Back to our home on wheels.
We flew back to Pensacola and stayed overnight at Mom and Dad's house.
The next day, we went out to Amanda and Blake's to get the RV and move it to a campground where we could undo the winterizing. Amanda and Blake, thank you for keeping our home on wheels safe while were gone on our cruises.
Everything went as planned and we spent the next week at Blackwater River State Park.
We were able to visit with some of the family in the area before heading south to Key West.
Back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida
End of the cruise. We got off the ship early to make our flight back to Pensacola.
We loved the crow's nest. It was a very nice place to look out over the bow and relax with a drink. Shawna enjoyed working on puzzles with other passengers.
I will post a quick video with some of our favorite places on the ship.
And a tour of our suite.
Next stop the airport and then Pensacola.
At Sea for two days.
On the first sea day, we decided to try the Tamarin restaurant. It was recommended by a follow passenger. It was FANTASTIC! They served an oriental style food and presentation. We had the best food on the ship.
Tonight, we had watched a comedian and he was very good.
On our second sea day, we decided that we would try Nami Sushi, and it was almost as good as the Tamarin. Our Chef was very attentive in making our meal not only wonderful in flavor but in presentation.
We spent much of the day relaxing at the Crow's Nest. Still our favorite place on ship.
Tonight, we returned to the Tamarin. Once again, the best food on the ship. When we are on ships that has this restaurant, we will be going to it again and again.
Tonight, we closed out the ship and cruise with the fantastic musicians at BB Kings. We danced and found ourselves tired but happy. Even the bars were closing by the time we left.
Oranjestad, Aruba was our planned port but instead we are going to Willemstad, Curacao. So far we have not found any excursion that interests us. On the other hand Aruba had a SUBMARINE. No really, a real submarine we would have gone down over 100 feet down and traveled along reefs. Disappointing!
It is a very colorful city.
We walked in town through the touristy shops, across the floating bridge, past more shops and back to the ship. The result of our trip was buying a couple of shirts, some postcards, and a magnet of our travel here. From the Crow's Nest, we watched the floating bridge swing to the shore for several boats to pass. We were in port with 3 other cruise ships. Two about the size of ours; the Odyssey of the Seas, Eurodam and a very small one the World Voyager. It was a busy port. I am sure the local economy got a huge boost that day.
On to Kralendijk, Bonaire
Yesterday was a day at sea. We enjoyed several shows but no pictures and not much more to say.
This morning we arrived in Bonaire. Bonaire is one of the A-B-C islands. We will visit two of the three on this cruise. Amazingly, we are only about 60 miles from the shore of Venezuela. Wow! More than 50% of Bonaire is a protected/national park.
We have a sailing and snorkeling excursion planned. We have an excursion called Catamaran Sail & Bonaire Marine Park Snorkeling trip. The trip was great! It started in the shadow of the ship on a water taxi that took us right to our catamaran sailboat.
Soon after we left dock the sails were up, and we were moving fast for the reef. The drinks were passed out and we relaxed for the next few minutes.
This guy was moving! His hydrofoil was moving very fast.
As we moved along the coast, we came into a school of flying fish! It was incredible. They were really flying over the water and then diving back. Most of the time, there would be a dozen or more out of the water at a time. The guide said that it was likely that tuna or another large fish was attacking the school. She also said that they see schools all the time around Bonaire.
It looks like we will have to keep an eye on the weather.
Soon, we arrived at the area where we would be snorkeling. Before we knew it, we were at the reef and tied off to a buoy. After a short instruction by the tour guide, inflatable life vests, snorkels and masks were passed out. We were then warned that many of the corals were FIRE CORAL. Don't touch it! Wow!
We saw a lot of reef fish which included parrot fish,,,,. and a pair of huge angel fish.
Time to head back before the weather turns bad on us. We sailed back exhausted but happy.
Well, that was disappointing. Again! At least, we actually got to go ashore this time. On the last cruise, we could just wave as we passed the island.
Half Moon Cay is the private island for only ships of the Carnival Corporation and other member lines.
