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Turnaround and Two Sea Days to the Caribbean

Re-embarking


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2011 Back to Back Enchantment of the Seas and Lighthousing Driving South & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Monday 17 January 2011 - Turn Around Day

This morning, after breakfast which was VERY VERY SLOW (even though I ordered the express breakfast), I went up to argue about the bill and the girl tried to tell me that I signed in to the computer wrong. We went to the Bolero Lounge about 10:15 and got our new cards and I had a wheelchair pusher from Panama.

First glitch - they told us to go off on deck 2 instead of deck 1 - wheelchairs always use deck one. But we did as we were told. Then they had a problem with the machines that take the pictures for the SeaPass card (we were supposed to have our old pictures transferred) and so they made us wait about 3/4ths of a hour while they fixed that.

Bob saw the new cruise director ushering people to the head of the line which he didn't think was right. They were probably Diamond level or something.
Pool deck

Pool deck

Worker on the ship

Worker on the ship


They let us in on the first deck which was better. Bob did not believe that we could/should go to our cabin (even though they had said that we could), so we went to the Windjammer for lunch as it was 11:45.
Windjammer buffet

Windjammer buffet

Dish in the Windjammer

Dish in the Windjammer


Even with no one else there so that I could walk around and didn't have to wait in line, I still can't get lunch and something to drink without back pain. Bob had a hamburger,
Bob's lunch

Bob's lunch


My lunch

My lunch


I had a piece of roast beef (which was good although a little gristly), a little tiny bit of sweet and sour chicken, some pasta (which I got cheese for from the Caesar salad bar) and potato leek soup.

An unpleasant man came and sat with us - he apparently has built hotels all over the Caribbean. We left about 1300 and I thought we could go to the computer room and sign on since Bob refused to go to our rooms. But the problem was elevators. We went down to the 8th deck, but the fire doors were closed to get from one end of the ship to the other because there are staterooms there. So we went down to 5 and then couldn't get back up to 8. We finally got on an elevator going down and stayed on when it got down and then went back up. I had to use a new name and password because it said my other one was in use. I signed on and looked at email and used 8 minutes and it said it cost the appropriate amount.
On deck for the abandon ship drill

On deck for the abandon ship drill


We had the abandon ship drill and it was out on the deck in the cold and wind. I don't know why RCI still does this outside when HAL and NCL no longer do that. Anyway after we'd been there (me in the wheelchair) for about 15 minutes, they came and said - you don't have to stay out here. So we went in. I thought we should stay around for the finish of the drill but Bob said not, so we got the elevator down to our room. The cabin steward was checking to see that everyone was at the drill, and he was at our room. Bob wanted to know what was going on and I said he was checking to see if we were in there. The steward laughed about that, and after we got in, he put the "evacuated" sign on the door.
Bow camera - a tiny part of the TV - showing the Key Bridge

Bow camera - a tiny part of the TV - showing the Key Bridge


We were to go to our original table at dinner and the head waiter came running over and said that he put us at a table by the window but it wasn't on our card yet. So we went the back way through the linen closet to the other side and we sat by the window. This was a table for 10 that was set for 8. A couple named Leslie and Joe came and set next to us and
Mac and Betty

Mac and Betty


were next to Bob. Then another couple was at the end - another Bob and Jean.
Bob and Jean

Bob and Jean


Jean seems to be dissatisfied with everything
Leslie and Joe

Leslie and Joe


Leslie and Joe live in NC and he used to have a McDonald's franchise. She is a diamond level on RCI and thinks she knows everything. Mac is very interesting - he flew in WWII and was shot down and in a German prison camp - liberated by Patton. The other Bob is too far away from me to really hear.

I tried the
Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup


and it was way too spicy for me, so I didn't eat it. I had the
Prime rib

Prime rib


This was the same menu as the last cruise and the prime rib had looked good and was. Bob got
Spinach salad

Spinach salad


(which I had last time) and
Sea bass

Sea bass


Salmon wasn't on the menu. I remembered how good it was so I had two strawberry Pavlovas for dessert and so did Leslie.

