Cruise Diary: What I Wore, Part 4

Our last two days on the cruise were days at sea. The first time I took a cruise I remember thinking “a day at sea – what in the world would I do all day?” But the fact that this Carnival cruise had two days in a row at sea is one reason I chose it. Days at sea are blissful – no cell service, no agenda, and nothing to do but relax and unwind.

The first day at sea I put on this cover up (old, from 4 summers ago) and headed to the deck to read for an hour. I was also rocking my second set of metallic tattoos. I’ve always wanted to be that glamorous person who wears jewelry with her swimsuits, but these tattoos (applied with water like regular temporary tattoos) give you that same look for just a few dollars and without worrying you’ll ruin your favorite jewelry. They were perfect for a cruise.

Gym gear on a cruise

After the pool, I headed to the gym. This picture was taken on our balcony post-gym and I'm a sweaty mess. 

Formal night on a Carnival cruise
Formal night outfit for a cruise

Our 7th night at sea was the second formal dress code night. This time, I wore a dress I’ve had for approximately 8 years. I can’t remember the last time I wore it or even tried it on, but when I love something I hold onto it stubbornly and generally wind up wearing it again at some point. It felt like a brand new dress, and exactly like something I would buy again right now. It doesn’t get any better than “already in your closet!” I loved wearing it for dinner.

Casual outfit for a cruise

On day 8, our final day at sea, we experienced our only bad patch of weather. It was rainy and overcast that day, so we decided to take our time and get breakfast in the fancy dining room. I wore this outfit (first featured on the blog here) for the second time that week (the first time I’d worn it was day 2 for same occasion - breakfast in the dining room). When I packed, I focused on swimwear for day, and dinner outfits for night. I didn’t bring a lot of “in between” outfits like this one, and could have used a couple more in my suitcase (if not repeating outfits was the goal). I also wore the black jumpsuit from day 1 again, for the ride home after the cruise.

Gym outfit on a cruise

With the inclement weather, it was a good time to hit the gym, so I threw on one of my favorite t-shirts (a party favor from SWSX a few years ago). I normally wear this shirt with neon gym shorts but I had already worn them over a swimsuit earlier that week, so I paired it with yoga pants instead. (I had planned to take a yoga class on board, but all the yoga classes on our cruise were at 8am and I am not a morning exerciser.)

CLUTCH  /  SHOES
Pink flutter sleeve dress with orange accessories

That night I wore one of my favorite outfits of the cruise. I originally wore this hot pink dress to JJ’s birthday this summer (here). I liked these accessories so much more though – punches of neon orange in my shoes, clutch and necklaces. I got lots of compliments that night! 

After our final yummy dinner, we watched another comedy show and caught the end of the baseball game in the EA SPORTS Bar.

Overall this vacation hit the spot. My favorite part was spending uninterrupted time with JJ and going on dinner “dates” every night as we called them. You also can’t beat relaxing sans cell and internet (despite what that gym t-shirt might say; and Carnival does offer internet, but I limited my time). And of course soaking up the beauty of the Caribbean and all that it has to offer. I can’t thank Carnival enough for giving us the trip of a lifetime. I hope to be back on a Carnival ship someday soon! 

This post was created as part of my collaboration with Carnival. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own.

Cruise Diary: What I Wore, Part 3

On Day #5 of our Carnival cruise, we stopped in beautiful St. Martin/St. Maarten. This was a new island for both of us and we didn’t plan an excursion. We opted to wing it and find something fun to do spontaneously instead! First, while still onboard the ship, we headed to breakfast in the dining room, which is a sit down experience and requires nicer clothes than just grabbing something from the breakfast buffet (no denim shorts or swim wear). I wore this neon t-shirt and shorts together. Not an outfit I had planned to wear together, but it wound up being perfect for breakfast in the dining room that day. 

At breakfast we met a couple who told us about Maho Bay in St. Martin. JJ had seen videos of Maho Bay but he didn’t realize where it was located. As soon as he heard those words, that was our plan for the day! He couldn’t wait. 

We took a group taxi and arrived at Maho Bay after a 30-minute drive. I wore my favorite swim cover up (from this post) and my new fedora. The beach was jam-packed and there’s no shade or umbrellas so bring SPF if you go. The water was insanely blue; that’s not editing, it really looked like that! The main attraction at Maho Bay, though? The planes!!

This pretty much sums it up:

It was the most thrilling experience. JJ’s dad was a pilot so this was his favorite part of our trip. Having planes fly over your head as they land was fun, but the real drama happened when the planes took off. Their jet blast hits the beach behind them as they take off; it was akin to being in a tornado. My skin got whipped with sand through my towel and hat. I was finding sand in my hair for days afterwards. Daredevils like to hang onto the fence for dear life, and sometimes the blast knocks them over. During takeoffs, for those who may be a little less thrill seeking, I recommend moving down the beach a bit from the direct flight path (as I did after that initial takeoff).

