Traveling to Guadeloupe with TradeWinds – Episode 83: PaleOMG Uncensored Podcast

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Today on the podcast, I’m chatting about my recent trip to Guadeloupe for my 30th birthday with TradeWinds. You can see all the photos from my trip here!

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Episode 83 Transcription!

This episode pf PaleOMG Uncensored is brought to you by Aaptiv. Aaptiv produces audio-based workouts created by certified personal trainers available through a mobile app. New members get 30% off an annual membership. Visit Aaptiv.com/PaleOMG.

This is Juli Bauer from PaleOMG and you are listening to PaleOMG Uncensored.

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Juli Bauer: Well hello darling! It’s me. It’s me, Juli. Sitting here on the couch with the dog squished beside me in the couch. Between my leg and the couch. This poor dog is so sad. He was sick the other night. He woke me up at midnight, and it was dumping rain here in Colorado, for an entire day. Which was wonderful, because we got new plants. And that means I didn’t have to take care of them.

But I soon will. I hate having to remember to water things. I already keep a dog alive. Why do I have to keep plants alive? Why do they have to look nice? Why do I have to be the person on the block that doesn’t have an ugly yard? Stupid.

So Jackson had to go out, to the bathroom, at midnight. Which he never has to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. So he had to go. And he was out in the dumping rain trying to go to the bathroom, and he couldn’t go. They have their rounded, awkward back look. He’s just trying, and can’t. And he finally comes in, and I get him to go back to bed. He woke us up again at 2, and my husband took him out. And he had the same issue. And then my husband slept with him on the couch, and he had to wrap him up in a towel because he was so wet. And then he slept on my husband’s chest. Like a little baby! It was so sad.

And then he was still not feeling right the next day. But I think he’s back to it. And then me being a stupid mother. We were out of coffee, so I went to Starbucks, and he got a pupuccino. Probably not a great idea when he was constipated and then had diarrhea. {laughs} I’m a cool mom.

But, I’m so happy to be home, too, my little puppy dog. I missed him so much! I don’t know how people; I guess I travel all the time. But thank god, my sister-in-law watches our dog when we’re gone. Or, if she’s on the trip with us, and my husband’s not here, we have a friend from the gym who stays at our house. So that’s nice. But it’s so nice when my sister-in-law watches him. Because she’s one of my best friends, and I trust her so much. She might even love Jackson more than me.

She texted me the day we got home, and then she left our house. She’s like; I’m bored, I want to hang out with the panda again. Because we call Jackson, my dog, the panda. I don’t know why. I don’t know how it happened. But all we do is call him panda at this point. My husband thinks it’s so annoying. {laughs}

Anyway. Let’s talk about what you came here for. Maybe. My recent trip! To Guadeloupe. I’d never even heard of this island before. It’s in the Caribbean. You know, there’s this long string of Caribbean islands, where you fly over and it’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen in your life. Flying through the Caribbean is just so stunning. I took so many pictures from my flight. I’m like; what am I going to do with these pictures? And it’s through the sh*tty airplane window, so it’s not like these are great quality photos. But it’s just so stunning when you’re seeing it.

But anyway. In case you didn’t hear my podcast about it before. I also did a post about it. Back in August, I had a girlfriend, she invited me on a trip. They had two friends back out of their trip that they had booked, so she invited me. My husband couldn’t go, so my sister-in-law went with me. And it was with this boat company, this catamaran company called Trade Winds. And I had never heard of Trade Winds before, I’d never seen this type of trip.

It’s pretty much a yachting experience. You’re on this beautiful boat. You have your own cabin. And it’s an all-inclusive style trip. So all your meals and drinks are made on the boat for you. And there’s a captain and a first mate. So you have a little crew. And they take over the boat, and they sail, and they cook for you. You go to all these different places.

So the first time I went on this trip with my girlfriend, we were on a boat of 10 people, and we went to St. Martin, St. Barts, and Anguilla. And it was truly some of the coolest places I’ve ever seen. I cannot say enough about St. Martin, St. Barts, and Anguilla. It was the most stunning beaches I’ve ever seen. It was the most relaxing trip I’ve ever been on. It was so much fun.

So after I did this trip with Trade Winds, I wanted to make it happen again. I was able this time to work with Trade Winds. They sponsored my trip to celebrate my 30th birthday at sea. So this trip was so freaking cool.

