Day 3 of the cruise, and our first stop was Grand Turk. We booked the Gibbs Cay Stingray Encounter (through Carnival) and it wound up being my favorite experience on this trip. I did a stingray encounter in Grand Cayman on a Carnival cruise years ago, and couldn’t wait to try another one. Grand Turk was absolutely breathtaking – the water was a beautiful blue, and there’s a beach immediately in front of you when you exit the cruise ship, so you could easily lounge there all day, right off the ship.
Instead, we boarded a small boat and headed to this paradise for the day, a private island:
You can see our cruise ship in the distance, and our smaller boat parked on the beach. In the shallow water surrounding boat is where we held stingrays. And the dark patch to the left is where we swam out and did some snorkeling, over the reef.
Needless to say, I was loving the view!!
Post snorkeling and before the stingrays showed up, we climbed up the hill to take in the view and get some shots of the water surrounding the island.
And of course, my favorite part, the stingrays!! I wanted to be a marine biologist as a kid and my love for marine life knows no bounds. I didn’t even mind giving him a kiss. (I don’t recommend trying this on your own in the wild, we were with experienced guides!) Overall, we gave this excursion high marks. They stayed an extra hour over our allotted time and just in general went above and beyond (we had about 20 people on our boat). Highly recommend this excursion!
After an exciting day at Grand Turk, we boarded the ship and got ready for dinner. For dinner #3 (not a formal night), I wore my new black slip dress with cognac shoes and purse (the floral pattern has hints of brown in it). JJ (my fiancé) is a pretty casual guy, and most nights he wore t-shirts to dinner. Dinner dress code is fairly lax –rules are no denim cut offs. I was happy to dress up though, especially in a loose dress that is this comfy!
We spent the next day in beautiful St. Thomas. I’ve been to St. Thomas on a Carnival cruise ship before, but this was my first time snorkeling there. We booked the FastCat Two Island Snorkel excursion through Carnival. There were about a hundred people on our boat, but I managed to find a little corner to take this photo of what I wore. Normally I go for little dresses as swim cover ups but I was in the mood for something sporty that day so I threw on a pair of gym shorts and a tank top I had packed.
We headed to a nearby reef first. There were other boats there and a good amount of people already in the water. In the grassy areas, I was mesmerized by the huge sea turtles feeding and surfacing and spotted a stingray and cuddle fish (which look like hovering squid). Then we swam over to the reef, which was gorgeous. The water clarity was amazing, and there were tons of colorful fish.
After snorkeling, the party began as they began dishing out large quantities of rum punch. They took us to Honeymoon Beach, where everyone split up and did their own thing. JJ and some others played beach volleyball and I lounged on a beach chair and cheered them on. We watched the sun set as we took the boat back to the cruise ship.
Back on the ship, we quickly showered and got dressed for dinner. The sun had already set, so we couldn’t take a photo of my outfit that night. I took this photo a few days later to show you guys what I wore. Another loose, comfy outfit – I paired my favorite linen pants with my newish pink lace top. After dinner JJ was beat and fell asleep and I watched the first game of the World Series on the TV in our room. (The next few nights were more exciting – I think the first half of the trip we were happy to indulge in catching up on sleep!)
Tomorrow: JJ’s favorite experience on our trip, sightseeing in beautiful San Juan, and two more colorful dinner outfits!