Have you ever been to a place that felt like paradise and had warm weather and aqua blue waters? Grand Turk, Turk and Caicos was exactly all of this for me. My husband and I went to Grand Turk by cruise, as one of our cruise port stops. I had researched this place before we went on the cruise. I was amazed at how blue the water was and how beautiful the island was by pictures. I could only imagine how amazing it looked in real life. When our ship got close to the island, my husband and I went outside to watch the ship pull up to the island. I was in complete amazement how blue the water truly was and how beautiful the island was from afar. Once the ship got closer to the dock, we went to wait in line to be able to get off the ship. For this port, we were going to go on a horseback ride and swim. I was absolutely thrilled and excited for this shore excursion.
When we arrived on the island we walked down a huge dock to meet the tour guide for our excursion. He greeted us and loaded us up into a small bus. The bus was open so we could feel the warmth of the island, feel the sun on our skin and see where we were going. As we passed through a couple of neighborhood and a landmark I was amazed at Grand Turks beauty for being such a small island. The houses on the island were beautiful and I was amazed at how big they were for such a small island.
The tour guide explained to us that to drive from one side of the island to the next would take you 15 minutes, if that. The ride from the dock to the stables we were going to took approximately 8 minutes. When we arrived to the stables we had a few minutes to walk around and get a feel for the place. In this moment I was extremely excited but so nervous for the swim, as I did not know what that would be like. I have rode horses many times, but never swam with them in the ocean. I had envisioned literally swimming in the ocean with the horses, I know I know silly right? We were given instructions on how to ride a horse, safety precautions and other rules we had to follow. We were then given a helmet and had to line up to be picked for which horse we would get to ride.
Anyone that knows me knows I’m deeply in love with painted horses. Unfortunately they only had one and I did not get the horse, I was extremely jealous in that moment of a 10 year old (really, how lame can I get). I was then chosen for a beautiful brown horse that was very calm, I was amazed at the horses beauty. I have always loved riding horses but it is definitely something you have to get used to. Trying to balance, keep in line and pay attention is not something I am the best at but I did well. We trotted around that side of the island near the stable, down roads and then around the stable. One of the workers even offered to take a picture of me with the horse, which I loved. We rode for approximately 30 minutes until we had to prepare for the swim part of the excursion. We changed into our bathing suits as the workers prepared the horses for the swim.
Little did I know that there are some horses that love to swim and others that are simply not made for swimming, kind of like humans right? We had to then line up again to be picked for our horses. I was second to be called to get on a beautiful black horse, little did I know that this is where my luck would run out. You know how I said I was second in line, well this worked against me as I got the horse that loved to kick other horses in the water and try to get out of the water. I had a blast but I had no idea what was going on until we got back onto shore and my husband informed me as to why everyone else was so far behind me. I did happen to capture a video of the whole thing and not drop my phone while doing it, that takes amazing skill right? We were in the water for about 10 minutes before we went back onto shore. We got dressed and had time to walk around for a bit before we loaded back up to go back to where our ship was docked at.
Once we were back to where our ship was docked at, my husband and I decided to get some lunch and chill by the beach. The island has a few places to get lunch, have a drink, shop and etc. We walked around for a bit until we decided to get a chair next to the beach and relax. This was very relaxing and I definitely needed the relaxing part of being on the island. In Grand Turk they have a section of the beach blocked off for people to swim in. What I truly loved about it was they had lifeguards to watch that part of the island. This was mainly so that tourists would not go near the path of the cruise ships when they are leaving. Grand Turk definitely provided a safe environment for their travelers and I was amazed by this. This was an island I would love to go back to. Even though it was on the smaller side, it was definitely a place I did not want to leave. The island is well taken care of, the locals are friendly and helpful and the ocean is a beautiful blue. The sand is perfection as well, this place will always hold a special place in my heart. This island was truly my idea of paradise.
Stay tuned on Wednesday to learn about Cozumel, Mexico. On Saturday I will be sharing what to pack for a cruise! See you soon!