Showing posts with label Cruise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cruise. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Traveling Home

Mountains Above the Clouds
Leaving SeaTac, WA
September 5, 2023

 It is finished!

Chris and I arrived home last evening about 6:45 PM, completing a 12-day travel adventure in the PNW (Pacific North West) and the southern coast of Alaska. 

The trip ended with gray overcast skies, pretty much the same as the whole cruise. I need to remember that the three days we spent in Seattle were mostly blue skies and sunshine. It is easy to forget since the last nine days were gray. Yesterday, once we got above the clouds, the mountains were finally visible.  I managed the image shooting out the airplane window from an aisle seat. 

At the Entrance to Endicott Arm
Quantum of the Seas
September 1, 2023
And speaking of SeaTac. Ugh. What a mess yesterday. We flew on a 7:55 AM Delta flight. The first mess was baggage check-in. We had two bags, at $30 each. The process for checking bags took a good 20 minutes, possibly more and required painful line waiting. Now this is what really gets me, we paid extra to have our bags and were subjected to substandard service. Why would I do that again?

But wait, there is more. Chris and I are both TSA Pre. There was only one TSA Pre line for the entire airport. And it was a long way from the terminal we needed. We stood in line for another good 10-15 minutes to clear TSA only to have them discover a cork screw that we missed in Chris's backpack. It had a one inch blade and was confiscated. Now here is the weird thing--3 inch succors are allowed, but a small blade designed to cut the foil from a wine bottle is dangerous? Really? 

Chinatown Alley
Victoria, BC, Canada
September 3, 2023
Don't get me wrong. We enjoyed the trip, it is just that air travel in America has become very tedious. I calculated our departure time from the hotel based on my experience elsewhere and added a pad. Thankfully, I added a pad. By the time we got to our gate we were able to walk right onto the plane. We did manage a quick stop for breakfast once we cleared security. 

But, we made it to Ft Lauderdale and to the place where we parked our car. The flight was pleasant and I have to admit, Delta has the best in-seat entertainment and free WiFi (for mileage members). The almost 6-hour flight seemed to pass quickly. 

And now, it is all a memory.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

And So it Ends

Float Planes in Ketchikan
Ketchikan, AK
August 30, 2023

 It has been 12 days since we departed Florida for the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.  Wow! What a rush!

The days in Seattle before the cruise were fantastic. We really appreciated the city and the opportunities. Chris and I also joined another winery: Chateau St. Michelle! I will write more about that later. 

Ice Flow
Endicott Arm, AK
September 1, 2023

And then the cruise. Sadly the cruise was gray and overcast most of the time with rain. But, We enjoyed Alaska and the wildlife.

What a trip this has been from the heights of Mt Rainier to the Sitka Bay. And then walking Victoria. 

I am putting together a video of some of the sights--especially the whales. 

We have enjoyed so much--I was amazed by the float planes--theyt are everywhere and fly everywhere. I almost wish I were a float plane pilot. 

I wish the weather had been better. Gray was the color of the cruise skies with a few limited exceptions. 

Well, tomorrow it is back to the regular grind, I guess. 

-- Bob Doan, Seattle, WA

Monday, September 4, 2023

The First and Final Sunset

Final and Only Sunset
Victoria, BC, Canada
September 3, 2023

 How weird was it that the last night of the cruise provided us a view of the the first and only sunset? The gray skies broke for a few hours last evening as we enjoyed Victoria, British Columbia. That was a relief. 

Fisherman's Wharf
Victoria, BC, Canada
September 3, 2023
For our evening enjoyment we chose a walking tour of Victoria, which also included a water taxi and a shuttle back to the ship. It was an enjoyable evening. Fortunately, we chose to enjoy dinner before getting off the ship and so we were ready to see the city. 

We began right at the pier and proceeded to walk down into the city to Fisherman's Wharf where we boarded a water taxi and proceeded across the harbor to the main part of Victoria. We continued walking through Chinatown and were provided with history and stories of the gold rush years. It was fascinating. And I got my steps in for the day. 

I enjoyed learning about Victoria, but more importantly the gloomy weather parted, just for a few hours. 

The Legislature Building, where the provincial parliament meets, is lit with a multitude of lights and provides a Disney-esque sight. 

The tour we took, BC Bites & Sights, was fun. We enjoyed a small dessert, a small beer and fish dip, and chocolate along the way. 

We were provided only a few hours in Victoria, but it is a city that deserves more time. WE made it back to the shop just 15 minutes before all aboard, which was 9:30 PM. That is the closest we have ever come to an all aboard time. 

This morning we woke in Seattle. Chris and I are planning on spending the day exploring a bit more--but are surprised how many things, like wineries, are closed for the holiday. And of course, it is gloomy and raining again.

