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Back to Bermuda on a Repositioning Cruise

Getting Underway


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Grandeur of the Seas and Pearl & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Prequel
After I got back from the trip to Ireland with my grandson (and this trip blog has not been finished), we had a mini-family reunion at the Oyster Festival in October. This was our next trip
End Prequel

We made it and I have (against all odds) - I think - figured out how to log on from the ship.
Sunset - November 22nd

Sunset - November 22nd


We had a really nice Thanksgiving dinner at D's on the 22nd.
Grandson and dog after dinner

Grandson and dog after dinner


But I tried to connect the laptop to the car cigarette lighter and found that they had sent me the wrong connector. They told me that I'd have to send the item back (printing out the address label), and then they'd send me another one. They are sending the Correct One to B's address.

I finally got the address label printed out on the old Dell (I still have not attached the new computer to the wireless printer because I can't find the printer disc), and then tried to find a place to take it because Mailboxes Etc was closed all weekend. I dropped it in the box up by the courthouse.

I had also meant to test out the new GPS for the mapping software, but I forgot to bring it to D's, so I took the computer out into the yard to do that. I guess the computer was a little confused because it told us to turn left, and then it turned right and went down Camp Calvert Rd and out into the water, obviously under the impression that the car was a boat.

I had also asked on one of the websites if Camden (the premier's house in Bermuda) had been reopened after the renovation. Nobody had answered until someone told me to phone and ask. But of course this was late Friday night. I decided I needed to enable the cell phone to be able to phone from Bermuda or in the Caribbean, and was told that I had a past due bill, and was not allowed to make any changes in my account.

When I finally tracked it down, I found that when my credit card number was stolen in June I had reported that it was no longer a good card. In July, I had given them my new number to bill me with, but the old number was still on the website, and they were trying to bill that number (which of course didn't work). They were not sending me any paper bills, so I didn't know that the bill was unpaid. I finally got that taken care of. I put the house (landline) phone on auto answer with a message that says NOT to leave a message.

Saturday November 24th

We picked up the rental car (a Ford Focus) and Bob started putting his luggage in it. He has FIVE bags. He is using my folding rolling cart so that he can take them all at once. I have the little red rolling bag that I used in June, the small black carryon that I used in June, a large yellow duffle (Bob also has a duffle which is red), and the bag I got to hold my new computer.

I used the ATM card at Cedar Point for the first time and got some cash, and also filled my car with diesel, and Bob winterized all of the cars and other rolling stock and took down the flag.

Sunday November 25th
Bob turned off the water and put antifreeze in the toilets, and I unplugged the TV and DirecTV and the modem and detached the phone lines except for the phone with the answering machine.
Our house

Our house


We left the house a little after nine. I wanted to go across 100 and up New Ridge Rd, but Bob said there weren't any gas stations there (although the mapping software says that there are) so he went around the airport access road and got gas at the Royal Farms station at 1100. The car cost us $20.59 including tax and we went 89 miles altogether. We got the shuttle van to the airport (the driver showed us how to put the luggage on the way we had it strapped together, and Bob tipped him $5.00.
Trees

Trees


We got a taxi and it cost not quite $27 to get to the cruise ship terminal. However, they had to sniff everyone with a police dog (including all the buses), and the driver had to show a photo ID. It took another $5 worth of waiting time to get through the line to leave our bags. So Bob gave him $40 (which considering that we had 9 bags plus the luggage cart which had to ride in the front wasn't bad).

We gave our luggage to the luggage people (6 bags), and Bob carried on two and I carried on my computer bag. We had to go through security to get into the terminal building - my laptop had to be taken out of the bag etc. Inside, I had done the on-line check-in, entering all our information, and all that worked well. About all he had to do was scan our passports. Then he gave us a Sea and Sail card, and gave us a boarding number of yellow 4. They were at that time calling red boarding numbers.

When they started calling yellow numbers, we went through the line to have our photo taken, and then walked on the ship. It was then about 1255. The signs all said that our rooms wouldn't be ready until 1300 (1:00 pm) but we pushed through the fire door and went to our room which is near the bow right behind the forward elevators on the third deck.

We have a queen bed with a mirror wall headboard, and what appears to be a real curtain so that we can curtain off the bed. There's the usual desk (which has TWO 110 plugs instead of just one), and a little couch. The TV is on a swivel so it comes out of the cabinet and rotates on a turntable toward the bed. The BIG problem (other than very little storage) is that Bob can't get out from his side of the bed with the TV out of the cabinet. Even with the TV in flat to the cabinet, he has to step over the end of the bed. The bathroom is QUITE small, with a round shower.
Bathroom_sink_in_the_cabin

Bathroom_sink_in_the_cabin

We dropped our carry on bags off and went up to the buffet on deck 10. It was a zoo. I was not impressed. I got a little bit of pasta,
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and a piece of dried out roast beef and some lemonade. I had a momentary brain fart and when the guy came by with the pina coladas, I got a virgin one. It was $5.95!!! Oh well. It was good.

We walked around the ship for a bit and found our table in the dining room and looked at the theatre and then went down and unpacked the suitcases that we had gotten.

Then at 1530, we had the lifeboat drill which is two decks up (no elevators). I took a couple of pictures afterwards.
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Port of Baltimore - Nov 25th 2007

Port of Baltimore - Nov 25th 2007

I wanted to take some photos of the city as we left, but we didn't leave right at the time we were scheduled to leave (someone suggested that it might be because people were having luggage problems with the heavy air travel on the Sunday after Thanksgiving), so by the time we left it was dark.
Leaving the Port of Baltimore - Nov 25th

Leaving the Port of Baltimore - Nov 25th


The Cruise Critic people were going to be up at the Viking lounge (the very top of the ship on deck 11 which you can only get to by the atrium elevators which are glass) for the sail-away. I went up there - Bob said he'd seen enough of that kind of thing. We were supposed to be wearing Carnival beads so that we would know each other, but I hadn't found any. I sat down with some people who proved to be from Dunkirk (the next county to where we live. I did try to take a couple of photos, but it was pretty dark.
Police boat

Police boat


We were early seating at dinner at a table of 10. One of the men at the table was in my Towson HS class '55. His name is Bill Fahey. He was in the print shop group - he didn't remember me at all, and I don't remember him, but his name is familiar.
Mr and Mrs Fahey

Mr and Mrs Fahey


Sunday dinner was OK, but not real special. I had a quiche appetizer,
Quiche

Quiche

Spinach salad

Spinach salad


and a steak with some root vegetables and a baked potato.
Steak

Steak


Bob had fish. For dessert, he had
Apple pie a la mode

Apple pie a la mode


and I had something that was called "ivory chocolate fondue with berries and crunchy bits".
Ivory Chocolate Fondue

Ivory Chocolate Fondue


We had to set our watches back an hour so that the ship time would match Bermuda which is on Atlantic time.

