Wednesday, February 25, 2015

St. Lucia!

St. Lucia was our next stop on our southern Caribbean cruise with Carnival! St. Lucia is so gorgeous and lush! It's different than any other island that I've visited. It's very mountainous and it even has a drive-in volcano (which we definitely visited!)

If I had one word to describe St. Lucia it would be majastic. If you ever visit, you will see what I mean. 

I couldn't wait to see the pitons! As soon as I spotted them I excitedly asked the tour guide to pull off of the side of the road. The pitons are located between Soufrière and Choiseul on the western side of the island. The pitons overlook the deep blue Caribbean water and the colorful village of St. Lucia. 

Our tour guide (a local) took us to some of the the fishing villages in St. Lucia. The island is definitely one of the poorest islands that I've visited. Tourism to St. Lucia is vital. Hopefully tourism will continue to grow and St. Lucia will flourish.
The drive-in volcano in Sulphur Springs was incredible. You can see the middle of the crater of the volcano, which emits steam and sulfur with boiling mud and water bubbling away, It's kind of crazy! Yes, it does smell, but luckily we weren't there for very long.

You can also take a "mud bath" in the springs. The water is not too hot, but hotter than your average bath water. The mud contains volcanic minerals which is suppose to make your skin feel super soft. Since we were here for a tour, we skipped this part. I would want to try it if we ever go back!

Q: Would I visit St. Lucia again?

A: If I ever go back I would stay at Sugar Beach - A Viceroy Resort. It's located between the two pitons!

Q: Would I consider buying a condo in St. Lucia?

A: As of now, I would not consider buying a condo in St. Lucia since it's not very developed. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

St. Martin and St. Maarten!

A lot of people have been asking me about my most recent cruise with Carnival. I decided to write about each island that we visited. All of the ports were amazing. We did the southern Caribbean. It was my favorite cruise I've been on yet and this was my fifth cruise!

The awesome thing about cruises is you get to decide which islands you would like to come back and visit. My husband and I would love to pay off our house early and purchase a condo in the Caribbean. A cruise is the perfect way to explore that idea! ;)

St. Martin (French side) and St. Maarten (Dutch side) is an island split between two nations! A tour of the history of the island is a MUST if you visit! 

While I enjoyed both the French side and the Dutch side, my favorite was St. Martin (the French side). It's more known for its tranquil beaches and fashion boutiques while St. Maarten is more known for its nightlife and casinos (still lots of fun!) 

I will start with the French side, St. Martin

The open air market in St. Martin was breathtaking! There were local artisans selling art, jewelry, pottery, clothing, you name it! The open air market was located right next to the water which made it even more breathtaking.

Our next stop was Bikini Beach. It was like a dream and I didn't want to leave! Although this was located on the French side, it was not a nude beach. (as some of the beaches are on the french side)That is definitely something to keep in mind when booking an all inclusive resort on the French side.
Bikini Beach was such a lovely quiet beach. I loved the contrast of the purple and gray umbrellas with the turquoise water and bright blue sky! 

Next: St. Maarten (Dutch side)

We stumbled upon this gem of a cafe! It's called Cafe Chocolate & Vanilla. It was complete with checkered board flooring, a vintage crystal chandelier, ghost chairs and an ocean front view of the Caribbean! We shared a delicious cookies & cream waffle cone while we enjoyed free wifi! :) It was a dream!

We randomly stopped on the side of the road to take a picture of the view in St. Maarten. There isn't a bad view on the island!

Question: Would I come back to visit St. Martin/St. Maarten?

Answer: Yes! I would visit this island again in a heartbeat! I would love to go back to St. Martin and stay in an all inclusive resort. 

Question: Would I possibly buy a condo here?

Answer: Yes!! This port was definitely my favorite (if not my favorite, St. Thomas was high on the list too!) I love that you have a low key part of the island and also an upbeat part of the island. It really is the best of both worlds!

Top: TJ Maxx
Crossbody: DSW 
Handsome Stranger bag: Kate Spade