Wow I must have been having fun, it's been over 2 weeks since my last post as we headed off on our Easter cruise of the Caribbean. I won't bore/sicken you with all the details, just a few hi/lo lights.Eastern Caribbean Cruise on the NCL Norwegian Dawn out of New York 6th-16th AprilBest Bits
Sailing past the statue of Liberty was always something we wanted to do, and it's kind of humbling in a way to see Ellis island where so many Europeans stepped foot on US soil for the first time in search of a new life after their less than luxurious Atlantic crossings.
10 days of relaxation, great food and drink and generally sunshine. The 'freestyle' cruising concept of NCL suits us very well as a family. None of this fixed meal times, and fixed dinning companions. I coudn't imagine finding on your first day at sea that you are about to spend the rest of your cruise eating with some obnoxious, boring, opinionated, prog loving guy from Scotland :OP
Honestly, the flexibility of 10 resturaunts and 11 bars allows you a huge amount of choice and flexibility. Our 10 year old son loved the Teppanyaki room where two chefs entertained you with flashing knives and juggling tricks as they prepared your food. He loves seafood, so the prawns, scallops and monkfish went down a treat with him.
St Martin, half Dutch, half French was the best port we stopped at. How confused is that, the laid back attitude of the Dutch Vs the rules and stubborness of the French, and the differences in the two parts of the Island highlighted just those traits. No speed limits, no tax and gambling on one side Vs speed limits, taxes and lots of rules on the other. The planes come in to land right over the beach too!
They make an excellent rum and flavour it with fruits. One is with Guavaberries, the only place you can get them, and it makes a wonderful pink frozen Guavaberry Collada. Well worth carrying the 3 bottles all the back home to Dunfermline. the bottle of Passion Fruit rum smuggled back to our stateroom didn't last too long either, especially when we found that it went great with the Waitroses fiery Ginger Beer we found in a small shop in Tortola in the BVI run by a woman from England. They also had haggis in the fridge and Irn Bru, can you believe that? The Jimmy Buffet shop "Last Mango in Paradise" on the island was a family favourite too. Lots of parrots and margarittas on them, with the wonderful slogans like "A bad day on Vacation always beats a good day in the office" and "My body may be at work, but my mind is on vacation". I hadn't seen these since I was in Key West a long time ago.
Virgin Gorda, with the water rounded rocks, while roasting the flesh off of us was really nice.
Swiming in the Bahamas off of NCLs private island, though there were way too many people there to enjoy the beach, evey inch was covered in oil soaked bodies.
Watching the lightning storm off the coast of the Carolinas.
The wonderful Fillet Minion with Foie Gras and truffled veal jus in the Le Bistro resturaunt on board with originals from Monet, Renoir, and Matiste on the walls. $1.5 million the waitress said one was worth! No wonder it had 8 padlocks on the cover. Oh and not forgetting the fruit and chocolate fondue afterwards.
Our son having a 'virgin' frozen lime margarita in a glass just like Mum and Dad.
And of course all three of us getting upgraded to business class both ways between London and New York. Some payback for all those business miles each year and the the United Airlines gold card.The could have been better bits
The slightly in need or repair boat that tool us from from Torolla to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands where I had about 6 mozzie bites on my feet within a few minutes of boarding.
The overcrowding on the private island in the Bahamas, and the hammock hoggers, you know who you are! I've never seen so many towels relax on hammocks in my life.
The cruise could have been a bit longer, by about 15 years!
The so called New York comedian on board, whose jokes only seemed to make the cellphone lady behind us laugh (which was in-between calls, some of them wrong numbers - I guess she didn't know she was on a special ship only network that would cross charge $4.99 per minute to her bill, even for incomming calls - LOL)
The bottle of 'champagne' in our room for sailaway as part of the anniversary package that turned out to be 7% sweet Asti, yeuch. But it was drank anyway.
The all you can eat sushi lunch on sea days was nice, but we learned a few lessons. Never arrive late and sit at the end of the conveyor belt furthest from the chefs, especially when there are a few very large guys 'up stream'. All the good stuff was being stuffed whole into some large gobs, sometimes two handed! The nice waitress did bring some salmon and tuna sushi directly to our end after a while though, when the various 'rolls' that made it to our end were starting to get a bit boring. It became a bit of a game for the ones at our end, to guess if the salmon or tuna will make it to this end. Oh, it's past one big guy, oh and the next, but ahh the third guy nabbed it. Maybe if this was the kind of games in the casino I would have spent more time there.
The bar prices which seemed to have gone up by about 50% since last year when we went to Alaska. Wine coming in around $36-$46 a bottle, but we were on vacation, so we dully drank about a bottle per meal. Interspersed with other bar drinks and cocktails. I think we need a small lottery win to pay the bar bill :O(