Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Our Blog Has Been on Island Time

We know it's been a few weeks and we're very sorry for the lapse in entries. I guess with all the sun and salty sea air, our heads have been on island time. So here's what's been happening. 

Last week was pretty dull. There is absolutely nothing to report. We did nothing new and kinda kept to ourselves on the ship. 

The week before we were excited to have Jess and Steve Atherholt as well as Benjy and Julie Krothe (siblings, not a married couple), Steve's Dad and step-mom, and The Krothe's and Jess' grandparents on board with us. Quite the crowd! We had a great time visiting with all of them and showing them around some of our favorite port spots. We'll add some pictures later since we are currently at Margaritaville on grand Turk and we managed to leave the camera with sim card in our cabin.

I’m not sure that we took a single picture the week prior to our visitors. We don’t have much interesting news to report on our regular weeks I’m afraid. So by way of anecdotes, we’ll give you a little inside peek at life on a cruise ship.(Sad how even the greatest of adventures in the most beautiful of places can become mundane after a while huh? We're grateful for the experience and still enjoy the fantastic places we get to go, but it has truly become, just part of life. Funny.)
For those of you who went to college and experienced life in dorms, you have an idea of what life is like on board. Or as what people here call “ship life” (read all the nonsense and gossip that can and does occur with regularity). Being in our thirties, we were under the impression that our college rebel rousing days were well behind us, but were informed otherwise by many people in our crew. So the last few weeks we strayed from our regular schedule of staying in, watching Fox News, playing Boggle and doing laundry, in our spare time to experience “ship life.” Three weeks later we both have gained a few pounds from drinking Wang-Wangs (don’t ask), have acquired constant headaches, and are exhausted. We have come to the conclusion that despite everyone’s declarations that we can, in fact, relive our 20’s, we’d prefer not to.

One of our favorite things to do together is to head outside in the late evening and look at the stars. You have not seen a night sky until you have seen it from the middle of the ocean. Everything is so clear and it’s hard to avoid seeing shooting stars fly across the sky. Combined with the rocking of the ship, it’s the perfect sense of calm and peace.

One of our peeves on the ship is the eating arrangement. We eat in the Lido with the guests and we have little to complain about as far as food quality or variety goes. The food is served gourmet buffet-style so it’s not the best food you’ll ever eat but certainly is not the worst. However, if you dear reader, are ever a passenger on a cruise ship, please, please, please do not stop the line before you get into it so that you can look at all of the food. It will still be there when you get to that spot in line. No need to inconvenience everyone else to satisfy your own curiosity. Also, if you would kindly avoid standing in a group in the walkway next to the food and chatting for an extended period of time, the rest of the world trying to get by you would be most appreciative. And last, but most importantly DO NOT TOUCH the food before it has been served to you!!! Do not reach under the sneeze guard and touch everything while asking “what is that?” The food is labeled. Read the labels please. And if you simply cannot help yourself and absolutely must touch something, put it on your damn plate. It is now yours. For those of you not planning on cruising any time soon, the same rules apply to any public eating establishment. If you would like to behave like a cretin, please do so in your own home. 

A few weeks ago was the Legendary Blues Cruise wherein the Eurodam was chartered by a group of Blues music fans and performers. In itself, the Blues Cruise is an event but the happenings of the week made it a story to tell.

Saturday started out busy for Ron as the entertainment for the week was commandeered by the Blues Cruise. He spent the day organizing and orchestrating musicians, performers, equipment, schedules, instruments, electronics, and people. At the end of the day he was wiped out. But all of the busyness puts Ron directly in his element. He handles chaos with grace and confidence. Kelly is always very proud of his professionalism and calm control. So entertainment-wise, the rest of the week went very smoothly and required little emergency intervention by Ron.

The people on the cruise this week are as happy and content as you could hope passengers would be. Generally, the whole group is friendly, fun and just excited to be on vacation. They are also quite a bit younger than our usual clientele and consume significantly more alcohol in a week than an average cruise. That being said, within the first four days of our seven day cruise, we had two deaths, a lost finger, a fired employee, threats of quitting, and two people who missed the ship as it left a port. Busy.

We sailed with this flag waving all week!

Yeah it does!

Joan Osborn was aboard and performed her most famous song, "What if God was One of Us"

Our ports this week were a diversion from our usual stops. We had two days at sea and then celebrated the Eurodam’s first ever visit to Antigua.

Captain Jeroen Von Donsellar was presented with a plaque marking our visit.

There is not much to say about Antigua. We wandered around the city…
We were glad to have happened up on this sign, because otherwise we never would have known that this was inappropriate behavior. Phew. 

tried to visit St. John’s Cathedral which was closed for refurbishment…
and then met with some friends and hung out until it was time to leave. Others who went to the beaches said they were beautiful but we see beautiful beaches every week so we saved ourselves the cab fare and stayed near the ship.

The next day we visited St. John USVI which is a short boat ride from our usual port of St. Thomas. We were surprised at what a different feel the two islands have. St. Thomas is very tourism focused and has an exorbitant amount of shopping available while St. John has more restaurants and bars and boutique stores.

We first stopped to get Ron a stamp in his National Park Passport Book

We stopped and had lunch at Shela’s Pot which was more of a shack held up by a tree and the grace of God than a restaurant.

Shela herself does all the cooking (over hot rocks) and serving. We split one meal between the two of us and had enough left over to feed a very hungry third person. Not to mention that every bite of the food was outstanding. We’re going to miss Caribbean fare come April.

We wandered around the town for a little bit since our plan to go snorkeling at Trunk Bay was foiled by a strong tide and closed beaches. We ended up visiting Woody's Seafood and Saloon which is known to be Kenny Chesney’s favorite hang out. We sampled local beer here as well (clearly this has become a favorite activity of ours). Ron had a mild summer ale and Kelly had what she considers to be one the best beers she has ever tasted – a mango ale.

Though it was early to head back, we decided to board the tender and call it a day since we realized we’d forgotten our sunscreen and we’d like to avoid basal cell melanoma if at all possible.

The next day in port was Half Moon Cay. We have begun making this port our adventure activity port. Last week we went snorkeling with snorkel gear provided as a Christmas gift from Kelly’s parents.

The week prior we hiked and found a beautiful view. We didn’t have our camera so we will have to return to the scenic spot to snap a picture for you. The Blues Cruise week, we took a long walk to the end of the island where we met this little guy.

That was a lot to get through but we hope you enjoyed the catch up. Next week Kelly's parents sail with us and we're sure there will be plenty of fun stories to tell from that week!


Dice Family of Strasburg said...

Seriously!? Two people died on the blues cruise? You can't randomly write that in without explanation.

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