A Travellerspoint blog

February 2015

E-mail: Your Flight to Roanoke has been Canceled!

What did I say about always checking the flight monitors when we arrive at an airport, BEFORE, we make our way to the next gate? I walked right by them and didn't stop! So by the time we walked the same very long distance, same as when we arrived the first time, the flight had already been canceled and the e-mail came at 1pm, so the flight was canceled while we were boarding in Florida. IF I had checked the monitor, it would have given us more time to rebook and maybe we would have gotten on a flight for the next day instead of having to wait two days.

Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Labadee

85% mountainous

Private Resort Leased to Royal Caribbean

Labadee is a port located on the northern coast of Haiti. It is a private retreat leased to Royal Caribbean International. We were told that they originally leased this area of Haiti for five years and put in $55 million for the dock and improvements. After the lease expired they renewed it with the Haitian government for 99 years.

We had a nice view of the island, it's actually a peninsula, from our balcony as the ship was going in to dock, nice to be on the right side of the ship. It didn't take long for us to make our way down to the gangplank and down the long pier. Of course I had to take "the" picture of the ship! This is our second time here, I have the same picture at that exact spot with the "biggest cruise ship in the world" the Oasis of the Seas, in January 2013.

The weather is perfect with a bright sunny day and a nice breeze! Labadee is broken up into a few different areas. The place we entered is called Dragon's Plaza, from the dock, and we also left from this area.

We are taking a guided tour of the Haitian coastline on a motorized catamaran called "Discovery," appropriately named. We were instructed to meet at the booking desk in Buccaneers Bay. This is the area where people go if they want to take a boat tour, jet skiing, parasailing, and other water activities. They have lockers for rent, cost is $8.00 for the day if anyone wants to store their belongings.

The guide had an engaging personality, offering history of Haiti and answered all questions we had for him. He's the one who told us about Royal Caribbean's lease deal with Haiti. He told us the unemployment rate is 72% and the iliteracy rate is 53%, so the average people are very poor. The picture is of Haitians in their small fishing boats checking their traps. One of them showed us his latest catch. Someone said it was a Spider Crab.

After the boat tour we were returned to the small pier at Buccaneer's Bay. We saw the tram that was provided for us to get around so we hopped on and stayed on through all the stops until we were hungry and got off in the Town Square area, where we saw the restaurants and bars, to find a place to eat. The ship provided lunch and had set up at 5 different locations, BBQ type food, buffet style with picnic tables and local entertainment. I asked if they had vegetarian burgers, they did, prepared, but set aside in a warmer type container, so Jim was happy!

We found a nice spot, not too crowded, under a couple palm trees for shade, and a couple of nice beach chairs, we were all set for a couple of hours. We were near Adrenaline Beach, located underneath the Dragon's Breath Zip Line. It was quite entertaining, watching the people come down from Lookout Mountain. The orientation area was close enough to us that we could hear some of the instructions to the ones suited up. Once in a while someone would come down the zip line who didn't follow instructions and the instructor would point them out and say "that is an example of what not to do!" What would happen is they wouldn't make it all the way and suddenly stop, so someone would have to throw them a line to pull them in or a couple of times someone had to straddle the line and shimmy over to them because they were too far out!

Ship Approaching Labadee

Ship Approaching Labadee


Dragon's

Dragon's


Rent

Rent


5

5


Explorer of the Seas

Explorer of the Seas


Jade Green Water Next to the Pier

Jade Green Water Next to the Pier


Labadee Arches

Labadee Arches


Welcome to Labadee!

Welcome to Labadee!


Sign for Buccaneer's Bay

Sign for Buccaneer's Bay


S

S


The Catamaran "Discovery"

The Catamaran "Discovery"


Fishermen

Fishermen


Spider Crab?

Spider Crab?


Cold Drinks Available and Coconut

Cold Drinks Available and Coconut


Coconut, lots of liquid, but meat not so tasty!

