Cruising the Southern Caribbean On The Celebrity Beyond

Back in 2017, I fell in love with cruising. I had been on a Carnival cruise 10 years prior and hated it. I think I like it now because I'm cruising with better cruise lines and cruising has gotten nicer and more luxurious over the years with newer ships and more amenities.

Since that first cruise so long ago I’ve been on a total of five and plan to go on many more. My latest cruise adventure was on an 11-day southern Caribbean cruise in December, right before Christmas.

Keep reading to see more about the itinerary, how the cruise went, and more importantly some key items I packed for the cruise.

large sign on a cruise ship that says beyond
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Yes, this was an 11-day cruise. I’d been on a seven-day and 11-day cruise before so this was nothing and believe me the time goes by pretty quickly.

I vacation with my mom because we both have the money to travel in the style we like and we like vacationing the same way. Such as flying in a day or two before the cruise is supposed to leave. We don’t want to be one of those stories who end up at the port right after the ship left.


Pre-cruise

We arrived in Ft Lauderdale the day before and it was wonderful. I lived in Florida for about seven years and since moving back to North Carolina, I’ve been missing the warm and still humid winter weather you can get in December.

My skin and hair were happy again with moisture in the air.

Southern Caribbean Cruise On The Celebrity Beyond inside the-ship.

The cruise itinerary

Day 1 - Embarkation

The day the ship was leaving port we took a shuttle from the hotel to the port and caught a glimpse of the Beyond as we drove in.

Let me tell you about this ship. It’s one of the newer ships In Celebrity’s fleet as of the writing of this post The Beyond entered service in April 2022 so it’s the newest ship I’d ever cruised on.

It’s part of the Edge Class of Celebrity ships which are very luxurious and modern. There are 15 decks for guests. There is a pool, a walking track, and several dining options. The main cabins are a little over 200 sq feet so they are nice and spacious.

You can find out more about the Beyond on the Celebrity Cruises site.

We sailed through embarkation (pun intended) and were immediately able to go to our room, drop off our bags, and start exploring all decks and areas of the ship. The Beyond was decorated for Christmas and already bustling.

After exploring the ship we got our internet set up. Then we went to dinner and shared a table with a sweet couple from the Midwest. Afterward, we went to the opening show, and then people watched.


Day 2 - Sea day

This was a sea day. So we spent time enjoying the ship and people people-watching. I spent some time on the pool deck. We shared a dinner table with six other people and had a great time conversing. 

We attended a special event in one of the shops which we ended up doing pretty much every night because there was free champagne. We ended the night with the theater show, more people watching, and a pre-bedtime snack in the cafe.


Day 3 - Grand Cayman

We did an excursion through the cruise line and got a bus tour of the island. The tour made a brief stop at a beach and a rum cake factory. In all honesty, we picked that particular tour because of the rum factory. We got a free rum and cake tasting while we were there.


Day 4 - Sea day

Pretty much all of our sea days were similar. Nothing special to talk about.

Day 5 - Cartagena, Columbia

I’ve been to Columbia before so I thought doing a food tour would be different. It was ok. We visited some places I’d been before. And the food was ok. We had different foods at different stops.

First, it was coffee (which I don’t like in any country). The second stop was some unseasoned cheese pastry and tarte juice. The third stop was an assortment of fruit which was really good - sweet and juicy. The last stop was for candy. I like the candy except for the coffee-flavored one.


Day 6 - Sea Day + Oranjestad, Aruba

We were supposed to get into Aruba in the late afternoon and do an evening excursion. Well overnight someone on the ship had a medical emergency. We had to turn around and get them to a hospital.

This meant we got into Aruba late and all evening excursions were canceled or moved to the next day. Ours was moved but we already were taking a bus tour and couldn’t do both so we canceled ours.


Day 7 - Oranjestad, Aruba

The excursion we did was a bus tour which was underwhelming. The tour guide mainly pointed out Every. Single. Resort. on the island.

We also got a few little tastes of the island with some juice and fresh coconut.


Days 8 - Willemstad, Curacao

We took a bus tour of the island. On the tour, we visited several sights including beautiful beaches and some rice farms.


Day 9 - Sea Day


Day 10 - Falmouth, Jamaica

I don’t think I’ll do another excursion if I visit Jamaica again. It was disorganized, we got back to the ship 30+ minutes late (a couple of other excursions did too) so the ship thankfully had to wait.

This tour included food which was pretty good but didn’t make up for the disorganization of the tour.


Day 11 - Sea day

woman seeing the sites on islands during celebrity beyond caribbean cruise

woman seeing the sites and food on islands during celebrity beyond caribbean cruise


What I packed

Each time I go on a trip, in particular a cruise I pack differently and find items that can make my trip even easier and more enjoyable because I’m not worrying about certain things. Here’s what I packed


Clothes

I really overpacked. I had shirts that I didn’t use, and pants I didn’t wear. And I didn’t dress up for dinner each night like I for some reason thought I would.

It didn’t help that I bought a couple of T-shirts from Kohl’s. They are the Juniors' SO® Favorite V-Neck Short Sleeve Tee and Juniors' SO® Drapey Short Sleeve V-Neck Tee. These T-shirts are really comfortable, come in several colors, and work with shorts or jeans.


Technology

Phillips Sonicare One Electric Toothbrush 
I use an electric toothbrush at home and for some reason, I didn’t like the idea of using a regular brush as I travel.

The toothbrush runs on a triple-A battery, comes with its own traveling case, and works really well. I had no issues with it on the trip. The battery lasted, it didn’t start and stop on me. My teeth felt clean without the effort of a manual toothbrush.

I got mine from Amazon but I’ve also seen it in Target and Walmart. There are some nice colors you can select from. I chose the color Navy.

Anker iPhone 15 charger
I bought a new iPhone a week or two before leaving and needed a charger that was compatible. This one is really popular among influencers I follow so I bought it. It works well though since my phone was so new I didn’t need to use it much.


Other things

Travel dirty laundry bags
I bought a set of laundry bags from Amazon last year. The one I had been using since college finally tore and I couldn’t mend it anymore.

The bags are supposed to be made of a durable tear-resistant material and close with a drawstring. One bag worked for my 11-day trip. These bags are an easy way to hold and pack my dirty clothes.

GOX Ultra Light 5-piece Packing Cube set 
I started using packing cubes several years ago and honestly, they work so well at helping me keep my suitcase organized and items compressed that I’m able to overpack. This is the set that I use.

I used this small carry-on as my carry-on bag. When I go on long trips and fly I like to make sure I have a carry-on suitcase in the event my checked bag gets lost. 

I’ll use this small carry-on vs. a full-sized one because I don’t have to worry about it fitting. This smaller bag fits under the seat on the plane and the overhead compartment. 

On one of the lights down to Ft. Lauderdale, several people had to check their carry-on at the gate because of size. I didn’t have to. When the gate agents walked around to see which bags would have to be checked they said out loud about my bag “Oh, that will fit no problem.”



Want to see more must-have travel items? Visit my Amazon store.

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