-- Bob Doan, SEATAC, WA

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Enjoying a Sea Day

Heading out of the Harbor
Sitka, AK
August 31, 2023

 I enjoy Sea Days. We needed the down day to recover from three straight adventure filled days. 

It was strange in that I did not take any pictures during the day and that we spend most of the day just chilling.

Sea Lions on Channel Marker
Sitka Bay, AK
August 31, 2023
I attended a raffle for jewelry and an art auction. I did not win jewelry nor did I purchase any overpriced art. I was disappointed with the art displayed as there was only one piece that even mildly interested either Chris or myself. 

So I have reviewed some of the multitude of images that I have snapped. I found a few from Sitka that I want to share. First, Heading out of the Harbor, was taken in Sitka. It also captures the rare blue sky that gave us the best morning of the entire cruise. 

Quantum of the Seas
Sitka, AK
August 31, 2023
While on the wildlife cruise around Sitka Bay we came upon a group of sea lions enjoying life and sunning themselves, although there was no sun, on a channel marker. They were fun to watch and did not seem to mind the boat getting close to them. 

And writing of boats, or maritime vessels, I did enjoy snapping an image of Quantum of the Seas from our boat while cruising Sitka Bay. It was a picturesque scene with the ship tied-up at the base of the mountains. 

Today we port in Victoria, British Columbia, for the evening. Tomorrow we begin the two-day journey home to Florida, sun, and warmth. 

-- Bob Doan, Quantum of the Seas in the North Pacific

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Juneau in the Rain and Cold

Mendenhall Glacier
Juneau, AK
September 1, 2023

 Yesterday, Chris and I walked in a driving rainstorm to look at . . . 

(Wait for it)

Water and Ice.

The big event of the day was visiting the Mendenhall Glacier. Wee had an afternoon tour and that was a bit of a mistake as the rains began in earnest during the afternoon. With the temperature approaching 56 degrees (the high), it was a cold hike to see the glacier. 

Looking across the Morning
Entrance to Endicott Arm
September 1, 2023
Fortunately, I took this image of the glacier before the hard rains began. By the time we got closer and were at the base of the waterfall, the rain made the images very gray--like both the day and my mood!

Upon arriving, we hiked about a mile into this portion of the Tongass National Forest to bat at the base of Nugget Falls, the waterfall near the glacier and which feeds Mendenhall Glacier Lake. The cold, raw, wet day really sapped our enthusiasm for the adventure. The day actually began with disappointment as the ship was unable to enter Endicott Arm (a fjord) for a view of the Dawes Glacier. The fog made navigating the area too dangerous given the multitude of ice flows. We got up early to view the glacier, but that just meant we had more time to enjoy the day. 

Departing Juneau
Juneau, AK
September 1, 2023
The cancellation allowed us to arrive about two hours early into Juneau. We enjoyed walking around the capital city of Alaska. 

The interesting part, however, was that as the ship pulled away from the pier last evening, I was able to get a good-bye image of Juneau and Alaska. 

And we are on a sea day today with arrival in Victoria, BC, Canada, tomorrow evening. 

Sadly, our cruise is coming to an end. Here's hoping for fair winds and following seas. 

-- Bob Doan, Quantum of the Seas, somewhere off Alaska (5536N 13425W)

Friday, September 1, 2023

Conquering Sitka

Chris in Sitka
Sitka, AK
August 31, 2023

 Day four of the cruise was Sitka!

We came, we saw, and we were amazed!

The city itself is modern and very welcoming to cruisers. But, if you are searching for that idyllic scene from the movie The Proposal--give up. The outdoor scenes were not filmed in the city and it looks nothing like what was portrayed in the movie. 

Humpback Whale Spout
Sitka Bay, AK
August 31, 2023
Sitka is a hard working fishing city where, I was told, the number of registered boats outnumbers the residents. It is easy for the cruise ships to deposit more visitors for the day than residents.

We enjoyed spending time in the city proper, but the highlight of the day was our over three-hour tour of Sitka Gulf and the wildlife we saw and appreciated. 

Humpback Whale Flukes
Sitka Bay, AK
August 31, 2023
The day was filled with otters, sea lions, and humpback whales! That she blows! Literally. As we mooted out in the bay we were looking for the spouts to find the whales--and we did! We stopped for at least an hour to watch probably at least six humpbacks feed in the area. None broached--but we were told they rarely broach in Alaska. They are in Alaska to feed and get prepared for their southern transit.

The boat experience on the bay was the best excursion EVER on a cruise. It was cold and windy, but the wildlife was unbelievable.

