Blog Archive

Powered by Blogger.
May 31, 2011

Yup.  We went on another cruise. 9 days, Royal Caribbean, out of Baltimore on Enchantment of the Seas.

Pictures are here, here, here, here, there, here, and here.

I was going to do a play by play, but 9 days is a long time.  Let's see if I can sum up.

Day 1-3: Baltimore and at sea.  Got a US coast guard escort down the Chesapeake.  Teeny boat with a mounted machine gun.  Got oriented on the ship.  Made a few friends or at least people we waved to when we saw them in the hall - The Hershey couple, Dave and Clarissa 'we're not alcoholics' (seriously, that's how they introduced themselves - they were just NY Italians), the hyper short newlyweds, Jerry the drunken Scot (I repeat myself) (he kept trying to hire Brian to play piano at his Glasgow club) Frank and (probably Linda) the quilting couple who taught the classes, and crew members Resa, Fitzmorris, Yadira, Orce, South African jewelry shop lady, two Australian dancers (one who looked a lot like my Dad when he was young), and Captain Gus, who seemed to be doing more PR stuff than running the ship.

Day 4: San Juan.  Took a Walking Tour of Old San Juan.  Was fun and informative, and based on the amount of cars just SITTING in traffic, I was glad we didn't take the bus tour.  Amusing to be walking down an old, narrow, brick road and see: people having a party in a Hummer, since traffic wasn't moving, lots of cats, a Marshalls, a street beggar all in black, playing an accordion.  Found a cannon.

Day 5:  St Thomas.  Brian went snorkeling, I made a necklace.  We wandered around, ate lunch at Cuzzins, tried Conch, wandered in a local fabric store and an overpriced antiques shop, and a few random shops. They drive on the left side of the road, but in cars where the wheel was also on the left.   Pretty much EVERY car we saw had some sort of damage to it, but they were also more into customizing them.  Saw some interesting airbrush work!

Day 6: Dominican Republic.  Took a cave and mangrove tour, mostly by boat.  Beautiful national park (Los Haitises.)  Lots of birds and even some bats.  Didn't bother with the town, but to get to our tour boat we got to go to Deck 1 and through part of the crew quarters.  We also got to see how they loaded the tenders back on the ship.

Day 7:  Labadee, Haiti.  The cruise line's personal land resort.  Wandered around and took some pictures, but Brian slept in. It was soo humid I didn't want to do anything else.  Found some cannons, but no one was around to take my picture with it.

Day 8-9: at sea.  lots of cruise activities, lots of food, lots of sleeping. There were mostly comedians as guest performers for the nightly show, but we did have 'The Unexpected Boys' as a Four Seasons cover band.  The Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers were  OK.  The singers couldn't act, and the dancers couldn't sing, but they worked it out.

It was a great cruise, but I'd like to make a few proposals.

Clocks.  Why are there no clocks in the cabins??  Serious oversight.  Along with putting the phone on the far side of the room instead of on the nightstand.  When there's no clocks you have to resort to call wake up, which is at best awkward when you're sleeping in pitch blackness and have to stumble across the room in the dark.

Classes.  This cruise had arts and craft classes every day.  It was awesome.  Varying levels.  Appliqued towels, pineapple totes, knotted scarfs, tied, bracelets.  They had jewelry making classes, and scrapbooking classes.  Lots of fun.  It was nice to have a free souvenir of the trip that I made.  Not only did I get the item, I got the memories and the bonding with the other class-takers.  Keep it up! 

Other things I'd like to see would be destination introductions.  Before arriving at the next port, have a little documentary - a brief history of the place, a few photos, highlights of special places to visit.  The excursions are fun, but they're not ALL of the possibilities, and they give minimal information.  We did attend one thing that I hoped would be this format, but it turned out to be only about shopping on shore - where they wanted you to buy diamonds, watches, jewelry, etc.  I can do that at home!  I'm in a new place - I want to know what's unique about it!  It was very disappointing.  There were shows on TV, but they weren't specific to the ports we were visiting. 

As for my travel organization, it varied.  My hip bag worked out quite well once I learned the trick of getting the passport in and out.  I ended up cutting the adjustable strap off a spare passport holder that you tuck under your shirt, and that worked much better than the belt.  I made a little emergency medicine bag that was nice, except I forgot to add more aspirin, and totally didn't think about sunburn medicine.  Next time I'm going to take extra, since the shop AND the clinic ran out.  I never did find Tums.  Otherwise it was nice to have.  I had found a little zippered pouch at the thrift shop for a quarter. See through and the perfect size.  I may have to go back there and see if there's any more - they had a big container of them up by the cash register.  I had a little separate bag for clothing emergencies - wipes, safety pins, a tiny roller brush, sewing kit.  I could go right to it when I needed it.  I don't think I really missed or needed anything else - except maybe a travel sized toothbrush.

It's nice to be back, sort of.  It was about 80 degrees the entire time, we come back to 90 degree temperatures!  I think it's time we move to a cooler climate.