mothers day

Friday, November 9, 2007

Wednesday - Charlotte Amelie, St Thomas Islands

The sun was shining as the ship docked on St Thomas in the British Virgin Islands. Immediately upon arriving the immigration people came on board and had to check the ID's of every person on board the ship. They sent the aliens one direction and the citizens a different direction - they they called each deck one at a time so we didn't have to stand in line long - when they called deck 5 we headed downstairs to the Queens lounge and there a nice lady asked to see our passports and waved us on through. We were given a green card (cardstock) saying we had been through immigration. No one was allowed off of the boat until everyone on board had been cleared. So we headed to the dining room for breakfast while waiting for the all clear signal to go ashore. Welcome to the United States!!

The main city is Charlotte Amalie named after the Danish Queen when they founded the island. There were a total of six cruise ships in port today so it made the city very very busy. The island has about 78000 people living on it and it was much more hectic than Tortola. Again, we hadn't prebooked any activities because people had told us it was easy to book something on shore and that it was alot cheaper on shore. They weren't nearly as organized at this port and it looked like we weren't going to find anything available until someone pointed out a lady with a clipboard. We went over and talked to her and got what we thought was going to be a snuba trip - and the lady was from our cruise ship so we ended up paying full price....and when we got to the cove we found out that the snuba class was already overbooked and what we ordered (and paid for) was simply a snorkeling day. It did get us to the bay, and the price included snorkel gear which we didn't need and a class in how to snorkel (which we also didn't need). The fish were pretty and although the water wasn't as clear as say, Hawaii was we enjoyed ourselves. We snorkeled and fed the fish and then found a nice spot on the beach to enjoy the sun. Ed wandered over to the 'bar' and got us some cokes and when he got back to me and the towels he was 'bawled' out by the 'waitress' - for getting our drinks ourselves.

Evidently this 'area' of the beach was her serving spot and she lost out on a couple of sales cause we had bought our own. She let us know that if we wanted anything else, to tag her and she would get it for us!!

With about 1/2 hour left before our ride took us back, we wandered over to the animal park attached to the beach. This was part of our ticket price too. The most fun about it was the iguanas. We had seen a couple of them lazing in the sun by the shark pool but when a worker pulled out the lettuce they came from all over!

We headed back to Charlotte Amelie and back to the ship for lunch and to wash the salt water off of us and then we headed back to
Charlotte Amelie. The city itself was probably four or five miles away so we caught a taxi and he was not happy with the fact that there were only the two of us. The taxis are all open air rides with roofs - and can normally hold 12 people. EVERY single time he stopped at a stop sign he would holler at the people walking down the sidewalk to see if he could pick up more passengers. We were so ticked off at his attitude we gave him our eight bucks and NO TIP! We wandered through the stores but they were looking for bigger fish to fry than us ... everything was high class high dollar ...finally we headed over to the open air market and I found the prettiest thing for Mauri for her birthday. We also found a large bag with embroidered wording that said St Thomas on it - we need it to put all the t shirts we have bought for the whole family - our luggage was already full and we bought lots more. About 4 pm we headed back to the ship, catching another taxi - on the way back I realized today was Halloween as we passed a car with a full sized skeleton sitting in the passenger seat. The driver caught my eye and grinned at my reaction and I hollered "Happy Halloween" as we went past. Amazingly enough, in a city overrun with cruise ships and people from all over the world, I heard someone call out "There's ED!" Sure enough, I looked back and there was Martina Crawford who shared an office with Ed for his first six or eight years at the corporate office. She was with her fiance and they had shipped out of Cape Canaveral on Sunday but because of Noel they changed their schedule and landed in St Thomas the same day as we did. Small world!!

The ship left harbor that evening at 6:30 while we were eating. Dinner that night was a hoot. Being Halloween they served eye of newt and batwing and all sorts of halloweeny dishes. Of course it was normal food with a fun twist on the names. I wish I could have kept the menu. They did have a costume parade and some of the costumes were amazing...the people must have packed one whole extra suitcase just to bring their costumes!

That evening was a magic show by James Cielen - a master illusionist and magician. It was fascinating - I haven't the slightest idea how he did any of his tricks - really really good. He also had a cute sense of humor and would get laughing at himself so hard he would duck his head and his shoulders would just shake with laughter. It was a top notch show.

After the show we wandered around the ship until 9:30 when we headed for the lido deck where they had a chocolate extravaganza. Now gooey chocolate does not look good at that time of the night for me (since I have to check my blood level at 11:00) but they had the most fantabulous assortment of chocolate - they had chocolate sculptures and strawberries dipped in chocolate and chocolate fountains and trays and trays of the most lucious deserts - all made with chocolate. It was a feast for your eyes and I was really proud of myself that all I had was a couple of strawberries dipped in chocolate and a sugar free chocolate mousse' - that was delicious!! and when I checked my blood level I was right at 103 - exactly where I was supposed to be.

Fun day, fun things to see and experience. Wonderful memories.


Glenn said...

What does it mean to "Snuba"? And that is awesome that you saw Martina! Congrats on her engagement too!
Kecia (incognito as Glenn)

Susan said...

Snuba is a combination of scuba and snorkeling - you wear a mask that is hooked to a long long hose to air tanks floating on the surface. That way you can dive for 15-20 feet and stay underwater for 10-15 minutes at a time but you don't need to watch gages and be scuba accredited