So Guadeloupe is a French-Caribbean island. It’s lower than St. Barts and Anguilla. It’s lower down the chain of islands. So when you’re in these other; like St. Barts and Anguilla, most people speak English. And then on Guadeloupe, pretty much nobody speaks English. When we were traveling this entire time, I met one person in any of the stops we went to that spoke English. One guy. Everybody else speaks French, and they don’t speak any English. And they don’t understand what the hell you’re saying. And I don’t understand what they’re saying. It was just very interesting.

Ok, let’s start from the beginning. I need to pull this post up so I don’t miss any key factors of this trip. So we did a redeye flight. The boat, it boards at 5 p.m. on a Saturday, and then you get back to the marina on a Friday, and you leave Saturday morning. You get off the boat Saturday morning. So it’s a Saturday to Saturday trip.

So we left Friday night. We took an American Airlines flight from Denver to Miami. We took the redeye, so it left at midnight. We got to Miami by like 6 a.m. so we slept on the plane to Miami. And we got there in Miami, and we had breakfast. And just hung out. We had 4 hours to kill, but actually it went by super fast. And then we went from Miami {laughs} to Guadeloupe.

So you have a 4-hour flight to Miami, and then another I think 4-hour flight to Guadeloupe. So it’s really not too bad. I don’t love 4-hour flights, but it’s really not that bad when it comes to traveling.

So we took that redeye out, and then we got there to Guadeloupe by 2:30. And then they have someone meet you at the airport. And you meet the other people who are going to boat that day. Whether they’re on your boat, or maybe a different boat. And I didn’t know that at the time. So we’re in this group of people, and then we take a bus over to the marina, which was like 10, 15 minutes away. And you check in, and you pay your all-inclusive fee if you haven’t paid that already. Because you’ve already paid for your spot on the boat. And I’ll talk about memberships in a second. But you’ve already paid that, so you usually have to pay your all-inclusive fee. If not, you’re just checking in, saying hello. And then usually there’s a restaurant right at the marina.

There was this great restaurant, and it was called Key West, but it’s not spelled Key West like we would spell it. And it had the best food. We actually ate there our last night in Guadeloupe, and the food was bomb. I had a frozen margarita; and that’s exactly what you should be having when you land for a vacation; for a tropical vacation. You should be having a margarita. Or like a pina colada. And I went hard. I got two margaritas, frozen margaritas. And they were good. They weren’t like the sh*tty super sugary kind. They were so bomb.

And then at 5, you load onto your boat. So, there are three kinds of boats. There’s cruising class, luxury class, and then there’s flagship class. Cruising is the cheapest option. It’s the smallest option. And then it goes up from there. We were on the luxury boat, so we were on the middle of the three boats. And this has 5 cabins. And then I believe there’s a cabin for the crew, as well.

The cabins; everybody always asks about the cabins, and they’re actually pretty decent sized. I don’t feel claustrophobic in it. And you have a bathroom; it’s a working bathroom. You can go number one, you can go number two. You don’t have to worry about that. It’s quite lovely. Because, I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a houseboat, but I’ve done a houseboat in lake Powell, and there is no going number two on that bathroom. And if you do, you’re the worst. Because then, you have to tow this giant houseboat, and things start moving around. And things start getting very stinky on that boat. So there’s pretty much a floating portapotty in lake Powell that we would always go to in the mornings.

But you don’t have to worry about that on this boat. And every sink has running water. You can get water for your water bottle from the sink, but they also have bottled water and everything like that. So they have a ton of amenities.

Anyway, you get on the boat and you’re greeted by your crew members. We had a British couple. On my last trip, it was two young guys. And this was a British couple. I think they were in their late 30s. Michael and Helen; and I freaking loved Helen. Helen was so amazing. When I would have to go take photos in my swimsuit, ashore, for social media stuff, she’d be like; do you need any props? Do you want champagne? Do you want flowers? She was so freaking helpful, and so kind, and so engaging. Because I was always the first person up and she was making breakfast and I would just sit and talk to her for a while. And I’m sure she didn’t love that. Because I’m like; hi, do you want to talk? I love talking in the morning. Al-la-la-la-la. But she acted like she did. She was the best.

So you get on the boat, and you’re greeted by the crew members. And snacks. And drinks. So you have cocktails ready to go, or virgin drinks if you don’t drink. And then snacks. We had hummus and veggies and crackers and somebody said they loved puff Cheetos, so they had puffed Cheetos. And that’s something that’s super cool about Trade Winds. They send you a sheet beforehand that you fill out. It asks you your dietary restrictions. It asks you your preferences. So I said I’m gluten free. And I like tequila for drinks to make homemade margaritas. And I also like sparkling water. So there was a sh*t ton of sparkling water. They had gluten free options for everything we had. It was so cool.

