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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.