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Birthday 68 Cruise Review

by Paul

Birthday Cruise

My birthday cruise was great.  It was my first time on Carnival, and I will give my review on that in another post.   It was a great cruise because I got what I wanted, rest and education.  I did not go on this cruise to be entertained but like I said for rest.  I enjoyed sitting out on my balcony during the day and at night.  In the day, the sun was hot and watching the ocean roll by not seeing land sometimes for a couple days was so unreal to me.  It made me thing just how much water actually covers the earth. I thought about the thousands of us human beings from different parts of the planet together as one nation on a cruise ship locked in together for 7 days, under one government, think about that. 

The nighttime was interesting too, every night I saw so many stars unlike anything I see back home. They made their appearances as to be saying “hello, I am here to brighten up your night”.  The simple free things nature offers us.  

I got a good history from the locals while in port in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.  I traveled to a remote village in Dominican Republic where I got some education on culture and history and learned their dances and played drums with them.  I couldn’t image how people live in these villages in my modern-day life in the United States.  

The trip to Puerto Rico just reminded me of being back in the United States, but then Puerto Rico is a US territory.  I saw familiar places like CVS, First Bank, Wendys and I felt like I was back at home.  The 3-hour walking tour of Old San Juan in the blazing heat was interesting.  I can recall sitting in my cabin working on my PC and then I saw this big fort and land appear outside my balcony window, I realized we had entered San Juan. It was so surreal.  

St Thomas, I found to be laid back.  It was not as exciting as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.  I found it odd to be a US territory because they drove on the opposites of the street.   It has a hilly terrain and there were lots of houses tucked away in the hillsides.  I took a ride on a tram that climbed up the steep hill sides and you see out into the ocean and see all the sail boats flooding the scene. 

Now back on land in Miami, I had planned an extra day in Miami so I decided to take the Brightline train to Ft Lauderdale for a test ride.  I love trains and any chance I get to ride a new one I will.  It reminded me of a airline on rails.  What I mean is that it had a cart attended who came through and offered you snacks and drinks if you purchase a premium class ticket which I did.  And the train station there were nice lounge chairs, snacks and drinks all for free.  I enjoyed the one hour trained ride.  I decided to do a walk excursion on my own of Miami.  It was a beautiful day and I followed a walkway that went along the shores pass expensive condos which seemed to never come to an end.  But I was adventurous and kept walking.  Then I saw a sign that said, “Beware of alligators”.  It was at that point that I decided to turn around and walk back to my hotel.

I was thinking about taking Amtrak back home instead of flying, just to relax and see more scenery of America.  The train takes 36 hours to get me home.  I reached out to Amtrak and the cost was $409 one way. I said skip it, I will keep my flight home which cost me half of that and get me home in 2 hours and 11 minutes.   I have done the Miami to Pittsburgh train ride last year within a roomette car.  I will share that in another post.   Well, this is it for cruising for this year, in 2025 I have two cruises lined up. But in the meanwhile, I will spend this summer 2024 visiting my granddaughter and great grandchildren out west.  

Sail Away Party

The sail away party was a blast.   No one can do it like Carnival.

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Cheryl Alli March 28, 2024 - 6:46 pm

You look like you’re having the time of your life Paul !

Paul March 29, 2024 - 5:17 pm

I was, with more fun to come.


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