The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

December 12, 2013

Live from the Lido deck

Filed under: travel, Wanderings — Brian Lutz @ 7:41 pm

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Date:  Um….  Not quite sure really.  Thursday, perhaps?
Time:  Kind of late in the evening.
Temperature: Not really freaking cold, which is about as much as I care about the subject at this point.
Location:  Somewhere on the leeward side of the West Indies, headed toward Dominica.

It’s kind of a quiet night aboard the Emerald Princess, with not much of not going on this evening.  Club Fusion at the aft end of the Promenade deck is showing a football game, which is just about the most packed I’ve seen the pace all week.  None of the other lounges are showing much of note, and the big movie screen is showing some movie I’ve never heard of.  My traveling companion is, unlike myself, inclined to go to bed at sane times in the evening, so I figure that vacating the premises for a while is probably the best course of action.  Since that doesn’t leave a whole lot of options for activities that don’t involve either watching people dump big piles of money into the slots or dumping big piles of money into the slots myself, I figure I have a bit of time to do some blogging.

The day today was spent in lovely St. Thomas, where the agenda included a visit to Trunk Bay on St. John, and a brief shopping trip in Charlotte Amalie, also known as the Wal-Mart of the Caribbean (although ironically there isn’t actually a Wal-Mart there, just a Kmart.)  The snorkeling at Trunk Bay went far better than the earlier attempt at snorkeling at Princess Cays a couple of days ago, where the waves made everything to murky to see anything.  The beach at Trunk Bay is also just as nice as advertised, making for a lovely couple of hours (one of the big drawbacks to cruising is that there never seems to be enough time in any one place, one of these days I really need to take a land trip out here…)  As for the shopping, I ended up with a shiny new automatic watch I probably don’t need.  Oddly though, my attempts at finding fake Rolexes didn’t bear much fruit today.  Plenty of fake handbags in the flea market though.  There were alleged Pradas, Coaches, Guccis, Tory Burches, Michael Kors and Burberries all over the place, but oddly enough not a single fake Louis Vuitton to be found anywhere.  Presumably they sent someone over to crack down recently.  The next four days each have a port stop (tomorrow is Dominica, followed by Grenada, Bonaire and Aruba,) then there are two more sea days before arriving back in Fort Lauderdale to disembark.  Maybe there will be better luck there (not that I actually need any fake Rolexes or anything like that…)

One thing you learn quickly when taking a cruise is that it tends to mess with your sense of time.  If I was at home this would be pretty close to the peak of the holiday season, with all the pomp and circumstance in downtown Bellevue that always accompanies it.  Around these parts, Christmas seems to be some vague thing that is happening, but doesn’t really seem to be all that big a deal.  Sure there are all the obligatory decorations on the ship and in the ports (as well as the obligatory reggae versions of all the usual Christmas staples) but it all seems out of place when it’s 78 degrees and sunny everywhere we’ve been so far.  If it wasn’t for a few trees and decorations scattered around, it could easily pass for the middle of April around here.  Taking a longer itinerary than the usual 7 days tends to mess with ones sense of time as well.  Even though we’ve only been on board for four days do far, it already feels like we’ve been here for ages.  And we have a whole week left before it’s time to head home (the flight back is the day after we get of the ship to save the hassle of trying to fly out the same day.)

All in all, it has been quite interesting so far, but my traveling companion seems to be wishing things were a little more active around the ship, particularly in the evenings.  Although I’ve been pretty loyal to Princess in my cruising, I’m starting to think the next time I come down here I will probably need to try out one of the Oasis class ships on Royal Caribbean, if for no other reason than a change of pace.  To be honest, I’m not a big party type person, but even I have to admit that things do get a little slow at night here.  I suppose it’s either that or Carnival, but I think that might be just a little to much party and/or booze cruise for my tastes.  Then again, as long as I can get away from things for a while, that’s really what matters here.

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