Geocaching While Cruising the High Seas

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Typically, people either like geocaching while cruising…or they don’t.  Liz and I are on the fence though about it.  While we love backpacking and going on our own, we also enjoy the carefree ways of cruising.  Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and relax on a leisurely cruise vacation; laying by the pool with a drink in our hands and feeling the wind on our face. 

What can make a great cruise we think is getting off the boat and having an adventure on-land?  Depending on where we are and which cruise port, we usually get off the boat no matter what.  Even if it is a port that we have explored before, we usually get off the boat to check out the city and local food.  If we decide to save money and not do a shore excursion, we usually go the save money and still have an adventure route of Geocaching.  

Geocaching 101:  What is Geocaching and how do I start? 

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We passed on the fridge magnet and got a hand carved plank wooded picture of the beautiful Caribbean island of Jamaica

Cruising While Geocaching

Typically, people either like geocaching cruising…or they don’t.  Liz and I are on the fence though.  While we love backpacking and going on our own, we also enjoy the carefree ways of cruising.  Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and relax on a leisurely cruise vacation; laying by the pool with a drink in our hands and feeling the wind on our face.

Liz and I got married in Key West in October of 2012.  And we had such a blow out the crazy fun weekend in The Florida Keys with our friends from all over the country, that we desperately needed some relaxation after the big weekend.  So we decided to go on a cruise and let someone else plan our mini vacation for us.

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Where to go?

One of the great things about cruising is that you get to visit multiple countries in a short amount of time.  Of course, we wanted to mark off our geocaching countries list, so this was perfect; we could go geocaching while cruising!  We did some research in advance of the ports we were going to visit and found a couple of geocaches that we might be able to get to.  With our Garmin GPS unit loaded with the coordinates, we were set to go.

Looking out over the Blue Mountains – Jamaica

Our first stop was in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.  We knew this to be the home of Bob Marley and wanted to grab a geocache to remember our time in Jamaica.  We hopped on a Bob Marley tour and headed up through the mountains to Nine Mile.

Enjoying our Patties & Red Stripe, Jamaica

Halfway up into our mountain journey we pulled over at a restaurant for a bit of a break, and I was looking forward to having a Red Stripe beer.  If you were wondering, yes the Red Stripe does taste a little bit better in Jamaica.  And it’s a great beverage to wash down a snack of Jamaican patties, a pastry that contains various fillings and spices, baked inside a flaky shell – very tasty!

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Making a quick stop to pick up our first geocache in Jamaica on the way up to see Bob Marley’s mausoleum.

While we rested from our crazy venture up the mountains and deep into the heart of Jamaica, I pulled out our GPS.  I thought that this could be a good place for a cache; and sure enough, we were able to get a smiley!  Jamaica is checked off the list.  Just another cool reason to remember Jamaica!

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There may be a geocache nearby. Maybe…

Our next stop was Grand Cayman Island, which appeared to be a lot more touristy than Ocho Rios.  When we arrived in Georgetown, we immediately pulled up several caches on our Garmin GPS.  There were tons of them here – awesome!  We had signed up for a trip to go swimming with the famous Sting Rays, but we had a few minutes before we departed.  It was perfect timing to find our first geocache in Grand Cayman and mark it off the list.  There were actually so many geocaches in the area that it was difficult to decide which to go for, so we chose the one with the most favorite points.

We found the geocache right outside the cruise port exit, on a nearby monument.  This one seemed easy enough, but it was cleverly hidden on the monument and made us think pretty hard!  After carefully reading the clues and the history behind the monument/park area, we spotted the geocache.  “I found it!” says Liz.  Awesome.  As soon as we signed the log we headed off to our adventure; swimming with our new friends, the Sting Rays.

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Trying to get my bearings in search of our first Grand Cayman Geocache.

Initially, people may not think that it’s possible to go geocaching while cruising, but they actually fit quite nicely with each other.  Next time you go cruising, do a little research on your port of call, and hopefully, you can find a couple of fun geocaches nearby.  This is a perfect way to grab a couple of fun international geocaches while enjoying a little bit of relaxation and adventure at the same time.

 

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Enjoying our day at sea after a long day of exploring and geocaching

4 thoughts on “Geocaching While Cruising the High Seas”

  1. I had to look up geocache to see what it is! It’s the first time I’ve heard of the concept! But then again I don’t have a GPS… Sounds like FUN!

    I am about to go on my first cruise in November, and seeing that you are also backpackers who are on the fence with cruising made me feel better. I was a little afraid what I might experience! Then again, I really could do with a couple of days doing nothing.

    🙂

    1. Hey – thanks for the comment!

      Yeah, actually if you have a smartphone you can download the free Geocaching app to check it out! You can actually use your phone’s GPS, so you don’t need an official GPS unit unless you go places where there is no cell service (that’s why we ended up getting the GPS – for those out of the way caches!). The cool thing about the free app is that you can check it out to see if you like it.

      Hope you enjoy your cruise! I’ve been on about 7 or so over the years, they definitely have pros and cons though. We are actually planning one to Alaska next month. While I wouldn’t say that they give you the most authentic or adventurous travel experience, they definitely are relaxing and can be a great way to get a taste of different places. Our advice to expert travelers is to get away from the port area as quick as you can! Super touristy and not very authentic. Go explore the real neighborhoods and restaurants – they are out there!

      Happy travels!

      Liz & Josh

  2. My husband and I are both geocachers from Minnesota (VikingNav & Catzilla). We took our first cruise in 2012 on the Carnival Glory. Since then, we have done four more cruises and have two more booked. We have geocached in every port that we have been to so far. We have even held events in San Juan, Puerto Rico and in La Romana, Dominican Republic. Holding short Meet & Greets are a great way to meet the local geocachers and any cachers that might be onboard your ship (or another that is in port at the same time).

    So far we have found caches in Mexico (Cozumel & Costa Maya Ports), Honduras (Roatan), Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. John, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Maarten (French & Dutch sides), Yukon Territory, and British Columbia, Canada (from our Alaska cruise), Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Curacao,, Aruba, and Half Moon Cay in Bahamas.

    We will be going to Jamaica in Nov 2015 (Carnival Dream) and then a 21 day cruise to South America/Antarctica in Feb 2016 (Holland America Zaandam). We will be geocaching during those two cruises as well.

    Geocaching and cruising just makes seem to go very well together. We do take some excursions, but we have found that we see more of the area by either renting a car or golf cart (Grand Turk), walking the island, or taking a taxi then we do by just doing one tour.

    Thanks for this article. I really enjoyed it! Love the entire site!

    1. Hi Daphne,

      Wow that is an impressive list of places that you have cached at during your cruises. We are super jealous of all of these locations. Also of your future cruising plans. South America and Antarctica are high on our travel and caching lists. Cruising and Caching do go hand & hand and we love hearing that you your husband are racking up countries while also racking up adventures together. Have a blast out there on the high seas for us.

      Happy Travels and Happy Caching
      Josh

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