, after, disembarking they're sailing ships and that, path would lead them to the main gate and official. Entrance, to, the walled city. You. Will also see quite a few beautiful, fountains, during, your walking tour of San Juan and, see many beautiful historic. Buildings, and neighborhoods. Out. Of all the, complimentary, shore excursions, the Viking offers on this itinerary there, is no doubt in my mind that this, walking tour of San Juan is, the, best of the bunch.
Here's. A shot from the back of the Viking sea as we sailed away from, Old San Juan at the end of our second day there it, was a beautiful. Sail away right at sunset and. That would pretty much be the routine every day for the rest of the cruise we, would spend the day on one island or another and then just in time for the sunset we'd, sail away the. Ship would cruise all night to our next port of call and by, about 7:00 a.m. the next day we'd, be at some other great Caribbean, island. As. We sailed out of the harbor at San Juan we. Got a pretty great view of El morale at sunset, with, the full moon it was, quite, a sight. Travelling. By cruise ship there, are so many beautiful. Things to see. Our. Second, port of call was, road town on the island of Tortola one, of the British Virgin Islands. Two, other ships had taken the two spaces at the cruise dock there inroad town so, Viking, sea had to anchor offshore and they, used tenders. To get all the passengers ashore. We. Picked an excursion, that would take, us by catamaran. To, the nearby island, of Yost, Van Dyke, this. Is a time-lapse video I shot with my GoPro mounted. On the front of the catamaran we're, gonna get a great look at the Viking sea here, anchored, in the harbour as we, sailed past her, on our way out to Yosef, and I I'm. Gonna skip ahead a bit in the time-lapse here that. Is the island of Tortola, on the right there, look. At that beautiful. Shade of blue that, the water has here, in this, part of the Caribbean. I'll. Speed up the time-lapse a bit until, we get down here. To this point at one, end of Tortola, and as, we sail past that point we'll start to get our first look in the distance there of the island of Yost, Van Dyke. Let's. Speed this up again for a little bit in a, minute you'll see why. A lot of people consider Yost, Van Dyke to, be the Caribbeans, party. Island. Coming. Into white Bay now and it's got a beautiful. Sandy, beach that, we will spend the next several, hours enjoying, as, we. Come ashore off the boat you can see that there are lots, of loungers, many with umbrellas, for shade and lots. Of little bars and, restaurants, up and down the beach the. Most famous of which is the, stuff of vacation. Legend, the, Soggy Dollar Bar. They. Make a great, burger at the Soggy Dollar Bar, but they are most famous, for, a little drink they invented, known. As the, painkiller. The. Water here was right around 80, degrees and, the, whole reason that I like to vacation, in the Caribbean is to enjoy that warm ocean, water so. I spent, quite a bit of my time on Yost Van Dyck out in that water chatting. With other tourists, and enjoying. One, really. Great vacation, day in, the water under the Sun my. Idea, of a, good time. Meanwhile. My wife held, down a beach chair and. Enjoyed. Reading her Kindle her, idea, of a good time while on vacation, and over. At the Soggy Dollar Bar games. Were played. Drinks. Were enjoyed, and, I'm, pretty sure a good, time was, had by all. After. A few wonderful hours on the beach and Yost van Dijk we, got back on our catamaran for, the trip back to Tortola, where. The Viking sea was of course still, at anchor off shore waiting, for us it was. Great to get back on board have, a shower, and cool, down after. A day at the beach we. Had some cocktails. Around five o'clock they, picked up the anchor and we had a beautiful sail. Away at sunset. This. Is the view from the infinity, pool at the back of the ship it's, pretty much my favorite part of the ship a great, place to enjoy the sunset with, a glass of wine or, a cocktail, if. It's a warm night watch, the sunset while swimming in the infinity, pool or the water temperature, is 86. Degrees or, if, that's not quite warm enough for you use, the jacuzzi instead. Water. Temperature. 102. They. Also serve dinner back here at the back end of the ship and you can enjoy your meal alfresco, back, in this area which, i think is a heck of a lot better than dressing, up and eating, inside some fancy, restaurants.
