Traveling with a dynamic group of women who could possibly be members of your tribe, sounds like a dream. That’s exactly what I did when when I joined The Goal Group’s trip to cruise to the Grand Cayman/Jamaica. I originally heard about this trip via the instagram of Baje Fletcher (@missbaje) who is an author and life coach. I decided I needed a vacation, to and to see Jamaica so I was all in!
The port was packed and huge boarding The Carnival Sensation! After going through security and boarding I finally got to relax all the while still carrying my luggage around the main deck because I was waiting on my room to be prepared. While on the deck I got to enjoy some tacos and purchase a fantabulous little daiquiri and feel the ocean breeze greet me on my pool chair as I was on my way to my first big girl vacation.
I flew from Chicago to the Port of Miami to board and meet these ladies. We were assigned boarding buddies, which probably would’ve been disastrous had I not became FAST friends with my roomie, whom I still keep communication with. It also was cool to me that she was Jamaican and familiar with the island, so I knew sticking with her would show me something authentic on the island.Later I met more of The Goal Group travelers met for dinner.
Foodwise, on the cruise we were assigned certain special dining halls and times to optionally join. Make sure you bring some formal wear because there are people taking pictures in the hall and there are days the guests are expected to dress formally, which you will know about in advance via your itinerary. They have all sorts of yummy cuisine in the fancy dining halls and of course any alcohol purchased you will pay out of pocket for as it is not included in your cruise fee. Aside from those special dining halls they had one massive hall area one which was out on the deck serving assorted Mexican food and burgers cafeteria-style.
One thing I learned about cruising a ship is if it gets rocky or rough, you are not guaranteed to reach your destination for safety reasons. Our first few days on the boat was pretty rocky, which led to me being sea sick a few times but worst of all we had to cruise past Jamaica!!!! This broke my heart as Jamaica WAS my biggest reason for coming, fortunately since I met some great Jamaican friends on the trip I have no doubt I’ll be going in the future and having a ball with them.
Meanwhile on the ship there was a casino, ample photo opportunities and little events to keep us occupied on our way to the Grand Cayman. I am still sorry I was one chip away from a bingo, but it’s cool though. They had several other little activities you could join in on. I personally had the best fun with some of my ladies later partying on the ship’s deck in the pool and hot tub while the DJ played the latest pop mixes and ended the set with a huge cha cha line leading to the night club after the pool party.
Once we reached the Cayman, I felt it was one of the most beautiful and EXPENSIVE islands I’ve ever been to. The US dollar is not worth as much there so keep that in mind when you want to by tourist gifts, coconuts etc. Call it the Caribbean in me but I was NOT for paying more than a few coins for a coconut!!! They grow on the land ! PSSH. Regardless, the island was absolutely BEAUTIFUL my friends and I took a bus to the famous Seven Mile Beach and took beautiful pictures while buying real Cuban cigars on the side of the beach. After beaching it out I took off to find some authentic island food and rum (Rum is the plentiful drink on islands, as it is fermented form sugar cane a native thing to the land), then had back to the cruise ship.
This brings me to a VERY IMPORTANT note about cruising: you definitely need to be mindful of time when you are on the off boat excursions because people do get left! So bring a watch and adjust the time as needed my dears! You don’t want to get left and have them sending you your passport to find your own way back to Miami, because it can happen! If you are buying alcohol on land it WILL have to be checked into the boat’s facilities when you get back on board as well.
All in all, upon arriving back to Miami, I left having a good time and meeting some phenomenal people who I am glad to now consider friends. We had a great time. I know some people are weary of solo travel so I believe traveling in groups of like-minded, non-scamming people will be a good transition for you to find some people in your tribe. I would definitely travel with The Goal Group again in the future, and any other travel groups that fit the bill.
Have you ever traveled in a formal travel group? Let me know below!