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Our seven-day Caribbean cruise started out in Miami on a hot summer day in 2006. Standing near the southernmost tip of the country, you can gaze toward the horizon across the Florida Keys. With a deep breath, the open view where the ocean touches the sky is simply magnificent!

The sun heading westward, our cruise ship bid farewell and slowly pulled away from land. I sipped a martini and thought about the good time in front of me. After the first day heading south, we set foot on beautiful Half Moon Cay, a private island in the Bahamas with miles and miles of pristine shoreline. Feelings of seclusion make you imagine that your footprints were the first set of footprints on its sand.

It was hard to say so long to the Half Moon paradise, but move on, we must! After a night on the ocean, we anchored at St. Thomas, the heart of the U.S. Virgin Islands, which was mostly mountainous. Roads circled the island, offering unbelievable panoramic views. We found historic buildings throughout town, with modern additions (taxis, souvenir vendors, cruise ships in the harbor) reminding us of the island’s tourism.

Our next stop was good old Puerto Rico, a crossroads of Hispanic and Anglo cultures. We enjoyed its wealth of cultural diversities and historical landmarks. One thing I will always remember: as the cruise ship pulled away from the harbor heading for our next island, the air was filled with Caribbean music intertwined with rich Puerto Rican cigar smoke.

The next morning, we arrived at the exotic Turks & Caicos islands. Grand Turk, its capital, was blessed with miles of serene, sugary beaches featuring spectacular snorkeling, fishing, sailing and diving. It’s just another day in the sun with a party atmosphere, everybody moving with the music and sharing a good time.

Towards the evening, we felt a mixture of happy and sad feelings with our trip winding down to its end. Once again, we’re running out of time – back to Miami and back to the office, we go!

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SMReader July 28, 2009 @ 11:41 a.m.

Sounds like a memorably cruise vacation…makes me want to take a weekend to weekend vacation myself. I enjoyed the story.

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