Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cruising in the winter

This is the dock in Ft. Lauderdale, from the ship. We boarded around 3: in the afternoon, having spent the previous night with our friends Barbara and Charles Sullivan, in The Villages.

The cold weather followed us to Florida and caused the sea to be very rough. Fortunately we were on deck 4 as the motion was much more evident on the upper decks. Most of the passengers experienced sea sickness and I saw lots of patches and wrist bands. Walking was a challenge. Even standing up was tricky. We had a large private balcony with our state room and wanted to watch the ship depart. There was a delay (medical-we think someone was taken off the ship) and it was very dark. I tried several times to take Bob's picture leaning against the railing, but every time I pushed the button the ship lurched.

Bob's view from the beach. Can you find Bob?
Grand Turk Island was our first stop. After all the rocking, it was great to be on land. The island is beautiful, clean, and has a great beach that you don't have to pay to use. That might be because Holland American owns it - maybe. The definitely own all the shops. Bob enjoyed relaxing in the shade while I walked around town.

Two pictures of the pier in Puerto Rico. We were there for a full day. I would really like to know what the trough shaped thing is that is suspended above the main pier. Anyone??

These are the tenders that bring passengers to small islands when the sea is too shallow for the ship, and usually there is no pier. Called Half Moon cay, it is a private beach that belongs to the Cruise Lines. Some people headed for the beach really early - others, like us, waited for the crowd to thin. Also, from past experience we knew that the sea could change. This rough seas make it difficult for the tenders to dock with the ship. People on the last tenders back spent a lot of time circling the ship while the sailors tried to dock. Not fun. We didn't do that.

We had a short visit to St. Thomas, VI and enjoyed chatting with the local merchants and other passengers ashore. I walked past these lizards several times and didn't see them. They blend in with their surroundings. How many do you see?

Bob got up early and saw this double rainbow in the mist. He couldn't get the whole thing in one picture. I hope you can see both in this picture. Isn't it incredible?

We returned to Ft. Lauderdale a week later, with the seas getting rougher as we approached. Sitting in the dining room felt more like being in the dining car of a train. This was our second 'Nation Cruise,' the first being to Alaska. The speakers were very well informed and enjoyable to listen to. Howard Dean was the biggest 'celeb' on board, but there were were probably 8 - 10 other lesser stars, who were all nice and 'available' for conversations. We met lots of interesting and friendly people and will probably do it again, if we have the opportunity.

1 comment:

  1. Nice pics....looks like u guys had a nice time despite the rockin an rollin. happy belated Birthday, BTW!