Tuesday 18 January 2011 - Sea Day

It was very rough last night. The ship shudders and bumps a lot. We thought we wouldn't see many people around, and we went up to breakfast early and sat with 6 other people all from the Bethlehem area - there were 21 of them and they all came down on a bus. I had
Cream of wheat

Cream of wheat


and a banana, and Bob had figs and muesli which is their excuse for raisin bran. I took a picture of the droopy table flower - I think they must treat them roughly or forget to water them.
Flowers at breakfast

Flowers at breakfast

Unfortunately the Cruise Critics meeting was at 10 and the Progressive Trivia was at 10:15. So I went up to the CC meeting and signed in
Table in the Crown Lounge

Table in the Crown Lounge

Crown Lounge

Crown Lounge


and talked to some folks awhile and said if my name comes up in the raffle just claim it for yourselves. Then I left and went down to the Progressive Trivia.

I made a mistake and thought it was on deck 8 and it was on deck 5, so rather than wait for an elevator I just walked down. I walked in about 2 minutes until the start and walked up to the guy in charge and said I need to join a team. He asked who wanted another member and I went to the first team of four that said they would take another person.

They were Heintz, Jeanette, Lorie and Tom. The 9th, 10th, 12th, 15th,16th, 17th and 18th questions were the same as on the first cruise. I had written the questions and answers down. So I knew those questions at least were right. The real difficult one which almost everyone gets wrong is what is the Academy Award winning song in the movie Evita - it is NOT "Don't Cry for Me Argentina". Some of those questions I had known the answer on the first cruise like how many stripes did the American flag have between 1785 and 1818 - the answer is 15. We did miss the question of what the national sport of Japan is because the lady who was writing didn't hear me say Sumo Wrestling and they put baseball.

Then Bob and I went to lunch. I had the
Tropical salad

Tropical salad


which was VERY good (that's my veggies for the day-corn, hearts of palm, cucumber, avocado, tomato, red onion, and mesclun mix) and
Beef and avocado fajitas

Beef and avocado fajitas


which were a little too spicy. Bob asked for a hamburger without the bun, but they gave him the bun anyway - he just didn't eat it. Then he had his usual ice cream and I had
Carrot cake pyramid

Carrot cake pyramid

We went back to the room and I had a nap and then we went up to the Where in the World Am I Trivia. There were 15 questions and three teams got 13 right - we were one of the 13. We missed knowing that Chernobyl was in the Ukraine and the Vatican as the place people from all over the world visited. He didn't have enough prizes to go around and he also didn't have any type of sudden death question. We got key chains.

We went back to the room and I showered and got dressed - it was formal night.
In our room - Formal night  (Bob doesn't have his tie on yet)

In our room - Formal night (Bob doesn't have his tie on yet)

Bob

Bob


All of a sudden the ship has cranberry juice, but you have to get it from the bar waiter. I decided that $2.45 was too much to pay for cranberry juice which is watered down with a lot of ice and is probably mostly apple juice anyway.

Dinner had
Shrimp cocktail

Shrimp cocktail


and Bob asked for horse radish and catsup so he could make his own cocktail sauce.
Bob's shrimp with his own cocktail sauce

Bob's shrimp with his own cocktail sauce


He also had salmon. I got the
Lobster bisque

Lobster bisque


Seafood brochette

Seafood brochette


(scallops and shrimp on a skewer). He had the
Coconut cake

Coconut cake


for dessert and I again had the
Bitter chocolate souffle

Bitter chocolate souffle


Swan towel animal

Swan towel animal

Wednesday 19 January 2011 - Sea Day

Selfie

Selfie


Breakfast this morning as usual. The only thing on the program for today is Progressive Trivia. Bob came with me this time. We held our own even though they were all new questions. We missed the president that the Secret Service name was Timber Wolf, and also we could only think of 3 of the 6 Boy Scout ranks, but we did get JC Penny's name. Anyway we got 16 out of 27 which was more than anyone else. It is warmer out.
Station 9

