Cruising the Caribbean (Pt 2)

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Flag of Saint Martin  ,
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 17th - 24th 

We are all having a great time together. Dad
and mum have never walked so much and so far.  
This ship is huge, 365meters  long and  64 meters wide.  There are 2,704 cabins, a crew of 2,196, over 71 nationalities. The total amount of guests if full is 6,296.  It uses 16tons (18,000 litres) of fuel an hour at full speed (24knots).  5,500kms of electrical cable and   280 kms of  plumbing pipe was used in construction of this ship. (just a few stats for the fella's who may be reading this)  Amazing!!

This week we visited Nassau an island in the Bahamas.  Took a taxi to the Atlantis
resort, an amazing hotel complex, looks the same as the one in Dubai.  The penthouse suite here costs $25,000 per night, so anyone who is interested, the flights are quite cheap, and while the dollar is strong, it is a good time to think about going there!!!  There were some very impressive yachts that Mike thought were SOOO Nice!!  
 At night we went to the Solarium for a beautiful meal, a lovely restaurant on the 17th
floor of the ship, so we "fine dined" , We all chose Bison for main meal.  There were not many in the the restaurant, and our waiter (from Phillipines) was very friendly  and chatty, so Mike was asking so many questions, as usual, and we had a really enjoyable evening. 

Next day  it was fairly rough, but not enough for Mike.  Unless he has experienced a Hurricane,
Tornado, Tsunami, all at once I don't think he will really be happy!!!  

Arrived in St Thomas at, went on shore, looked round shops, then bartered with a taxi driver to take us to a good lookout area for photos.  We went in an old battered van
that went veerrry slowww  up the steep hill. The driver Randolph, and his big mate, Frank, who was like a gentle giant, were very friendly and quite funny, so had a good time.   A really great view over the harbour, even though it was a bit cloudy. It started to rain when we got back to ship, so went back on board, and had a light snack!! 

Next day we arrived at St Maartens.  This is where the airport is right near the
beach, and the planes go over  so low.  We hired a car, went to a few lookouts, then made our way to the beach to watch the planes.  I had the map, and as I can't read maps, (it
wasn't a very good one anyway), we took a while to find the beach.  As always I got the blame when Mike ended up on a no through road, after he decided to take a short cut, on a dirt road
(does this sound familiar Steve M.)  just so he could show dad, he knew where he was going.   Wow, am I glad we have a GPS for when we are in the bus!!   I won't be have to stay in
my seat, I can quietly get up and just walk to the back of the bus, close the door, and he can find his own way to where we may be going, even if he has gone down a one way street, and has jack-knifed RV and the car, he  may very well find himself ON HIS OWN   trying to do a 20 point turn  HA!!  
Anyway, (after that little diversion in the story) finally we found our way to the beach and it was so crowded. Because the sea was so rough, there was not much room to stand on the
beach, and if one did, it was quite deadly. The waves were amazing  every so often, an extra huge wave would come, and go right up onto up on to the road, it was quite funny to watch as people and towells, bags, etc were getting soaked. We even saw one little girl, about 2yrs old, get washed off her feet, go under the water, tumbled around, then hit her head, poor little love. She was very upset, quite scary for her and her parents. 

We watched about 10 planes come in to land, and some take off.  Some people hold on to a fence, and nearly get blown off their feet, as the plane leaves. (even though the sign
says not to do this, as it is dangerous)  On one jet, the pilot put his arm out the cockpit window, waved to us all, then really put on a show, as he revved the engines, and roared down the
runway.  Finally we got to see the big one, an Air France airbus came into land. Fantastic.  Dad and mum loved it, so low, right above our heads.  Even though it was a very windy day, we really enjoyed watching the planes. 
We had dad and mum scrambling over rocks, climbing over fences, to stand at the best
vantage point for photos, view etc.  They did so well, and no-one had a fall, so that was good!!

Finally back to the ship for a nice shower and dinner, after we had stood on the balcony and watched a Carnival ship leave, then we left, and St Maartens gradually disappeared 
into the fading light.  Such a good day.  After dinner we went to watch the Ice Skating show again, but half way through it was cancelled, as the sea was a bit rough, and the ship was a bit rocky.

During the next day, we had two of the Indian waiters in one of the cafe's recognize dad as "the man who had played cricket with Don Bradman". One man, even touched him on the shoulder, in honour of such a brilliant man.  So funny, mum gets most embarrassed, but as always dad just smiles"

Our last day was sailing, so we packed, watched rock climbing, then the flowrider, (a fast flowing pool, that you can either go on a boogie board, or stand up and surf)  A man fell, hit his head hard, and had to be taken off on a stretcher, with a neckbrace on.  After that dad decided he wasn't going to have a turn, he thought maybe he would just stick to rock climbing.  In the afternoon they showed "Sound of Music" sing along version, on the big screen outside.  Dad and Mike just couldn't wait to get there, and sang at the top of their voices!!! Quite embarrassing really!! 

Last night in the dining room, all the waiters sang for us, and we said goodbye to Michelle and Robert, who had waited on our table all week.  Such nice people, and very happy. 

We dis-embarked at 10am, hired a van, drove back to Orlando, where we have a timeshare for next week.    At night we watched and listened to Tim Hall give exhort at Golden Grove . 
It was so nice to be part of the meeting. 

Anyway, bye for now, thanks for reading the blog, keep safe and well,  God bless.
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