-- Bob Doan, aboard Quantum of the Seas heading for Juneau, AK

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Ketchikan and Rain

From Quantum of the Seas
Ketchikan, Alaska
August 30, 2023

 We ported in Ketchikan, Alaska, yesterday under gloomy and rainy skies. The rain and gloom continued all day, but it did not dampen our spirits as we enjoyed out first shore day of the cruise. 

One exciting event occurred as we were approaching Ketchikan--a seaplane took off right alongside of the ship and right past my stateroom. I was a bit slow getting the video going because I spent time getting Chris outside to see it, but the effect is still there. It seemed very close. 

We took a tour that included a bus ride, a short boat trip, and a walking tour of the temperate rainforest also with a seafood feast. It was a four-hour excursion and one of the highlights was seeing eagles and then a very busy sea lion. We took the Exclusive Alaskan Lodge Adventure and Seafest. A comment about the excursion. We had fun, do not get me wrong, but they need to rewrite the tour description to more closely match the actual day. The boat, for example, is ill-equipped for a cold and rainy day. They provided squeegees to let us keep the condensation off the windows so we could see the wildlife and scenery. And the safest in a family-style dining room is actually on a porch exposed to the cold. 

I did, however, see eagles pretty close up and I enjoyed the stroll through the Tongass National Forest which is a temperate rainforest. 

Eagle in the River
Ketchikan, Alaska
August 30, 2023
Returning to Ketchikan, we enjoyed strolling around the town and seeing the salmon run in the creek. We were amazed at the number of salmon swimming upstream and also saw a harbor seal working the schools of salmon for lunch.

We were fairly tired once we returned to the ship.

Today we explore Sitka! I hope the excursion today is a bit better. 

-- Bob Doan, Quantum of the Seas nearing Sitka, Alaska

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Sea Day

North Pacific Ocean Looking East towards Canada
Quantum of the Seas
August 29, 2023

 The overcast skies followed us most of the night and during the early portion of the day as our good ship, Quantum of the Seas, plied the waters heading north. The sun did break free at one point to illuminate the beautiful North Pacific Ocean, yes we were in the one point of the journey where we were in-between Puget Sound and Alaska's Inside Passage. 

We arrive this morning in Ketchikan, Alaska and the weather forecast is for rain, overcast skies, and a high of 58 degrees! And we have outdoors activities planned!

Sequins & Feathers Show
Quantum of the Seas
August 29, 2023
Our Sea Day was busy. We enjoyed a welcome reception for Royal Caribbean top tier travelers--yes, we have finally arrived in the top tiers (although at the bottom). There was also a moving salute to veterans. The afternoon saw us enjoy the hot tub for a while to melt away the aches and pains from the just a bit too hard bed.

For our evening entertainment, after dinner, we attended the show Sequins & Feathers. It was 45 minutes of bright colors, dancing, and live music including singing. It was fun to watch and was the almost perfect exclamation point for a fun and enjoyable day. 

We are looking forward to getting feet on the ground in Alaska. Although I have been fortunate to visit Alaska on a number of occasions, this will be Chris's inaugural visit to the great northern state. As I have not visited any of the places on our itinerary, I am also very excited about being in the region. 

And our ship sails on. 

-- Bob Doan, Quantum of the Seas off the coast of Alaska

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Seattle in the Rear View

Seattle off the Stern
Quantum of the Seas
August 28, 2023

 We are at sea headed for an exciting Alaskan adventure! 

Boarding the ship, Quantum of the Seas went as smoothly as can be expected. Really, much better than some boardings. We were enjoying our first adult beverage of the day onboard by 11:30 AM. 

Quantum of the Seas
Pier 91, Seattle, WA
August 28, 2023
Puget Sound was very calm and the seas, so far, have been flat. We are racing towards our first destination with an arrival expected tomorrow in Ketchikan, Alaska. 

Last evening as we were enjoying the atmosphere of the ship in one of the night spots onboard, they played the classic song, North to Alaska, by Johnny Horton. I was amazed how many people knew the lyrics and sang along. We had a great time becoming accustomed to the ship and the people aboard. 

Sea day today and dress-up night tonight preparing us for shore activity tomorrow. I will be wearing jeans today for the first time ever on a cruise ship as this is my first cruise not in the Caribbean!

-- Bob Doan, Pacific Ocean aboard Quantum of the Seas

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Reflections of the Cruise

 Cruises are a significant event. 

It is hard to let them go even after they have been completed. The memories, the activity, the entertainment, and the fun linger.

I am going to highlight some of the images and a video that I took during the cruise. 

Me in the Flamingos on the Ship
Wonder of the Seas
January 7, 2023

One of the themes on the ship was flamingos. Flamingos were featured in sculpture, like this, and in many paintings and images. I enjoyed finding them in various places around the ship.

