What was it like sailing to the Caribbean on The Marco Polo Cruise Ship

view on a caribbean cruise

What was it like sailing to the Caribbean on The Marco Polo Cruise Ship

I was so lucky to get the chance to sail on the Marco Polo to the Caribbean for 32 nights. It is one of the best cruises that I have been on and years later I still have fond memories so if you are thinking about going to the Caribbean on the Marco Polo then I would say do it.

If this article I explain what it was like sailing on the Marco Polo for 32 nights. Before I sailed I was worried that 32 nights might be too long I had only done two cruises before and they were both 7 nights.

I have to admit it did feel like we were on the cruise for much longer than 32 nights especially when we were sailing back to the UK as there are a lot of sea days if you sail to the Caribbean rather than do a fly and cruise but if you have the time, like relaxing and chilling then I would still say do it. I would jump at the chance to do this cruise again.

First day on Marco Polo

The first day on any ship is spent settling in, getting your bearing, registering with things and of course safety.

I attended the passenger lifeboat drill, also known as a muster drill these are now compulsory on all cruises but they vary from ship to ship. 

These always make me laugh because if the ship was going down I’m not being awkward but I am jumping in the closest lifeboat not trying to find the one I am supposed to be in.

One of my cases didnt arrive with the other one and then they made an announcement “If your suitcase has not arrived come to reception immediately” which of course made me panic a little as people were then saying things got left on the dock as they ran out of time loading the ship but luckily it arrived in my cabin after dinner.

I was put on the 2nd sitting for dinner even though I requested the 1st as I need to take medications at meal times and the 2nd sitting is too late. I had to go to the restaurant manager 15 minutes before dining started and he changed it for me without me having to plead my case like I have had to do on other cruise lines. There were two other people there wanting to change, on my last cruise the queue was about 20 so this was easily settled.

Food on the Marco Polo

The dinner table was a good group of people thankfully as nothing worse than having to eat with people you don’t like. The first night is always a bit of a getting to know you session. It’s a mixed bunch, two sisters, two other solo travellers, and a married couple with her brother.

I actually ended up becoming really good friends with most of the table and we spent time in the evenings together and also in port which was great as I was travelling solo. Actually one of the things that I loved about sailing on the Marco Polo was we became like a little family. It is a small ship and less than 600 passengers so at some point of came into contact with every passenger and most people were really friendly I didnt feel lonely.

The food was delicious and service was great and my waiter is cute what more could I ask for. I didn’t go to any evening shows on the first night as I was still feeling a bit shy so went back to the cabin to read all the information that’s provided. I love the first night on a new ship its all about exploring.

However I didnt like the film of the day on the night which was Captain Phillip’s, we’re about to go into Caribbean waters and they show a film about pirates taking passengers hostage, I had already worked myself up watching Pirates of the Caribbean the day before sailing so I do not watch this film.

3 Days at Sea

We had 3 days at sea before we did our first stop at Ponta Delzora in the Azores. I hadn’t heard of the Azores until this visit and was surprised since it is quite close to the UK.

I went to the solos meet up managed by guest services hostess Georgia. It was a really good turnout, I later found out there were 30 solo passengers. I am one of the youngest solo passengers. I went to lunch with 3 of the ladies from the solo meeting and then went to explore the ship.

Best thing about it being a small ship is I got my bearings quickly and didnt get lost all the time which can happen on bigger cruise ships.

One of the sea days at the first part of the Caribbean cruise bit rough I loved it but take I always take my sea sickness pills just in case.

However little did I know that in the Caribbean things got a lot rockier we were sailing in part of a storm one day with swells of 15ft and it was impossible to walk around without stumbling in fact one day I nearly ended up in the captains lap whilst he was having his dinner.

Tonight was the 1st formal night and the Captain’s welcome reception, free champagne what more can you ask for?

I managed to tick of another thing on my bucket on the way to the Azores when we saw a mother and baby killer whale. They didn’t breach but they did blow, later on there was sightings of dolphins too.

Entertainment team on the Marco Polo

The entertainment team on the Marco Polo worked so hard to make sure people were having fun. Since there are a lot of sea days on a Caribbean cruise it is important there are enough activities to keep people occupied.

