As a passenger of the 2017 Holistic Holiday at Sea voyage, March 11–18, you will find ample opportunities for relaxation, fitness, education, and entertainment aboard the ship. Did you know that there are also dozens of activities off the boat? Beginning and ending in Miami, the cruise stops at four exotic ports of call: Ochos Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; and Nassau, Bahamas. From cultural tours to sports-oriented activities, more than 60 pre-arranged excursions—from Monday, March 13, to Friday, March 18, (with the exception of Thursday)—are available for older and younger guests with a range of tastes.
Explore Ochos Rios & Dunn’s River Falls
Six excursions include vegan lunch options. One such activity takes place on Monday, March 13, in Jamaica. The “Ochos Rios & Dunn’s River Falls” is a favorite among returning guests. After a scenic drive, you’ll reach the falls, a recreational area and park that has an interesting history. Originally named “Las Chorreras” by the Spaniards (which translates to the waterfalls or the springs), the Falls are near the site of a battle by the same name that decided ownership of the island in 1657. It was fought between the English and Spanish Expeditionary Force from Cuba and the English proved victorious. In 1972, the land was ultimately acquired by the Jamaican government. Over the years, the name “Ocho Rios” replaced “Las Chorreras.” It translates to eight rivers, although there are only four rivers nearby. (And each one flows into the Caribbean Sea.)
Excursions Offer Opportunities to Socialize
Robert Cheeke is an award-winning author, two-time bodybuilding champion, vegan athlete, and touring public speaker. He runs Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness. In his first year, he dreamed of becoming a presenter the following year and his wish soon came true. This cruise will be his sixth as a presenter. The cruise and its excursions have been hugely influential in his life. (He also met his now fiancée the first year!)
“As the schedule would have it, four of the past six cruises have also landed on my March 2nd birthday,” says Robert. “That usually meant friends taking me out on excursions to participate in the fun and adventure to be had beyond the cruise ship itself. That’s really part of the whole experience—taking part in some of the onshore options for exploration. For example, I have kayaked and floated down a river in an inner tube in Jamaica, have snorkeled with the stingrays in Grand Cayman, and on a past cruise, before my time with Holistic Holiday at Sea, I climbed the famous Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.”
Robert describes his experience at the Falls. “After hiking through a lush environment you meet the nearly 200-foot tall Dunn’s River Falls and have the opportunity to climb directly on rocks while water descends all around you. You’ll likely hold hands with a neighbor to make a human chain for some added safety during the somewhat challenging climb and you will be impressed by the views and the scenic environment.” As an alternative to the climb, there are also safe spots from which you can watch the others ascend the falls. There’s also a beautiful tropical forest to explore with ferns, bamboo, ginger lilies, orchids, palms, and breadfruit trees. Following a buffet lunch by the sea, guests can take a sightseeing drive around Ocho Rios.
Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Robert also swam with stingrays and snorkeled in the open sea. On Tuesday, March 14, in George Town, guests can meet these friendly fish on “Cayman Beach Break & Stingray City Combo with Vegan Lunch.” The first part of this tour includes a trip to Stingray City on a fully-equipped snorkel boat, boarded from the Cayman Islands Yacht Club. There guests can feed and play with stingrays—a magical moment! Afterwards, guests return to the Yacht Club and are driven to the Seven Mile Beach, a beautiful stretch of seemingly endless sand.
“Though it was a bit intimidating to be so close to stingrays and actually touch them, it was also exhilarating and a memorable experience,” says Robert. “After sailing out to sea and putting an anchor down, snorkeling in the open sea, away from the beach, was also intimidating, but exciting.’
Whatever You Decide to do—Have Fun!
A full menu of excursions awaits you. “Regardless of what adventure you set out on, enjoy everything the vegan cruise has to offer, from the gourmet meals to the social events, from the lectures and classes to Broadway-style theater shows. There is much to enjoy from early morning until late at night. I will be leading daily fitness classes and giving lectures about plant-based health and fitness, calling upon my experiences from more than 20 years as a plant-based athlete. I look forward to seeing you on board the Holistic Holiday at Sea vegan cruise in March”
Be sure to check the available excursions out here and pre-book any “must do” activities. Here’s a tip on booking: Pre-booking online is strongly recommended, although onboard booking is also available if that is not possible for you (select your top choices and try to book the first day of the cruise). Many excursions will sell out quickly through onboard booking, and pre-booking saves you the hassle of waiting in line. Please note that the six excursions with a vegan lunch must be pre-booked with no onboard booking available.