Monday 26 November 2007
We went up to breakfast in the main dining room about at the end of the time that breakfast was served, and were seated at a table for 10. Service was a bit hit or miss. Bob got V8 juice and I got cranberry. Bob got his oatmeal first and I got my Eggs Benedict last.
Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict


I thought the menu was duller than on Holland-American - there were no breakfast specials.

Right after breakfast we went up to Trivia - we had to leave breakfast to get there by 1000, and we had already missed 3 questions. One of the problem questions for me was "What non-aquatic mammal is the only one who can't jump?" Their answer was 'elephant', but I have since wondered about rhinos and Bobs answer was 'sloth'.

It was a little rough, and, although it didn't bother us too much, we saw barf bags stuck into the stairway railings for instant use. We went to lunch in the main dining room also, and I had something they called Panzanella Salad which was topped with two scallops on a skewer and ricotta and
Panzanella Salad

Panzanella Salad


asparagus cannelloni (of which I could only eat one)
Riccotta and asparagus

Riccotta and asparagus


and Bob had a burger. He asked them to hold the bun, and they did - they also gave him TWO burgers instead of just one because they were apparently worried that he would not have enough to eat. He had carrot cake
Bob's Dinner dessert - Carrot Cake

Bob's Dinner dessert - Carrot Cake


and I had apple peach crumble for dessert.
Apple peach crumble

Apple peach crumble


After lunch, we went up to the Viking Crown Lounge for the Meet and Mingle. I went out on deck to take a photo of a freighter that was crossing the ship's path and then came back to the M&M.
freighter - North Atlantic

freighter - North Atlantic

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Went down to sign on and get email. There was a certain amount of confusion about that. I was told that I would have to sign on with RCI's computers first, so I did that. There were no directions up there, but someone who was there (in ship uniform) told me that I would have to sign on to the wireless section and could not use the RCI computers and that since I had done it wrong, I'd have to go down to the purser's desk. So I signed on to the wireless, and then I went down to the purser's desk and she basically said - no problem. I also bought bus/ferry passes for Bermuda. ($20 @ for two days)

For dinner that evening (which was formal) I had the roast duck which had purple cabbage with it,
Duckling

Duckling


and Bob had fish.
Fish

Fish


For dessert we both had sugar free coconut cake.
Coconut cake

Coconut cake


Bob went back to the cabin and I went up to the internet cafe with my computer (which I took to dinner) and logged on and sent email etc. There is wireless in the atrium area, but I can't find anyplace to plug the computer in except under the desks in the computer cafe. There's a nice musical group playing in the atrium two decks down, and I can hear them in the computer cafe.

At 9 pm I went to the show. I looked for Bob but didn't see him. Found out later that he was down in the cabin glued to Bill OReilly whom I can't stand. The show was pretty good - it was three black guys in white suits doing Mo-town. I enjoyed it and the theatre was well thought out and had good sight lines and reasonably good lighting and stage effects. The band consisted of a piano/keyboard player, two guitarists, a drummer, two trumpets, a trombone and a sax. The one guitar player would stand with his back to the audience to start the band.

We will be in Bermuda on the 27th and 28th. The webcam TV channel does not show the webcam, and it has all the wrong information. It said that the water temp in Baltimore harbor was 82 deg F (NOT), and that our next port of call was San Juan. It has the wrong route on it.

The TV is a complete loss - it has two cartoon channels, ESPN, two CNNs and some amalgam of CBS, and Fox. We can't hear the announcements in the cabin and there's no way to turn them on.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:59 Archived in Saint Martin Tagged port baltimore grandeur_of_the_seas Comments (0)

Hunting for Camden

Back to Bermuda part 2


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Grandeur of the Seas and Pearl & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Tuesday November 27th

Because the intercoms don't work in our room, and they made the announcement that we were coming in to Bermuda while Bob was in the shower, we didn't hear it. So we went up to the WIndjammer Cafe for breakfast, and it was again a disaster. I finally got something to eat. I had to wait for them to fix the machine for cranberry juice which was a viable option in the dining room. I saw that the ship was swinging around, so I went out on deck and took pictures of us coming in.
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The markers are on the same side (red on the right coming into the harbor), but the numbers are reversed - odd on red and even on green instead of the other way around.
Green 24

Green 24

large_20e1fb90-dfac-11e8-9024-47d228a20513.jpglarge_a79f8090-dfab-11e8-86ef-5dabf5c0e384.jpglarge_c14709a0-dfab-11e8-86ef-5dabf5c0e384.jpgClocktower Mall Arriving in Bermuda

Clocktower Mall Arriving in Bermuda


Bermuda looked beautiful and it was sunny and warm. One of the tugs that came out to the ship was named Powerful.
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The water bottles Bob brought from home are too big to fit in either his fanny pack or mine, so I turned the plastic Royal Caribbean bag inside out and we put one into that.

Getting off the ship was a zoo. We followed a crowd down to deck one (which is all for the crew) and then the leader of the group realized that people were following that were NOT on tours, and he made us all go back up the steps to deck 2 and then we had to go back down to one and stand in line while they checked us out with our Sea and Sail card.

