Saturday, February 20, 2010

My January Caribbean Cruise -- Week One

My husband Neil and I really enjoyed our two-week Caribbean cruise, even though we were some of the youngsters on board the ship. The majority of folks who can get away for a 14 day cruise in January are in their 70s and 80s. Many of our "Anytime Dining" dinner companions (different ones every evening) were seasoned cruisers, having gone on 25, 40, 78, or more cruises. We got a lot of information about different companies and itineraries. We also learned that instead of asking, "What do you do?" most asked, "What do your children/grandchildren do?", so we had plenty of opportunities to brag about our own kids. Often Neil made a comment about me being a mystery author, and many of the women were interested, so I handed out a few bookmarks that I learned to carry with me in my purse.

The first photo shows me leaning on the railing of the top deck of our ship, the Grand Princess, as we left Fort Lauderdale, FL our first afternoon. The second day was an At Sea day, and our first formal evening, complete with champagne waterfall. The second photo shows Neil and me pouring champagne with Bruno, the Maitre 'D. The third day was also an At Sea day, since we were traveling all the way south to Aruba, our first port call. The third photo shows me relaxing in one of the hot tubs on the pool deck late that afternoon.

When we arrived in Aruba the fourth day, my college roommate Ashley, who works for the Valero refinery on the island, met us at the port and took us snorkeling, sight-seeing, to lunch at her favorite dive shop, and to see her home (what I most wanted to see). The fourth photo shows us outside Ashley's front door. Notice she's wearing a T-shirt from our alma mater, the College of William and Mary. The fifth photo was taken by Ashley, of Neil and me in front of the cruise ship shortly before we departed the island. Our next stop was the nearby island of Curacao, where we toured Hato Cave, took a walking tour of town and explored the Mariner's Museum. The sixth photo shows the famous Queen Emma floating pontoon walking bridge that connects the two sides of the city of Willemstad, Punda and Otrabanda. Notice the brightly painted Dutch architecture!

The sixth day was another At Sea day, and our second formal night. That evening, we enjoyed dining in Sabatini's, one of the two upscale restaurants onboard--7 courses over 2.5 hours. We're seated in front of our main courses (mine was twin lobster tails) in the seventh photo. Doesn't Neil look dashing in his tux? On the seventh day, we stopped at Port of Spain in Trinidad and hiked through the rainforest to the Maracas Waterfall in the morning. The eighth photo shows the top of the waterfall, and the ninth shows the two of us getting soaked underneath it. In the afternoon, we took a taxi to the Botanical Gardens and walked back to the ship through the city and past the "Magnificent Seven" old colonial mansions. On the eighth day, we took a photography tour of Barbados then toured the Mount Gay Rum factory (and bought a bottle). The tenth photo shows the famous undercut rock on the beach at Bathsheba.

1 comment:

G.M. Malliet said...

What great photos! It so makes me long for a vacation.