Thursday, January 31, 2013

Random Pics of our Cruise

We played shuffle board every day.  After the first two days we finally read ALL the rules and had to change OUR way of playing.   Ha!   Lots of good fun!

 Fruit sculptures 

 We would find towel sculptures in our rooms every night.  They had a class on it one day on the ship.  I should have gone!

 Volleyball against the crew.
 This is the Royal Caribbean ship called the "Allure of the Seas".  It is one of their largest ships.  It came into port in St. Thomas while we were there.  It holds around 6000 people on board. There were only 2500 passengers on our ship.  It was perfect for our first cruise and we never had much of a line for anything the whole 9 days and nights.

 Carved cats at a shop in Old San Juan
 Inside the Solarium on one of the cooler days.
 I climbed the right side of this rock wall the second day on ship.  I went to check it out and the crew were just opening up after lunch.  It took me much longer to climb it than it took Joe, but I DID IT!  On one part there was a protruding rock that was hard to get up and around because my arms were a little short.  You really have to use your legs to push, more than pulling with your arms.  FUN!

 We teased Mark about carrying Terry's bag with the jewels on the front.  He didn't care one bit!

 Last night to take pictures.  We loved the cruise, our companions and being able to just relax and enjoy time with each other.

4th Port of Call - Labadee, Haiti

Labadee, Haiti is a resort that Royal Carribbean has exclusively for their passengers.  It is a beautiful place with white sandy beaches and clear aqua water.  On one side you could lay out, but not swim because the waves were crashing in, but on the other side were 3 beaches and plenty of room to swim within a roped off area.  There were lots of things you could do there if you wanted to pay: Zip Line, alpine slide, water slide, water park for kids with climbing rocks, trampoline, etc., and you could go on a waverunner excursion.  We walked all the way to the 3rd beach at the end of the cove on the right and settled in on our lounges.  I did alot of swimming, although we all swam during the day and we shopped some.  There were 75 shops one on top of the other selling all the same things. We all bought some native looking things to bring back with us and I got a carved bowl and a carved soapstone women.   The boys went to the alpine slide and had fun riding it down the hill.

 A kayaking excursion was taking place when the other Royal Carribbean ship came into Labadee.  The people in the kayaks were really paddling fast to get out of the way!  It was really funny to watch.
 The "Independence of the Sea" backed right in on the other side of the wharf from our ship  making it look rather easy! Ha!
 When all the passenger got off that ship and the rest of the lounges were layed out, it then started to feel a little crowded, but by that time we had already been there a couple of hours and had done alot of swimming and shopping.  Royal Caribbean put  on a big picnic for both ships and we ate under covered picnic areas.  We had a great time relaxing, shopping and swimming and were ready to get back on our ship at 3:30.

 This side of the island resort was just for laying out.  You can see the waves and the wind was really strong, too.  On a smooth day we might have been able to go snorkeling back to the right in a protected area, but it wasn't to be this day.

 Joe was trying to get a pic of Mark and Terry when first Marc jumped in and then Julie and I.  We sure had fun with the Bennetts and Allens!

 Leaving  Labadee, Haiti.  I think I would like to do the zip line the next time
 we come here - if there is a next time!  
Our cabin steward, Rodney, was from Haiti, so he got to see his wife and 6 kids in the few hours we were there.  He hadn't been home for 6 months, except for the few days when the Enchantment of the Seas pays a visit.

Friday, January 25, 2013

3rd Port of Call - Samana, Dominican Republic

Sailing into Port at Samana, Dominican Republic.
They took us by water taxi to shore.
Our whole trip the wind was always blowing about 10-15 knots so I bought this visor to keep my hair out of my face.  Didn't keep my hair from blowing around, though, as you can see!  Ha!

The view of our ship as we headed for shore.

The picture above is where the water taxi brought us ashore to get instructions for our excursion.  The Catamaran below came in to get all 45 of us who were signed up to go sailing, snorkeling, have lunch on the Island and swim until we had to catch a water taxi and be back on the ship by 3:30.

They motored up the shoreline about a mile to a dock and tied up.  We were going ashore to learn a little about Samana, have refreshment of fresh fruits and fruit drinks native to the country.
 The shoreline on this side was full of 3" round soap stones that when the waves came in made a 'clack, clack, clacking sound" and again when the waves went out.

 This native was trimming the follage with a machete and in the pic below you can see bananas growing upward on the tree.  

There was breadfruit and mango all over the ground.

Julie and I when we first came ashore.
This part of the Island was most jungle we were told.

When we got back on the Cat they put the sails up and we sailed for a little while.

 This was our captain and he made his own hat out of banana tree.
 This pic was taken right before we got our gear to go snorkeling.  Marc held my hand while we snorkeled  and he was able to point out starfish, conch, fish and other things in the water so I didn't miss anything.  Also the current was really strong so it helped us stay off the rocky shoreline.
 We sailed again for a while.  In the pic below, Columbus was reported to have sailed into the bay and set anchor there.

 My visor blew off into the water when we were motoring away from the village, but the captain just put the boat in reverse and one of the crew grabbed it for me!
We sailed around the tip of this island to a dock where we were dropped off.  They had a place to buy food so we ate lunch and then went down to the beach and swam for a while in the beautiful aqua colored water.

 The water taxis came to the dock on the island every 15 minutes to take people back to the ship.  We had a great day and lots of fun together.