My hubby and I decided to celebrate our 25th anniversary onboard a cruiseship in the Caribbean sea – the next few blogs is an account of that wonderful interlude.
Communicating en-route to Fort Lauderdale has been impossible – I am trying to send emails from airports along the way and not having great success.
Wolf, my husband and I are too tired to be excited as we make our way from Victoria, BC to Fort Lauderdale. Suffice it to say, it is a long and exhausting trip which culminates in a chance meeting of some really neat people at the Fort Lauderdale airport.
We decide not to leave the Fort lauderdale airport until we are ready to transfer to the ship as the weather is horrible – rainy, windy and humid – Definitely the aftermath of hurricane Rina. Instead we cautch a shuttle bus to air-terminal #3 in search of breakfast.
Wolf suggests we sit there and pass the time. We strike up a conversation with this fun couple who had just come off the Oasis of the Seas – they had visited the Caribbean and were still basking in the afterglow of their wonderful cruise. We exchanged contact details and hope to email each other in the future.
It is a real advantage being an Elite Captain’s Circle Member of Princess Cruise line, which I am, through my status of Commodore (I am a home-based cruiseship consultant an we are cruising to experience the Princess Cruiseline). One advantage which is so amazing is the ‘preferred boarding’.
As the taxi drops us at the ship terminal we are led straight to the Elite members lounge, then not even 10 minutes later we were through security and heading up the gangway. By 12:00am we were seated at the table eating lunch, our luggage in our cabin. The rain has not let up and there isn’t much we want more than to come to our cabin, unpack, shower and sleep.
After dinner we watch the show and stopped to catch a “movie under the stars”… NOT… more like under the rain, but we were nice and dry snuggled up on comfy loungers being fed, popcorn, ice-cream cones and pizza slices.
Next day – I am excited to see patches of clear sky and by the time we were ready to board the tenders to visit the Bahamian island of Eleuthera , it has cleared completely. Princess cays is a piece of paradise owned by Princess Cruise lines, its reputation of white sandy beaches, palm trees, gentle warm breezes and turquoise water did not disappoint.
We have one pressing objective – to get as much of that water as possible. We donned our snorkel gear and go exploring. That too was a pleasant surprise; neither of us had high expectations but are were amazed to see many familiar reef fish.
The designated snorkelling area extends from the beach out about 100 meters and nearly three times the width. There was enough sea life to keep us swimming for many hours. The water is warm and inviting and the visibility is good. Feeling the sun’s ray on our backs and seeing its reflection throwing moving patterns on the white sand below, transports us to that magical world where nothing else matters; where life above the water stands still, and where one becomes wrapped in a watery wonderland.
Our visit to this island ends too soon as the last tender left at 3:15pm – we however, made our way back before the crowds – having had our fill of food, just the perfect amount of sun, and a fair amount of exercise. Back on board we enjoyed a great dinner and a spectacular show; winding down the evening at the Karaoke bar listening to the onboard talent.
31 October, 2011 – Our first SEA day – waking takes a little longer than usual, as the gentle rocking motion of the ship sends us both into deep restful sleep, and being in an interior cabin, we don’t know whether it is night or day.
We eat a leisurely breakfast and headed off to find out more about our cruise. The Emerald Princess sailed on a south-easterly course during the night passing through the archipelago of Bahama Islands. Today we will pass approximately 20 nautical miles north of Turks and Caicos Islands. These are an archipelago of about 40 islands that lie north of Hispaniola of which only 7 of the islands are inhabited. Tonight we will pass of Puerto Rico heading towards St Thomas where we expect to dock at about 8:00am
We plan to explore the ship, visit the elite commodore desk to find out what my commitments are on this cruise and to hang out at the pool. The weather is clear and warm so it will be a good time to catch a few rays and relax, doing the normal cruise type things which includes eating, eating and more eating.
We are trying to make healthy choices but oh my gosh… it’s so difficult. The food is fantastic. It’s all still very exciting so lots more news to follow.
The happy couple…