Princess Cay

Princess Cay for the day today. Princess’ “private” island. Like most of the cruiselines, this means tendering in (Disney was smart enough to make it so they could dock). Didn’t get the absolute earliest start time, so by the time we got down to get our tender tickets, there was a pretty decent wait. This is where it’d be nice to be one of the 40 or so elite passengers on the ship, or in a suite, to get the priority tender tickets.

Eventually made it over to the island and found a couple of chairs that were fairly shaded. Spent some time in the water, probably picked up a little more sunburn, but the water was awfully nice. Had lunch, and eventually headed back over to the ship.

Unfortunately, since this marks the last day of the cruise, means it’s time to start packing. Short 7 day cruises you just don’t really get the time to settle in, seems like no sooner are you on the ship when they start giving you information about getting off, and then the getting off day comes up pretty quick.

Saw Ray Coussins in the theater tonight. Apparently he used to be Frank Sinatra’s piano player. He’d been playing in Crooners several nights for the week, but never got by to see him there.

Early morning tomorrow to get off the ship, and unfortunately our flight isn’t until late in the day, so we’ll tool around in a rental car, haven’t really figured out what we’ll do.

Day at sea

Another day at sea, meaning another day of pretty much doing nothing. Nice and relaxing, where the hardest thing you have to do is track down food at various points of the day. Spent time on the Promenade deck reading, but eventually got chased out when some idiot halfway up the deck decided it was reasonable to smoke a pipe. Even though the guy was probably a good 100 feet away, it still smelled the place up.

Of course, as the second scheduled sea day, this also made it formal night again. I know there are people that enjoy the whole dressing up for formal night stuff, but I’m definitely not one of those people.

Comedian tonight was fairly decent. He performed last night too, and word had gotten out that his show was supposed to be decent. Even arriving 20 minutes early to the Explorers lounge it was getting tough to find a free seat. By the end of the show, there was a pretty decent sized crown standing out in the hallway outside the lounge listening. The ship’s definitely pretty crowded, with a large number of kids. Apparently there’s a bunch of space free on the upcoming trans-Atlantic, be nice if there was some way to fit that into the schedule.


Cozumel today. Heard us docking around 7am, rolled over and went back to sleep after that :). Nothing real major planned for the agenda. Turns out, we were docked at the far southern pier in Cozumel, the Puerto Maya pier I think. Which means that you’re several miles out of the main areas of town, so you’re stuck with the shopping at the stores at the pier unless you take a cab downtown. I was looking for a particular brand of tequila, and the main duty free store at the pier didn’t have it, and interestingly, none of the other stores in the pier shopping area carried tequila at all. Somehow I’m guessing that the Dufry duty free store was the only one allowed to sell tequila in the port area. There was a small store across the street from the pier stores, but they didn’t have what I was looking for (and I question whether their prices were any good). Cathy did try a pomegranite flavored tequila that she said was pretty good, but at $35 a bottle, that puts it in the range of what a pretty good bottle of tequila should be around here, so was pretty pricey.

We did get some vanilla in the Los Cincos Soles store. We bought their vanilla a few years ago, and really liked the flavoring of it. It’s not the fake stuff that you have to watch out for, and at $10 for half a liter, isn’t badly priced at all.

Was interesting to note that the NCL Epic that was in Roatan yesterday (and did get to spend the day there), while their next stop apparently is indeed Cozumel, they don’t actually get here till tomorrow. Even if we’d made Roatan, we still stopped here today, but for some reason they take an extra sea day to get up here.

or maybe not Roatan

Well, apparently not Roatan today. Arrived off the port a little early today, and we sat there for a while. Captain came on and said that the swells and the wind were such that we couldn’t get in, and that we’d wait a while and see how things were. Probably 5+ foot swells, and supposedly a 30 knot wind, both of which were perpindicular to the path the ship had to take to get into port. After a while, the decision was made that we’d have to skip the port, and we headed out towards Cozumel.

Have to admit, I don’t know what the Carnival company was thinking when they decided to do this special made cruise port in Roatan. From our aft balcony, I could look at the path we’d have to take to get in. Basically, the ship has to back up, make a 90 degree turn, then back down this really narrow channel that barely looks big enough for the ship to make it through. Any combination of wind and waves in the wrong direction and you can’t get in. I know they’ve missed the port a small percent of the time (but big enough to be significant), and I know they’ve tendered in sometime when the problem was only wind, but today, well, I wouldn’t want to try to get into a tender that’s bouncing up and down 5 feet or more. Meanwhile, off in the distance we can see the NCL Epic docked in Coxen Hole, which doesn’t have this problem (but also can’t handle a second large ship).

