What 7 Days On A Caribbean Cruise Looks Like.

By Posted in - Caribbean & Islands & Photo Journal on December 16th, 2014

My first time on a cruise ship was about five years ago. We were living in San Diego and my mom booked a short one down to Ensenada, Mexico, for my grandparents, and Beth and I decided to join them. It was a fun experience and a good introduction to cruising, but, it really was just an introduction. So when we stepped onto the Carnival Dream last month, I was really excited and couldn’t wait to experience a bona fide cruise through the Caribbean, something I’ve dreamed about for a long time.

I had planned to fill this post with lots of colorful adjectives weaved into enough tantalizing sentences to fill a novel. But then I thought about the old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and decided to put together the photo essay to end all cruise photo essays instead.

We had a lot of fun on our 7-day cruise through the Western Caribbean. As we compiled the photos for this story all of the memories came back to us, and we both looked at one another and said, “We really miss being on the ship.” My hope is that these images will feed your own wanderlust, and, hopefully, inspire you to travel more in the New Year. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to life on the Carnival Dream!

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Montego Bay, Jamaica

Initially, we planned to explore Montego Bay on our own, but at the last minute decided to take the Chukka ATV Safari. It was a fun adventure through Jamaica’s rural countryside with a great set of guides. The only downside of the tour is that the optional drop off at Dr. Cave’s Beach mentioned in the excursion guide is only an option if they bus driver has time, and not a mandatory stop. Luckily, we had some extra time when we got back to the port, so we hired a taxi ($10 r/t per person) with a few other passengers and drove to Hip Street for jerk chicken…all was good!


George Town, Grand Cayman

Beth and I have wanted to learn to dive for sometime, and we finally got our first taste of it at Cheeseburger Reef in Grand Cayman with the Discover Scuba Diving excursion. Within 40 minutes of arriving at the Lobster Pot Dive Center, we were geared up and practicing several basic dive techniques in the warm lagoon next to the shop with our excellent instructor, Morgan. After we successfully passed the exercises and we all felt comfortable, Morgan led us out to the colorful and lively reef, where we hit depths of 45 feet. It was an amazing experience, and I can’t recommend this excursion (as well as the dive center) enough to anyone who’s interested in learning to dive. The best part is that our dive can be counted towards our PADI certification, so it really was a win, win. Following the dive, we had a few hours to kill, so on the advice of the good folks at the shop, we hopped a public shuttle ($10 r/t per person) to the public beach, which is lined with white sand and tiki bars–in other words, paradise.


Riviera Maya, Mexico

Ever since Beth visited Riviera Maya a few years ago, she’s raved about how incredible the water is there. And I’ve got to say, she’s right! The Grand Cayman has some pretty spectacular water, but Riviera Maya trumped it. Without a doubt the hypnotic turquoises blue water off of Mexico’s mainland is some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen; not to mention, it’s also incredibly warm. Because the port of call is actually in Cozumel, we had to take a ferry (approximately a 45-minute ride) to Riviera Maya, where we met up with our awesome guide, Lucy, who’s super passionate and knowledgeable about the region. The cool thing about the Turtle Cove and Cavern Snorkel Adventure is that the tour is broken up into three parts: swimming in a freshwater cenote (say-NOTE-ay), snorkeling in the bay of Akumal with sea turtles, and dining at a private beach resort with traditional Mexican food and bottomless margaritas. By the time you’re ready to head back to the ferry you’ve gotten to see enough of Riviera Maya to know that you’ll be back someday.

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What’s your favorite photo(s)? Let us know in the comments below!

Want more cruising stories, check out our recent posts:

The Great Caribbean Cocktail Trail Challenge

5 Awesome Tips to Help You Travel Better

26 Cocktails and Tips

5 Easy Ways to Stay Fit on a Cruise

A Guy’s Guide to Cruising

Win a Free Cruise for Every Year of Your Life

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

Did you hear? We also make travel scarves with hidden pockets! You can check out our shop at Speakeasy Travel Supply.