So when you get on the boat, they’re going to have everything you need right there. They’re going to make sure they make it happen. And that’s sometimes hard in places. Here in the US, in most areas, especially busy cities, you can find everything you need. But you got a French place; maybe they’re not going to have gluten free, or good gluten free options. But they made it happen.

So, just a little; if you want to go to the Caribbean, Trade Winds has all kinds of different options. They have Antigua; I think that’s how you say it. British Virgin Islands. The Grenadines. St. Martin, which is where I went. Guadeloupe, which is where I went again. Abacos, Exumas, and Belize. And I’ve heard that the British Virgin Islands, the Grenadines, and Belize are just bananas. They’re amazing.

But back to the point. I’ll talk about the different options they have as well, other than the Caribbean. So you get on the boat, and then you also meet the other people on your boat. So with Trade Winds, if you’re a member, you can rent out the entire boat. You can purchase points for the entire boat. And I’ll talk about what the points mean later.

But you could rent out the entire boat, and then your friends could just pay you for their cabin. Or you can just get on a boat with strangers, which I think is what most people do. So the first boat I went on in St. Martin, my friends’ friend had rented out the entire boat, and then we just paid for our room. So this was different. We were all; didn’t know each other.

This was really cool. There was a couple from Vale, here in Colorado. Which was super fun, because now we’re like; hey, we have new friends in Colorado that we can actually go visit and hang out with in Vale. And they were so nice. And then the woman, she brought her daughter and her daughter’s friend. So they had two cabins; the boyfriend and girlfriend, and then the daughter and her friend. And then there was a couple from LA. I think they were in their late 50s, early 60s. And then there was a woman, just by herself, from San Diego. So, there were 9 people and the two crew members.

And you meet and get to know everybody. And luckily, you have drinks, so if you’re feeling uncomfortable, maybe you just have a hard time meeting new people. Who knows. They make you feel very comfortable right away. The staff works hard to make you feel comfortable.

And I was feeling buzzed at this point. I was going off not much sleep, because is sleeping on an airplane ever real sleep? I don’t know. Especially like 5 hours when you’re leaving at midnight. So as soon as I had my two margaritas at the marina, and then I had some drinks on the boat, I was feeling comfortable as hell to talk to everybody and get to know everybody.

So you have your drinks and your snacks, and then they kind of tell you what’s going to go down. Every day, your captain will pull out a map, and will show you the route he’s going to take sailing. And so he told us; we’re going to sail out to just a safe bay. Because it’s 5 p.m. by then. We’re just going to watch the sunset, have dinner, and then hang out on the boat. The first day is super chill.

I think in St. Martin, we went and people snorkeled right away. But this, I’m pretty sure. I don’t totally remember. {laughs} Probably because I was buzzed. But for us, we just sailed out. We went to a nice safe bay that we could anchor at and had dinner and got to know each other.

And it was funny because every single night, I went to bed by like 9:30-10. And even on the St. Martin trip, I did the same. And we had way more partiers on the St. Martin trip. But, I just like going to bed by 9:30-10. I like waking up early and watching the sunrise, and hanging out on the boat when it’s that quiet morning on the water. I just love that.

So, the first night, we were up until midnight, 1 in the morning. The couple from Vale were just so funny. The woman was so freaking hilarious. I loved listening to her. She had the best little one-liners. She had just such quick wit.

Anyway. After that. The next morning; every morning you wake up, you’re going to have breakfast. They make breakfast for you. They have coffee and tea and whatever you like to have for your drink ready to go. So I would wake up at f*cking 6 in the morning. I’d try to stay in bed until 6:15, until heard the coffee pot go off. {laughs} And on my St. Martin trip, I would wake up before the crew members, because I got up so early. And I just told them; I’ll just make the coffee.

So this is what I would do. I would hear the coffee pot go off, I’d get up, have coffee, talk to Helen, the woman on the boat. And then I would either go workout or just go watch the sunrise. Because, you’re in the Caribbean, how do you not? Come on!

And the best part was the first day we woke up in Guadeloupe, I turned 30! Because my birthday was on Sunday, and we sailed out on Saturday night. So I woke up 30. And there was, I think there was a sign up that said happy anniversary in French. {laughs} Because I don’t think they could find a happy birthday. Which was hilarious.