After our aviation adventure, we headed back to the cruise ship to grab lunch. Then we caught a water taxi across the bay to explore the beach and shopping area in St. Martin that’s visible from the ship (behind us in the photo above). The boardwalk along the beach has live music, inexpensive drinks and tons of shopping, including brand names we all know and love in the states. 

We headed back to the ship to shower before the sun went down, so these pictures are a little dark as a result. My hair also wasn’t quite done drying yet, but standing on deck in the wind takes care of that nicely as I discovered. I originally bought this dress for Valentine’s Day with JJ last year (here) and loved styling it for warm weather with sandals and a pink clutch this time.

That night after dinner we watched a magic show. Carnival had Bobby Borgia, a world famous magician, on board. He put on a spectacular show! I changed into sports gear (here) after the magic show and watched my favorite baseball team win a big game in the EA SPORTS Bar.

Our fourth and final stop on our cruise was San Juan, Puerto Rico. Many years ago I stayed several nights in San Juan and fell in love with this city. I couldn’t wait to see it again and share it with JJ. What’s cool about this stop is it’s more of a city tour vs. a beach/snorkel type destination so a Carnival cruise that goes to San Juan gives you the best of both worlds. 

We spent the day riding the free trolleys and visiting both forts (only $5 per person for both). The views are just completely out of this world, and doing both forts (with a stop back on the ship for lunch) took pretty much all day because there’s so much to explore! The weather was incredibly hot so I was thankful I wore a casual tank top and denim shorts (first featured on the blog here). I had considered wearing some dressier shorts and shoes, but we walked so much and I was sweating buckets so I was thankful to have gone casual. Here are some more of our photos from San Juan:

After our tour through San Juan we headed back for dinner. My hair was still wet (again), but we snapped these photos from the deck as the sun set. I wore this dress on the blog this summer (here) and loved wearing it again. White is a great choice on a cruise for showing off your fresh tan!

Tomorrow’s post: my two favorite dinner outfits for the whole cruise. I saved the best for last! 

This post was created as part of my collaboration with Carnival. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own.

Cruise Diary: What I Wore, Part 2

Carnival Sunshine in Grand Turk

Day 3 of the cruise, and our first stop was Grand Turk! We booked the Gibbs Cay Beach & 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 a private island for the day: 

Gibbs Cay in Grand Turk

Absolute paradise! You can see our cruise ship in the distance, and the smaller boat we took parked on the beach. In the shallow water surrounding the boat is where we held stingrays. 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!! 

In between snorkeling and when the stingrays showed up, we climbed up the hill to take in the view and get some shots of the water surrounding the island. 

Stingray excursion in Grand Turk

Moments later a couple stingrays graced us with their presence! 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 in general went above and beyond, and we only had about 20 people on our boat. Highly recommend.

DRESS  /  SHOES

DRESS  /  SHOES

Carnival cruise dinner outfit

After an exciting day in Grand Turk, we boarded the ship and got ready for dinner. For dinner #3 (a casual dress code night), I wore my new black slip dress with cognac shoes and purse to mirror the hints of brown in the floral pattern. Most nights JJ wore t-shirts to dinner. Dinner dress code is fairly lax –rules are no denim cut offs, no flip flops. I was happy to wear a dress and heels though, especially one that's this comfy!

We enjoyed another yummy dinner, then headed to the first of four comedy shows we attended. I’ve seen comedy shows on Carnival cruises in the past, but the talent on this trip was top notch. They had at least 4 comedians on board (at different times throughout the week), and offered both family friendly and adults only shows. 

NAIL POLISH  /  RING  /  BRACELET
St. Thomas with Carnival

The next morning, we arrived in beautiful St. Thomas. I’ve been to St. Thomas on a Carnival cruise ship previously, but this was my first time snorkeling there. We booked the Two Island Snorkel & Beach Safari by FastCat excursion through Carnival. There were about a hundred people on our catamaran, but we managed to find a little corner to take this photo of what I wore, below. Normally I wear dresses as a cover up 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 for the gym.

St. Thomas snorkeling excursion

We headed to a nearby reef first. There were several boats already anchored and a good amount of people in the water. In the grassy areas, I was mesmerized by the huge sea turtles feeding and surfacing, and I spotted a stingray and cuttlefish (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. The snorkeling was outstanding!

After snorkeling concluded, the party began as they dished out generous quantities of rum punch. They took us to secluded Honeymoon Beach, where everyone split up and did their own thing. JJ played beach volleyball with a group 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. 

LACE TOP  /  SHOES
Pink lace top with olive linen pants

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 for dinner. Another comfy outfit – I paired my favorite linen pants with my newish pink lace top. After dinner, JJ fell asleep and I watched the first game of the World Series on the TV in our room. (I grew up in Kansas and am a huge baseball fan.) 

In tomorrow's post: JJ’s favorite experience on our trip, sightseeing in beautiful San Juan, and two colorful dinner outfits!

This post was created as part of my collaboration with Carnival. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own.