Station 9


Sat with some people from Scotland at lunch. I intended to go swimming, but didn't. Mostly because Bob refused to go.
Bob watching TV

Bob watching TV


Good thing we have a port tomorrow. Bob is talking back to the commercials on the TV. I think the On/Off switch on the camera is going bad - it turns itself on at random. I took some photos of the wall art -- because there are elevators facing both directions you can't reliably turn left or right on your floor. I have to look at the picture frames on each side to figure out which way to go.
Mask on the other side - I don't turn this way

Mask on the other side - I don't turn this way


Towel turtle

Towel turtle


Tomorrow is Labadee which is in a remote part of Haiti - can't let us see the real Haiti - it would be too disturbing.

I have signed up for the Dragon's Tail Coaster. I debated between that and the over water zip line. I've seen photos of the Coaster and it looked like fun.
Towel swan and towel turtle and the ship's wheelchair

Towel swan and towel turtle and the ship's wheelchair

Posted by greatgrandmaR 10:59 Archived in USA Tagged cruise baltimore Comments (0)

Labadee - Somewhere in Haiti

Beach and Adventure Tours


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2011 Back to Back Enchantment of the Seas and Lighthousing Driving South & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Enchantment-of-the-Seas at Labadee pier

Enchantment-of-the-Seas at Labadee pier

Labadee is the Caribbean version of the "Private Island" that many of the cruise lines have. Most of them are in the Bahamas, but RCI has a small peninsula in Haiti cordoned off for their guests.
Chart keeping track of our location

Chart keeping track of our location


The beach is the thing to do here. You can rent a cabana or a small lean-to on the shore for shade.
This is not the place to go if you actually want to see Haiti

Thursday 20 January 2011

We had breakfast early. If we wait there is a big line. (One of the results of the stretch.) We ate with two Air Force and one Army couple. Saw some little boats out there which I joked were the Haiti Coast Guard.
Haiti Coast Guard?

Haiti Coast Guard?


My coaster ride is at 10 but we left the ship after breakfast before it got too hot. We took the wheelchair. There were wheelchairs with big tires to rent, but we didn't rent one. They are supposed to be for sand but they are much harder to push than a regular chair
100_7442.jpgWalking down the pier

Walking down the pier

Welcome to Labadee

Welcome to Labadee

Enchantment of the Seas at RCI private beach in Haiti

Enchantment of the Seas at RCI private beach in Haiti

Statue at the end of the pier

Statue at the end of the pier

Shop area

Shop area

Cruise ship pax walking to the beach

Cruise ship pax walking to the beach

Dragon's Rock Cafe

Dragon's Rock Cafe

People walking around on shore

People walking around on shore


Map of Haiti

Map of Haiti

Map of Labadee activities

Map of Labadee activities

Lounge chairs

Lounge chairs

Basketball net

Basketball net

Lunch fixings from the ship being taken to the BBQ

Lunch fixings from the ship being taken to the BBQ

BBQ building

BBQ building


There were sidewalks but they had periodic gaps like expansion joints which Bob said were to allow for the frequent freezes that they get down here (NOT).
Beach sidewalk

Beach sidewalk


In order that the wheels don't get stuck, he usually runs at these. But once the front wheels sunk all the way into the crack and when the wheel chair stopped suddenly, I didn't - I was pitched out on my hands and knees. Everyone came rushing over but Bob told them that I was OK. And I was, although Bob hadn't asked me.
Stacked lounge chairs

Stacked lounge chairs

Shipwreck Pub

Shipwreck Pub

Lounge chairs arrayed at the Barefoot Beach Club

Lounge chairs arrayed at the Barefoot Beach Club


Adrenaline Beach sign

Adrenaline Beach sign

Map of activities at Adrenaline Beach

Map of activities at Adrenaline Beach

Building on the beach

Building on the beach

Iguana-Dragon statue

Iguana-Dragon statue

Coaster

Coaster

Trash can by the sign-up for the Coaster

Trash can by the sign-up for the Coaster


I don't know whether that had an effect or not but I was very cautious on the coaster. They didn't want me to take photos on the ride because they didn't want people stopping to look at the view, and I didn't stop, but I didn't go fast either
On the Coaster going up