So they had balloons out, they had a happy anniversary sign. {laughs} Which, I mean it was me and my husband’s anniversary the week before, so it really worked. And then you have breakfast, and this time we were welcomed with French pastries, because we were in a French Caribbean country. And I tried one bite, and they were delicious. But they had gluten free bread for me every morning, and it was so good.

Anyway. After that, we went to; where did we go? I think. We went to this place where; I’m forgetting. It was like Jacque Cousteau’s underwater reserve. I forget where exactly that is in Guadeloupe. Because, again, all these places are in French, so I don’t even know how to pronounce them. I’m proud of myself for even knowing how to say Jacque.

So, it sucked because the first day was raining. So that was a bummer. But you can’t change the weather. So we went to this underwater reserve. And for me, I just don’t like snorkeling. I don’t like diving. I’ve never dove. But I don’t like being deep in the water. And it’s funny, because I’m a swimmer. I grew up swimming. I’m a good swimmer. But when we’re snorkeling, I feel like I’m in the fish’s house. I’m in your territory, and you know what? Fish are pooping up a storm. So as soon as you put your mouth in it, you’re just eating fish poop. I don’t know, I’m just not into it.

So everybody went to this underwater reserve, except me. I just stayed on the boat by myself. And I did a workout by myself, and just hung out. And it was the perfect amount of time. But it was super beautiful. And for people who like snorkeling and scuba diving, these trips are amazing. They’re amazing no matter what, because I didn’t do either on either one of my trips. And I still had the best time, because I just like floating in the water.

So, next we went to Iles Des Saintes. And we went to this island on Iles Des Saintes. So there’s the island of Guadeloupe, and before that there’s Iles Des Saintes, and much bigger of an island of Marie Galante. So it’s like three; and I’m pretty sure they’re all still Guadeloupe. I don’t know. I have zero idea. But we first went to Iles Des Saintes, which is a much smaller group of islands right below Guadeloupe. And we stopped in this little mountain side that you can hike up, and you can go to this area. And I don’t even know what it was called. I wish I remembered the name. But it’s one of these four that you can hike to the top of. And there are baby goats everywhere. Goats and baby goats. All around.

It’s so funny, because you know how baby goats sound like screaming children? So there’s screaming baby children all over the place. And sadly, there were a lot of goat carcasses. Sorry to pull down the mood. That part was sad, and gross, and weird. But then you’re in this fort. This old area they built to fight off people coming to their island. Does that make sense? I think it was built in the 1700s or 1800s. And then it became a dance club. And then it became something else. But it’s this historical monument that we went to that was super cool.

And if you want to see any of these photos that I’m talking about, so you actually get a visual of what I’m saying, and me feeding a baby goat, that’s on www.PaleOMG.com under the travel section.

So after we went to this amazing little area, it was such a crazy stunning 360 view. Then you had this old historical monument, and baby goats. We went to the cutest freaking down that was in Iles Des Saintes. And it was Terre-de-Haut. I don’t know how to speak French at all. But we pulled up to this little town on this island, and it’s the most picturesque town. It’s so freaking cute. It kind of reminded me of Solvang in a way, but more of a French twist to it. Solvang was in California, in the Santa Ynez Valley. I went there, and talked about it in a blog post.

But, it has this very; almost Dutch look to it, but with a French twist in a way, if that makes sense. Honestly, there’s one building that makes me feel that way. But it’s the cutest, beautiful, romantic little town. I loved it. It was probably my favorite part of the trip.

When you’re on the sailing week with Trade Winds, they ask you to eat two nights ashore. So, midweek, we went on Tuesday, we ate ashore. Because then they clean the boat. They just do a deep cleaning, and they change the sheets and everything. And you eat ashore your last night once you pull into the marina.

So we ate ashore at this restaurant called Couleurs du monde. And it was this bright, super festive looking place. Everything is French creole in this French Caribbean island. So I had a plate of; what’s it called. Seafood. {laughs} I couldn’t think of the word seafood. I had 3 different kinds of fish, maybe four. And it had this creole seasoning twist to it. And I had pina coladas that were so bomb. Loved this little restaurant. And that was the first guy that we met on the trip who spoke English. So our waiter actually spoke English. And they also had a ton of their menu items in English as well. So French and English. Which was super helpful.

So we ate dinner here at this cute little restaurant. And the next morning, it was so freaking cool because I woke up to a double rainbow. I mean, come on. Can you even? And the rainbow was right on top of the boat next to us. It was so freaking pretty.