I had a great time attending the nights entertainment with friends I met on the cruise and I thought it was varied.

The best thing about a 32 night cruise is if you dont feel like doing anything you dont have to. I didnt do the night entertainment every night as I actually like my own company and like to relax in my own space.

Sailing to the Caribbean

The weather starts to get warmer and we can sit out in the sunshine. It is amazing sailing over to the Caribbean for days we didnt see anything not even a bird in the sky and it felt wonderful to be in the middle of the large ocean with just sky and waves to look at.

view from a cruise ship
In the middle of the Atlantic sailing to the Caribbean

The sea air is lush; I love being on the sea I think I should have been a sailor I would have looked great in the uniform too lol. I sunbath until about 11.30 when it starts to get cloudy and a bit chilly.

Arriving in the Caribbean

After a 6 sea days we arrived in the Caribbean and it was nice to get on dry land again.

We were visiting 12 Caribbean Islands which were all so much fun click on each island below to find out what we did and what I recommend doing on each island if you are going on this Caribbean cruise or a different cruise in the West Indies

  • St Johns Antigua
  • Friday Road Town Tortola
  • Gustavia St Barts (coundnt dock due to bad weather) / Philipsburg St Maarten
  • St Kitts
  • St Lucia
  • Kingstown St Vincent’s / Bequia Grenadines
  • Mayreau St Vincent’s
  • Scarborough Tobago
  • St George Granada
  • Bridgetown Barbados

You can do your own thing in port or do a excursion organised by the cruise line. I did a mixture and had a wonderful time exploring every island. I have been on another Caribbean cruise since and revisited the same islands and still found things to do as each island has so much going on.

It was so amazing being in the Caribbean there was a huge Royal Caribbean ship also in dock that made the Marco polo look tiny. There was a steel band playing that made it seem so authentic just how I imagined it to be. The weather was gorgeous not too hot and the sea was  so green absolutely beautiful.

We had sail away parties where we enjoyed cocktails out on deck, and one day we went to a deserted island where apart from a few locals we were the only people there and had a beach party where the cruise line took drinks and food to the beach so all we had to do was sit there eating and drinking it was paradise.

Some times we docked in port and just got off the ship other times we had to use tenders and in the crashing waves this was quite funny getting on and off the tenders. One day I decided to go bac to the ship early as the waves looked at though they were getting bigger and it turned out the last tender couldn’t get close enough to the ship and people had to jump obviously it was still done safely but I am glad I came back early.

View of the Marco Polo from a Caribbean Island
View of the Marco Polo from a Caribbean Island

On the way back to the UK we stopped at Lisbon and Funchal, so thats what I did on a Caribbean cruise, if you are thinking off going on one then I would highly recommend.

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  1. wow thats a heck of a cruise, so long..but as a blogger I am pretty sure I would enjoy is for the pure sake of….having the opportunity to LIVE somewhere for 5 weeks ahaha. Plus you would develop habits and routine and make such great friends 🙂 sounds awesome

  2. I’ve never gotten a cruise before, always been a bit worried I’ll get cabin fever! The woman who travels on cruises instead of living in a retirement home sounds cool though! What other countries did you end up going to?

  3. I like the fact that you are getting to take your time and see things. Most people only get to go for a week. That food looks really divine!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Lucky you – travelling for such a long time! I must admit, it wouldn’t be my cup of tea – but great if you enjoy cruises, it is a good way to get around and see so many different places.

  5. I definitely don’t think I could do 32 nights on a cruise! But then, I’ve never done one at all, so what do I know? That murder game sounds like a lot of fun, though I can understand your reasons for not taking part (I wouldn’t want randos touching my drinks, either!).

  6. Wow, 32 nights. Amazing! I’d love to do that. I’d also love to take a cruise on a smaller cruise line like this one rather than the huge ones I’ve been on.

  7. Ok I’ve done some cruises but holy cow, 32 nights!?!?!?! Hahaha you go girl! That food actually looks pretty good though so maybe I could handle it 😉

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