• Carolyn

Cruise Alternative Itinerary: Day 2 - Sea Day

Updated: Jan 30


If you're just joining us, catch up on the intro to this series and yesterday's post on embarkation day.


One of the reasons cruise vacations are lovely is that they have a good mix of time in exotic port cities and "sea days" on the ship. This schedule creates natural up-days and down-days. You can create a similar pattern on your land-based vacation!


There's something lovely about waking up on that first morning at sea and realizing you've left the demands of normal life behind. Something similar happens at the Joy Coastal condo on your first morning. You realize you can see the water from bed, and if you're patient, you might notice dolphins in the distance catching their breakfast in the Gulf.



Mornings here are quiet and they beckon you to slow down and set your internal clock to beach time.



One of the true benefits of staying in Panama City Beach is the ever-present connection to the ocean. Take advantage of it. I would make today a day at the beach. If you're staying at the Joy Coastal condo in 2021, beach service is included. So, you don't have to worry about chair hogs at the beach. You'll have two beach loungers and an umbrella waiting for you whenever you want it throughout the week.



So, find your spot on the beach and settle in. The water can range from being gentle and calm like a lake, to waves that allow for surfing. The sand on the beach is so soft and the entrance to the water is generally flat, which makes this area ideal for enjoying a day on the beach.


When you're ready for lunch, walk across the street for tacos from Finns Island Style Grub. Everything there is good (and spicy - you've been warned), but my personal favorite is the Beachin' Yardbird. Trust us, it's the right answer for a sun-drenched day on the beach!



If the beach has lost it's lustre (for shame!), head up to one of the three onsite pools for a change of scenery.



Even the most relaxing days need a little adventure. We think the perfect end to any day in Panama City Beach is the Sea Screamer sunset cruise. I'll be honest, I avoided the Sea Screamer for longer than I should have, because the name made me think it was a thrill ride. The experience IS thrilling, but not because of the speed of the boat. The thrill is in seeing the coastline of Panama City Beach from the water, and from the real stars of the show - the dolphins that frolic in the wake of the Sea Screamer.



While the dolphins can't be guaranteed, they seem to find their way to the Sea Screamer more times than not.


The 2 hour sunset cruise on the Sea Screamer departs from the Treasure Island Marina, which is just a short drive from the Joy Coastal condo. The cruise is family-friendly and I thought they did a fantastic job of involving the kids in the experience. My daughter had a chance to briefly "drive" the boat.


Cruises sell out during peak times, so be sure to buy your tickets in advance if this is something you want to do!


These are the experiences you hope for on a vacation - the memories you'll talk about for years to come. This is the reason to invest in vacations!


Come back tomorrow for our first "port day" excursion on the Island Time catamaran!