And then we went back into town the next day to do whatever we wanted to in the morning. So after we had breakfast, I wanted to go workout ashore. I wanted to go run. And you can run to two different forts up on the hillside there. One is a 6-mile run, which I was not up to. The other was less than a mile. So I ran up to that one. And I ran into a little dog, who was right out front. It looked like someone’s dog, because he was buff as f*ck and obviously well fed. So I hung out with him and we did little workouts. He would follow me everywhere. It was so freaking cute. And I named him Bonjour, because that’s the only French word I know.

So we did a little workout there, and then we walked the town. And we got drenched because it was pouring rain there that day. And then we got back on the boat, and we sailed to Marie Galante. Marie Galante is another island just a little bit north of des Saintes off of Guadeloupe. And it’s a bigger island than des Saintes.

So we went to this beach called Grand-Bourg. It was this super quiet place. And I had to take photos in a bunch of different bikinis that I brought, because I needed to get these photos up for social media purposes. And I didn’t know when we’d be to a beach this pretty again, so I brought three swim suits to shore. So I was changing under a towel, obviously wrapped a towel around me. And then I was like; wait, I’m in a French place. So I just took my top off and changed there. I’m like, why am I trying to hide my boobs when anywhere here on the beach is topless? {laughs}

So then I took all these photos, and Helen was such a doll, and sent me with champagne to take photos with and have on the beach. She was such a doll face. My poor husband had to take all these photos.

Then the next day, we went into town of Grande Bourg. They have the beach, but then they have the actual area of town you can go do. And we went to a rum distillery. And then we went to an old school sugar mill plantation. Sugar cane plantation. I don’t know the difference. And we went to a spice market, as well. Which, I was so pumped. I bought my mom some jam. Because it was a small bottle of jam. Homemade. And then Miami airport didn’t let me take it through. My mom’s going to be so sad I didn’t bring her a present. But that’s how it goes.

So after we went to the spice market, and all those little things in town, we went to this beach called Saint Louis. I can say that. And this beach was stunning. I mean, this is the waters that I think of in the Caribbean. It was crystal clear, blue waters. And then on the beach there were all these dogs. And I thought they were somebody else’s dogs, but the next morning I swam to shore and went running on shore, and the dogs were still there. And the dogs just hung out with me, and ran sprints with me. It was the cutest thing ever.

Hold on, I’ve got to drink some of my Picnik butter coffee. This stuff is so good. It’s so thick.

So, that day, once we got to Saint Louis, we just paddleboarded and swam to shore, because it was so warm out that day. Just hung out on the beach. The crew brought out drinks on the paddleboard in a cooler. So we just had drinks, sitting on shore on the paddleboard. It was so great. I just loved that island so much.

And that next morning, that’s when I swam to shore and ran with the dogs, and it just made my life. I just did the best workout on the beach with a dog. And the dog came over when I was standing and breathing heavy because I was doing sprints. And he just stepped his paw on my foot. Like, ok you can pet me now. It was so freaking cute. Love it.

Then, our last day we had to sail a decent amount of time. This trip, the Guadeloupe trip, has longer sails. When we were in St. Martin, we only had one or two long sails. Maybe just one, really. We all had short, hour-long sails on the St. Martin. And this was longer ones. So we had a long sail back to the marina. We stopped at one little island off of Guadeloupe that’s called Gosier Island. {laughs} I love how I try to use an accent with everything.

And this cute little island has a restaurant where you can get food and drink at. But again, they don’t speak any English, and I don’t speak any French. So figuring out a drink was very challenging. I know cappuccino. They had that on there. But I didn’t know any of the cocktails. And I definitely didn’t want a cappuccino in 90-degree heat after I just got a sunburn the last day. No thank you.

So I bought this drink, it was called punch cocoa. And it was so f*cking gross. It was like rum and some weird tasting juice and one ice cube. Don’t get that.

And then we sailed back to the marina, and ate at the marina. And you sleep on the boat the last night, and have breakfast the last morning before you get off the boat.

So just a breakdown of the food. The food was so freaking good. I was so impressed the first time I went on my Trade Winds trip, and this second time was no different. They have a recipe book that most of the crew members stick to. I shouldn’t say most, because I only know two trips I’ve been on. The first trip I went on they stuck with the recipe book pretty closely. And this second trip I went on, they didn’t at all. They did their own spin. And a lot of times, I think they have this recipe book. But you can’t always get your hands on the same items on certain islands. So they kind of whip up their own thing.