Coconut, lots of liquid, but meat not so tasty!


Life is Simple!

Life is Simple!


8

8


4

4


1

1


9

9


5

5


6

6


4

4


1

1


2

2


3

3


3

3


5

5

Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Comments (0)

Sea Day

Formal Attire tonight

Went to the Captain's Corner at 10am. Our Captain is American, unusual, from Florida,

We have two good shows today: Ice Show: "Spirit of the Seasons" Ice Spectacular - Starring: Royal Caribbean's International Ice Cast and Special Guest Larissa Sherman - Show Time 4 pm - Muster # determined the time scheduled, we are D25

Cruise Director Erky from Turkey

Palace Theatre - Headliner Show Time: 7:15pm -Starring: Tribute to the Temptations - A Salute to the Temptations

Movie Time: "Planes-Fire & Rescue" When Dusty Learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he joins a forest fire and rescue unit to be trained as a firefighter, or else his air strip will be shut down. PG 1 hr. 24 minutes Screening Room Deck 2, forward ,

Near Roanoke Airport

Near Roanoke Airport


Snow

Snow


Everything Shades of Grey & White

Everything Shades of Grey & White


A

A


B

B


C

C


D

D


E

E


F

F


G

G


Just a memory!

Just a memory!

Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Aruba

I think I took the best photos I have ever taken on a Caribbean Island today! Such a beautiful Island! Lots of photos of iguanas, the I love (red heart) Aruba sign. Colorful houses, casinos and a couple of churches and a park with a couple of statues, one of Anne Frank. This is the second time here, the first time we took a tour, went to see the California lighthouse and a very steep place we had to climb past small caves. We got a very different view of the island this time.

The couple from Florida, Jim told them some outrageous stories, damaging a car in Laguna Beach and not reporting it, telling them we have kids but we tell people we don't, so that ends that friendship, we eat at the Windjammer tomorrow night! It'll be too embarrassing to see them again.

The show tonight was a juggling comedian we had seen before on another ship. A really small skinny guy who juggled knives and rode a one wheeled cycle.

Aruba's beautiful Town Hall Building

Aruba's beautiful Town Hall Building


1

1


2

2


3

3


4

4


5

5


Explorer of the Seas

Explorer of the Seas


7

7


8

8


9

9


10

10


14

14


11

11


12

12


13

13


15

15


16

16


17

17


18

18


19

19


20

20


21

21


22

22


23

23


24

24


25

25


26

26


27

27


28

28


29

29


30

30


31

31


32

32


33

33


34

34


35

35


36

36


37

37


38

38


39

39


40

40


41

41


42

42


43

43


44

44


45

45


46

46


47

47


48

48


49

49


50

50


51

51


53

53


54

54


55

55


56

56


57

57


58

58


59

59


60

60


1

1


2

2


3

3


4

4


5

5


1

1


2

2


3

3


4

4


5

5


1

1


2

2

Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in Aruba Comments (0)

So Quiet and Peaceful in this "Yellow" Town!

I can't believe I couldn't book a tour in Bonaire, they were all sold out the first cruise day! Not really a problem, our ship is docked near downtown Kralendijk, we can walk off the ship and explore on our own. Most everyone here speaks English, Spanish or Dutch, as well as Papiamento.

The ABC Caribbean Islands: Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao all speak Paplamento. The precise history of this language has not been established, but there are many theories. It is a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French and also some Arawak Indian and African influences! The language is recognized on Bonaire by the Dutch government.

Another cruise ship is docked here at the same time we are, a German ship, Mein Schiff 1, with the 2 ships here at the same time, it isn't very crowded. Interested fact about this ship is it was originally the MV Galaxy in 1996, a Celebrity ship! It was sold to a German company in 2009.

