Wednesday, February 10, 2016

more about that cruise

Our second port stop was Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, one of the US Virgin Islands.
I had done a little research on the beaches there and chose Magen's Bay beach as our destination for the day.
It was lovely but crowded.

 When we got there, I held our spot near the tree line while Lonnie went to rent some chairs. I figured someone would bring the chairs over but Lonnie ended up having to carry them quite a way.

He took a little siesta while I went for a swim and snorkeled a bit.

With those sunglasses on, it's hard to he sleeping?

....or just enjoying the scenery?

Wake up and I will get a photo of us!

Now the other way....

The beach was on the opposite side of the island from the port. The taxis are open air seating built on the back of a pick up truck. 
The roads are curvy and steep. The yellow center lines are ignored and a stop sign means "honk your horn" so other drivers will know you are coming through. 
They drive on the left in St Thomas, so this isn't quite as bad as it looks...

It's a nerve racking ride but the views are spectacular!

Here we are ready to get back on board...

The view from our balcony...

Later, dinner,and a show featuring a singer/dancer who had a multi-win stretch on that "Star Search"show years ago .  He was talented and energetic, and told a few jokes too.

Below is another novelty inside the ship. The large oval shaped thing is a bar that travels up and down from the 5th deck to the 8th deck (Central Park) and back again. It doesn't move very fast...It takes maybe 20 minutes to go one way. You can get off when it stops on the 8th deck or stay on and go back down. 

 The very next day we sailed into Philipsburg, St Maarten, which is also one of the Virgin Islands...half of the island owned by the Dutch - the other half owned by France.

The Harbor Pilot came out to board our ship and guide it in to the dock.

We had decided on another beach day here too. We have been to these islands before and done lots of sightseeing. The very best thing here is the natural beauty of the white sand beaches, turquoise water, and plentiful sunshine.

We went to Mullet Bay Beach.  It was quiet when we arrived, but it got more crowded as the day progressed.  

Snorkeling was fun here. I saw some small fish that looked like baby spearfish and a few other fish as well.

Later, heading back to the ship...

A beautiful sky as we set sail....

I noticed a rainbow forming...

Then disappearing quickly...but I could actually see the end of it...touching the water. There must be a pot of gold down there!

The sun and swimming made us pleasantly tired and lazy, so we had a bite to eat at the buffet and went to bed early.

The last two days were at sea, as we sailed back toward Ft Lauderdale. We enjoyed some activities on the ship...playing ping pong and miniature golf.

Our balcony caught the afternoon sun...which was just too intense for us pale-faces. But there were plenty of other areas on the ship to relax and read or just people watch.

There was an afternoon show in their ice-skating rink...singing, dancing, costumes...all on ice skates!
The performers were so skillful - they made ice skating look fun and easy...but I'm sure it isn't.

On the last evening we spruced up a bit and had dinner in one of the specialty restaurants (another perk with the AAA package).

It was very pretty walking through "Central Park" at night to get to the restaurant.

Here's the handsome serious!

It was a wonderful trip!

We were glad to have a week of warmth and sunshine...but it's nice to be back to our regular routine and sleeping in our own bed.

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