"" Writer's Wanderings: Cruising The Caribbean - The Holidays At Sea

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Cruising The Caribbean - The Holidays At Sea

Spending the holidays on a cruise is not for everyone but we enjoy it once in a while. There was no stress decorating or last minute shopping for things for dinner or to wrap and put under a tree. We do take lights with us though that Bob strings around the mirror in the room and/or the window if we have one. (We bought LEDs so they don't get hot.) And we have a door decoration that we hang on our stateroom door (hung with the sticky putty that doesn't leave a mark).

Our two weeks aboard the Neiuw Amsterdam was spent cruising the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Christmas Eve day we spent enjoying the sunshine and water at HAL's private island, Half Moon Cay. Christmas Day was spent at sea but we enjoyed a special dinner and of course the caroling and activities that surrounded the arrival of Santa.

We didn't quite make it to the midnight service on Christmas Eve. We were really tired and had enjoyed the performances of several choirs made up of crew members and considered that our "midnight" celebration. Christmas morning offered another opportunity for attending church service and we enjoyed it much more being awake.

Several highlights along the way were watching the welcoming committee at Cozumel in their colorful costumes. Later in the evening on the open back deck a mariachi band performed for us.

The sail-in to San Juan, Puerto Rico is always spectacular. The ship sails past the old fort, San Felipe and gives you a fantastic view of the fort as you enter the port of Old San Juan. The ship docks right by the old town and there is a great opportunity to explore the area without having to go too far. We didn't do much exploring this time but did try to see if we could figure out things that may have been damaged by the hurricanes. Where our ship was, everything seemed to be okay but we knew that not that far away many were still suffering the effects of the storm. Hopefully the ships being there were adding some relief to the economy.

In Jamaica Bob had booked us a day pass at a resort not far from where our ship docked in Montego Bay. It was a nice day off the ship and enjoying the small beach area at the resort. It also included a buffet lunch. It wasn't the kind of place I'd want to spend a lot of time but for a day, it was nice.

By the end of the cruise decorations were disappearing, being stored away for another year. The good news was that except for two strings of lights and a small door decoration, we didn't have anything else to pack up.

It was time to move on to Key Largo but it was a bit of a cool reception. The cold front that was freezing out the north and much of the south had arrived. It would be a while before we could shed sweaters and long sleeves.

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