We were on the outside of the long dock. There was a shuttle bus to take us around the Dockyard, but we didn't find out about it until the last day. Bob walking ahead of me

Bob walking ahead of me


(Overcrowding in British Prisons led to housing convicts on ships where they were also readily available for labour)
Convict hulks sign on the way to the ferry dock

Convict hulks sign on the way to the ferry dock


We walked to the ferry dock and I asked about the St. George ferries because Art (at our table) has a scooter and was told that he was told that he could take that ferry. But I didn't think it ran in the latter part of November. It turned out that they went ahead and ran that ferry anyway for the cruise ship, but they did the trip out and turned right around and ran back.

We got on the ferry to Hamilton and I was going to look for the CSY that we'd seen before, so I wanted to go out on deck. Bob said I couldn't do that, but I did anyway. However in doing that I missed seeing the CSY, and Bob saw it but failed to take a photo of it.
Ferry to Hamilton

Ferry to Hamilton

large_b07b6a80-dfab-11e8-86ef-5dabf5c0e384.jpgHamilton

Hamilton

Princess Hotel

Princess Hotel

large_272f2450-dfac-11e8-9024-47d228a20513.jpglarge_28940b80-dfac-11e8-9024-47d228a20513.jpgRoyal Bermuda Yacht Club from the ferry 2007

Royal Bermuda Yacht Club from the ferry 2007

The Bank of Bermuda and the Ferry terminal from the ferry

The Bank of Bermuda and the Ferry terminal from the ferry


When we asked the man at the ferry dock window where the Information Center was, he said it was the first pink shack. But we walked around and never did find it.
Empty birdcase in 2007

Empty birdcase in 2007

Whitewashing the roof

Whitewashing the roof

Post box in Hamilton

Post box in Hamilton


Eventually we walked up Queen St
Lemon Tree

Lemon Tree


past the gardens that were started by Perot
Par la Ville gardens

Par la Ville gardens


and stopped in the Perot post office. Perot was the person who made the first Bermuda postage stamp. I had never been inside, so we went in and I took some photos.
Perot Post Office sign

Perot Post Office sign

Stamps at Perot Post Office

Stamps at Perot Post Office

Slots for Local, Boat and Airmail

Slots for Local, Boat and Airmail


Park from the side of the historical society

Park from the side of the historical society


Then we went next door to the Historical Society Museum which is in the library. The reason I wanted to visit the information office was to find out whether Camden House would be open.
Historical Society Museum and Library

Historical Society Museum and Library

Historical Society Museum

Historical Society Museum


The man at the historical society phoned for me. I activated my phone, but did not make many calls, as it said it was Cingular and I was afraid of high charges. I later found that I had about $6.00 worth of charges from Bermuda
Historical Museum

Historical Museum

Historical Society Museum

Historical Society Museum

Historical Museum

Historical Museum

Bob sitting under Mrs. Perot's portrait

Bob sitting under Mrs. Perot's portrait


Sir George Somer's Portrait

Sir George Somer's Portrait


We looked around the museum, and I saw a post card which I thought I would send to my granddaughter, but I didn't remember the zip code. So I took it thinking I'd send it later.
large_a5d59600-dfab-11e8-86ef-5dabf5c0e384.jpgWalking to the bus terminal

Walking to the bus terminal


We walked up to the City Hall
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City Hall

City Hall

City Hall statues and fountain

City Hall statues and fountain

City Hall statue

City Hall statue

Coat of arms on City Hall

Coat of arms on City Hall

City Hall wind vane

City Hall wind vane


and got a bus map from the bus station and took the Route 1 bus to the Botanical Garden.
Botanical Garden sign

Botanical Garden sign


Botanical Garden landscape being renovated

Botanical Garden landscape being renovated

Botanical Garden sign about Landscape Renovation

Botanical Garden sign about Landscape Renovation


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Chicken in the Botanical Garden

Chicken in the Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden cedar

Botanical Garden cedar


Cat in Botanical Garden

Cat in Botanical Garden

Bob walking ahead of me in the Botanical Garden

Bob walking ahead of me in the Botanical Garden


It turned out that we got off at a stop that was a LONG way from the
Visitor's Center

Visitor's Center

Snack bar

Snack bar


We had lunch at the snack bar there - Bob bought a tuna salad sandwich and I had egg salad, and a drink and a cookie.
Our lunch

Our lunch


Hibiscus in the Botanical Garden

Hibiscus in the Botanical Garden


Then we walked over the Camden House, and went inside. The man explained that it was built c 1716 by a man from Camden in the UK, and that he had died in 1789 (or thereabouts) and was buried right between the front stairs. There's a hibiscus bush there now. He also said that the brochure was misleading because hurricane Fabian caused a bunch of leaks and they had to redo the furnishings, so the pictures that are in the brochure don't match what you see. They did allow me to take pictures.
Camden

Camden

Bob going up the steps of Camden

Bob going up the steps of Camden


Entrance Hall

Entrance Hall

Dining Room with Bermuda cedar table

Dining Room with Bermuda cedar table


Living Room Fireplace

Living Room Fireplace


Living Room

Living Room

large_7208a490-e3cd-11e8-b3a0-c3034eb864c4.jpgGrandfather clock

Grandfather clock

Second Floor porch

Second Floor porch

View from the second floor

View from the second floor

Front steps from above

Front steps from above

Upstairs from the porch

Upstairs from the porch

Guide of Camden

Guide of Camden

Hibiscus outside Camden

Hibiscus outside Camden


from the Botanical Garden

from the Botanical Garden


Then we walked down a different way and got the Route 1 bus again going out to St. Georges.
5b30bd90-dfac-11e8-b5fd-09998d0c3987.jpgbus stop

bus stop


Shore from the bus

Shore from the bus

f8e63080-e3d3-11e8-8357-df44d6e7836d.jpgShoreline

Shoreline

large_f5a165c0-e3d3-11e8-8357-df44d6e7836d.jpglarge_fb7e4080-e3d3-11e8-84b4-67607584d6a7.jpgSwizzle Inn (Swagger Out Gift Shop)

Swizzle Inn (Swagger Out Gift Shop)