But every day, we would have cocktails at 5. We would have the captain’s cocktails, and he’d make a big batch of whatever cocktail it was. He had margaritas one night. There were; what are those chocolatey, creamy drinks that tastes like a milkshake and then you’re f*cking wasted. Loved those.

But all the drinks were delicious. And we’d have captain’s cocktails at like 5:30-6, and so then we’d all watch the sunset together on top of the boat. And then every day for breakfast was totally different. We’d have some days that were just super simple, like pastries and fruit. And other days it would be full of protein; like a frittata, and sausages. She made gluten free pancakes and bacon one day. There was passionfruit. Gluten free oat parfaits. There were all kinds of different stuff that was super delicious. And then the lunches; well, let’s talk about snacks.

Snacks were different every day. We’d have snacks at usually 10 a.m., and then with our cocktails at 5:30 or 6. And there was gluten free banana bread that she made that was honestly some of the best banana bread I’ve ever had. And then baked brie with gluten free crackers. There were loaded nachos that were so bomb.

It was so cool, because every night you have dinner. And dinners and lunches ranged from a seared ahi tuna salad, to duck and couscous, and salad, to a creamy chicken salad and veggie salad with cured meats and smoked fish. And then every night, you get to have dessert, too. Which is so good. We had flourless chocolate cake. We had an ice cream custard. There were so many different things.

But it was so fun, because I talked about in my notes for Trade Winds before I left that I eat gluten free and egg free, and they found a gluten free and egg free cake for my birthday! So they had this giant cake. I had so much sugar, it was so freaking good. Gained about 10 pounds before and after this trip, because my birthday just dragged on for so long. I never want to turn 30 again.

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Now, let’s get back to talking about Guadeloupe.

So, let’s talk about the breakdown of everything. Of what Trade Winds is like, if you’ve never even heard of this. Because I was super confused, when I was first on my trip. I was like; what does this mean? How do points work? Whatever. So you don’t have to be a member to go on a Trade Winds trip. Members just have a ton of perks, and it saves you money in the long run. You can easily book a trip without being a member. But if you want to become a member, you purchase a certain number of points. And they work with their inner currency point system.

So for example, say a cabin on a cruising class boat to St. Martin maybe costs 100,000 points for one cabin. When you’re deciding how many points you want, a lot of people will purchase; she was talking about popular point values. A lot of people will purchase 600,000 points. I think that usually costs around $13,000 to purchase 600,000 points. So that would get you 6 trips on a cruising class boat. This is totally just an example, and it’s a very rough example. So don’t take all those numbers to heart. Everything is a little different.

Because there is high season, and low season. So, say you want to go to the Maldives in high season; your boat is going to cost more points than the Bahamas in low season, if that makes sense. Hopefully that does. You can always go to my blog, www.PaleOMG.com, it has the details there.

So the thing about if you purchase points, they’re valid for up to 10 years. Say you purchase 600,000 points. And say you’re going to take 6 trips with that 600,000. You have 10 years to take these 6 trips. And maybe it won’t be that many depending on when you go. But you have plenty of time to take the trip. So you’re purchasing ahead of time. You’re paying for this trip ahead of time, pretty much.

So once you decide on the trip you want to go on, and you purchase that cabin. You have to get your flight there. And then you have to pay the all-inclusive fee. And all-inclusive fees are for all your food and drink throughout the week. And that price ranges depending on the boat that you are on. All three are just a little bit different.

So the perks with actually becoming a member is you can book a boat whenever you want, wherever you want. And they have all kinds of different places. They travel to, obviously, the Caribbean like I talked about. And they go to Central America. The Mediterranean. And the South Pacific. So all those places that I talked about beforehand, but you’ll also be able to go to places like Fiji; French Polynesia, Belize, Greece, and a ton of other places. And they’re always adding new places as they figure out what’s the best place for boat trips like this.

So you can pick wherever you want, and you can go wherever you want. You can rent out the entire boat; that’s one of the great perks. So if you have a big birthday coming up, or you just want to take a trip with a lot of your friends, that’s awesome. And Trade Winds just added land and sea options. So you can sail part of the trip, and then you can also stay in a luxury 5-star villa the rest of your trip. Which I think is super cool. So maybe someone who doesn’t want to sail the whole time, and wants to just sit in a nice little hotel. Well, a villa. They have that.

