Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Best Cruise Ever

It's easy to call it the best cruise ever when it's the only cruise you've ever been on. Yep, I didn't take my first cruise until I was 50 years old. It was worth it, though. What a great way to celebrate a 30th wedding anniversary!

Here's us flying over the Bahamas. Nope, that wasn't our destination. We took a southern Carribbean cruise, 10 nights, 7 shore excursions. What a great way to learn about the West Indies!

We flew out of Orlando and landed in San Juan, Puerto Rico (right).

We boarded the Celebrity ship Galaxy, a small vessel compared to many newer cruiseships. Its smaller size causes you to feel the movement of the ship more than most. We actually enjoyed that. Felt like being rocked to sleep every night. I never slept better!

First stop: Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We sailed on a catamaran to another island where we snorkled near a cave (right, above). I don't remember the last time I had this much fun! Coolest thing we saw...a barracuda!

We were accompanied by our daughter and her husband, who were celebrating their first anniversary. Here they are all dressed up for dinner.

Second stop: San Maarten (part of the Dutch Antilles). We sailed a traditional rigged vessel to a spot where we snorkeled a shipwreck. Very cool! The ship's captain (a native of the island) and his assistants (two girls from Holland) served us a great BBQ lunch. Ribs and chicken, yum!

Stop #3: St. Lucia (pronounced LOO-sha), one of the prettiest ports on our trip. Here we went dolphin and whale watching, but it wasn't a good day for it. Saw only the dorsal fin of a pilot whale. But the boat's pilot took us on a nice tour.

Stop #4: Barbados. Once again we went snorkeling, this time with sea turtles. Saw several, from small to really big. That's my daughter and her husband in the masks. She's pretty good at taking photos of the two of them on her own, just by holding the camera in front of herself.

Stop #5: Grenada, my favorite of all the islands. Went dolphin watching, and this time, great luck! Lots of common dolphins surfed in our boat's wake.

Great shopping in Grenada. Quick fact: Grenada is known for its spices, especially nutmeg. This tiny island supplies one-third of the world's nutmeg. On the left is Dot from Dot's Place, where we bought lots of fresh spices.

Stop #6: After a full day at sea, we arrived at Curacao (pronounced cure-a-SOW), where the liqueur of the same name is made from orange peel. On this stop, we sat below the water's surface in a semi-sub, where we could observe the sealife. Saw cuttlefish,
sargent fish, sea turtles, parrot fish, trumpet fish, puffer fish, flounders, and lots more. On the right, a diver feeds the fish so they will come closer to the windows.

Last stop: Aruba, then another full day at sea. Did you know that Aruba is only 20 miles from the Venezuelan border? We snorkeled another shipwreck, this time a WWII German boat that was scuttled rather than be captured.

Back in San Juan. While waiting to disembark we taught our kids how to play cribbage. Now it's a regular family habit!

Below is a map of our trip. (From Puerto Rico, follow the white lines clockwise.)

1 comment:

  1. Hey you Lyons. Your vacation looks so beautifully warm. Yes, when you live in Alaska, warmth can be described as beautiful. What a wonderful vacation for you and congratulations on your 30th!

    Randy Andre