That. Evening we enjoyed a show in the main theatre these, young singers were really, talented. Especially. That girl closest, to the camera she, was amazing. And you, can see that they got a very, enthusiastic. Ovation. At the end of their show. The. Next morning Viking, sea arrived at the island of st. Kitts, this. Was my third visit to st. Kitts and every, time I've been here it has looked just like this, behind. Those clouds I'm told there is a very tall mountain but. I have never seen it it's been clouded over like that three, times in a row. If. You've never been to st. Kitts before, the excursion, you should do is the, st. Kitts Scenic, Railway it's. A fun little train, ride around the island and it gives you a good look at st., Kitts, now. We've done that excursion, before so we, decided to try Vikings. Complimentary. Shore excursion, and st. Kitts but. I have to be honest to say that the free, tour was a disappointment. So I really can't recommend it you, get on a tour bus and you spend quite a lot of time just driving. Up and down the streets of the city and, I'm sorry to say that it is not a beautiful, city. Then. The bus heads into the hills overlooking, st., Kitts for, a very long look at the historic. At Fairview great, house dating. Back 300. Years you. Can tour the house which, has been restored, to give you a glimpse of what it was like back in the day when this was a big sugar plantation. The. Gardens, are, beautiful and. The views are decent, but my, advice is pick a different shore excursion, on st. Kitts. After. The bus tour we headed back to the docks where, we were glad to get back on board Viking sea that. Evening as we sailed away from st. Kitts we. Still couldn't, see the mountain but, it was another great sunset, as seen, from the back of the ship at the infinity, pool, our. Next, port of call was, the island of st. Lucia, where, we had a pretty, amazing shore, excursion, that involved, having lunch at a beautiful. Resort, overlooking. St. Lucia's most iconic, feature, the. Two volcanic. Peaks known, as the Pitons, but. Getting there was, half the fun. We. Boarded a catamaran. And had, a leisurely, sail down the coast of st. Lucia, it. Was a beautiful. Day with, perfect, conditions. For sailing, let's. Take a minute here and enjoy, some of the sights as if, you were right there with us. Eventually. We made it all the way down the coast to where the Pitons are they, dodge the catamaran, put us on a bus for a brief ride up the hill and pretty, soon we were at the, Ladera, resorts. With, incredible. Views of the pitons and the, coast of st. Lucia. We, had cocktails and then, a really, nice lunch. All with, those great views of the, pitons it. Really, was a spectacular, sight. We. Felt like there couldn't, possibly be, any place, anywhere, on st. Lucia with, a better view than this.
By, The way see that woman standing up wearing that gray top that's. Carol. She, joined me in my wife at our table for lunch at the Ladera resort and we quickly, made friends, and for the whole rest of the cruise, we noticed that Carol had the same taste in shore excursions, that we did we, chose almost, all the same excursions, and we, enjoyed chatting with Carol so much during the week I just wanted to give her a little shout out here, as we, continue to look at these amazing views, from, the Ladera Resort on st. Lucia. After. Lunch they let us have a look at one of the hotel rooms and, it had its own swimming. Pool with, this amazing. View, wouldn't. You love to spend a few days here I know, I would. After. Lunch we got back on the catamaran and headed, back up the coast there was plenty of time so they took a very leisurely. Route up the coast showing. Us some, of the interesting, little nooks and crannies of st. Lucia along the way the. Highlight, for me and I'm sorry that I got absolutely no, video, of it was, when the catamaran, stopped, for a while and we, all got to jump in the water off the back of the boat and have, a swim. Back. On board the Viking sea after a great, day, on st. Lucia this. Is the time-lapse video I shot of our sail away from st. Lucia it. Was always so. Beautiful, as the, ship sailed away from a different Island each night at sunset, I watch just, about every, one of those sunsets sail away from this area at the back of the ship and. A funny thing about this particular, time-lapse. Video I had. Forgotten to bring anything with me that evening to, attach, the camera to while. I recorded, our sail away so I just, climbed, into the jacuzzi and, steady, the camera with my hand on the edge of the jacuzzi as it, recorded, this time-lapse video I know. What you're thinking the tough sacrifices I, make in order, to