caribbean cruise

May 2008 we took a family cruise from Florida to Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Haiti and back. We were on the Liberty of the Sea, which at that time - with its sister ship - was the largest cruise ship in the world.

Almost from the moment we boarded, our son found things to entertain himself. Between the climbing wall, the surf pool, the teen night club and other kids his age, he had something to do every minute of the day.

We, on the other hand, decided to chill to start our vacay. After a few days of relaxing, we did get into some activities and went out as a family on the shore excursions. We wandered around Peurto Rico, where I had my first ever Mojito. Then we did a treetop rope course on St. Maarten, and some scuba diving and parasailing at Labadee, Haiti.

It's hard to get a solid impression of a place with only the short stops available on a cruise. In Puerto Rico, we tried to get out of the tourist area, but didn't have enough time to get beyond the tacky stores. I would have liked to see a bit more of the genuine country and people. St. Maarten was our second stop and we spent more time shore. What we saw we really liked and even years later we talk of going back for a longer stay. Labadee was a totally incomplete picture of Haiti. It was more like a no-tech Disney World than anything else I could compare it to. It was a nice sunny place to hang-out for the day, but gave no clue as to the real Haiti.


Looking back at it this trip was probably a little too much tourist extravaganza and not much world traveller. I wouldn't do it that way again, but it was fun at the time.

Now, with the advent of COVID-19, I doubt that I will ever want to go on a cruise again, but I could see going back to that part of the world. St. Maarten in particular was a great favourite of ours.