We passed Spittal Pond, and two golf courses - one of them was Tucker's Point.
No parking at any time

No parking at any time

Golf Course

Golf Course

Tuckers

Tuckers


We saw the sign for Crystal Caves,
Crystal Cave sign

Crystal Cave sign


but didn't get off.
Coming in to St. George

Coming in to St. George


We got off at the end of the line just outside St. George,
St Georges Bus stop

St Georges Bus stop

St Georges

St Georges

School girls at the bus stop

School girls at the bus stop


and waited right there at the bus stop because I didn't feel like walking the extra distance in to town. I told Bob that we'd take any bus except 1 or 3 (because those would be a repeat of where we'd just been).
St David_s bus trip

St David_s bus trip

Police car

Police car

large_f8128cd0-e3d3-11e8-8357-df44d6e7836d.jpgDouble Dip Xpress

Double Dip Xpress

St David_s pre-school

St David_s pre-school

School children

School children


The first one that came was a 6, which went out to St. Davids, where we'd never been before. We picked up many of the school children (with the bus driver lecturing them all the way) and circled around the lighthouse.
St David's Lighthouse

St David's Lighthouse


I have never actually been able to visit the lighthouse - the best I have been able to do is to take a photo from the bus. St. Davids is one of two main lighthouses on Bermuda. It is the one most visible when you come in on a cruise ship. It is still active. Finished after three years in 1879. the tower also carries flashing red and green lights that cover nearby shoals. It is an octagonal limestone tower with lantern and double gallery; It has a 2nd order Fresnel lens. Formerly all white, the lighthouse is now painted white with a broad red band in the center. it acts as the finishing line for such major yacht races as the Newport Bermuda. The keeper's house is occupied by resident caretakers. The lighthouse is located on a hilltop on St. David's Island, in St. George Parish, near the northeastern tip of the islands. Open daily from 7:30am to 4pm between May and September. Admission is free. Sometimes it remains closed for maintenance. There are some 85 odd steps and the climb is relatively easy. This is a great place to see groups of humpback whales that pass through Bermuda waters in April and May.

We got to Kindley Field Recreational Facility (right next to the airport), and got off there and transferred to a number 11 back to Hamilton
Hamilton bus stop

Hamilton bus stop

Airport from the bus 2007

Airport from the bus 2007


The bus to Hamilton was crowded when we got on. They are repairing the bridge to the airport so traffic goes on the temporary bridges.
Temporary bridges

Temporary bridges


I got to talking to three couples - one from Middletown DE and the other two from Sharpburg MD - all living in communities with covenants which I absolutely don't agree with. I mean - no clothesline?? How eco friendly is that??

We walked to the ferry, and there wasn't one to the Dockyard until 5:30,
Ferry Dock

Ferry Dock


and it didn't get there until after 6 and it was almost too dark to take pictures of the boat on the way back.
Hamilton at night from the ferry 2007

Hamilton at night from the ferry 2007

Ferry back to ship

Ferry back to ship

Ship at night

Ship at night


They did tie up right next to the ship (on the other side of the wharf from it instead of our having to walk all the way around from the regular ferry dock which would REALLY have been too late. First we had to check in with security showing our sail pass and a photo ID (I used my PADI card). Then we had to take off hats (so they could see we didn't have anything concealed or so they could see our faces better to compare with our sail pass card) and go through ship security, and then put everything onto the belt to go through the magnetometer or whatever it is. A number of people have had knee replacements and the metal in their knees makes the beeper go off.

Even though Bob said it was too late to eat in the dining room, I went directly to the dining room and had dinner, and Bob went back to the room and then up to the Windjammer buffet which he said wasn't so bad when there weren't any people up there. I had a cold pepper soup, a lettuce wedge and a curry thing with asparagus on it in a puff pastry shell.
Curry Dinner

Curry Dinner


I didn't like the curry so I just ate the shell and the asparagus. For dessert I had Chocolate Marquise which was a chocolate cream pudding with a hard chocolate crust. Very good.
Chocolate Marquise

Chocolate Marquise


Meanwhile, we had saved the bottles that we bought our drinks in and washed them out and refilled them. They are small enough to fit one of them in my waist pack.

Wednesday November 28

We went up to the dining room for breakfast and I had a half grapefruit, cranberry juice, cream of wheat, yogurt and a roll. Bob had V8 and shredded wheat. The waiter told him they were out of skim milk, and also out of whole milk. He was joking. Sometimes the waiters open your milk cartons for you.

There was a young couple, and an older couple opposite us and a much older couple on our side of the table. The older couple opposite us said they were from West Point VA.

She had a white beehive bouffant type hairdo and chandelier dangly earrings. She said she was born in 1938. Hey - she's a year younger than I am. She looks like an old lady to me.
walking to the ferry

walking to the ferry

large_c4449230-dfab-11e8-86ef-5dabf5c0e384.jpgBone Fish

Bone Fish


We walked off the ship and took the ferry back to Hamilton so that I could take pictures of the CSY (a boat like ours) that we saw anchored from the ferry.
Green channel marker

Green channel marker


CSY Pilothouse

CSY Pilothouse


whitewashing the roof

whitewashing the roof


When we were here in 2004 Smiths and Trimminghams were one big store because Trimminghams bought out Smith's. Then it closed completely. I really liked Triminghams and was sorry to see it close. Even Coopers had greatly downsized.
A.S. Cooper children's clothes

A.S. Cooper children's clothes

Glassware

Glassware


I looked in the linen shop thinking I'd get something for someone for Xmas, but tablecloths were $300, and everything else was similarly priced
Irish linen shop

Irish linen shop


I had written the card to my granddaughter who collects stamps, but hadn't brought it with me, so I didn't get a stamp or get it mailed, so we took the ferry back.
leaving Hamilton on the ferry

leaving Hamilton on the ferry

Entrance to the Victualing Yard

Entrance to the Victualing Yard


Victualing Yard sign

Victualing Yard sign

Dockyard Terrace

Dockyard Terrace

Craft Market

Craft Market


Then I walked around the craft market
9705c6e0-dfab-11e8-86ef-5dabf5c0e384.jpgCraft Market

Craft Market

3b9c7860-e0b6-11e8-8a2f-ef72c1e52342.jpgCraft Market

Craft Market


Outside the Frog and Onion

Outside the Frog and Onion


and we went for lunch at the Frog and Onion which was next door.
Frog and Onion

Frog and Onion

Part of the Frog and Onion menu

Part of the Frog and Onion menu


water glass

water glass


Bob had a bunless burger and I had Shepherd's pie (or Cottage Pie)
Shepherd_s Pie

Shepherd_s Pie


Bill for lunch

Bill for lunch


With tip this was $35.00.

