Our final port of call was St Kitts.

. 20170726_101051

We didn’t really have a game plan for St Kitts.  All we knew was we wanted to find monkeys and a beach with some shells and snorkeling.  We found a taxi driver who could take us to both!


20170726_101257 


20170726_101330

20170726_101314


After getting a chance to hold the monkeys, we set off for the beach.


20170726_13355820170726_124709

20170726_111818

Here we enjoyed several hours of sand, sun, swimming, sea shells, and snorkeling.

20170103_214612A


20170726_133546


20170103_223458A 20170103_223619A

20170103_212252A

They found Dory!

20170103_213946A

Everyone got to do what they wanted and we all had a wonderful day at St Kitts!

20170726_134844

When we found out the itinerary for the family cruise, Scott and I were super excited to see that the ship would be stopping at St Thomas… this meant that we could take an excursion to St John and visit US Virgin Island National Park!!! 

That’s right, another vacation with a sign pic for the circus crew!!

20170725_163503


National parks rarely disappoint and St. John was no exception.  St John was our family’s favorite day of the vacation (and there were a lot of good days)!

  20170725_120501


We even saw an iguana on St Thomas right when we got off the cruise ship…. you know your day is off to a great start, when you’re greeted by an iguana!


 DSC05987 DSC05991


The kids enjoyed it all, from the ferry ride over, to the van ride to the park.


20170725_105144 20170725_112234


The snorkeling there was fun and amazing… even better than we had even hoped.


  20170725_144455 20170106_185942A

    20170106_194257A 20170103_012622A


We saw so many beautiful fish and even an eel and a sting ray!  All 6 of us got to enjoy snorkeling.

 20170106_185913A


I was so thankful for all the swim practice the kids had earlier this summer, because not once was I worried about them swimming out there. 

This brain coral impressed me!

20170103_010356A

And the “electric blue” looking fish was one of my favs.

20170106_195908A


20170106_193549A

The eel, is the leopard colored like thing you see hiding in the coral.

 20170106_184720A


We got to try our hand at stand up paddle boarding, which has been something on my wish list for a while now.  The water was so clear.  When I jumped off the paddle board I thought I could touch b/c I could see the bottom so clearly, but quickly discovered I was in water way over my head. 

20170725_143758 20170103_000725A

Pop even did a little kayaking. 

20170725_144002


Every single time my youngest saw a fish he would point and say “fish” through is snorkel.  It was really cute and there were a LOT of fish so it happened a lot.  In addition to snorkeling, our youngest had a fantastic time playing in the sand with his cousins.  


DSC05999


His favorite aspect of the day was “spending the whole day together with everyone.”

  20170725_174410


It was such a fun day with many precious memories.  I’d definitely go back and spend more time at St John if I had the opportunity. 

Our youngest daughter turned 10 during our vacation.  It was the second year in a row that her birthday fell during our vacation.  At first she wasn’t very excited about having to celebrate her birthday away from home….but turns out a Caribbean cruise isn’t too bad a place to celebrate ones birthday. 

She has told me in the past that SOMEDAY, she would like to have an ice skating party.  Um, Ice skating parties in July can be a tad tricky…. unless you are on the worlds largest cruise ship! 

 IMG_3756


20170724_201834Once on board we learned that the ice rink was only open certain days and times…. While it wasn’t open on her birthday, it was going to be available the evening before… so her party got started a little early!



After dinner on Monday we all went to the ice rink. 















The next morning Scott and I decorated our room with balloons and streamers (from Solomon's :-) to surprise her when she woke up in the morning.  She really liked it.

20170725_073416  20170725_073355

Her birthday was on a port day, and it just happened that it was on the port day where our entire group would stay together.  We planned an excursion to USVI National Park (more details on that in another post)…. after a day of snorkeling, swimming, and paddle boarding we returned to the ship.  20170725_104536


Due to the extended day excursion, we didn’t have our normal formal dining plan.  This actually worked out well for the birthday girl, b/c she did NOT want to be sung to by the wait staff.  This girl does not enjoy being the center of attention.  We ate up at the buffet where everyone found something yummy to eat.

 20170725_191409_001


We did sing her happy birthday in a whisper and then we topped the day off by going to see a ventriloquist show.  The show had us all laughing and was a perfect ending to a fun family day. 

20170725_201257


The rest of the week the wait staff at the formal dining room tried to sing happy birthday to her and she always refused.  One night the head waiter performed a magic trick for us and she begged him to tell her how he did it.  He said, “You let me sing Happy Birthday to you and I’ll tell you.”  She shook her head and said, “I want to know, but I don’t want to know THAT bad!”  

It was a truly fun birthday for her.  It was my favorite 24 hours of the entire week.  Even our oldest son said, “Man, it is her birthday, but this was MY favorite day of the entire year!”  She decided it was a great way to celebrate turning double digits… and she’d like to return to a cruise when she moves from double to triple digits on her 100th Birthday!