make these videos for you you, don't need to thank me but do, go ahead and click, the thumbs up button if you like the way this video is going so, far. The. Next morning we were docked on the island, of Barbados. The, most southerly point on, our 10-day, cruise we. Were docked at the sugar, pier where that big contraption you see there is used to load up cargo ships with the sugar that they grow here on Barbados, and. We were joined by the carnival fascination. I'm. Kind of surprised, the, carnival hasn't sold off these old dated, fantasy, class ships on their fleets most, of the cabins are either inside, cabins, with no windows at all or, oceanview. Cabins with, just a window but no balcony. Carnivals. Newest, ship, the vista class are really great, but, these old fantasy, class ships are just not, in the same league. Our. Shore excursion, today in Barbados, took, us to the copacabana, beach club, on, a very nice stretch of beach the. Ocean water temperature, was 82. Degrees, we. All had loungers, and beach chairs, and. Hey there's our new friend Carol, who we met at lunch yesterday overlooking. The Pitons and st. Lucia and allow. Me to introduce some, other new friends of mine who we met on this cruise and also, had a fantastic, time with that's. Carol, Ann and McCray, they. Run a travel and lifestyle blog called one, modern couple, calm, and that's. Heidi Larson and her husband shaft, Heidi, writes a blog foodie. Crush calm, it's, all about food, recipes. And photographs. Of lots of delicious, things you'll want to eat so. We just had a wonderful time at the beach in Barbados, the, weather was perfect. My, wife enjoyed, her spot on a lounger, under an umbrella reading. A book on her Kindle and, I spent, quite a bit of time in that 82, degree water a great. Way to spend, a day, back. On the Viking sea it was a lovely, afternoon so. They had the dome open, over the middle and. Out. By the pool they serve a pretty great little Western bacon burger, with barbecue, sauce that. They call the Viking, burger, I liked, it so much I think it probably had three, or four over. The course of our 10 day cruise. At. The end of the day carnival. Fascination. Was the first to leave and, then, it was our turn to literally cruise. Off into, the sunset and, head, north to, our next port of call the, island, of Dominica. We. Actually didn't, get off the ship in Dominica, we, decided to spend a relaxing day, on board. And in the afternoon, we got invited up to the ship's navigational. Bridge for, a tour, which, was pretty cool especially. The fact that the guy giving, us the tour was. None other than the ship's captain. He. Spent a lot of time showing us around the bridge explaining. How things work answering, our questions, and even. Posing for a few photos. The. Next day another Island this time it was Antigua, and we, opted for another, Beach excursion. They. Do offer, other kinds of excursions, of course on a Viking, cruise to the Caribbean but.
I'm All about the beach and enjoying that warm ocean water in the Caribbean I can't. Get enough of it this. Was jolly beach on the west side of Antigua, that's the Caribbean side I heard. That some folks who went on a beach excursion, on the east side the Atlantic, side had, a whole lot of wind and nowhere near as good of a time as we, had at jolly, Beach on, the west side. Once. Again a lot of the same people who had chosen Beach excursions, earlier in the week chose, this excursion, too so, we continued, having fun with a lot of the same folks we had been getting to know over the course of the week I really. Enjoyed that this cruise was, a much more social, cruise, for us than, most of our other cruises have been. Back. Onboard the ship at the end of the day here's, another, time-lapse. From the back of the ship it, was a lovely warm night people, were still using the infinity, pool as the Sun was setting and as. We sailed away from Antigua, it was just another, lovely, sunset and, such, a great vibe back there at the back end of the ship watching, the sail away as, day. Tonight. Our. Next. Port of call was, the island of st. Maarten and carnival. Fascination, was there with us once again as was. This very cool-looking sailing. Ship the. Star flyer, I love. The idea of a Caribbean cruise on, a real, sailing, ship like that but I don't think I would actually do, it because I love the comforts, and amenities of a big cruise ship too, much. We. Took a shared taxi. Van from the cruise port and headed. Over to, Maho, beach on, the Dutch side of the island I am, delighted to say that Maho, beach has, fully, recovered, from the damage caused in 2017. By, Hurricane Emma. We. Rented a couple of loungers and an