I forgot my cane when I got up to go, and it had started to rain. We went across to a bus that was at the bus stop and find out that there was a shuttle bus to the ship so that all this time, we wouldn't have had to walk!!! Anyway when I started to get on the bus, I remembered that I had forgotten my cane, and so Bob gave me the bags with what we'd bought and went back for it. They had it at the front desk when he got there.

We were to leave at 3:00 and I thought I'd go up and take photos but I stopped (with my computer) at the internet cafe first, and when I looked out the window, it looked rainy and overcast. So I did the internet until I ran out of time.

There's no person in charge of the internet cafe to help people. I talked to a guy who was cleaning desks and he says half of the keyboards don't work because he's wiping them down with cleaning solution, but they have to do that. I also have heard that the internet is very slow on their computers.

There was a travel agent there who had a group of 20 people who flew from Manchester to Heathrow to the US to get on this cruise, and 18 of them did not get their luggage in Baltimore. Every day when we were coming back to the ship, we've seen luggage coming aboard so maybe that explains that. He said 16 of the people had gotten their luggage but two people had not.

I went down to dinner - almost none of our table mates had gotten off the ship today. Bob had soup and tilapia
Tilapia

Tilapia


and vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce for dinner, and I had
Breaded Mushrooms - dipping sauce

Breaded Mushrooms - dipping sauce


Tomato Salad

Tomato Salad


Pizza with goat cheese

Pizza with goat cheese


White Chocolate Cheesecake

White Chocolate Cheesecake


I find the decor of the ship vaguely depressing
Depressing picture_outside_our_cabin

Depressing picture_outside_our_cabin

Thursday November 29th - Sea Day - Bob got up and left this morning before I was out of bed. I went up to the dining room, but the line was so long that I decided to turn the tipping sheet authorization in at the purser's desk first. They said that if I turned in the sheet, the people would get their tips regardless of what we did. I also complained about the lack of a bow camera. By the time I was finished, the dining room service was finished for the day (9:05) so I went on up to the Windjammer and got a glass of water, a donut and a fried potato thing. There was a silly sign which said "In the interest of Public Health, the filling of water bottles is not permitted"

Bob had gone up and walked around deck 5 until he had done a mile, and then he sat and read a book. I went up and did trivia with a pick-up team, and we got 14 correct, but two other teams had 17 right and had a sudden death face-off. One of the questions which I knew was what ROM meant, and I also got correct the name of the oldest Beetle (Ringo) but the team decided that it was John Lennon.

We met up at lunch and I had a wrap
Tomato tortolli  wrap

Tomato tortolli wrap

Banana caramel dessert

Banana caramel dessert


and a banana caramel split. We sat with a couple from California who said they liked lighthouses. She also said that her husband had been sick for four days in Baltimore, and now she had it.

Dinner was surf and turf (lobster) which we got. I had cream of potato soup and Bob had Manhatten clam chowder. We couldn't decide on dessert, so I had sugar-free rice pudding and strawberries and ice cream- they were supposed to be Grand Mariner marinated strawberries, but I didn't notice any difference from regular strawberries. Bob had the Boston cream pie and the strawberries.
Sugar free Rice Pudding

Sugar free Rice Pudding

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie


After dinner, I stayed in the internet cafe and also went to part of the show in the theatre until after 10 pm before I came back to the room. I looked up the size of the Crown, the Maasdam and this ship, and this ship carries about 1000 more passengers, which is IMHO too many. The steward had made a sting ray towel animal, and Bob had eaten one of his eyes (the chocolates that they put on our pillow each night).
Stingray towel animal with one eye

Stingray towel animal with one eye


They had the Dallas/Green Bay game on the TV so we watched (well I watched and Bob went to sleep) until the last 2 minutes or the fourth quarter with the score 34 Dallas to 27 Green Bay, and then the satellite cut off and never came on again.

Tomorrow we will be in St. Maartin

Posted by greatgrandmaR 19:02 Archived in Bermuda Tagged camden bermuda hamilton botanical_garden Comments (7)

Renting a Car and Visiting Boat Yards

Closed and One-Way Streets


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Grandeur of the Seas and Pearl & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Friday, 30 November 2007 - Sint. Maarten and St. Martin

We got up earlier and went up to the Windjammer Cafe which I still don't like, but it wasn't so crowded that I couldn't get something to eat

From the Windjammer

From the Windjammer


There was a silly sign which said "In the interest of Public Health, the filling of water bottles is not permitted" Apparently some people are very sick with an intestinal bug and they've started handing out alcohol wipes at the entrance to the dining rooms and wiping everything down with bleach. I went down to the 5th deck where I could watch the docking in the shade.
866c4930-9bde-11ea-9c0d-2fc3afbcdff4.jpgDock

Dock


Adventure of the Seas (a much bigger ship) was on the other side of the dock
Docking

Docking


Someone was carried off from AOTS in an ambulance while we watched. Several times when I have been to St. Martin by cruise ship, I have seen golf carts which will take you from the ship to the Visitor's center for $1.00.
multi passenger golf cart

multi passenger golf cart


Security guy from St. Martin on the pier

Security guy from St. Martin on the pier


Terminal from the ship

Terminal from the ship


Grandeur next to the larger Adventure OTS

Grandeur next to the larger Adventure OTS


They have rental cars right at the pier. But I thought I would be clever and it would be cheaper to rent from someone not there at the pier. So I rented from Alamo who promised a discount. But they didn't have an office in the dock area. So we took a water taxi ($5@) over to the town.
Water taxi dock

Water taxi dock


Water taxi druver

Water taxi druver


The water taxi service is actually small continuously running boats in a round-robin route to Philipsburg...in either order, to a dock near the east end of Front Street and another opposite the courthouse on Front Street center, before returning to the cruise ship area.
From the Water taxi

From the Water taxi


Both stops offer ready access to a large beach and Front Street shopping. Several boats run while multiple cruise ships are there. You can buy single-trip wristbands, or wrist-bands for unlimited travel all day for slightly more.