On the Coaster going up

I'm at the left

I'm at the left

Bob's picture of me on the coaster

Bob's picture of me on the coaster

Me on the Dragon's Tail Coaster coming in

Me on the Dragon's Tail Coaster coming in

Bob's picture of me coming back

Bob's picture of me coming back

Bob sitting in the wheelchair waiting for me to come back down on the Coaster

Bob sitting in the wheelchair waiting for me to come back down on the Coaster

Beach from the coaster

Beach from the coaster


I went so cautiously with my hand on the brake most of the time that led faster people to pile up behind me. They let them go around again
Bob with wheel chair

Bob with wheel chair


We went back to the ship instead of waiting for the BBQ on shore,
Dragon's Breath Flight Line

Dragon's Breath Flight Line

Man watching the Dragon's Breath Flight Line from the beach

Man watching the Dragon's Breath Flight Line from the beach

Swim at Your Own Risk - No Diving (and other caveats)

Swim at Your Own Risk - No Diving (and other caveats)


6509780-beach_Saint_Martin.jpgbeach chair

beach chair

100_7458.jpgBeach with cabana shelters

Beach with cabana shelters

100_6952.jpgBeach

Beach

Soccer goal

Soccer goal

Volleyball nets

Volleyball nets

Watching the waves

Watching the waves


and we were back by 10, so we went to Trivia. We did well, but we only got 9 out of 15 right and the group with Leslie (at our dinner table) got first. We had lunch in the Windjammer (buffet)

I thought there was another "Where in the World Are You?" Trivia but it turned out to be WHO in the World Are you. We ended up winning that as we had only one wrong and that was the question about a model who took out an ad in the Times about her sexuality. (Cindy Crawford) Also on our team was the guy who played with us once before who had the golf pro shop. He knew almost all of them.

We had a discussion about Holland and the Netherlands from a previous trivia. I have always heard that Holland was only a part of the Netherlands, but the lady on the team who was from Germany said the terms were synonyms. But I don't think she is right.

I took some photos of Labadee from the ship and out the window from where we had trivia
Boat beyond the reef line

Boat beyond the reef line

Wave runner area from the ship

Wave runner area from the ship

100_7483.jpgWing bridge

Wing bridge

Water toys

Water toys

Coaster and Flight Line from the ship

Coaster and Flight Line from the ship

Shore from the ship

Shore from the ship


Today we switched seats and I sat by Jean - she says I am too soft spoken for her to hear me. This annoyed Leslie - she wanted me to stay in my assigned seat.
Spinach pot pie

Spinach pot pie

Cardinal cheesecake for dessert

Cardinal cheesecake for dessert


I decided not to go to the bathroom after dinner on deck 4 as there is such a line in the ladies room. But there's no bathroom on deck 8 where the computer area is.
Back in our room after dinner

Back in our room after dinner


For some reason if I log on with IE it charges me 65 cents a minute but I tried tonight with Firefox and it does it correctly. I was told to use IE and not Firefox.
Mother and baby towel animals

Mother and baby towel animals


Tomorrow we go to the Samana in the D.R. to do whale watching

Posted by greatgrandmaR 11:01 Archived in Haiti Comments (2)

Whale Watching

Santa Bárbara de Samaná'l La Church


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2011 Back to Back Enchantment of the Seas and Lighthousing Driving South & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Friday 21 January 2011

large_100_7597.jpg
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Cruise ships come to visit the Dominican Republic at a port in Samaná. I think the name of the village at the port is Santa Bárbara de Samaná, but most of the stuff written about it talks as if the name is just Samaná. The port is a lovely horseshoe of sand with a promenade along it
large_100_7566.jpg
This morning our tour was whale watching.
Ticket

Ticket


After breakfast we went up to the theatre. Bob stopped on the way and put in another complaint/suggestion - he wanted to know if they were putting ice cubes in the Jacuzzi because (according to the information on the TV) it is 10 degrees Celsius cooler than the regular pool.

