My wife Hope and I got married last year; part of the wedding gift from both our parents was a Royal Caribbean Cruise tour of Turks and Caicos. It was a seven day treat to explore the beauty of its legendary Atlantic Isles. We boarded the ship Jewel of the Seas in Miami Florida, sailed and enjoyed its amenities for a day before getting to their designated Port of Call on Grand Turk Island, Turks and Caicos. This was indeed the best way to enjoy our perfect honeymoon in the Caribbean!
From the ship we admired the crystal clear waters of Grand Turk with its wonderful shades of blue. My wife and I got all the more excited when we landed and walked on its fine sands that were soft like sugar. We had a great time swimming together in its refreshing warm waters. The palm trees that lined its white sand beach provided perfect shade from the sun. We rode a small boat to get to Gibbs Cay, it’s on the other side of the island and very secluded. A guide helped us paddle to get to the cay and get up close and personal with stingrays. They were literally swimming below our feet! The operators gather them up and had our pictures taken with them. We fed them with sardines and it was such a thrill! The place was also a great snorkeling site, I saw conchs (conk), colorful tropical fishes, and even saw a giant turtle swimming under the ocean.
From here we rode a Catamaran to get to the Library Reef. We float 15 feet above the cluster of corals and it was beautiful. There were lots of fish and our guide would dive down to feed the fishes and attract more. My wife and I are both PADI certified divers; we dive down together and saw a barracuda, eels, lobster, tangs, and parrot fish. At the ocean floor the sun lights through the clear waters and brightens the view of the corals and its colorful marine life. We end our first day for some drinks at the Margarita Ville and made new friends with some locals before heading back to our docked ship.
We started our tour the next morning with a visit to the Turks and Caicos National Museum and although it was small, it was nice and very informative. It’s a great way to learn about its history and the treasures of the deep. The museum has interesting reading materials about the early settlers in Grand Turk, with an excellent video, exhibits and artifacts from a famous shipwreck. We shopped for some souvenirs and embroidered shirts at the museum’s gift shop. From here we rented a moped just outside the cruise center and drove to the Naked Conch and tried out its Conch fritters (salty, but yummy!)
The rest of the day was spent exploring all the other reefs in Grand Turk. First on our list was to snorkel at the Coral Gardens Reef, just 30 minutes walk from Sibonne Hotel it holds an abundant underwater life and marine creatures. I took a photo of a giant starfish, and some nurse sharks with my underwater camera. Then we head next to Sun Ray Beach, perfectly located at the pier near our docked ship. I found empty conch shells littering the sand. The beach was quite long and the Cruise Center with shops was a bit crowded. Just outside the pool area we saw an open air memorial where the John Glenn’s space capsule splashed.
Then we checked out the Columbus Landfall National Falls, it covers the entire western side of Grand Turk and has more dive sites for snorkeling and swimming. We head through the deep diving sites at the Tunnels, and went 75 feet down to see underwater walls. It was cool diving through the “arches” at the Mac Donald’s Arch. This underwater coral arch leads to a seven thousand feet drop off the wall where we found more nurse sharks and a 6 foot lime green moray. I especially loved our diving at Black Forest because it was shallow and black corals abound over the edge of the overhang. I took photographs of cuddly groupers, deep sea turtles, and other marine life critters.
We spent 4 days exploring the tranquil island of Providenciales. It was fun exploring the mesmerizing waters of Grace Bay. It boasts of fine white sand, gorgeous blue water and a coral reef that protects the beach from the worst of the winter ocean swell. We snorkeled and kayaked over its chilly and calm waters. We went for a dive on Bight Reef and followed along its “snorkel trail” where we saw a couple of turtles and giant stingrays. The reef was nice and they have the inside area roped off to allow the corals to grow. We snorkeled further at the Turtle Cove in Taylor Bay, a nicely hidden and undeveloped beach. We swam in its shallow waters and had a picnic under the shades and beach chairs. There were clusters of fancy villas at the end of its ocean point road. There was hardly any crowd so we had it pretty much to ourselves. Then we checked the next beach called the Sapodilla Bay. It is a great beach perfect for children because of its waist deep shallow waters. We snorkeled and visit a sunken ship on its transparent and clear waters. It’s a hidden gem and certainly one of the best beaches I have seen on this island.
We head next to experience the Sail Beluga Adventure. It was an exciting, full day sail and a romantic afternoon cruise of the Beluga Beach lead by Captain Nik. He was personable, laid back, and competent sailor who made us feel welcome and showed us the great side of the islands. It was very relaxing and he gave the free rum punch and tasty snacks as we sailed. The tour was exceptional and he brought us to a snorkeling site where we found plenty of marine life and gorgeous reefs. After this we took some time to tee off at the Provo Golf Club, the only golf course in Provo. It was beautiful with lots of lush flowers and palm trees dotting its course. The course was fair and being avid golfers, we both had a great time playing on their well maintained fairways. I was surprised by the challenging courses and water hazards. I got more amused at its conch shell tee markers. Later on we enjoyed a two hour Seadoo Safari at the Sun and Fun Sea Sports, the tour includes a visit to a conch farm, visit to Parrot Cay where the rich and famous have homes, and a visit to a cargo ship stuck in the sand during the hurricane.
The highlight of our vacation was a visit to the Provo Ponies, which my wife enjoyed so much. She likes riding horses and the experience of riding it all the way to the beach thrilled her even more! We were welcomed by Camille (the owner) and joined ten other couples for the one hour trail ride. The staff was very friendly and we were given guides to help us enjoy our horse riding adventure. The horses were beautiful, well behaved, and obviously well cared for. They brief us ahead of the personality and story of our horse to make it easier to understand them when they are uncomfortable. We were given a white beautiful horse named Dreamer. When our horse got into the water, the ride itself became breathtakingly amazing! We both enjoyed the great ride and the beautiful scenery of the Provo Beach. We rode every day while we were there and it was an enjoyable afternoon of horseback riding with an amazing sunset at the end. Just perfect! It was too beautiful for words.
We truly enjoyed our romantic honeymoon on the islands of Turks and Caicos. We’re going back there this year on our wedding anniversary to renew our vows. I have already booked our next cruise to enjoy our second honeymoon.