Tag Archives: Snorkeling

Life is extra good when you’re on a cruise ship! Episode Two…

 (click on photos to enlarge)Eastern-CaribbeanEpisode Two: The Eastern Caribbean

On September 20, 2014 once again we sailed, heading out from Fort Lauderdale, Florida this time to the Eastern Caribbean.

The name Caribbean comes from its people the ‘Carib’ who were the last group to rule the area before the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, Danish and British invaded.

Life on Board
Lobster Tails & ShrimpIn episode one I described the many adventures and activities that can be found onboard a Princess cruise ship, but I neglected to discuss the FOOD! There is food aplenty onboard, not only in the amount but also in the variety of cuisine which tantalizes the palate. From extreme fine dining delivering seafood, steaks and soufflé to casual meals featuring pizza, burgers and ice cream, any culinary mood can be satisfied. Fresh fruit and veggies are always at the ready to keep your meal balanced and nutritious.

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Thankfully our early morning activities included a few laps around the walking track located on the Promenade Deck. Three laps equaled a little over a mile, but in the end, six laps each morning were not enough to keep me from adding additional pounds to my embarkation weight!

Eleuthera (Princess Cays)
Princess Cays, EleutheraThis thin sliver of an island is only 100 miles long and two miles wide. The Arawak Indians, who migrated from South America in the 9th century, were her earliest inhabitants. After being discovered by Columbus, a British group called the ‘Eleutherian Adventurers’ settled here in 1648 to escape religious persecution. They named the island Eleuthera which is the Greek word for Freedom.

As mentioned in Episode One, our destination, Princess Cays, is owned by Princess Cruises who bought 30 acres and created a beachfront resort. We were determined to explore more of the island during this visit! With government issued photo ID in hand, which is what we lacked on out last visit, we ventured outside Princess Cays compound. Although a favorite getaway for British Royalty we could find no way to get away from the Princess Cays area. What lies outside remains a mystery and something we are determined to discover, but this will take more research and planning. Returning to the Cays we immersed ourselves in crystalline waters where we engaged in spectacular snorkeling, followed by traditional rum drinking!

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St. Maarten

St. Maarten was also settled by the Arawak Indians of South America; the Carib Indians later followed and gave this island the name Soualiga, meaning ‘Land of Salt’. The island is divided 60/40 between the French, Saint-Martin and the larger Dutch section, Sint Maarten. This spectacular tropical destination offered plenty of opportunities to explore and discover, but wait, who are you kidding? I had only one thing in mind and could not be persuaded to do anything else…Maho Beach, of course!

Princess Juliana International Airport is adjacent to the beach and arriving aircraft must touch down as close as possible to the beginning of the runway due to the short length. The result is aircraft, on their final approach, flying over the beach at a breathtakingly low altitude! There is also danger for people, standing on the beach, being blown into the water because of the jet blast from aircraft taking off! It just doesn’t get much more exciting than that, if you ask me. Needless to say we had a BLAST!

Just take a look at these videos.

Well …only ‘Liz’ had a BLAST …Lynne had to document the mayhem.

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St. Thomas

SquirrelfishAlong with St. John, St Croix and Water Island, St. Thomas is part of the United States Virgin Islands. In the 1500’s buccaneers including Blackbeard, Bluebeard and Captain Kidd called this island, if not home, a safe pirate harbor. Despite the lure of tours to plantations, Blackbeard’s Caste and the Amber Museum Lynne and I immediately headed for Coki Beach. The snorkeling here was phenomenal! Having brought along several mini-boxes of breakfast cereal from the ship, we easy enticed schools of brilliantly colored fish to swim up close and play with us.

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Grand Turk

DSC_0082Not actually a part of the Caribbean, Grand Turk is the Capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands. It is believed that the name ‘Turks’ was inspired by the Turk’s Head cactus which can be seen throughout the island. Despite the attraction of the world’s third largest barrier reef we decided to take a break from snorkeling and jumped on a local trolley for an island tour. This Island Trams tour was being promoted by a small group hyping their contribution to the ‘local economy’, in contrast to the more popular tours.

Turks Head CactusAlways wanting to support ‘the local economy’ we agreed to join. This turned out to be a very distressing decision indeed! In an attempt to fill their trolley, we were made to wait an hour passed our departure time, an hour sitting on a breezeless trolley under the hot sun! An hour not only sitting still in the hot sun but, having just walked a half mile out of the cruise ship terminal, to arrive at the very hot, breezeless trolley! You might thing this doesn’t sound too bad and well, for us it was but a minor inconvenience. For the little old lady, red-faced, puffing and panting it was a disaster! Although others grumbled and complained no one was offering her help, it was up to us! This lady was clearly overheated, scared and in distress. We gave her ice water we had brought along, Lynne whipped out her travel washcloth (carried for just such situations) doused it with water for her to pat her face and wrap around her neck. Poor old dear, she was so grateful and kept insisting to her helpless friend she would NEVER accompany her on an outing again. At our first stop we traded seats with her, affording her more shade and bought her lemonade stating “you need some sugar, sweetie”. It wasn’t long after that, the color returned to her face.

