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Showing posts from February, 2015

Caribbean Cruise - Celebrity Reflection - Wednesday

Out last port day was St. Maarten, which I’d remembered really loving in the past. White sand beaches, gentle tides, some people hustling trinkets and braids, but not at overwhelming of them. This time, St. Maarten was a total shit-show. Immediately off the boat, things weren’t too bad. There was generic cruise shopping right past the pier, but the main beach and the better shops were downtown –accessible by ferry, cab, or a very long walk. Mom and Dad took a cab and we went with the ferry, and that was all well and good, but once we got to the other side, cabbies and merchants were mobbed up at the exit, hollering at prospects as they stepped off the ferry, “Hey! Lady in the black dress! I’ll give you an island tour: twenty dollars!” We attracted a little less attention than most folks, due to size of the family and ages of the kids, but a guy renting beach chairs attached himself to us right away. Then what sounded like ten dollars for a couple of chairs became ten dollars per

Caribbean Cruise - Celebrity Reflection - Tuesday

This was our second of three consecutive port days and it turned out to be the best of the bunch. We stopped in St. Thomas, which Sarah and I had been to previously and which I didn’t remember being overly fond of. But again, any tropical island is better than Ottawa in February, but in our past Caribbean cruises, St. Thomas was always the least distinctive stop. I also remembered it teaming with people trying to braid hair, sell trinkets, or give island tours. But our experience this time was completely different. Sarah booked an excursion to Sapphire Beach for us and the kids. (My parents, not being beach people, opted to wander close to port and shop instead.) It started with a shuttle to the other side of the island – lots of hairpin turns and roads curving along the edge of a giant cliff, which always makes me think, “How do people learn to drive here?!?” and then makes me think, “How bored would these people be driving in some Canadian suburb?” The driver was a wonderful guy,

Caribbean Cruise - Celebrity Reflection - Monday

Monday was our first port, San Jaun, but we were due to get in late so there was no rush to get started. The kids actually slept in a little, so we did too, then it was off to breakfast and the kids returned to the Fun Factory. We showed our parents a few things around the ship that they hadn’t seen, like the lawn growing on the top deck. Sarah brought bubbles for Susannah to play with, but as the ship was still moving at a good clip, the bubbles left the wand and immediately zipped off to the horizon at forty knots an hour. Mom and Dad sat and watched some folks playing bocci ball, and they probably would have even tried it if not for some serious bocci-hogging that was going on. Regardless, all this took place close to the edge of the ship, and we were all impressed by my mom’s bravery knowing that she’s in constant, mortal terror of being randomly blown overboard. An announcement from the captain informed us that we would be getting into port later than planned. Late the