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(18) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Jenna -

    December 16, 2014 at 9:16 am

    My favorite photo is that one of Bethaney on the ship with her hair flying up around her. I loved it when I saw it on FB a few weeks ago.
    I haven’t ever been to the Caribbean, and I’m considering taking a cruise with my kids because I think it’s a relaxing way to travel as a family. It looks like you were able to relax and have fun!

  • Meghan -

    December 16, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Wow- I have never, ever had any desire to go on a cruise.. but I think this post may have changed my mind! Love the photos, especially seeing how crystal clear the waters were… beautiful!

  • De’Jav -

    December 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Pics look great. This is one of the cruises I’ll have to look into. I’ve done other Caribbean cruises this looks amazing and good destinations.

  • thelugage -

    December 17, 2014 at 11:58 am

    That’s it. I’m going on a cruise.

  • Ben -

    December 17, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I liked the selfie with the clouds in the sunglasses–so many quintessential vacation pics! But my fave is the B&W of the turtle. Can’t tell if it is underwater or above, but looks amazing!

  • Fine Stay Slovenia -

    December 21, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Those are some pretty incredible photos!, but I am still not going to go on a cruise as I get very very seasick!

  • Kaycee Jacobs -

    December 23, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Love the pictures! Did you use the same camera for all of the pics? What type of camera did you use.
    We are cruising the western Caribbean on the Carnival Sunshine Jan. 3-10, 2015.
    Your pictures have inspired me to take great pics on this cruise.
    BTW, I have a similar pic of my hair waving in the wind as we left Miami on the Carnival Valor!

  • Jean -

    December 23, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    The Carnival Dream was the first cruise ship that I have been on,I went on the same Caribbean cruise.I was so excited, That was two years ago .I have to try and go back.

  • Mark D Johnson -

    December 23, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    I loved the photos from the Carnival Dream. The Caribbean has most colorful food, and the most vibrant water colors. My brother and I just returned from the Carnival Inspiration from 8-12Dec for his birthday and it was greatly enjoyable. In 2015, I am looking to cruising some more with Carnival. I am not sure where (maybe Caribbean South to Aruba), but I am saving my funds to get ready. Oh, and I want to thank Josh Wade of Carnival in Florida for his help in setting up everything for us (he was great).

  • Jill -

    December 27, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing your unique lens on cruising. Your camera work captured the relaxed feel of the destinations perfectly.

  • Bobby -

    December 31, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Just got back from a 4 christmas cruise to Cozumel! And this cruise you took is the next one to do! Cruises really are the best for your buck! And the excursions are worth the money because you really will not have the opportunity to do those things in scenic Paradise settings when you get back to where your from! Mexico is a beautiful country! And our neighbors to the south should be treated more kindly when they come over here. Because we were treated like royalty when we were in their country! And the rest of the Caribbean is just waiting to be explored!

  • Frank -

    January 11, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    A bit too fast for me to be going through such a beautiful part of the world, but the luxury is particularly tempting!

  • rebecca -

    January 12, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    looks like luxury to me

  • Carey @Blazeadventure -

    January 20, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Last time I was on a cruise was about 20 years ago. Coincidentally it was also a Caribbean cruise. Your photos are bringing back some happy memories! Might be time to revisit….

    Incredible photos. I would be interested in knowing what filters and/or techniques you used. Keep it coming!

  • Clyde Truett Jr. -

    February 10, 2015 at 5:39 am

    The hair blowing in the wind, The b/w cloud pic just before it- the opening in the clouds looks like a harp. I can hear the gentle notes of wind and water it plays- oh sorry, got carried away for a moment. The pic of you sipping a drink on deck- the most relaxed person in the world. Makes me want to leave Tennessee for awhile; thanks for the wonderful article.

  • Gary Howard -

    February 19, 2015 at 4:59 am

    Sorry, didn’t see much that attracted me, except possibly 4 wheeling and scuba diving, which I can do here. Wife has been trying to get me on a cruise for years. No interest.

  • Jessy -

    April 18, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Just went on my first ever cruise a month ago. We went for 7 days to the Caribbean, and hand’s down, it was the BEST money I have ever spent!

  • Jacqui -

    May 5, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Wonderful photos. Taking my first cruise at the end of September. I can’t wait for the experience!