The original itinerary was Phillipsburg, Basseterre, Charlotte Amalie, San Juan and Labadee. However in September 2017 two devasting hurricanes, Irma and Maria, pounded the Caribbean wreaking havoc on many islands. This meant that Royal Caribbean issued a new itinerary on 5th October.
31 October. At sea. Halloween! The ship has been decorated since we boarded. This evening, lots of the guests, adults as well as children dressed up. Those that had dressed up took part in a parade through the Royal Promenade to Studio B. Just outside Studio B, the entertainments staff had made a haunted house, which was fun. Tor and Jan, two Norwegian boys who I'd had drinks with in the hotel before the cruise, both dressed up as Snow White! I promised them not to put the picture online.
1 November. At sea. On our first night aboard we had had a helicopter evacuation. Today, we had another med-evac, which meant an unscheduled call in to Angra do Heroismo in the Azores. We were due to cruise by the islands, but instead we called in to drop off another passenger by boat.
06 November. Basseterre, St. Kitts. Our first time on shore since we left Southampton. Mein Schiff 6 was docked next to us. I took a cruise line excursion on the 30 inch gauge railway. It was built in 1910 to transport sugar cane and when I last visited that's what it was still being used for. It was a bumpy, rickety ride on two story carriages, the upper floors of which were open air. A small choir visited each carriage about three times and sang to us. We saw lots of deserted sugar mills and countryside. We saw a lot of Mount Liamuiga, the island's highest point, which had its top in the clouds for much of the trip. When we left the train, we took a minibus for a short trip to a local jetty where we boarded a catamaran back to Basseterre. It was very hot.
07 November. St John's, Antigua. Once again, we docked by Mein Schiff 6. On the other side of her was Britannia and Norwegian Dawn. I grabbed a local minibus with a few other people for an island tour. What I really wanted to see was Nelson's Dockyard. This is the other side of the island to where we docked. It's a very pretty place that these days is mostly restaurants and shops. It's been quite gentrified and is, apparently, the only working Georgian dockyard in the world.
08 November. Bridgetown, Barbados. We moored opposite Celebrity Summit, the ship Barbara and I went on to Canada and New England in 2016. I changed my mind about what I was going to do today. My original intention was to have a beach day at the Boatyard. In the end, I grabbed a minibus tour to Harrison's Caves. This was really interesting. You travel into the cave on a solar powered tram. Unfortunately, the tram before us ran out of power and had to be rescued before we could go in. There are lots of stalagmites and stalactites and they are all still growing. You got dripped on constantly inside the caves. It was about 27 degrees inside. They are considered to be 'live' caves.
09 November. Fort de France, Martinique. My first maiden port of this cruise. We docked right in town and I had nothing planned. I just wandered into town about 5 minutes from the dock. It's quite a small place. I saw St. Louis cathedral. There was a service in progress, with a lot of schoolchildren, so I had a quick peek inside and then came back later for pictures. I saw the exterior of St Louis fort, but as it's a working fort, you can only go in on guided tours. I also saw a few other buildings, including the amazing looking Schœlcher Library. All in all I was only off the ship for just over two hours. On my next cruise, they've just announced an itinerary change and I'll be back in February, so I think I'll take a minibus island tour from the dockside then.
10 November. At sea. Today I took a backstage tour.
11 November. Labadee, Haiti. Labadee is Royal Caribbean's private 'island'. It's actually a peninsula in Haiti. We arrived early and I had a jet-ski tour booked. Why did I wait until I was 65 before trying this? It was so much fun. There were six jet-skis plus a leader and tail man. We watched a short video, then we took off in a line, meeting at various points on the way. Apparently, the skis can do 40 something miles an hour. I hit 40. I jumped quite high at one point. Which was by accident rather than design. The rest of the island was just beaches, barbeque restaurants and bars. The world's longest overwater zip line is there too.
13 November. Fort Lauderdale, USA. The hotel gave me a free ticket for the water taxi and I rode it almost all day. I got off in Los Olas Boulevard and Hollywood. Fort Lauderdale is certainly beautiful from the water. Some of the houses are (or were) owned by famous people including Cher, the man who started Blockbuster Video and the Kohl (department store) family. I have never seen so many 100 million dollar plus yachts in my life.
|Cabin||Royal Promenade||Movie Screen||Viking Crown||H2O Zone||Parade|
|Cat||Angra do Heroismo||Angra do Heroismo||Independence||Royal Promenade||Ships|
|Cave||Cave||Chandelier||Wedding Chapel||Atlantic||Fort de France|
|Room view||Car||Fort Lauderdale||Fire boat||Canal||House|
|Christmas decoration||Sunset||Iguana||Swimming pool|
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