The weather was great, I checked the temperature averages before I booked to come here, and it changes very little. From January to December the high averages are 84-89 degrees and low averages 76-80! So all year round they have this same great weather, with very little rain. Bonaire is situated very close to the equator so the sunshine in this part of the world is strong and very bright. The water is so clear and clean and those blue shades are amazing! We could see fish in the water, right next to the walkway, especially liked watching the Bonaire blue fish. They were a little difficult to photograph!! There were benches along the walkway so we sat and enjoyed the scenery!

We saw the mounds of salt as our ship was leaving, from the main dining room. We found out the majority ot the salt produced on Bonaire is used in water softeners, but with the worse weather in the Northeast USA occurred over the past few winters, salt from Bonaire was loaded on container ships and ended up on our streets to make our lives easier! <br style="line-height: 18px; font-family: arial, verdana; font-size: 12px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;">"The harvesting of salt has been a major industry on Bonaire for over 350 years. It was a laborious task first done by slaves, and after abolition of slavery, by laborers from the surrounding villages. Over the ensuing years, due to high tariffs and little capital investment, the industry fell on hard times until it was revitalized an modernized in 1963. Throughout the centuries, salt has been an important trade commodity. In early Roman days, the soldiers were paid their wages in salt - salarium- hence the English work for pay became salary. Salt was no less important to the sixteenth century Dutch- they had cornered the European market with salt that came mostly from Portugal"

Fort Oranje, the small fort, was built in 1639 and has four English cannons. It was built to protect the islands main resource, salt. The fort never saw action. It has an adjacent stone lighthouse. Some of the buildings now serve as the courthouse to the island.

Venezuelan merchants have a Roman-style covered pavillion where you can find fresh produce, near the town pier.

Most of the buidings are painted yellow, maybe it's a law, or maybe they just like yellow!

The waters around Bonaire are designates as an official Marine Park, so it is like the way the Caribbean used to be, untouched and unspoiled. It must be amazing for underwater photography! Recent studies have shown that Bonaire's fish population is the most diverse in the Caribbean and ranks among the best in the world.

I would definitely like to return to this island and find the adventures and attractions we missed!

Donkey Santuary and Tortoises Pink Flamingo Santuary near the Salt Flats Witte, A Pink Beach with tiny houses that were used for slaves that worked the salt mines.

Kralendijk, Bonaire

Kralendijk, Bonaire


Colorful truck

Colorful truck


Fort Oranje

Fort Oranje


Fence

Fence


Government building

Government building


People with signs

People with signs


Jim

Jim


United Nations, Help

United Nations, Help


Bicycle tour gathered near "yellow" Customs Office

Bicycle tour gathered near "yellow" Customs Office


Our Explorer of the Seas - Relatives?

Our Explorer of the Seas - Relatives?


Mein Schiff 1

Mein Schiff 1


Walkway near the water

Walkway near the water


Only saw 1 iguana

Only saw 1 iguana


Fresh food market

Fresh food market


Market

Market


House

House


Church

Church


Kaya Grandi, towns Main Street

Kaya Grandi, towns Main Street


Downtown

Downtown


Downtown, A blue building!

Downtown, A blue building!


Bonaire Mall

Bonaire Mall


Can rent this boat, really cheap!

Can rent this boat, really cheap!


Not a sandy beach!

Not a sandy beach!


Nice little perch

Nice little perch


Nice place for lunch!

Nice place for lunch!


Bonaire Blue Fish

Bonaire Blue Fish


?

?


Clear water

Clear water


Tour the island?

Tour the island?


Even the flowers are yellow!

Even the flowers are yellow!


Boat on the beach

Boat on the beach


Tour Boat

Tour Boat


Shoe Tree

Shoe Tree


Scuba Company

Scuba Company


Scuba Diving Lessons

Scuba Diving Lessons


A

A


Which way should we go next?

Which way should we go next?


Message

Message


Before I Die?

Before I Die?


Salt mine

Salt mine


From our Cruise Ship

From our Cruise Ship

Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in Netherlands Antilles Comments (0)