So, basically turned into another day of sitting and relaxing. Italian dinner tonight, which isn’t really my favorite, but Cathy does like to get the limoncello. Finally a non-smoking night in the casino, although it wasn’t advertised in the patter. (They’ve redesigned the patters, and I’m not really a big fan of the new design, seems harder to find things to me.) Tomorrow Cozumel. Off in the distance right now I can see some other ship, lit up enough that it’s probably another cruise ship, but way to far off to tell what it might be. Could easily be the Epic again, no idea if they’re headed to Cozumel tomorrow also.

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman today. Made for an early morning, but thankfully we gained an hour of sleep with the clocks being set back. We rented a Jeep for the day, and headed out down the road with the ultimate goal of visiting Rum Point. Followed the driving tour that Frommer’s has on their site, although we discovered last night that apparently when I printed it, I only managed to print the first page, so we had to scramble last night to scribble down some notes on it.

Grand Cayman drives on the left, which really turned out to be pretty easy to do. However, I did find it odd that I kept having traffic come zooming up behind me and want to pass. Turns out, while the car’s primary speed measurement and odometer were in kilometers per hour, the speed limits on Grand Cayman are really actually in miles per hour. (As I discovered when passing through a school zone and noticing that the sign said MPH.) We annoyed a lot fewer drivers after that.

Finding things on the driving tour were sometimes kinda interesting, because they just don’t seem to like to put a lot of signs along their roads. It was often hard to tell exactly what road we were on, and what road we should turn on. Still, other than that, driving really wasn’t hard at all. Stopped by a small bird sanctuary (after circling a little to find it), but really wasn’t any birds there (fairly dried up, they apparently have been having dry weather lately, and it’s at the very early part of the season for the birds there).

Finally made it to Rum Point. Pretty nice place, free chairs and hammocks, not very crowded at all (although it did get a little busier when some tour boats arrived a little later). Water you could walk a long ways out and still only be in waist deep water. Didn’t see a lot of fish, although I think the other side of the dock might have had some more, and there was a small sting ray swimming around over there. Food and drink were pretty pricey, and of course it’s all priced in Cayman Island Dollars, which makes it cost even more.

Retraced our route back to Georgetown, then headed up north past 7 mile beach. We were headed to the Tortuga Rum Cake factory, which is near the turtle farm. The Frommers tour calls it a factory, and says you can see them make the cakes, but it turned out to really just be another store, just like the ones they have in town, so was really a waste of time to head up there.

Day at Sea

Day at sea today. For me, that means doing just about nothing. Cathy had her usual collection of things she was going to, but for me, I spent a lot of time either on the Promenade deck or on our balcony just reading and watching the water go by.

The commedian that night was Cary Long, who we’ve seen before (heck, I think I’ve seen him on Leno before too, he’s done that a couple of times). Most of the act was the same material I’d seen before, but still a decent show.

Kinda depressing, that night they were already slipping disembarkation stuff under the door. One of the reasons that I think 7 day cruises are too short.

Off on another cruise

Headed down Friday night for our latest cruise. Fairly uneventfull, but it was reasonably bumpy. We were flying down along the edge of the storms that were crossing the country at the time. Stayed at the Hyatt Summerfield Suites in Dania for the night. Fairly nice hotel, probably wouldn’t be a bad place to stay for a somewhat extended period of time if you had to. The suite was kinda overkill for the one night we were there, but as I recall, there weren’t a lot of great options available when I was booking.

Next morning ate breakfast at the hotel, then caught their $8/person shuttle over to the port. Shuttle seemed a little disorganized, but ultimately worked, although I think I’d consider a cab next time. Passing the airport was kinda amused to see the Iron Maiden tour jet sitting parked near some hangers. Guess they must have been in town. Drove right by the front of the Oasis of the Seas as we were headed to our ship. That sucker looks real big when you’re sitting in a van passing near the bow.

Got to the port at about 11:30am, but ended up having to wait a little before we could get on board. They said something about having had to move the ship away from the dock briefly at some point in the morning and that put them behind.

The Oasis of the Seas sailed shortly before we did (it was the only other ship in port suprisingly), so watched them back up and head out to sea. We sailed just a little late, ended up watching us leave the port from our balcony on the back of the ship.

Nothing else real exciting for the night.