They also have lifestyle cruises. So you can create your own cruise. And that’s going to be two weeks or longer, and you get to custom that cruise to your lifestyle and wants. And wherever you want to go instead of the normal itinerary. And Trade Winds continues to grow. They’ve been purchasing land-based unique places, like the Tribe Villas in the Grenadines, that’s only accessible by boat. And then they also purchased a 17th century chateau in France, with elegant suites and wine tasting. So if that’s more your interest, they have that. Which is so cool.

So, just a little break down of trips. Yes, you tip your crew. I always get questions about that. Yes you tip your crew. It is totally up to you what you want to tip them. I tip higher. They say 15-18% of the all-inclusive fee, but I tip way higher than that. They work their f*cking asses off. You can tip whatever you want, and whatever is in your budget. But they work so hard. They’re up from sunrise to sundown doing everything. They’re cooking, they’re cleaning, they’re sailing, they’re keeping you safe, they’re setting up excursions. They do it all and they work so hard. And they really work for the tips. And they deserve the tips.

On these last two trips, both of our crew have been fantastic. They deserve all the money they get at the end, if not more.

So I brought cash on the trip. I brought cash to not only tip, but to also purchase whatever I needed to when we went to shore. On our St. Martin trip, we stopped in more spots, so I actually spent more money on that one. And not everybody does. It’s just our actual boat stopped in more places because we wanted to. So we went to restaurants, we went to bars, we went all over the place. And drinks are expensive. Drinks are always expensive; are they ever not? Especially when you’re like; hey, can I have 47 pina coladas? Like me. Just gaining 20 thousand pounds.

So I brought cash for that. And this island, Guadeloupe, takes Euros. So I actually went to a place ahead of time. You can do a currency exchange. They have different places. Mine was in our mall, which I think is so weird. So I went and exchanged cash; US dollars for Euros. And had plenty of Euros with me, which was just so nice not to have to deal with that when I landed in the airport. Because I just want the least amount of stress as possible when I’m traveling.

And everybody was like; just get Euros when you travel and land in the airport. And to me it’s like; you’re probably going to have fees from your bank, fees from that ATM, and fees for currency rate exchange. I was not going to deal with that. And it was probably in French, and I don’t know what the f*ck is going on. So I just went and got my Euros ahead of time. And I’m so glad I did, because then when we landed, the people on our boat were trying to exchange US dollars for Euros out of the ATM, and it wasn’t working. And then nobody had Euros; just us.

It was fine, because all places take credit cards, so a lot of people would just pay for their meal with a credit card. But I trust no one. So I don’t want to be using my card in a foreign country. So I’d rather have cash and not even bring my card with me. Not have the chance to lose it. That’s just me. People had no issue with not having Euros. I just preferred that. So I had cash; US dollars and I had Euros with me as well. So I was just good to go.

So I had a lot of questions of people asking was it weird to be on a boat with strangers, and it 100% wasn’t. It was great. Unless you’re just a person that hates other people. And honestly, I usually do. {laughs} I had no issue. It was so much fun. Everybody was great. And everybody was so different. The woman who was by herself, and then the older couple. The woman both didn’t drink, and everybody else did drink. I mean, obviously not really the 16-year-olds. But everybody else did drink, and there was no weirdness at all. It was so fun talking to people and getting to know people and hearing their life story. I loved it. But if you don’t want to do that, you can obviously rent out the whole boat. I would say it’s a little bit more fun when it’s all your friends, because; obviously, it’s all your friends. And you all do the same thing, and have the same wants and needs and whatever. But it was super easy, and comfortable, and fun the whole time.

And no, the cabins are not teeny tiny. We actually got to go on a flagship boat, and most of the rooms are similar in size. But this freaking flagship boat, it has the biggest room, and it was seriously bigger than our room at our house. It was crazy huge. It was so fun to see what the fanciest of fancy boat rooms look like.

And like I said before, the bathrooms, you’re good to do all your business. You have fresh water on the boat so you’re good to go. No weirdness with bathroom situations.

When it comes to bringing anything specific for your trip, I highly recommend bringing a water bottle that’s like a thermos style water bottle, that keeps the ice cold. Because you want cold ice water, because if you don’t have that cold ice water, you are not going to drink that much water. And the sun is no f*cking joke in the Caribbean. You will get sun poisoning. You will get a sunburn if you are not paying attention.

At one time on our St. Martin trip, everyone was sick one day because nobody was drinking water. They were just drinking alcohol, getting dehydrated, getting a sunburn, and everyone was puking over the boat at some point. Except for me, because I drank all the water, because I had a water bottle.

