Fifty-eight sailors joined us this year for our inaugural Postcard Jar Friends Group Cruise to the Eastern Caribbean on the Celebrity Reflection. Will you join us next year? This post is Part 2 of our Postcard Jar Friends Cruise recap. If you missed Part 1, CLICK HERE.
Day 4 – St. Thomas
On Day 4 of our group cruise aboard the Celebrity Reflection, our group was among the few treated to a sail-in party on the helipad as we cruised into Port Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas. What a view!
The ship’s officers welcomed us to the helipad while crew served champagne, mimosas, and orange juice. The weather was perfect and the scene was breathtaking as we slowly sailed toward the pier.
Everyone got an unobstructed view of the island as we docked in St. Thomas – the gateway isle of the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.
Our shore excursion in St. Thomas
Known for its beaches and snorkeling spots, St. Thomas offered lots of shore excursion options, including walking tours, shopping, beach time, and catamaran tours. We went on an open-air trolley tour of the island with some of our family and friends.
Others on our group cruise aboard the Celebrity Reflection opted for other excursions, while some just relaxed on board.
Dinner in Opus Main Dining Room
After a full day on the island, most of us gathered for dinner in the Opus Main Dining Room (often called “the MDR”). Our cruise fare included all meals and the food was very good. Each night, we’d have several menu options for appetizers, entrées, and desserts. A Sommelier came to our able at dinner and offered wine recommendation that would pair nicely with our food.
Dinners together in MDR were quite enjoyable, as we got to hear about everyone’s day and learn about what each person liked most about their day. This seafood stew below was one of Ann’s favorite dishes.
Group cruise on the Celebrity Reflection Day 5 – St. Maarten
The morning of Day 5 found us docked in St. Maarten and were reminded how wonderful it is that when cruising your hotel actually takes you places. We love waking up each day to a new and exciting view of someplace different than the day before. Several mornings, we enjoyed coffee or a complimentary room service breakfast on our balcony.
Our speedboat shore excursion in St. Maarten
Our knowledgeable travel agents at Dream Vacations recommended a phenomenal shore excursion in St. Maarten and about half the group participated.
Everyone divided into smaller groups and boarded speed boats for a tour around the island. Our boats glided through the harbor as we looked at multimillion dollar yachts. Then, we sped across the water to several different stops for snorkeling in the turquoise waters. We even got some beach time!
The excursion lasted most of the day, but that was just fine as it included lunch and drinks. One highlight of the tour came when we stopped near Maho Beach and watched some large airplanes landing. The runway on St. Maarten is so close to the beach that you feel like you can almost touch the planes. Click on the picture below to watch a plane land. If you’re at work, turn the volume down.
Day 6 – Sea Day
The end of our cruise featured back-to-back sea days, which was glorious! Think you’d be bored on a sea day? Think again. Here are 50+ things to do on a cruise on sea days.
Friends of Postcard Jar found all kinds of things to do on our sea days. On Day 6, some read a book by the pool, while others visited the spa for a facial or acupuncture. Still more played cards in the game room, shopped for jewelry, enjoyed cocktails or tried their luck in the onboard casino.
A tour of our Celebrity Sky Suite
Mid-morning that day, we invited our guests to tour our Sky Suite and learn more about The Retreat amenities and services onboard Celebrity Cruises ships. Our butler, Shetty, spoiled us with fresh fruit, pastries and drinks as everyone visited our suite.
Wonder what the “suite life” if all about. We wrote a blog post about The Retreat that you can read HERE. During our tour, one of The Retreat concierges, Patricia, and The Retreat manager stopped by to answer questions about Retreat services and visit with guests.
Sushi at Sushi on 5
At lunchtime, a few of us met at Sushi on 5 for a casual lunch. We ordered several sushi rolls to share and had the best time trying new foods and visiting with each other. It was almost like a sushi buffet!
Sushi on 5 is a specialty restaurant where you can order dishes a la carte for an additional fee. Don’t like raw fish? No worries. There are several rolls and options that are fully cooked.
The 2024 Postcard Jar Friends Cruise reveal!
In the afternoon, everyone gathered in one of the conference rooms on the ship for an exciting announcement. A representative from Celebrity Cruises and our Dream Vacations host, Mara, helped us reveal our 2024 cruise destination and dates. Click here see where we’re going!
Right after the announcement, Future Cruises representatives were available to help guests book the Postcard Jar Friends Cruise 2024 and secure the exclusive pricing and benefits! (You can also get these specials–just fill out this form to begin the booking process.)
Dressed up for evening chic night
Day 6 was also the second evening chic night, so many of us dressed up a bit more and had our photos taken in the Grand Foyer.
We were also able to get almost all of our Postcard Jar Friends Cruisers together for a group photo on the staircase!
Day 7 – Sea Day
Our final day on board had lots of optional activities, as well. We worked with our Retreat concierge team and were able to offer a special behind-the-scenes tour at a discounted price. More than 20 from our group went on the tour and we all learned so much about how the ship works.
The group was able to tour the back areas of the dining room as well as the galley. The tour continued through the laundry, engine control room, and even the space where they handle all the recycling.
Our tour ended with the group enjoying the magnificent view from the navigational bridge. We all wore masks in certain areas so protect the health of the officers and crew stationed there.
Exclusive martini tasting
It might have been the last day, but our travel agents at Dream Vacations had one more exclusive (and included) experience for us: a private martini tasting. The martini bar opened early for our special presentation and tasting. In our post-cruise surveys, guests rated this as their favorite special event.
The group gathered at the ice-topped Martini Bar for a first-class tasting. Each of us was served six mini martinis to try as bartenders explained what was in each cocktail. Some of guests preferred non-alcoholic drinks, which was just fine. They enjoyed similar mocktails at the bar as we watched the flair bartenders show off their drink making and bottle tossing skills.
We had so many people interested in this activity, that we had to split it up across two days. That wasn’t a problem, though, the bartenders were happy to make sure everyone had a terrific experience.
We sampled six different martinis, everything from a traditional-style martini (but made with vodka) to a raspberry martini and even a lychee martini!
Needless to say, a good time was had by all! And besides these few photos – what happens at the Martini Bar, stays at the Martini Bar. Right, Gary?
Time to say farewell
After dinner that night, the group again gathered in the Grand Foyer for a final night of Silent Disco. People danced, listened, sang, and said their “until next times,” to each other. The best news is that many of our inaugural Postcard Jar Friends Cruise sailors will be traveling with us again in 2024!
We’d love to have you join us!
We’ll be sailing to Alaska in May of 2024 on the Celebrity Edge. As of 2/19/23, more than half of the 50 cabins we reserved are already sold. You can secure your spot (and exclusive pricing) on our Friends Cruise with a $500 (per room) refundable deposit, so don’t delay. You must book through our travel agent using THIS FORM. For more information and pricing for our Friends Cruise to Alaska in 2024, CLICK HERE. We’d love to sail with you!