6 years ago
Friday, April 3, 2009
EASTERN CARIBBEAN CRUISE
(FEBRUARY 28 – 7 MARCH 2009)
Thank you so much for your assistance in one of our most fabulous vacations. It was a pleasure working with you and your company. Your “hands on” treatment from researching a cruise within our parameters through the return trip gave us tremendous comfort at all times.
Since we had previously visited the western Caribbean, we knew we wanted to visit the eastern Caribbean departing from Port Canaveral on the Carnival Glory around our anniversary date. You immediately found us the perfect cruise with a price that quite satisfied us.
If you have the opportunity to depart from Port Canaveral, I recommend eating lunch at Rusty’s Seaford and Oyster Bar. You can observe your boat from the restaurant and the food is excellent!
We headed to the ship around 2:00 p.m. since the boat departed at 4:00 pm. I feel like boarding the ship earlier just makes you stand in line for check-in much longer. This seems to be after the initial rush of passengers.
As is customary, the ship departed on time (as it does from all ports, at all times). The first order of business is the mandatory muster call for the safety briefing. Listen to the announcements and you will learn everything about where to go and what to do.
After returning from the muster call, we were greeted by our room steward, Rey. She introduced herself, annotated our first names which allowed her to always address us by name, and unlocked the mini-bar refrigerator……pay attention that the water, soda, and liquor is going to cost you if you use it, plus a 15% restocking charge. Bring your own water and refill the bottles from the water fountains on board. At some time after boarding our bags were delivered to our stateroom.
We found plenty to keep us busy from unpacking our bags to getting to the dining room for dinner. The food, as usual, was superb. It still amazes me that I can order as many of the appetizers, entrees, or even desserts as I want just because I can’t make up my mind – AND it doesn’t cost extra. Even the desserts with the word “diet” in them tasted great.
The first morning we arrived in Nassau, Bahamas along with several other cruise ships. I found it so interesting to see the other ships. I wanted to remember their names just in case I might want to cruise on their line one day. Nassau has a lot to offer. You can take excursions offered, or go out on your own. When you exit the ship you will go through a market type area where people have booths set up to sell you anything from food to souvenirs. On the other side of the market are taxis willing to take you anywhere. You can take a taxi tour of the island or take a taxi over to Atlantis. Downtown and plenty of shopping is just past the taxi stands.
Our second full day was a day at sea with plenty of on board activities you could participate in, watch or just relax on your own. There was music or entertainment throughout the ship. And the nightly show in the grand theater was outstanding. They perform the show twice nightly.
Our stop the third full day was in St. Thomas, Virgin Island. We did not take an excursion, but again took a taxi downtown to shop and enjoy the sights. Our cruise director warned us that there were more taxis in St. Thomas than there were taxi drivers and to make sure our taxi had a driver. The cruise director was absolutely correct!! As soon as we were dropped off downtown and began walking, all the taxis passing us would holler our “going back to the ship”. It did become annoying after a while, but of course they are out to make money. I think I counted five cruise ships in port. We ate lunch at an outside table at Coconuts Bar and Grill. The hamburger was huge and so tasty. I highly recommend it. It sits in one of the alleys off Main Street. On the way back to the ship we asked the taxi to drop us off at Paradise Point (within walking distance of the ship). We bought our tickets onboard for $19 each, and found out that at the location it would have cost $23 each. Paradise Point is a bucket sky ride that whisks you 700 feet above the town of Charlotte Amalie. The view from the top is breathtaking. They have exotic birds that perform three times a day, unique shops to explore, and a great little restaurant where we enjoyed their family “Bailey’s Bushwacker” drink. EXCELLENT.
The next day found us in St. Maarten, N.A. This island is half French and half Dutch. The port is on the Dutch side. Again, there were numerous ships in port. We began our day by shopping in the small area around the port. (You can take a taxi to the larger shopping area, but this area is quite enough shopping.) Afterwards, we took the Explore Cruise and Island Tour for $61 per person. We boarded an air conditioned bus that began on the Dutch side tour and took us to beautiful Simpson Bay Lagoon where we boarded a double-decked excursion boat for a tour of the lagoon. There were plenty of shady or sunny areas to sit and you can enjoy all the rum punch you desire free of charge. We saw more sailboats and yachts than you can ever imagine. Everyone was arriving for the start of the America’s Cup Regatta. After our tour of the lagoon, we landed in the city of Marigot on the French side where we had an hour to enjoy the sights. Naturally, we ate again. This time we were at a sidewalk café and thoroughly enjoyed a lobster pizza. Be forewarned that on the French side their currency is the Euro, so we had to convert our cost. They do take American dollars, but you better know how to convert. We were told that some of the restaurants have the cost in both American dollars and Euros. We weren’t that lucky. The prices were rather high. A lobster pizza and one coke cost $32.
Our last two days were spent at sea. These days could be as busy or as relaxing as you desire. One day the wind was blowing so hard that the ship closed the top two decks. This did not prevent people from enjoying themselves. The sun was shining, the music was playing and everyone was having a great time. High winds such as that will have the same effect as a storm on the way the boat feels. It was an experience to walk around feeling as though you must have drank way too many cocktails. No one was walking a straight line. However, it did not make us sick or uncomfortable.
The last night of the cruise we packed our bags and sat them outside our door for the porters to pick up. Of course, make sure you keep an overnight bag with clothes for the next day or you may be leaving the ship in your pajamas. Our ship arrived back at Port Canaveral early Saturday morning. As customs cleared the luggage, you are called by the number you received the night before from your room steward. After you hear your number, you are free to make your way to the departure area. We enjoyed our last breakfast in the dining room before departure, then scanned our sail and sign card one last time to show we had departed.
Another wonderful cruise!