We recently had an excellent 2-week Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse- thanks to a GREAT "flash-sale" deal we got on CruCon! (Yes, we HIGHLY recommend CruCon! We're in the hospitality business, and I do a LOT of 'homework', and so far The best deals we've been able to find anywhere have been through flash-sales on CruCon! Sign up for them now!) The first tip I've got to give is: GET A BALCONY! As a travel agent told us (after we'd done two cruises with el-cheap-o inside cabins), once you've had a balcony you will NEVER go back to an inside stateroom, and that is THE TRUTH! Ever since, we have booked a "guaranteed balcony", which usually means a "partially obstructed view", and on Celebrity that has meant a cabin on Deck 6 with a life boat right beneath our balcony, but SO WHAT?! It's fabulous! You will wake up to sunrise and the lovely sound of the waves, and sit out there naked having breakfast looking at the ocean and passing islands in the morning sunshine; you will see your port or a gorgeous sea view the minute you open your stateroom door when you come back from an excursion; you will drink wine out there at sunset as your ship pulls away from the islands you've been visiting; you'll have late night drinks out there (again naked) while looking at the stars and the sea... and you'll fall asleep to moonlight and the sound of the waves... In short, you will love it to pieces! The balcony MAKES the cruise! This time we had 2 whole wonderful weeks to love our balcony, enjoy the ship's many amenities, and have fun in 8 great ports, most of which we'd never been to!
Our first port was St. Thomas, USVI, and we had the opportunity to do something REALLY cool that Dan hadn't done in over 40 years and I had never done: Spearfishing! We booked a day of spearfishing with Capt. Rick of Swashbucklin' Tours, and had a GREAT day! (Read his reviews on TripAdvisor, and you'll see why I booked!) The weather didn't cooperate, and there was a "small craft advisory" when we arrived, so Capt. Rick couldn't take his boat out :-( But he had a "Plan B" (which is what makes him great), and we kayaked out to a place where we could spearfish! Dan had spearfished 42 years ago in Vietnam, so he just grabbed his speargun and took off, but I'd never done it before, (and have the upper-body strength of a gnat), and Rick was The best teacher! The man has the patience of a saint, and he helped me reload my speargun time and time again so I could get as much time shooting as possible! Where we were the fish were small (and very beautiful, too- and it's hard to shoot at pretty fish... LOL), and as I'm a surface snorkeler, I shot At a lot of fish but didn't manage to catch us lunch... but it was SO great, none the less! I honestly felt like James Bondette, hunting beneath the waves with my spear gun, and I didn't want to get out of the water! In addition to all the gorgeous fish, I got to see other cool stuff, such as starfish and octopi (which I told Rick to catch us for lunch, as he dived down to show them to me, but he didn't!), and Rick used my GoPro underwater camera to take GREAT photos of me! (Because, as everyone knows, if it's not on Facebook, it didn't happen! :-) When he finally dragged me out of the water (kicking and screaming LOL), we went to have a delish lunch of conch curry on the beach with his Rasta friends. Rick's wife and kids were delightful, and it was truly one of the best days we had on our entire cruise! We SO want to go back and do it again on his boat in better weather, so we can do some REAL spearfishing and lobster-snaring! Rick said that spearfishing will spoil you for snorkeling, as every time you get close to a great big fish you'll think "Damn! I wish I had my speargun!", and as we went snorkeling many times on this cruise I can say for a fact that he was definitely right! LOL If you are heading to St. Thomas, contact Capt. Rick: this is definitely a must-do excursion!