Travel Hacks + Our Honeymoon Cruise Adventure
I can’t even tell you how sad I am we had to ever come back from our amazing honeymoon! I knew we would have fun but I had no idea how amazing everything would actually be. I know this sounds silly, but I was even a little worried that it wouldn’t be as fun as the last cruise I went on with over ten people last year right around the same time. For some reason, I thought that cruises are the most fun when you have a bunch of people. So I thought we would have a pretty chill cruise, enjoy some good food and cool excursions. Which we totally did all of those things. They were just such a blast to do with my bestest friend! I’ll give you guys a quick run down of the excursions and what we thought, as well as some little money saving travel tips we found along the way.
Travel Hack 1: Purchase flights 2-3 months in advance.
First off, our goal was to have an amazing honeymoon without breaking the bank completely. Something to keep in mind when planning your vacations, around 2-3 months before your trip is usually the best time to find the best prices on itineraries, not too far in advance and obviously not last minute. We were very fortunate to have his dad purchase our cruise and flight tickets with his Southwest loyalty points, which leads right into the next point.
Travel Hack 2: Ask friends and family to use or trade for airline reward points.
If you have any relatives that have reward points with airlines, it won’t hurt you to ask if you can use them, or trade for something. The worst they can say is no. You can ask for this as your wedding, anniversary, birthday gift, etc. As soon as we got engaged in May, our honeymoon trip was the very first thing we knocked out of the list and doing these first two things saved us over a thousand dollars!
Travel Hack 3: Research travel excursions locally and compare to the cruise company prices.
We found that by simply googling excursions in the destinations we were going, we saved quite a bit as well. We ended up doing one locally managed excursion and one through Carnival and we actually liked the local one a little better, although both were awesome! So just make sure you look at reviews for both. You may find that Carnival has the same price as a local one, but I didn’t find that was the case for the most part.
On that note, here are our reviews of the excursion we did.
- Grand Cayman: Swim with the Sting Rays + Jet Skis + Snorkeling (LOCAL excursion)
Ok, at first I was pretty creeped about the idea of swimming and getting close to sting rays. I was worried I would get stung, and honestly I just pictured creepy dark blobs of sliminess trying to poison us. We rode our jet skis max speed all the way to the middle of the ocean it seemed to get to where they were. It wasn’t until I was there and saw tons of people, including kids, petting them and feeding them. I figured it can’t be that bad. And it wasn’t. It was actually such a neat experience and they are super friendly and gentle little creatures. My life long soft spot for animals quickly activated J. We got to feed them, pet them, and they would just come and lean against your legs, much like a sweet, friendly cat would.
Next, we rode our skis to a nearby spot to do some snorkeling. That was just beautiful! The gorgeous reefs and little colorful fishies really made me fuzzy wuzzy inside haha. Every part of this excursion was a blast, even the “travel” part, which I am so glad we went on jet skis cause I haven’t laughed that hard in a while, and I doubt I would have if we had gone in a regular boat with a bunch of other people. So I HIGHLY recommend this one, and we didn’t go thru Carnival directly and saved ourselves $100 or so combined for our tickets. Don’t be afraid to do this, there are tons of excursions you can do that don’t go through Carnival and are just as great!
After our fun excursion, we hung out by the beach nearby with our coconuts, and swam in the most crystal, aqua clear water with soft, white sand. The temperature was absolutely perfect. I could not get over the color of the water. It was so perfect!
- Cozumel: Swimming with Dolphins + Kayak + Lunch Included (CARNIVAL)
I knew I wanted to do this since pretty much forever. I have always had a love for dolphins and a few of my friends had done this, and raved about it. This did not disappoint in the least! They are the cutest, friendliest, happiest animals. We got to ride on them and even give them a kiss. I melted.
However, we weren’t as impressed with the other activities that supposedly came included. The kayaking was literally just a little circle in the ocean that they had enclosed, so after a couple laps that took us a whole ten minutes, we were over it. We decided to snorkel in their little “pool” they had designated. And while that was pretty cool, it didn’t compare to the snorkeling we did in Cayman, that was actually in the sea and not a man made pool. We did get to hold a wild eagle though, which was cool and definitely not your everyday activity. Also, we were not at all impressed with the lunch served. I guess maybe we had been spoiled by the food on the ship, or it really just sucked. I would absolutely recommend the dolphin part of it, but if you can leave out the other “extras” and save money, do it!
Here’s us at one of the late night dinner, imitating one of the fruit sculptures. How close did we get?
Here are some other pictures we took throughout of miscellaneous activities we did. We took quite a few actually, but chose the best ones to share of course J.
Cozumel had some really cute shops we walked through, and mostly goofed around in. And yes, that is T-Rex on my shirt. Target baby!
They wouldn’t let us take pictures of the cute dolphins, but here’s one we kind of snuck of them doing their swim practices.
We found this eyeshadow palette by The Balm called Meet Matt(e) Nude. Ha Ha Ha! We got a kick out of it #honeymoonhumor. They really do have everything in these cruises J.
It was so fun to dress up fancy one night. You know all you girls miss dressing up for proms and dances. I totally do! We got some “professional” pictures taken by the staircase, and had a couple behind us take some pics on our phone. This is professional quality, don’t you think? Sike!
Lastly, if you’re like us and don’t drink alcohol, cruises are so worth every penny and more. The food is absolutely one of the best parts. I should have taken pictures but I was too hungry to ever do that #fatkidprobs. If you have been on a cruise you know what I’m talking about. You will never be hungry on a cruise, unless you choose to be. The foreign servers and staff are also another entertaining, and fun part of the cruise experience.
Well this was quite a post, but I thought I would take our experiences and share them with you, and tell you our take of what was “worth it” and what wasn’t. What are your thoughts? Have you found ways to save on your fun travels? I know there’s many more out there. Share your experiences in the comments below.