Cruising the Caribbean

Caribbean Cruise February 2010 034C’est moi about a week ago in Antigua, overlooking Nelson’s Dockyard, harmlessly pondering an imagined alternate life for himself: a life lived on a yacht, moored every night in a different tropical island harbor like this one.

Neither of us having never been on a cruise before, Fred and I decided our next winter rendezvous would take place aboard a Big Boat Traveling Somewhere In The Tropics. Despite our fears about being trapped for an entire week with thousands of drunk Americans on a floating version of Las Vegas, a cruise on the Carnival Line proved to be our best option for a cheap, quick warm-weather getaway.

Reader, we had a good time. Yes, the Carnival Freedom (launched in 2007) is quite possibly the most vulgarly-decorated seagoing vessel afloat, and, yes, its other 3,000+ passengers seemed to start their noisy rounds of drinking, gambling, and food trough-visiting awful early every day, but we managed nevertheless to find a few semi-quiet perches on a ship obviously designed and programmed for The Never Ending Party. And we got to see little bits of several beautiful islands – all of them with gorgeous beaches – that we’d never have been able to afford visiting via separate, aircraft-accessed trips. And we only had to unpack once! And the weather was great – when Fred took the photo above, it was snowing again in Atlanta.

The Carnival Freedom’s ports of call ranked in best-liked to least-liked order: Tortola, St. John’s, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Antigua, Nassau (Bahamas).

A few photos from the trip (clicking on a photo will enlarge it):

Postscript: I’ve posted more photos of the trip to my Facebook photo page.

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