We got stickers and they took me down on the crew elevator so I wouldn't have to do the stairs, The elevator was the one used only for garbage.

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(Bob did the stairs) to deck 1 to board the boat. Our boat was a big catamaran which picked us up right at the ship.

Loading the boat

Loading the boat

We went out to the whale watching area but we had to wait because only 3 boats are allowed at a time.
Another whale watching boat

Another whale watching boat


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Taking pictures was difficult because the action was so quick and it was not helped at all by the boat rising and falling with the waves which made it difficult to get the whales into the picture.

When it was our turn we saw a mother and baby - the baby leaped out a couple of times and the mother lifted her tail up out of the water.
large_100_7531.JPG
They allowed some people with big cameras up onto the top with the captain where it was easier to see.
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We were out there about half an hour in the close in area. Some people said that they did not see any whales on the ship's tours, but I think they must have been on a later boat. Also this is fairly early in the whale watching season.
Enchantment of the Seas

Enchantment of the Seas


Then we went back to the ship. Some people had a beach excursion part after the whale watching but we did not.
Island beach

Island beach

As we got off that boat, I saw that there was a tender there so we got onto that and went in to the port.
100_7568.jpg100_7563.jpg

I wanted to take a picture of La Churcha which was sent over from England. We bargained with the guy at the dock - I got him down from $50 each for a 1 hour tour to $20 for two of us to go to see that specific place.
large_x100_7562.jpg

But I should have looked at the information booth because the price for going into town was $2.00 each.

Prices

Prices

Anyway I got my photos of La Churcha
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La Churcha was actually the First African Wesleyan Methodist Church of Samaná. Much of Samana was destroyed by fire in 1946 and La Churcha is one of the few historical remnants. English missionary Narcissus Miller, who introduced Methodist teachings to the peninsula, shipped it here from England in 1823
100_7572.jpg100_7571.jpg
Around this same time, a large group of American runaway slaves were resettled in Samana by two women abolitionists. As many as 6,000 ex-slaves were brought here and it is thought that some helped rebuild the prefabricated, tin-roofed structure. The slaves' heritage is evident today in such local names as Jones, Williams and Green and the sizable number of English-speaking residents. When Trujillo was in power, he made it illegal to teach children any language but Spanish. Santa Bárbara and Duarte maintains what African-American culture is left in Samaná and La Churcha continues to hold services in English.

La Churcha's name now is the Dominican Evangelical Church and the congregations of La Churcha and the African Methodist Episcopalian Church often work together.

I also got a photo of the scaffold covered Catholic church
large_100_7574.jpg
and the area by the waterfront.
100_7587.jpgShipwreck Museum

Shipwreck Museum

We came back and ate in the Windjammer right at the bow of the boat,
Looking down on the bow of the boat

Looking down on the bow of the boat

20562c40-d2ea-11ea-890b-7709e2cc688c.JPGDesserts in the Windjammer

Desserts in the Windjammer


and sat there talking for a good bit. Then we went back to the cabin and I had a nap before dinner.
Melon Prosciutto

Melon Prosciutto

Scallop and mussel gratin

Scallop and mussel gratin

Baked Perch

Baked Perch


Chocolate panna cotta - this was good last time so I had it again

Chocolate panna cotta - this was good last time so I had it again


Jean, Betty and Mac

Jean, Betty and Mac


Skate towel animal

Skate towel animal


large_x100_7602.JPG
Tomorrow is San Juan and the captain says that he expects we will be there about 6 am so I will have to get up and take pictures.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 11:04 Archived in Dominican Republic Tagged church whales carriage dominican_republic samana Comments (2)

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