To get to shore we used a boat at the Cay that was built as a kind of ferry.
Our disappointment is on what was not available to do. No excursion to go snorkeling, actually, no excursions at all. No shopping, and the post office and gift shop are closed.
We had access to the beach, bars, lobster shack, and the barbecue. On top of that, we had 20 plus winds and cloudy skies. At least, it did not rain.
There were two ships in port at the same time.
As we got to shore, we were greeted by the Bahamians as staff.
On the path to the beach, there were pretty flowers and coconut palms.
Some interesting signs.
The beach was nice and there were lots of recliners.
It was an exceptionally nice spot because right behind us was a bar.
Yes, the bar is a Captain Morgan's "Pirate Ship" not that it has ever been in the water.
We tried several of the drinks. Most were very good.
The Lobster Shack and bar are just down the beach.
We did go over and try out the buffet. I was not that impressed compared to the selection on ship.
By early afternoon, we were ready to head back to the ship.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
We entered port very early and there were several cruise ships docked.
We will turn and go just to the left of the other Holland ship in back. A tight squeeze.
We took an excursion to keep busy for a few hours. Betty’s flight is not until late in the day and our embarkation of the next cruise is at 1pm.
To use up some of time, we went to an Everglade Air boat Ride and Alligator show.
It was fun but REALLY LOUD! We only saw the one gator, an iguana, and some birds.
Next is the gator show. The man that worked with the gators was on a TV show called "Gator Boys" on Animal Planet.
We did have to share the seats with a couple of peacocks.
They had a few interesting animals on display. There were a couple of albino gators and tortoise.
Our bus took us back to the airport to drop off Betty for her flight and then took us back to the cruise port for our next cruise.
On this cruise, we were able to go to ONE of the original planned ports. Instead, we visited two other ports. There were several attempts to add more ports, but we were denied.
With all the skipped ports and other problems, on the last day, the cruise line gave some free drinks and shipboard credits.
Time for the next cruise!
Time for our Caribbean cruise.
Our next ship, Rotterdam, waits for us as we are coming in to Port Everglades. We will be leaving the Zuiderdam this morning ending the first cruise of 2022.
When planning the cruise with Betty, we realized that it would be easy to transfer from one cruise ship to another. No need for travel or hotel rooms. All we had to do was disembark one ship and embark on the other. We have never been on a Caribbean cruise so decided it was time.
After the first cruise, we went on an excursion with Betty. Later the bus dropped her off at the airport and then took us to our next ship.
After we scheduled the Caribbean cruise, we were offered a room upgrade. It was a very nice upgrade. We have a large balcony suite on the rear of the brand-new ship. It still has a "new ship" smell. At least that is the way, I describe it.
This ship is so new it has only started cruising last October.
It is a pretty ship. The passenger capacity is 2,668 but this cruise only had a little over 900 passengers and nearly the same number of crew. Unlike other Holland ships, we have been on this one has a lighter color scheme.
Off we go....
Half Moon Cay.... Nope!
Half Moon Cay. WOW! That was disappointing. The Bahamian government decided that we were not allowed to visit the Cay. They had a limited number of staff for the island and a decision was made to only allow one ship at a time at the island until that changed. Because of this, we are going take a slow ride sea day to Port Everglades.
We had a very nice dinner and I decided to get a couple of pictures.
At lunch a "new" Tesla passed us. She said her husband decided to get this printed for her cart.
We had a very nice dinner and I decided to get a couple of pictures.
Our last night of the cruise was very nice.
We are passing between Cuba and Haiti. We have been pushing our speed all night and day. The captain said that he would like to arrive at Half Moon Cay by 9am tomorrow. It looks like he will be successful.
Today, we watched a movie on the origin of Holland America Cruise Line. It was really good. I was not aware of how many innovations were started by the cruise line. The lido food service, entertainment for all cruise passengers, …
We finally made it to an afternoon tea. It was very nice. Maybe Shawna and I will be able to make it to tea on the next cruise.
Tonight, we have Step One Dance Company back for another great show.
We are a couple who have started on a new adventure...