I also recommend bringing a ton of sunscreen. Sunscreen is pretty expensive there, from what I’ve experienced. So I just bought a lot of smaller sunscreen bottles, and all of mine lasted. And it was great.

Obviously bring swimsuits. You don’t need much, but I recommend bringing shorts and a T-shirt or something comfortable, whether you’re going to workout or go for a hike. And make sure you have tennis shoes. I wore my tennis shoes onto the flight, with my outfit, because then I didn’t have to pack them in a suitcase. So wear your heaviest shoes, like tennis shoes, onto the plane. And then, bring hats for sure.

And snacks, I recommend, they have plenty of food on the boat and they serve snacks. But I just had some jerky on hand, just for when there wasn’t enough protein at breakfast for my personal needs. I had some jerky, and it was lovely.

And then I forgot to write this in my blog post, but I do recommend getting a waterproof bag. My husband found this super cheap one that’s one of those really thin, but they roll up, so they create a seal. And you can get total water proof bags. Mine was really, really cheap. But I recommend that because you’ll want to put maybe your computer, maybe to go to shore. Or put your phone in there. And I brought all my cameras. So it was just nice to have a water proof bag and not to worry about that.

And, let me have another sip. One of the biggest, biggest questions almost on every post was; did you get sea sick. Me, no. I’ve never experience sea sickness, luckily. So I haven’t had to deal with that myself. But, the sails in the Caribbean are pretty calm. We only had one, when I had a long day sailing that I was like, oh. This is kind of getting old. But if you look at the horizon, then you don’t feel that way. But you can get Dramamine, and they also have a sea sickness patch that you put behind your ear. Nobody used that on this boat, but people used that on our St. Martin trip, and it really helped. So I think those are the biggest help.

I honestly felt like, when I was in our room, and you’re just moving slightly because the water wakes up and down, even when you’re anchored. It would rock me to sleep. I slept so well when I was on the boat, and I’ve slept sh*tty this past week when I got home. I think because I just got used to being rocked to sleep.

So yeah. It was the best trip. I freaking loved it. I really want to go to the BVI, Belize, and French Polynesia. Because on the trip, there was one couple, this was their 7th trip with Trade Winds. And the Vale couple, the woman, it was like here 12th trip. Because she was one of the first members with Trade Winds. And she’s been on a ton. And while she was on this boat, she booked three trips for the future. So she plans these out ahead of time.

But the couple from LA really recommend Belize and BVI; and the woman from Vale recommended French Polynesia. So those are on my list of hopefully places I get to go to someday. Because it looks stunning. Freaking stunning. And like Fiji, maybe, too? I don’t know. So many cool places.

But you can see this entire breakdown of everything on my blog. On www.PaleOMG.com. I have this trip to Guadeloupe, and I have my St. Martin trip, as well. So I have both of those two trips that you can see the full breakdown and all the photos. And I’m still editing a video that I took in Guadeloupe. Hopefully I can get that video up soon. I just wanted to get the post and breakdown, because I kept getting questions through Instagram.

So that’s the full breakdown. Now hopefully I need to start planning my 31st birthday. That’s only not even 11; 11.5 months away. {laughs} So much fun. So much fun.

So if you have any questions; let me know. I’m happy to answer them. And I answered a question wrong on my blog yesterday, and luckily someone from Trade Winds is keeping an eye on the comments as well and answering those comments too. So that is really helpful. She fixed my wrong answer.

If you go to Trade Winds, and you’ll see the nonmember fee. And I thought that only included the cabin, not the all-inclusive fee in it. The non-member price includes the all-inclusive fee and the cabin fee. So I was a little bit of a dummy, but luckily someone from Trade Winds helped me out and answered the question correctly.

So if you have any questions, head to my blog. Ask the question there, and I will get you the right answer. {laughs} But until then, I have to cook up some food. Because I am going to Houston next week. And then I have Palm Springs the week after. So, I’m trying to get all my posts done and ready to go. All my recipes done. So I’ve got to cook up some stuff. Make some margaritas. What else am I making? I’m making a salad. Which I hate salad. But if it’s made with arugula, I somehow like it. So I’m making a salad, too. So stay tuned for those. And have a lovely, lovely weekend.

Thank you so much for listening. You’re the best. I don’t know why you listen to this podcast, but you guys do and you’re f*cking awesome. So I’ll talk to you next time. Keep doing awesome stuff. Head to my blog, leave a comment there. Because that is where I respond most to people. I will talk to you later. Bye-bye.

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