Friday, December 2, 2016

Port day 3: Antigua

Yesterday’s stop at Antiga was lovely, after we finally got on the bus. A long line up faced us, probably no longer than the other days, but the sun was shining strongly and I was maybe a bit grumpy from being kept up late as Carm watched ‘Spectre’ on the rooms TV. Well, eventually we got on the bus and started our tour.

We drove through the town and out into the countryside, up and over the hills to the other side of the island. The dwellings ranged from poor bungalows to upscale mansions. There was hardly any garbage (unlike Porta Plata in the DR). There were fruit trees of ever variety. And loose dogs walking around (fewer that DR, and many wore collars).

After winding our way through the country side we came to the top of a large hill with the scant remains of a fort. The views were tremendous.

Back in the bus we zoomed down the hill to the remains of Nelson’s harbour. Huge sailboats and motor boats were lined up on the dock. We toured through the old buildings, had a rum drink (part of the tour), and boarded the bus.

Back at our port we tottered around looking at the shops, then mounted some steps to a small bar with free wifi. We had a local beer (2 for $5), checked our email, and posted on facebook. We are back on the boat now for 2 sea days so internet will be limited.

Today is hot with a mix of sun and cloud and high humidity. We might spend some time on the balcony, but to be honest I could just have a nap.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Port day 2: St. Thomas

Port day 2: St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

We were late to port this morning, wind and a late departure yesterday (people late back to boat) slowed the schedule down 2 hours. Lucky for us we had chosen a 1pm excursion so weren’t effected by the change.

Carm went up to the top to watch us come into port while Jo Ellen, Don and I watched from the comfort of our balcony. The air was warm and humid which nicely distracted us from thoughts of the impending December 1st with Christmas soon to follow.

A sort of light lunch was enjoyed at the buffet (I had some sort of sandwich and Carm had a Reuben) then it was off to our excursion.

The open air bus drove around like crazy, from one lookout to the next, each festooned with all sorts of touristy gift stands. The heat and humidity had us sweating like crazy, but you didn’t hear a word of complaint from any of us Canadians: we were happy to be out of the snow. It was a fun day (but not as much fun as yesterday), but I can’t say the excursion was wonderful. I suppose there just isn’t that much to see.

The bus dropped us off at the shops at the end of the pier and we made our way slowly back to the ship, stopping at a few shops looking for a pandora (like) charm for my braclet. I found one for $5. We almost got talked into a $200 bracelet, but I was strong. It was pretty though and I’ll probably regret not going for the ½ price deal.

We met up with Jo Ellen and Don on our balcony and enjoyed the view while we sipped wine. Can’t think of a nicer way to spend some time, especially on Nov 30th!

Supper, balcony, wander around downstairs, a great show (musical impersonator), drinks in the Piazza, back to balcony to watch the cast off, and here we are. Ready to do the fastest internet post - at $1 per minute there is no lingering!

1st port day: Amber Cove, DR

First port stop: Amber Cove,  Dominican Republic

I’m behind a day, I was so exhausted after a long day that I fell into bed and slept through ‘Batman vs Superman’.

The alarm clock had rung at 6am (yes, me, 6am) and we rushed out to see the docking. Oh my, this is going to be a this and that with not much interesting post. We saw the ship pull into port then grabbed breakfast at the buffet. We couldn’t dilly dally as we had to be at the exursion meeting spot at 8:10. As it turns out, we should have gotten there earlier as we were near the back of the bus, which required much waiting to get in and out at every stop.

The guide was informative, giving all sorts of information about the DR, but unfortunately I don’t remember a thing. Oh, the bus had wifi which is why I was able to do a quick post on FB and to touch base with Pat.

The first stop was the rum factory… two tastings later and we were on the bus for the next stop. The little shop (probably the guides friends or family) had lots of pretty larimar jewlery and I  got sucked into a necklace. We were treated to some kind of rum, wine and honey brew that was lovely and packed a punch. We were ready for the next spot.

The home of the man who liberated DR from the Spanish was interesting and full of history. I’m afraid I tend to tune out after a while and don’t remember a thing (did the 3 rum drinks have anything to do with this?) There was a tasting of coconut rum at the end of this tour. Please know that they aren’t pouring you a big shot, but only a sip or two!

Unfortunately it started raining when we got to the gardens of some person or other. I didn’t get any photos but there were some amazing orchids. We had a traditional DR lunch here, on the second story underneath some clear panels. It felt like we were in the tree tops and defineatly not at home.

We made it to a the ruins of a fort. We looked around a bit, but unfortunately I wiped out on the stairs going down from a tower and didn’t much feel like looking at anything else. While we were there we picked up another necklace of larimar.

Back at the ship we visited in Jo Ellen and Don’s cabin for a bit then went to the buffet for an early supper. Apparently the buffet has everything that is on the dining room menu, but we get to choose an assortment. Eating in the dining room was nice, but it is more convienient to go when we want.

We went early to the theater so that we could grab some good seats and was entertained by another great show. It is amazing that the dancers can do their thing on the rocking stage. We had a pretty good swell last night so the boat was rocking and rolling. I wondered if I might get nausous but was thankful not to.

And there we have it, a busy day with lots to see and do. The weather was so so: mostly cloudy with some showers. Where is the Caribbean blue sky?

oh, my tablet is not reading the card from my camera so no photos until we get home.