Then I tried to find out some information there, but everything was closed (except the stores of course). So I finally tried to call and had to pay to have my phone activated for the day.

Front Street's most prominent landmark is a grand white wooden structure topped with a cupola, built in 1793 as the home of Commander John Philips (the town's founder) on the historic Watney Square.. The building has served as a fire station, jail and post office over its long history and is one of St. Maarten's most prominent landmarks. It now serves as St. Maarten's courthouse.
Philipsburg Courthouse

Philipsburg Courthouse


While I got in touch with the car rental people, we waited for them to pick us up in front of the courthouse
Bob sitting in Watney square

Bob sitting in Watney square

Sign in Dutch

Sign in Dutch

Philipsburg_Clock

Philipsburg_Clock


While we were waiting for the car rental people to pick us up in Watney Square, I took photos of the surroundings, which included some of the restaurants
Barefoot Restaurant

Barefoot Restaurant

Burger King

Burger King


We walked out to the car
6775870-sidewalk_Philipsburg.jpgSidewalk

Sidewalk


and I took photos of the stores we passed
6776224-Cruise_Ship_Shops_Philipsburg.jpgPhilipsburg_Bus Stop

Philipsburg_Bus Stop

6775865-Shopping_City_Philipsburg.jpg
It was raining a little bit off and on, but very hot in the sun. I wanted to go out to see where I thought I had seen a lighthouse, so we drove over a mountain
Border

Border


into Marigot on the French side.
Marigot

Marigot


KFC past Bob's nose

KFC past Bob's nose


I saw a dockyard and said - why don't we go in there. And we found ENCORE, a CSY pilot house
ENCORE - CSY PIlothouse

ENCORE - CSY PIlothouse


We talked to the folks there for awhile.
Boat yard travel lift

Boat yard travel lift

On the way out of the yard we saw their lift which was like a giant trailer.

Bob had seen a 37 CSY from the deck of ENCORE in the next boatyard, so we went there and found a French couple living on CONJOE, which I told them had been sunk in Hurricane Georges - they hadn't known that.
Folks who on CONJOE

Folks who on CONJOE


There was another one over a little way from them, but there was no name on it, and I couldn't see the hull number either.
Cemetery

Cemetery


Then we went over a bridge to another boatyard
Canal and bridge near boatyard

Canal and bridge near boatyard


and found a WalkThrough which had been named Angie by the original owner, and this one had lost the mast because of corroded chain plates. The new name is SHENANIGAN. After we talked to those people awhile, we again tried to get from where we were to Grand Case, but all the roads in that direction were closed, and Bob was getting very annoyed and said we'd have to turn the car in as it was now close to 3 pm.
large_8df7e560-9bde-11ea-972f-5587de82a64d.jpg
We drove back to the Dutch side,
Driving back to the Dutch side

Driving back to the Dutch side


and went to the Texaco station I had seen, but it was still being built and wasn't open. Eventually we found a Shell station, and got 7 litres of gas for 17 guilders, which was $10.00. When we returned the car we saw that there was a little shop in the office.
Car rental place store

Car rental place store


I took photos because I thought it was interesting, but we didn't buy anything there.
Original Asian Vietnamies Pipes

Original Asian Vietnamies Pipes


Somehow the Originial Asian Vietnamies Pipes did not appeal to me
cCar rental place_bathroom selfie with the water taxi wrist band

cCar rental place_bathroom selfie with the water taxi wrist band


They drove us back to the port which took a half an hour because of traffic (which was basically horrible all over the island) and closed roads - every time you'd come to a place to turn, the road would be one way coming toward you, or else closed.
Philipsburg

Philipsburg


The guards at the gate wouldn't let the driver in, so he had to drop us off at the gate.
Entrance gate to cruise ship dock

Entrance gate to cruise ship dock

Saturday 1 December 2007 - Sea Day

Bob prefers to eat breakfast at the Windjammer where he can pick his own stuff, and I like to be waited on, plus I can get cranberry juice in the dining room without asking for it. So we ate breakfast today separately. The dining room menu though is not as good as it was on the Maasdam. On the way back to the room I walked through the casino and saw that they had pastries and drinks there ready for the gamblers to come in later in the morning. They also have been having the art auction stuff set up on deck 4 in the atrium.

Bob went up to deck 5 in the atrium to read after he walked a mile around the deck. We met up for lunch - the lunch menu is always the same except for the specials. For the first time I realized that we could get pasta made to order if we had lunch in the main dining room, but we both got the
Shrimp Salad croissant

Shrimp Salad croissant


and the sugar free pineapple upsidedown cake. Bob hated their upside down cake because he likes the brown sugar on the pineapple, but I thought it was pretty good.
Pineapple Upsidedown Cake?

Pineapple Upsidedown Cake?


On the way back to the room, I passed the Ben and Jerry stand and was shocked to see that they charged for the ice cream and goodies. Didn't get any. We went to trivia but didn't do that well

I had the vichyssoise and the
Mussels and scallops appetizer

Mussels and scallops appetizer


Bob (and many others at the table) had shrimp cocktail. One of the ladies at the table just loves shrimp cocktail and has it every night, so the waiter gets about four of them so everyone that wants one can have one. Then I had the
Coq au vin

Coq au vin


(which was very salty) and Bob had the
Baked perch

Baked perch


I had cream catalan (orange custard with a sugar crust on top like a creme brulee) for dessert.
Cream Catalan

Cream Catalan


Bob had ice cream with chocolate sauce. The towel animal tonight was an anteater.

