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When someone asks me what I'd do if I won lotto, my reply is always the same… I'd gather all my friends and family and head off on a cruise in the Caribbean.

I finally got to fulfill that dream, albeit with only one other person and none of the lotto money (shame), but it WAS everything I thought it would be. 

Half Moon Cay

Our first stop was Half Moon Cay, a small island in the Bahamas owned by Carnival Cruise lines so very much geared up for our ship visit. It was absolutely stunning with crystal clear blue water, white talcum powder sand, plenty of sun, and good snorkelling with colourful tropical fish and coral.

St Thomas 

Second stop was St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands – here they drive on the same side of the road as us, so I felt very much at home. We had a day excursion on a 70ft Catamaran where we expereinced the most amazing snorkeling I've ever done.

San Juan

Next up was San Juan, Puerto Rico, and what a beautiful place it was! Interesting fact of the day: one side of the island is on the Atlantic Ocean, and the other is on the Caribbean side.

Grand Turk

Our last stop was Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Once again, another stunning island with sparkling blue waters, white sand and plenty of deck chairs… and home to one of Jimmy Buffets “Margaritavilles”. Translation: Serious fun! 

In amongst all this sun and sea, there was also great history, fab shopping (leather handbags for $20!!) and plenty of other entertainment.

If you're planning on cruising in this region, here are some tips:
Don’t try to eat at the buffet on the day of boarding before about 2.30pm
 
Make sure you pay the extra for a cabin with a balcony (or at a minimum - a window)
 
Apply sunscreen every hour or so… you will get burnt
 
Go in the shoulder season when you're not in port with another 4 or 5 ships
 
And lastly…. go on a diet before you leave so you can put the weight back on whilst on the cruise because the food is fabulous !!!
 

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