Caribbean Getaway

Last summer Neal and I decided to plan a Caribbean getaway for the winter of 2013.  Having never traveled to the Caribbean, we worked with Heather from Classic Travel in order to figure out our best option.

Heather was absolutely amazing, answering my 1,800 questions, ultimately helping us with our decision to go on a cruise instead of visiting an island resort.  Neal and I were looking for a relaxing vacation, but we had a hard time picking just one island to visit. Going on a cruise would enable us to give cruising a try, while also allowing us to visit 6 different Caribbean islands. Just like that, our cruise was booked and all we had to do is wait for December to arrive!

The week leading up to our cruise last week was a bit crazy!  We celebrated Neal’s birthday, enjoyed a snow day, and I had a bit of a scare at work.

Neal and Ashley

At 5:30AM on Friday, December 13, Neal and I headed to Reagan National Airport for our flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

DCA Sunrise

We traveled to San Juan a day before our cruise, just to give ourselves a cushion in case of bad winter weather.  Once in San Juan we grabbed our bags and then caught a taxi to the InterContinetal San Juan.

Intercontinental San Juan

The hotel sat right on the beach, which was amazing, but I honestly wouldn’t stay at this hotel again.  The customer service was really poor and the quality of everything was just so so.

Intercontinental San Juan

The view and the pool area were great though, which made our stay at the InterContinental worth it.

Intercontinental San Juan

I also loved the gym at the InterContinental, which gave me a chance to get my workouts in both on Friday and Saturday.


Intercontinental San Juan

Most of Friday was spent laying on the beach and sitting in the whirlpool.

Jewel of the Seas

I was also really glad I had brought a few Corazonas snacks (2PP-3PP depending on the flavor) from home as we opted to skip lunch and hold out for a big dinner.

Beach Snack

That night we enjoyed a delicious Puerto Rican dinner at the Platos Restaurant.  The steak was just fabulous and made me want to find some Puerto Rican restaurants here in the DC area.


Saturday morning we went to the gym, laid out on the beach, and headed to the port for the start of our cruise.

Neal and Ashley

After getting on the Jewel of the Seas, we grabbed lunch at the buffet and then made our way to our room to settle in.

Jewel of the Seas

After checking out the ship and enjoying some time out on the balcony, Neal and I headed to dinner in the formal dining room.


Our first dinner on the ship was just amazing!  I ordered the salmon, which was served over a delicious root vegetable puree.  It was just perfect!

Jewel of the Seas

The kickoff to our Caribbean getaway was everything I needed!  I loved being able to enjoy a day in Puerto Rico before heading out on our week long cruise.  It gave me a chance to catch up on sleep, soak up the sun, and unwind from the crazy week.

Little did I know, we had 7 absolutely stunning days ahead of us.  To be continued…


  1. says

    Love that emerald color on you, friend! Gorgeous! I can’t wait to hear about the rest of your trip. You and Neal definitely deserved the getaway. :)

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