Who doesn’t dream of waving goodbye to the gloomy British weather, the stresses and strains of everyday life and spending a week or two soaking up the sun in paradise? The Caribbean was made for cruising; a cruise offers the chance to explore more unique and beautiful islands than you may think possible during one holiday and, with the wonderful selection of Caribbean cruises available from P&O Cruises (click here for more info), that dream could soon be a reality.
For most, the powder-soft sand, swaying palm trees and turquoise waters of the Caribbean are more than enough to convince you that you’re in paradise. However, there is so much more to this wonderfully diverse group of islands than just the idyllic beaches; each one has their own wealth of hidden treasures to uncover.
You’ll find an incredible array of architectural styles, cultures and cuisines thanks to the influences from British, French, Dutch and Spanish settlers. Additionally, there are many historic harbours, bustling markets, colourful towns and lush tropical forests just waiting to be explored too.
The locals will also help to make your experience truly unforgettable; their easy-going attitude and laid-back lifestyle is infectious. They will go out of their way to make you feel welcome and you’ll soon find yourself slipping into their relaxed way of life.
So, let’s imagine that you have booked your cruise and are now enjoying the holiday of a lifetime in the Caribbean…it’s not hard to envisage, is it? Perhaps you’ve been making the most of the glorious weather by relaxing on a beach on the secluded Prickly Pear Island – one of Antigua’s best kept secrets, or, maybe you’ve been snorkelling in the crystal waters of the Norman Island, and have discovered an extraordinary collection of corals, sponges and tropical fish. However you’ve spent your time, now picture yourself back on board your elegant P&O Cruises ship, with the sun about to set on another perfect day… The only thing you would need to make this scene complete is a delicious cocktail in your hand; it’s what the Caribbean is known for after all!
P&O Cruises has a team of talented mixologists who believe that a cocktail should not just be refreshing, but that the exotic flavours and ingredients should also reflect each cocktail’s place of origin. They specialise in simple, classic combinations which deliver delicious bursts of flavour such as hints of revitalising fresh fruit or tangy citrus.
Everyone has a favourite cocktail, but according to the mixologist I was speaking with, the perfect accompaniment to a Caribbean sunset has to be the piña colada; possibly the most famous cocktail of the Caribbean.
The piña colada is silky smooth, yet refreshing. The version you will be served on board your P&O Cruises ship is made with Bacardi and combines the light and lively taste of smooth white rum, pineapple and coconut. Blended and served ice cold, this scrumptious cocktail will enliven your senses in much the same way that the Caribbean will.
Or, for a truly tropical experience, you could try P&O Cruises’ very own signature cocktail, the Sundowner. It’s created with Bacardi rum, tropical juices, maraschino and exotic syrups, shaken and served long. As the name suggests, the Sundowner is best enjoyed in the evening, and is just the thing you need after a hazy summer’s day at sea.
If rum is not to your taste though, worry not; P&O Cruises has a wide range of cocktails and mocktails available on board every ship. Although availability may vary, they are all freshly prepared and I’m certain you’ll soon find your own, personal favourite.
Finally, I have to give the elegant cocktail evenings on board P&O Cruises’ ships a mention too. These much-loved evenings are a firm favourite amongst passengers and offer the chance for ladies to shine in their cocktail dresses, whilst most of the gentlemen choose to wear a tuxedo. Passengers can mingle over drinks as they take in the sunset, enjoy an evening of a la carte fine dining or a night in the casino. This delightful event is a must for anyone who loves a touch of glitz and glamour and is an experience that will stay with you for a long time to come.