Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Caribbean Cruise Blog Day 7

Cruiser’s Log, Day 7 (1/15/10)

I woke up once in the night at 2:30am to go to the bathroom. We got up at 7:30am, got ready, and went to breakfast at the “Garden Café.” After breakfast, we went down to “Bar City” to get tickets for the tenders to shore. I would have thought that since this is Norwegian’s private island (Grand Stirrip Cay, Bahamas), they would have a dock, but they don’t. I got tickets for boat three, but that was really kind of silly because as soon as we got back up to the room so I could change into my swimsuit and put in my contacts, they called for boats one, two, and three and herded us all onto whatever boat was there. I was hustling to get ready to go and when we got down there, there were a ton of people and it took forever to board. Finally we got on the tender and headed for the island.

The island isn’t as nice as I was expecting but it was still okay. It was nice to be on the beach on a nice day for a change. When I got up, I thought we were going to have another bad weather day because it was cloudy, no blue sky showing. But by the time we got on the tender, there were patches of blue, and by afternoon, it was only partly cloudy. The temps were in the low to mid 70s which may have been a bit cooler than we would have liked. As long as we were out of the water, it felt fine, nice combo of sun and breeze. But in the water, it felt icy! I tried a bit of snorkeling, but didn’t care for it. Partly I think the cold water made it hard to breathe, but mostly, I felt a bit claustrophobic in the mask and would panic. I did short dunks to look at the rocks and the fishes, but there really wasn’t that much to look at either. I had wanted to get an underwater camera to take pictures while snorkeling, but they weren’t available on the island--should have planned that one ahead, but they had told us we could book it all on the island. But since there was not much to see, it wasn’t that big of a loss. The one thing I didn’t like about the swimming area was that there were so many rocks and uneven ground, I stumbled a lot and dashed my toes a couple of times. I can’t believe I forgot and left my aqua socks at home!

We got out and laid out in the beach chairs until we were dried out and hot, then ate beach BBQ, then went back in the water again. We got out and laid out again, but the sun was getting too hot and I had to go to the bathroom pretty bad, so we boarded the next tender back to the ship. Plus, we had sunburned quite a bit more! Which is fine for me because at least I will go back with some color! The funny part is that I sprayed my shoulders with sunblock to keep them from getting more burned since they were already red, but now, I have a weird splotch that is lighter than the rest, complete with a drip pattern!!! Hilarious! I should have sprayed in the shape of a smiley face or something! Sun tattoos! We’d spent about four hours out there. We were delighted to find the latest towel sculpture that our steward had made for us in our room, two swans forming a heart, with my rose in the middle and a note, saying “happy honeymoon.” We ate some of the cake from the night before and watched “Kung Fu Panda” and Scott took a nap.

I went downstairs alone to get a drink refill, drop off a employee review card for our excellent steward, and redeem my coupon for a free route itinerary map. When I returned to the room, I “watched” the movie Vantage Point and skimmed through the book Scott had gotten last night from David Naster. Finally, I woke Scott up so we could go to dinner. We packed a bit, then went by the shore excursions desk to get a t-shirt that came with our snorkel rental for the day. Then we went to dinner at “Garden Café.” After dinner, we went to the bowling alley. We thought it might be interesting to bowl on a moving ship. We did terribly (we decided we do better on the Wii), so we quit after one wretched game and went back to our room to pack some more and get ready for bed.

Tomorrow is bittersweet. I feel sad that our cruise is over because we have had so much fun and it’s been so relaxing. And who knows when we could do this again. In a lot of ways, I feel like this has been a once in a lifetime trip. But on the other hand, I miss the kids, even if they probably will drive me nuts within the first few hours of being home. And truth be told, I guess I am a bit homesick. I miss my routine and my things.

A few items in retrospect. One thing I didn’t enjoy much about the cruise is how commercial it is. It doesn’t seem to be about relaxing and vacationing as much as it is about selling. Shops everywhere. They really push jewelry, both on the ship and at St. Thomas. Several of the TV channels are even dedicated to shopping or spending money in some way, shape or form. I suppose that if they didn’t push the extras so much, the fares for cruises would be higher, but I felt like I was living in the Home Shopping Network.

I had read that most people tend to overpack, so I tried hard not to. I succeeded in that quest…I UNDERpacked. I ran out of clothes and had to re-wear ones that I hadn’t dirtied too much. Also I had assumed there were certain things that I could find easily, such as contact lens solution or cotton balls. Nope. The only store that sold necessities was closed more than half of the trip. We finally found some contact lens solution in St. Thomas.

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