umbrella and got, a real kick out of watching the, airplanes, coming, in for a landing at. The airport that's, just behind Maho, beach the. Airport, has a fairly, short runway, so, the planes usually, land pretty close to the end of the runway right, next to the beach when, they come in low for that landing, it's, a pretty dramatic view. From Maho beach, it's. Cool to watch even the small planes land, but when, the big planes, land, it's, really, a thrill. It's. Also fun to watch what happens when, the big Jets take off they. Rev up their engines at the end of the runway and it, blows the sand all the way over there at the beach. No. Visit, to Maho, beach would, be complete, without having, lunch at, the sunset, Bar and Grill a st., Maarten legend. The. Food is, surprisingly. Good with, their great location. They could stay in business even if the food was mediocre. We, had some barbecue ribs and barbecue, chicken served, with steak, fries it. Was, fantastic. Back. On board the Viking see people, were really enjoying the midship, pool with, a sliding, dome open on a wonderfully. Warm day in st., Maarten and later. That afternoon here's. A time-lapse, of our sail away from st. Martin on, the right there's, the star flyer sailing, ship I showed you earlier but. On the left you'll, see that there was actually an even larger sailing. Ship docked along with us in st. Maarten the, winds surf from.
Windstar, Cruises. The. Next day our final, port of call for this cruise was, st. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, we. Took a little tram, from the cruise port and we. Boarded yet another catamaran, for, what turned out to be a fantastic. Excursion. To the island, of st. John, this. Was such a great way to end the cruise on, a real high, note when. We got to st. John we, moored offshore and they, said anybody that wanted to swim ashore could. Jump in and go for it I was, the first one in the water here's. My view of the catamaran right after I jumped in for. Those that didn't, want to swim ashore they had a little dinghy that they used to, tender people ashore I actually, was able to swim ashore and, be there before anybody, else. Get this video of the first load of passengers coming. Ashore in, the dinghy, pardon. The water drops on the lens of the GoPro from my swim I, wasn't. The only one that chose to swim ashore, here's, to other adventurous, ones and there, actually were a surprisingly. Large number of other people that chose to, swim ashore I thoroughly, enjoyed, it and I, don't think that I'll soon forget, that experience, on st., John, here's. My new friend Leslie enjoying, her time on honeymoon, beach on st. John and there. Were a lot of fish in the water here and for, some reason, they liked to swim around, people's, Beach. Much. Of st. John is a US, National Park, very. Undeveloped. And in its natural state I, loved. It. Eventually. We had enough beach time and everybody. Got back on board the catamaran for, the trip back to st. Thomas where. The Viking sea was docked for. This leg of the catamaran ride we were going downwind, so, they were able to hoist the sails and because. We had finished swimming, they opened, up the bar, rum. Was flowing freely rum, punch rum, and cokes and even. Mimosas. Let. Me just say that after a great, time on the beach at st. John sailing. With the wind on a catamaran, with her sails up on, a perfect, day in the Caribbean, and plenty, of rum we. Were all having a pretty great time. Our. Last excursion. On our 10-day cruise was. A huge, success. The. Excursion, was called the, st. John National, Park champagne, catamaran, sail and, if, you ever get the chance to do this one you, should. Well. We had a pretty great time on the Viking sea and I, still have one more video that I'm going to be working on about, how a Viking, ocean, cruise is completely.
Different Than, any other kind of cruise you may have been on I'm. Gonna need another week or so to edit that one together it's a big project if you don't want to miss it subscribe, to my channel, and click the little bell icon to. Turn notifications, on. That. Way you'll get a little notification for, me when, I finally, post that new video. This. Is Jim Zim closing out this video if you enjoyed it the, biggest favor you can do for me is to hit the thumbs up button that, lets YouTube, know that it's a good video which, causes them to recommend, it to other people and. If. You're interested in booking a cruise on Viking, or any of the cruise lines you, are welcome, to use my, travel, agent Katelyn. Gallagher, of amber, and travel, there's. No cost to you and it's great to have a knowledgeable. Agent taking care of all, the details for, you. You.