Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Cruise - Monday and Tuesday
Today we were supposed to dock at Grand Turk Island but because of the high winds and waves they canceled that port of call. It was rainy all day and they had the doors to the outside decks closed off due to the high seas. We were walking crazy still because the ship was rolling. I am sure that the owners of the ship loves days like this because there is nothing to do but hit the shops!! The ships log which they gave us at the end of the cruise described the conditions as Strong Gales, Very High Seas, Moderate Swell and Scattered cloudy skies - I would describe the scattered cloudy skies as mainly rain!! The picture on the left shows what it looked like most of Sunday afternoon and Monday. Sunday evening they had a fantastic singing and dancing program called "Under the Boardwalk" with the Zuiderdam singers and dancers and they were so good. I told Ed we were getting old, if we could go on a cruise and they presented a whole show full of 60's songs!! Those were my teenage years!!
Like I said before though - everyone took the weather in stride and the food was still delicious. It was a lazy day and we found out afterwards that if we had wandered up to deck 9 the aft pool had a glass ceiling that closed over it - so people still swam and hot tubbed - we missed it. Monday night a couple called the amazing 88's played piano and sang and that was such a fun program. They were fantastic piano players - both of them and they sang songs that the audience got to sing and clap along with. We could have listened to them for hours. Neither Ed nor I are into bingo or karaoke and although we walked through the casino several times we didn't even drop a quarter in the slot - but we loved the food and we loved the shows.
Tuesday morning we arrived at Road Town Tortola - in the British Virgin Islands. We were supposed to get there at noon but since we sailed past Grand Turk the day before we got an extra four hours in Tortola. It is a beautiful island and was definitely the high point of our trip. It is described in the daily program as "powdery white sand beaches, lush green mountains, and a sheltered yacht filled harbor characterize the island of Tortola" and that describes it to a tee!
We got off the ship and there was a nice covered pavilion with a couple of ladies there to help us find the correct taxi for our prescheduled activities. We explained that we didn't pre book anything but we wanted a tour of the island and to go snorkeling - they were well organized and she pointed out a couple of people to talk to. We set up a boat tour for 1 pm to go snorkeling and then went over and found a taxi taking people on island tours. We had our snorkeling equipment with us and off we went with about nine other people. Tortola is a small island with about 16,000 people living on the Island. The British Virgin Islands comprise of about 26,000 people total. We left the harbor and went on a gorgeous drive up to the top of the island where the picture above was taken - at about 1700 feet above sea level. The driver gave us a lot of history of the island and answered questions as we went. He made about six 'portrait' stops and we of course took pictures at them all. Then we headed back down the other side of the island to a beautiful cove called Cane Cove. The sand was white and smooth and we headed down the beach to the area where the best snorkeling normally was - but the waters were still too churned up because of Tropical Storm Noel. So instead we just played in the water and stretched out on our towels (Note to Jamie: the ships provide them so you don't have to take up precious suitcase room for them!) and enjoyed the sunshine. We found that although the beaches were free public beaches the chairs were for rent - we cheaped out on this one cause the sand was so soft - we bought ourselves some virgin mai tai's and soaked up the sun. When it was time to meet the others to head back to port we got an extra 15 minutes of shopping in the outdoor shopping spots. Fun! I got Ed and my Dad some nice t-shirts and bought some of the tshirts for gifts for all the kids and grandkids. We had a family from Roosevelt on our ship with us that we met on the van - small world- they were excited to find someone that actually knew where Roosevelt Utah was - The ladies had bought some cute sundresses that made wonderful swim suit cover ups and wore them back to the boat. We got back to the ship - showered and changed and had lunch in the dining room and then headed back off the ship again to do some more shopping right next to the port.
We canceled our 1 oclock boat tour because the snorkeling was no good - but we had lots of fun wandering through Road Town and I bought a gorgeous hibiscus flower made out of reddish coral. They told me that it was made right there in the BVI - I told Ed that if I got home and found a 'made in china' tag on it I would be very unhappy (they sold it to us boxed and sealed to protect it during travel) - but sure enough it was made in the British Virgin Islands. While we were shopping Ed found me a couple of those cute dresses - they need to have sleeves sewn in them - then I could wear them anytime and not just as a swimsuit cover up.
After we got back to the ship we crashed - it got really hot and muggy there in town in the afternoon - up on top of the island there was a wonderful breeze and it was much cooler!! We took our naps and went to dinner.
We skipped the show that night as it started at 11:30 pm - and thats too late for us old folks - especially since we were docking at St Thomas, US Virgin Islands early the next morning!!