I have been taking the computer to dinner and taking it up to the internet cafe afterwards, and logging on until about 9 and then coming back to the room. That way Bob can watch Bill O'Reilly and I do not have to.

Next port Curacao

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:03 Archived in Sint Maarten Tagged boats traffic car_rental st_martin sint_maarten Comments (4)

Disoriented in Curacao

Bloemhof plantation and Botanical Garden


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Grandeur of the Seas and Pearl & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Other side of the harbor from the ship

Other side of the harbor from the ship


We had been told that if we got up early and went up to the Windjammer, that it would be less crowded, and that turned out to be true. The only problem is that you can't get cranberry juice without a lot of hassle.
My breakfast

My breakfast

Bob's breakfast

Bob's breakfast


But I had booked a tour which sounded quite interesting and different from what we had done before, and we had to be out on the pier at 8:15. We wouldn't be finished in the dining room by then.

We walked out onto the pier and then after we checked in, we walked up and sat down under the canopy on the pier to wait - not only was this in the shade, but also the ground and benches that were not under the canopy were all wet from a lot of rain.
Reflections

Reflections


The tour was to Bloemhof plantation and then to the botanical garden. Apparently the lady leading the tour was not told that she was doing it until that morning.
Driving to the first stop

Driving to the first stop

Circle

Circle

Pedestrian crossing from the bus

Pedestrian crossing from the bus


There was not a lot of traffic (which was unusual, but it was Sunday). Apparently most of the stores were closed on Sunday. Driving to the first stop, we crossed the Queen Juliana Bridge
Ship in the distance

Ship in the distance


with its view of the refinery.
large_2f9467e0-9d24-11ea-924d-e3fb9e3c5039.jpg
Curacao is very very arid. It isn't suitable for agriculture. When they had slaves available, they were able to market salt. Curaçao produces oranges, the dried peel of which is the base for the famous Curaçao liqueur that is distilled there. Aloes, which had originally been imported from Africa, do not require irrigation and are still exported for pharmaceutical uses. But the economy of Curaçao depends heavily on petroleum imported from Venezuela. The Dutch found oil in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, but, because the lake was too shallow for oceangoing ships, the oil was transported in smaller vessels to Curaçao for refining and transshipment.
Refinery from the Queen Juliana bridge

Refinery from the Queen Juliana bridge


Curaçao developed large modern dry-docking and bunkering facilities and became one of the largest ports in the world in terms of total tonnage handled.
Bloemhof entrance

Bloemhof entrance


When we got to Bloemhof and while the lady was telling us about the history of the plantation
Bloemhof windows

Bloemhof windows

Rafters

Rafters


She was talking about roof tiles, and I leaned backwards to take a photo of the underneath of the roof tiles on the porch overhang,
Roof tiles from underneath

Roof tiles from underneath


and had an instant attack of very bad vertigo. [Vertigo makes me very dizzy and unable to tell which way is up.] So I told Bob that I'd have to stay sitting where I was and that he had to go take photos. Which he did.

The core of the building is at least 270 years old. The house was originally part of a water plantation. What is a water plantation?

With the use of two dams, several wells and bàkis (cisterns), it was easy to collect and hold enough water to sell in Willemstad to the townspeople.
Tall cactus

Tall cactus


Bloemhof stacked roof tiles

Bloemhof stacked roof tiles


Bloemhof was later used as a family retreat and vacation home. Now it is a center for the arts. The main hall of the plantation house is used primarily for contemporary art exhibitions, and is also a multi-functional area for poetry readings, short plays, cultural presentations, audio-visual lectures, creativity courses,etc.
Bloemhof interior

Bloemhof interior


A sculpture garden is planned in the yard surrounding the plantation house, In the back yard you can find a unique feature: a bathhouse with two stone bathtubs connected to an adjoining well for water
Bathroom (Kas di Bano)

Bathroom (Kas di Bano)

Drive to the Botanical Garden

Drive to the Botanical Garden


When we got to the Botanical Garden, I didn't even get off the bus - I just drew the curtains and slept a little bit. .
Botanical Garden sign

Botanical Garden sign


Dinah Veeris was on a one-woman crusade to preserve traditional medicinal plants. In the early 1980s she began Den Paradera, a magnificent botanical garden where she propagated over 300 species of wild medicinal plants.
Tip of the leaf behind your ear will relax you

Tip of the leaf behind your ear will relax you

Seed pods

Seed pods


The tours are now done by her son.There is an admission fee. Bob did very well at the photos
Calabash

Calabash

Uses for Calabash

Uses for Calabash

a5f6e2f0-9cac-11ea-a182-ffa21dd9b9ab.jpgBob_s botanical garden   photo

Bob_s botanical garden photo

large_a8643970-9cac-11ea-a182-ffa21dd9b9ab.jpga8491050-9cac-11ea-91c8-ef26d0e2ee23.jpga664bff0-9cac-11ea-91c8-ef26d0e2ee23.jpgWindmill

Windmill


On the way back to the ship, I did get a photo of one of the Robbie'$ Lottery outlets (We have a son that we call Robbie).
Robbie'$ Lottery

Robbie'$ Lottery


Also a KFC with a Sanikolas Special.
KFC

KFC

Bunkering (refueling)

Bunkering (refueling)


We went up and sat in the Windjammer for lunch (because the main dining room is closed when the ship is in port) and while we were there , we saw a Pullmantur cruises ship come in through the pontoon bridge and tie up in the harbor.
Pullmantur ship entering the harbor

Pullmantur ship entering the harbor


I think the boat name was Heidelberg Princess. They left as we were leaving, so they weren't here very long.
Harbor from ship

Harbor from ship


I opened up my candied ginger to eat. Ginger is a proven remedy for seasickness which is something like vertigo. At dinner I had
Melon and grapefruit which also had pickled ginger