It was a sad state of affairs that helping a fellow human being, what should be normal behavior, turned out to be ‘the nicest thing anyone has ever done’ for her. Lynne and I both felt blessed for the opportunity to stand up and give this simple gift of kindness. Remember ALWAYS carry water, and wear a hat in the tropics! Another good idea for all of us would have been to discover the whereabouts of the trolley before handing over our money!

Other than the pristine waters which surround Grand Turk, donkeys, flamingos, a lighthouse and a spaceship were the highlights of our tour. Donkeys are allowed to roam free all over the island, I’m guessing as an alternative to mowing the grasslands. Happy for a pat and a treat these semi wild animals added a bit of excitement to our tour, over very bumpy roads…on this very hot day.

Wishing for an early escape, we talked our trolley driver into dropping us off at Jack’s Shack, a local bar and grill with lots of island character. We ended our day cheering the brave old lady who almost didn’t make it out of paradise! This seemed fitting as we were leaving paradise ourselves, tomorrow we would be back in Ft. Lauderdale.

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Cheers mateys and thanks for joining us on our Caribbean adventure!

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Travel On! Join us as we travel into the unknown.

¸.•♥ In-ƤЄƛƇЄ ~ ԼƠƔЄ ~ ԼIƓHƮ & ԼƛUgHƮЄr ☮ ♥ ★ ツ *。.☆

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Life is extra good when you’re on a cruise ship!

The Global Wanderers returned to the United States of America, where they quickly jumped at the opportunity to join a cruise and ventured into the Caribbean.

Spontaneous Travel and Last Minute deals go hand in hand!

Travel On!Western Caribbean
Episode One:

Life is extra good when you’re on a cruise ship!
On September 6, 2014 off we sailed, heading from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to the Western Caribbean with Princess Cruises (our favorite).

Life on Board
$400-WinAlways plenty to keep you running around, like a headless chook, on board a cruise ship.We spent mornings by the pool, afternoons exploring and participating in activities and the evenings, fine dining and watching the nightly entertainment. Our bellies would have grown more if it were not for the laughs we had watching karaoke and the spotlighted comedians. Impossible for us to resist, we played BINGO twice ~ WINNING $400!!! Not a bad sport with our luck ~ Woot!!

Grand Cayman
Previously a haven for pirates, deserters and shipwrecked sailors, in approximately 1730 the British officially “founded” the Caymans. Now a British colony, Grand Cayman has become the world’s largest offshore financial hub. If we had won a bit more at BINGO we would have stashed it away here so we could enjoy the pristine waters, complete with exotic marine creatures while visiting our tax sheltered money!

When Stingrays Attack!--

When Stingrays Attack!–

I must admit I was scared as hell swimming with the stingrays (see pic left…lol) while having flashbacks of ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin being tragically killed by the barb of a stingray in Australia. I did however, enjoy eating fresh raw conk cut from the shell by our ship’s captain, Jake!

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Roatan
This tropical island in Honduras boasts some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world and rightly so! We ventured to the opposite side of the island from where our ship had docked and found a more private experience. After and amazing snorkel with an abundance of colorful schools of fish on show, we settled in at a beachfront shack for some local beer and conk fritters! ~ YUM-O!

Cozumel
Settled by the Maya during the first millennium AD, Cozumel remained untouched by the European world until the arrival of Cortes in 1519. After which disease and slaughter nearly Big House Templedestroyed the entire population. Today many ancient Mayan sites have been restored and the population has stabilized. We put on our archeological hats, rented a car and ventured out to explore the San Gervasio ruins. In this dense, humid, tropical forest we sweated our way along ancient roads made from rocks which displayed fossilized sea life. We trekked for nearly three hours, discovering hidden temple sites that had once been colorfully decorated and reverently cared for by the Maya. Almost deserted on the day of our visit, we could feel the mystery and wonder embedded in the stones left behind by ancient ritual.

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Princess Cay

Princesses at Princess Cay

Princesses at Princess Cay

Nice day for it: nothing to do today but relax and enjoy the private beach owned by Princess Cruises. Clever buggers—double dipping! They went and bought a piece of the island*, more profits going straight back into their pockets, but then again we did have all the free food and access to our drink package like we did on the boat. It was a day of the simple pleasures of feeling the white sand between our toes and swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. Not a bad way to end the first half of our cruise!

* Learn more about the island of Eleuthera when we return for another visit to Princess Cay in Episode Two of our cruising adventure in the Eastern Caribbean.

Where to Next?

Where to Next?

Where to Next?

Global Wanderers Motto 'Have Fun'!

Global Wanderers Motto ‘Have Fun’!

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Travel On! Join us as we travel into the unknown.

¸.•♥ In-ƤЄƛƇЄ ~ ԼƠƔЄ ~ ԼIƓHƮ & ԼƛUgHƮЄr ☮ ♥ ★ ツ *。.☆

To keep up with our Global Wanderings ~ Like us on Facebook & Twitter

OR sign up to hear about our Global Wanderings Book Release

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