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Caribbean Cruise - 2007

Final Dinner

Heading into the holidays we all needed a break. Patty found a great deal on a week in the Caribbean and Mike & Marilyn were able to arrange their schedules. This was going to be a relaxing week.

Mike and Craig had worked together over many years, but over the last several years we had seen each other only sporadically.

Meeting in Miami, we boarded the Caribbean Princess for the first time – it is the largest cruise ship in the Princess fleet. We all had been to the ports before, but the ship was new; so we took the first couple of days to investigate.

Portrait of Mike and Marilyn was the first order of business.

Then we got ready for our dinner.

The following morning the ships shops were open and...

...well, you must know the drill by now.

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

St Maarten

At our first port the boys and girls split up, the girls to get their shopping in and the boys to sample the local hooch – Guavaberry Rum – and turn our eyes on local color.

seashore and cruise shipslocal bar

We all meandered through the shopping boulevard and came out on the beach. Not only was the beach crowded, but we could see five cruise ships all lined up in the harbor. This was certainly a popular place.

When the girls finished their shopping they met us at a beach bar for drinks and the view.

return to the portSt Maarten at night from the ship

We then walked back to the port and boarded our ship.

The evening was relaxing and we left the port well after dark. Pictures of port after dark are always fairly blurry and tonight was no exception.

The Caribbean Princess has a huge outdoor theater screen...

...upon which we watched Monday night football that evening.

St. Thomas

This is another one of those views of the ship where we just felt insignificant.

In St. Thomas we left our ship and were about to board a bus into town when we saw a number of Iguanas. These local denizens were huge compared to ones we see in the desert southwest.

The bus dropped us off near the center of town at a public dock.
Turning up the nearest street we walked one block off the bay to reach the main shopping avenue in St. Thomas.

After much traipsing around we found our way to a restaurant Mike and Marilyn remembered and sat down to order food and drink.

Back on the ship Patty showed off some towel art the room steward had left behind while we were ashore.

Flowers were everywhere on board the ship and here Marilyn seems to be getting her fill.

While the ship stopped at the Princess Cays – a privately owned/leased island – we took the opportunity to get massages on board the ship instead of sunburns ashore.

We had our last formal dinner and the next night we posed around the Christmas tree - like everywhere else Christmas decorations went up early on the ship - and passengers took each other's pictures.

Miami

Our relaxing trip returned to Miami and we took a day to see the sights before our planes left.

Patty and Craig chose to take a post ship tour into the Everglades, at an Alligator Farm.

After bussing us to the farm, a flat-bottomed propeller boat took groups out over the Everglade swamp areas. We has seen pictures of this, but had never been out in this water wonderland before.

Note the bird hiding in the marsh.

When we returned from the boat ride, we were treated to one of the alligator handlers doing his thing with the local creatures. It just didn't look like the type of job I would apply for and I just wondered how many old, retired alligator handlers there actually were -- and if there were any, how many fingers and toes had they retained?

Watch your fingers

Watch your fingers...

...watch your face

Watch your face

There were some spiffy bikes at the Alligator Farm

evening resturant viewgoodby dinner

In the evening we met up with Mike and Marilyn at a restaurant near their hotel. It was really quite a setting – built together with a large Bass Pro shop.

Finally we said goodbye, wound our way back to our hotels and jetted home the next day.

Our dinner table was outside, next to a lagoon where we overlooked several local?? reptiles.

It had been a slow and lazy eight days – just what the doctor ordered.