Thursday, January 26, 2012

Caribbean cruise - day 10

Labadee, Haiti. Labadee is a private resort owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. It has long beaches with fine white sand, water activities, zip-lines, and an artisans village where local residents sell items they have either purchased or created. Most items have substantial fees, except swimming and sun-bathing.

Caribbean cruise - day 9

We saw a school of dolphins and numerous flying fish shortly before dinner.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Caribbean cruise - day 9

San Juan, Puerto Rico. Walked around Old San Juan, contained mostly inside thick, tall, walls. There are also two large forts. We saw the San Juan Cemetery, described as "one of the most picturesque burial grounds anywhere" because of its elaborate tombstones and the circular, red-domed chapel. We also saw the governor's mansion, where TV crews were setup with cameras and mics. We went into the Cathedral,
the Hotel El Convento (previously used as a convent), and the Hotel Casa Blanca. Friendly and helpful
residents and police provided directions and information. Interesting architecture. The streets in Old San Juan are paved with cobble stones cast from furnace slag, and br ought as ballast on Spanish ships. San Juan is the largest home-based cruise port in the world, with twenty-eight cruise ships using San Juan as their home port.

Caribbean cruise - day 8

Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Walked to the main part of town, past the governor's house, then up "99 steps" to Blackbeard's Castle. Walked around shops and the bay, then back to the ship. We need to walk-off the food calories!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Caribbean cruise - day 7

Philipsburg, Saint Maarten. Walked around town at the bay, and near the beach. Took a taxi to Maho Beach, at the west end of the Saint Maarten's Princess Juliana International Airport. This beach is where people (hundreds today, and as many as a thousand) gather to take photos and video of jumbo jets landing at the airport. It's quite a tourist attraction. We arrived just in time to see a KLM Boeing 747 land right over our heads. The photos will show you how close the plane was. The third photo, showing the bottom of the plane, was taken with a wide-angle lens (not a telephoto). Most people were off to the side; we were in the center of the flight path.   :-)