Melon and grapefruit which also had pickled ginger


I also had baby shrimp salad and
Fried cheddar cheese

Fried cheddar cheese


As an entre, I had the
Alternate selection steak dinner

Alternate selection steak dinner


Bob had the
Duckling

Duckling


For dessert, I had
Pineapple Sherbert

Pineapple Sherbert


and he had
Chocolate bread pudding

Chocolate bread pudding

Sunset

Sunset


On the way back to the room, I stopped and took a photo of the gingerbread town with trains running through it that was set up in the atrium. In general I've thought that the decor of the ship was kind of pedestrian, but this was really great. .
Gingerbread village

Gingerbread village


Our towel animal tonight was a swan.
Swan

Swan


I had a great deal of trouble erasing the images from Bob's camera, so I finally changed the card in it to another one. Tomorrow is Aruba

Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:00 Archived in Curaçao Tagged curacao vertigo botanical_garden water_plantation Comments (2)

Aboard in Aruba

Still suffering from vertigo


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Grandeur of the Seas and Pearl & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Monday, 3 December 2007

We are in Aruba today. When we were in Aruba last year we rented a car and I had not booked an excursion this year either.
Reef line from the ship

Reef line from the ship


I went up to the excursion desk as soon as it opened today because I booked two tours for Grand Cayman, and I think they will interfere with each other. One was Trolley Roger which was cheap and only takes an hour and we were to meet at 9:30 in the theatre for a 10:00 tour, and the other one was Stingray City which we were to meet on the pier at noon. They said to allow 45 minutes for tendering. There's not room for two 45 minutes worth between 11 and 12. Unless we stayed ashore and skipped lunch. I didn't want to take my digital camera to Stingray City (which is a sand bar where the stingrays come to be fed) and I was not absolutely sure I would be safe in the water with the vertigo.

So I told the excursion desk that I would go up and swim laps in the solarium pool and if I could do that then I'd cancel the Trolley Roger and if not, I'd cancel the Stingray City.

When I went up the solarium, the pool had no water in it. They'd apparently decided to paint it. So I asked at the spa, and lo and behold the acupuncturist was a girl with the same name as one of my son's in-laws - not a common name. I also weighed myself, and I've only gained about a pound.
large_215459183805149-Ship_pool_fr..unge_Aruba.jpg
I tried swimming in the big pool, but I didn't feel comfortable unless I had something to hold onto, which I wouldn't on a sandbar. So I went down and canceled that excursion. And later we got a notice that it had been changed from noon to 8:45 am, so I wouldn't have been able to do them both anyway.

I figured out (to my own satisfaction) why I have so much problem with the vertigo. I don't get sick, but the urge is so strong to fall over that even though I can see that I'm not moving, I have to get a good grip on something immovable to keep myself from toppling over. I think this is precisely because I'm used to balancing on our sailboat, so that I automatically move the way that I perceive my body to be moving. Even, as in this case, when it is NOT moving.

At this point, I had missed breakfast in the main dining room, and I had decided not to get off in Aruba. I took pictures of some of the excursion boats going out.
Snorkeling boat I went on in 2005 - Aruba

Snorkeling boat I went on in 2005 - Aruba

Sailing away on an excursion

Sailing away on an excursion

Aruba

Aruba


We had lunch in the main dining room. I had cream of broccoli soup and Bob had a hamburger with no bun.
My lunch dessert

My lunch dessert


I went up and did tribond trivia, and we did pretty well, but didn't win. This is where you have to find the common link between three words or phrases. Like surprise, beach and slumber are all possible types of party.

When we went down to dinner, Elsie and Art (who uses a motorized cart) and Elsie's sister Janice were not there. Janice came in an hour late because Elsie had told her to change her watch back an hour. But Aruba is on Atlantic time, and the time change was supposed to be the night of Dec 3 rather than Dec 2.

For dinner I had chilled blueberry soup, Boston lettuce and
Buttermilk fried chicken and mashed potatoes and roasted corn

Buttermilk fried chicken and mashed potatoes and roasted corn


Bob had fish. We had something that was called a compote for dessert (coconut),
Coconut compote???

Coconut compote???


but which turned out to actually be a pie.

The waiter for our table is showing us tricks. He did some with toothpicks where he said to make 1 + 1 = II to equal 139 by moving only one toothpick.
Toothpick puzzle

Toothpick puzzle


He took the one toothpick out of the equal sign and put it over the plus sign so that the plus became a four. So it now read 141 - II . I said that II should be 11 and not two, but no one agreed with me.
Towel crocodile

Towel crocodile

large_100_9783.jpg
Our towel animal tonight was a crocodile and it took up the whole bed.

Tuesday 4 December 2007 - Sea Day.

We will be in Grand Cayman tomorrow which is on Eastern time. I had breakfast with Bob in the Windjammer, and then we had lunch in the main dining room.I had
Shrimp  salad

Shrimp salad


Lunch dessert

Lunch dessert


We went to trivia together and then he went to the last lecture.

At dinner, Janice, Elsie and Art weren't there. Bob had jalapeno potato soup, and shrimp cocktail and I had Beef and veal tortellacci appetizer

Beef and veal tortellacci appetizer


and chilled cranberry soup. Then I had an
Asparagus and Brie Tort

Asparagus and Brie Tort


and I think Bob had tilapia. For dessert, I had the
Choca-Chino Trilogy

Choca-Chino Trilogy


(kind of like the chocolate dessert that my grandson had in London) and Bob had an ice cream sundae.
Towel Turtle

Towel Turtle


Our towel animal on December 4th was a turtle.

What happened to Art and Elsie?

She had set her watch back a day early (the night of December 2nd instead of the night of December 3rd), and as they left the casino in Aruba (which of course has no clocks) at what her watch said was 3 pm, they saw the ship get ready to sail off. There were no more flights out of Aruba that day, so they had to get a hotel for the night ($300 - they wouldn't let them stay in the airport), fly to Miami (fortunately they had their passports and credit cards with them), and then fly to Grand Cayman and get a hotel there. She was on the beach at 5 am watching for us to come in. She said she considered just having the ship pack up their stuff and ship it to them, but Art has sleep apnea and his machine that he sleeps with was on board.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:11 Archived in Aruba Tagged aruba time_zones Comments (2)

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