Payton Reed

Caribbean Cruise Details

Payton Reed
Caribbean Cruise Details

Our Ship

My husband and I took an anniversary cruise on the Celebrity Equinox! We had both only been on one cruise before so, to be honest, our expectations were very average because, while we had fun on our cruises, we wouldn’t quite call them spectacular. So you can imagine our surprise when we boarded The Equinox and were greeted with champagne, smiling faces, a large stateroom and the shiniest, cleanest amenities ever. I seriously can’t say enough wonderful things about the staff. They were friendly, attentive, helpful, you name it. They made the entire process easy and fun. The food was beyond impressive. We have been to all-inclusive resorts before, but this was next-level. Each meal was better than the last and the selection for healthy and delicious options was outstanding. The entertainment, the gym, the excursions, literally everything, was excellent. We will absolutely cruise with them again in the future! Possibly an Alaskan cruise? We heard great things about that one as well! If you need help booking a vacation, we had an amazing travel agent find a great deal for us! Email me for her contact information!

Before we dive in, you can shop my outfits from the trip on my Like to Know It page!

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Cozumel

Cozumel was perfection! We didn’t do an official excursion this day so we weren’t exactly sure what to do when we got off the boat. We wandered around the shops and walked around the port a little bit. When we exited the port we happened upon the cutest little mini resort, Del Mar Latino Beach Club. It was $29 a person for all day, all you can eat, all you can drink, beach chairs, umbrellas, a waiter, the works. We thought it sounded too good to be true but the place was so perfect! You can pre-book on Trip Advisor, but we just walked up and paid for a day pass!

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It had a gorgeous infinity pool that overlooked the water. We sat in the pool most of the day admiring the view and ordering Mexican beers, well, I prefer the Dirty Monkey, but either way it was dreamy. Not a bad day if you ask me! We hung out here until it was time to head back to the ship and I would highly recommend it if you are looking to save money and relax!

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There is a small entrance to the ocean at the resort so if you’d like to take a dip in the Caribbean, you totally can! It was crystal clear. You can also walk over to the straw umbrellas you see behind me in the picture. Really such a good price for so many options!

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This picture is in between the pool and the water. So there is no “beach” because it is a retaining wall, but it was still gorgeous and didn’t effect the view or our ability to get in the water. Worth it!

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Grand Cayman

I would go to Grand Cayman for every vacation for the rest of my life if I could. WOW WOW WOW the beaches are beautiful. The water is crystal clear and warm. The sand is soft and barely white. The people are so helpful and friendly. It seemed beyond safe compared to the places we were in Mexico and we were genuinely blown away by it! Obviously I know nothing about geography and history, because I didn’t realize that it was a British territory. The official language is English, so it is easy to navigate and chat with the locals. This stop got a 10/10 from me.

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If you are cruising and port in Grand Cayman, you don’t necessarily have to book an excursion! We did, and you can read more about that below, but only for half the day. The other half we took a local taxi (felt totally safe and was only $6) to Seven Mile Beach and enjoyed the water. This is a MUST. Y’all. It was the most beautiful beach I have ever seen! They have chairs you can rent and lots of restaurants and bars along the water. It is only about a 10 minute ride from the port and is absolutely worth it.

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We booked our only “official” excursion of the cruise in Grand Cayman. We chose the most affordable option (snorkeling, $30) and honestly had pretty mediocre expectations. We were WRONG. It was so much fun and we saw tons of bright and bold fishies. The crew on the boat was really interactive and fun. It wasn’t cheesy or stupid like we kind of expected. I would totally book it again! Pro tip: sunscreen your back. I still have red lines from being face down in the water for 3 hours. ;)

Key West

Key West was such a cool place to see! The southernmost point in the United States (just 90 miles from Cuba!) is in Key West, so lots of people travel there to see it. You can see the marker behind us, but we weren’t waiting in the super long line for the official picture. Sorry not sorry.

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In Key West we didn’t do an official shore excursion so we decided to wander around the island on our own. They will try to sell you on the conch train tour ($55) but we opted for public transit (free!) to see the island. It was honestly better because there were more stops and we could come and go as we pleased. There is so much to do but we are simple and just wanted to explore to harbor and the little shops. We found the most perfect Christmas ornament for our collection, but the coolest thing we found was KENNY CHESNEY. Let me digress.

When we were walking the boardwalk around the harbor we spotted a really eclectic little dive bar. There was lively music and straw cabanas so we stumbled in. Little did we know, it was Kenny Chesney’s favorite local bar. If you’re ever in Key West, it is called Schooner Wharf Bar. Kenny has a vacation home there, so apparently they see him quite often. The waitress asked us not to bother him so we couldn’t get a picture, but it was so cool and I thought Hunter was going to pass out. He LOVES Kenny and was excited the rest of the day. But back to the bar, they had awesome watermelon margaritas and a great drink menu. It was all outside with a stage, a band and the cutest beach vibes. Definitely stop in if you are in the area!

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This tiny island is right off the coast of Key West and we couldn’t believe that people actually live there! You can only get there by boat and we just couldn’t imagine that! Insane! Beautiful, but insane.

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One thing to note is that there are LITERALLY NO PUBLIC BEACHES in Key West. So don’t expect to hop off the ship and catch rays on the beach. All the beach front areas are reserved for small private hotels. In general, there isn’t much beach area in Key West at all because it washes away so quickly. Most areas are rocks and not sand. I had no idea about this! So either plan to explore the city and the harbor or book some type of excursion. Don’t bank on the beach!

Costa Maya

Costa Maya was probably our least favorite stop. I will be honest here, we left the port and felt a litttttle sketched out. We didn’t have any issues but we were more uneasy here than in Cozumel! It was still fun and there are several excursion options, I would just be weary of venturing out on your own too far! We spent have the day walking around the shops and spent the rest of the day back on the ship where we signed up for a Wine Tasting!

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Wine Tasting

We didn’t plan to do this beforehand, but one we were on board we decided it looked like fun. And it was. We paid $25 a person for a wine tasting with Sommeliers, all you can eat snacks and all you can drink wine. They taught us about the differences between the wines, where they came from, how their origin changed the flavors, explained all the notes in each and it was really a cool experience! This was a nice mix up from all of the tropical activities we did that week.

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I could honestly go on and on for days about all the fun things we did on the ship! We went to a silent disco, 2 comedy shows, musicals, bars, glass blowing classes, clubs, art galleries and everything in between. The schedule every day was jam packed with fun options and we could have been content never leaving the ship! It was the perfect trip. I can’t even explain how nice it was to be with Hunter for 7 days with no school or work! We hadn’t been on a REAL date since Valentines day, thanks med school, and so it was refreshing and romantic to go on a second honeymoon of sorts. I would encourage you to spend a weekend alone together on your anniversary or take a trip if you can. It is by far one of my favorite things we have ever done! I hope that this little summary helps you decide if a cruise is right for you or not. It’s a yes from us ;)

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