Monday, July 14, 2014

Class Reunion Eastern Caribbean Cruise - St. Thomas

Approaching St. Thomas. Smooth sailing!
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Day was dawning as we neared St. Thomas, and the ship entered the harbor at Charlotte Amalie on such silky-smooth waters, it was hardly believable. It was a spectacular day, the last full one of this cruise. [To read about our previous trip to Charlotte Amalie, click here.]

We had scheduled one last snorkel adventure, to Turtle Cove at Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge. There, we saw a surprising number of sea turtles (must be why they call it Turtle Cove!) and other marine life in waters that were incredibly clear, calm, and just the right temperature. The hubster did very well, in spite of his toe, still swollen from the Antigua snorkel.

Thank you so much, Bob!
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Bob and Karen are so much fun to snorkel with. They know the name of everything that lurks under the sea, it seems, and can find unusual, exotic creatures that escape the notice of those with less experience such as myself. And so, I appreciate them and their encouragement to explore coral reefs and rock formations in search of species both rare and plentiful.

Beach break! Honeymoon Beach, Water Island, St. Thomas
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
After the snorkel, we motored over to Druif Bay and Honeymoon Beach at Water Island for a beach break, burgers, and drinks. The beach was lovely and secluded (if you don't count the sailboats at anchor in the bay). There are sailboats at anchor all over every available bay in this area, it seems. It's understandably a favorite destination for boat dwellers. Who can blame them?

She said yes! The captain proposes
via cell phone. Why not?
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Back at the ship, it was time to start packing our bags between visits to the pool area and the buffet. We prepared to go to the dining room for our farewell meal. You know, sometimes, it just is what it is: I have no idea what caused it, but just before dinner, I started getting the worst acid stomach ever. I ordered some food, then I excused myself to go to the little on-board store to see if they maybe had some Tums or other quick antacid, but they were completely sold out. I was desperate. All they had was an over-the-counter pill that can take hours to start working, but what could I do? I bought some, took one, and returned to the table to try to eat. But I just couldn't.

The poor waiter! He fretted and fussed over me (I'm sure he must have thought I was seasick, which was not the case) and offered to bring me all kinds of other dishes that he said would be no trouble at all. “Doesn't Madam like the dinner?” “Would Madam prefer something prepared differently?” “Would Madam like some food brought to her room?” Every time I got up to walk around in hopes of feeling better, I would come back to the table to find he had covered my food so it wouldn't dry out or get cold. What a sweetheart he was. But honestly, I couldn't eat a single bite of anything. Every sip of water caused a rush of acid. One spoonful of soup was all I could manage, and that was a huge mistake, throwing me into fresh agonies.

There was just nothing to be done but to hope the next day would bring relief. What a lousy way to end such a fantastic cruise! Which just goes to show, even someone with a cast-iron stomach such as myself would do well to be a little more careful. But what are vacations for, but to throw caution to the wind? Note to self: Don't forget the Pepto-Bismol! 

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
By the way, I've recently come across a website called Tom's Port Guides. It includes a wealth of information about various cruise ports and the nearby excursions and sights that are available. It'll make my next cruise vacation so much easier to plan. Check it out! My friends did, and they are still thanking me for telling them about Tom.

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