Our trip began in some style with the chance to sample the economy plus product on a United Airlines Dreamliner.
The extra leg space and wider seats made for a great flight on this new route from Sydney to Miami via Houston. It was well worth the upgrade and I would recommend it to anyone.
We spent two nights in Miami with activities that included a walking foodie tour while taking in the Art Deco designs and murals and learning the history of the area.
Ocean Drive in South Beach is where it all seems to happen. It has Cuban, Mexican and American-style influences. The beach lifestyle and Art Deco buildings gave it a hipster, beach culture where people enjoy running, swimming, cycling, volleyball, or just having a coffee in one of
the many cafes, bars and restaurants.
We saw the house where Versace lived until he was murdered, which has now been converted into an expensive hotel. We also got to try Cuban coffee, which I would liken to a Turkish coffee. It is a strong, sugary drink commonly shared among the locals in South Beach. We enjoyed dinner at Naked Tacos where you can get some of the best margaritas and the tacos are amazing. Miami is an eclectic city with a lot to see and do.
If you get the chance to go to an American College Football game, it is like nothing I have ever seen before. The atmosphere at the game is just buzzing with excitement and action and is an experience I would recommend to anyone visiting the States.
We then travelled to Fort Lauderdale where we boarded the Regal Princess and set sail for the Caribbean! A trip of a lifetime.
The first stop was Princess Cays, the cruise company’s very own island in the Bahamas. There is a day full of activities waiting from feeding the stingrays to sitting in the water on a blow-up float and just sipping a cocktail. You can also spend the day learning to use a stand-up paddle board or paddle bike.
The next stop was probably my favourite, St Maarten in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where I experienced an amazing excursion. The ‘Flying Dutchman’ is a shore tour offered by Princess Cruises to the steepest zip line in the world. From here you get a superb view of St Maarten and the neighbouring islands. The trip starts with a tour of the restored plantation originally built in the 1700’s and bit of history on the area and what life was like back then. You are then taken up the mountain on two
chairlifts to begin your descent down the zip line.
The highlights onboard Regal Princess included the fantastic array of culinary treats on offer. I particularly enjoyed two of the signature restaurants, Crown Grill and Alfredos. There are also many other great dining options, including complimentary choices such as the buffet, burgers and pizza on the pool deck or the main dining room for a more traditional style.
The Caribbean is still on a lot of Australian’s wish lists, and I certainly appreciated having the opportunity to cross it off mine with some fabulous travel colleagues.
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