Soaring the Caribbean

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Natalie Allen - Travel Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen - Travel Photographer and Writer
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Natalie Allen - Travel Photographer + Writer
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Turks & Caicos, The Bahamas, and The Dominican Republic

“Cruises are for total normies”, I’d whisper to my red-headed firecracker gal pal, KJ, as we boarded the Carnival Breeze in Orlando’s stuffy Port Carneval. The carpeted staircase leading to Deck 8 towards our stateroom number smelled of fresh Lemon Pinal with a running line of children anxious to hit the lido deck. We meandered through the crowded halls, bumping shoulders with passengers in search for the nearest cocktail on board.

A nice, strong Moscow mule with speckled fresh lime tipped the perfect treat after our red-eye flight. My mouth felt in need of something cold and wet and riveting; especially since I misplaced my favorite Yeti water bottle on the flight from Phoenix to Miami (can’t think too much about that one, otherwise I’ll grow emotional). We sat atop Deck 10 under the warm Floridian sunshine that later imprinted an infinite number of suns spots across our pasty skin. We talked about life and love and loss till our tongues grew numb and our drinks shined empty. The Atlantic’s oceanic sway moved our bodies in a sweet, gentle manner. 

We didn’t have a care in the world. It was absolutely perfect.

Daytime meant timeless soaks in the Caribbean gold, while nighttime meant bottles of Malbec, fancy oysters, and hours upon hours of careless dancing under bright purple nightclub lights. We’d laugh until our bellies hurt and flirted with 80 year old men at dinner because it’s a cruise, so why the hell not? I’d write for an hour, without hesitation, in my leather bound journal on my stateroom’s balcony staring into the open abyss. Kj and I would joke about pirates invading the ship, talking in our best Johnny Depp impersonation voice.

There’s a sort of inexplicable happiness I feel when sousing open waters under bright, blue skies. It reminds me of the Lake Powell days back in ‘04 when my cousins and I would fight over who got the open-bow seat as our uncles ripped through the lake’s tide. We crash and bump against the waters with force, love, and vigilance. We’d hit the water so damn hard my spine would nearly break in half.

Words cannot express the amount of gratitude for this trip. I loved every minute.