Our Traveling Group in the Pub on the Ship
Wonder of the Seas
January 7, 2023

A British-style pub became one of the group's hang-outs. We sent time enjoying each other's company and adult beverages while also playing games and relaxing. This image was taken just after the announcement of the impending nuptials. That Patrick and Jen were to be married on Coco Cay, day 3 of the cruise, was a total surprise! It made the cruise all that much more exciting and meaningful.

Chris and I next to the Mustang
Wonder of the Seas
January 9, 2023

One of the features of the ship was this classic Mustang right on the Promenade Deck. It was fun to look at the vehicle and imagine how it came to be on the ship. I believe it to be a 1966 Mustang Convertible, but I am no expert.

Moon over the North Atlantic
Wonder of the Seas
January 10, 2023

Sunsets, sunrises, and moon over the ocean. I love those subjects for images and cannot get enough of them. This moonrise was particularly interesting with the clouds. I took it from our balcony, or is it a verandah?

My Favorite Towel Animal
Wonder of the Seas
January 14, 2023

Who does not love the towel animals that the room stewards provide. I especially like it when they use items from the room to make them even more personal. This was the final towel animal of the trip. I saved this one for the last day and set it on the dresser in the room holding the tip envelope.

And finally, the video I took from the midnight party held on the very first night of the trip. The music was great and the party was fun.

The sad story of this party is that Chris and I did not attend together. I dozed off in the room about 9:30 PM and she went to the party with the rest of our group leaving me to sleep. That was a nice thought, but when I awoke about 11:15 PM, I went to the Promenade Deck in search of her, but did not find her. So I was alone for the opening big celebration of the cruise. In fact it turns out she was less than about 100 feet from me at a table in the pub. I had walked through the pub but did not see them. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Wonder of the Seas - Days 8 and 9, And So it Ends


Kitchen Nightmares
Wonder of the Seas
January 14, 2023

And it is over!

I am back home reviewing the trip and the past two days. It was 39 degrees at the port when we disembarked this morning! I thought this was supposed to be Florida!

Yesterday was a sea day as we cruised back to Port Canaveral from Haiti. The Captain warned us ahead of time that the upper deck would be closed due to high winds. And the winds across the deck averaged 50 mph or more for most of the day. I estimated the sea swells to be between 10-15 feet. Fortunately, the Wonder of the Seas is the biggest cruise ship afloat and we hardly noticed the wind and waves until the nighttime when I believe they became worse. 

What to do on a ship where the outside activities are not happening? Go to shows and shop. We did both. 

We went to a show called Kitchen Nightmares, loosely done like a TV cooking show with a lot of twists. The two teams, selected from the audience, were tasked with cooking a three course meal in 25 minutes with help from two the ship's chefs. The meals were evaluated, but the host of the event kept throwing obstacles into the paths of the cooks, like at one point making them swap cooking tables and at others giving them a one minute time out. It was a lot of fun.

365 Seasons on Ice
Wonder of the Seas
January 14, 2023

Later in the evening we attended 365 Seasons on Ice--an ice dancing show which was superbly executed. It was very enjoyable and the technology to make the show happen was amazing. It even snowed during the performance!

In between and after the shows there was time for food and enjoying some time with Patrick, Jen, Alex, and Becka. 

Snow during the Performance
Wonder of the Seas
January 14, 2023

This morning's the exit from the ship was smooth. We moved our own luggage and were off the ship by 7:30, at our car by 8 AM and home by 10 AM after a slightly less than 2-hour drive. Wow!

I will do a full review of the cruise and the ship in the future, but all-in-all, it was a great cruise. 

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Wonder of the Seas - Day 7, Labadee, Haiti

Labadee, Haiti
January 13, 2023
We made our return to Labadee yesterday. Chris and I had been on another Royal Caribbean cruise which visited Labadee in the days before Coco Cay was completed. Labadee has a very different vibe from Coco Cay. I find it more relaxed with the primary focus being on the ocean and beach time. The water park portion of the site is not nearly as diverse as is Coco Cay.

That written, we had a very enjoyable day lounging in the shade of a large tree just off the beach. We found a strategically located spot near a drink station and a rest room. The day started with beautiful blue skies and calm water. Idyllic. The Royal Caribbean area seems very separated from the rest of Haiti. The area does sport a Straw Market with locals selling their wares, they are very aggressive, but Royal Caribbean security keeps them in check. 

Drones in the Effectors 2 Show
Wonder of the Sea
January 13, 2023
For the late afternoon and evening we retired to the ship. One of the highlights of the trip was the evening show in the Royal Theater, The Effectors 2: Crash and Burn. Like the aqua show we attended earlier in the trip it was top quality, exciting, and supremely interesting. In this show I was amazed at the use of multiple drones and lasers. I wonder if they have ever had a drone fail during the performance?

I didn't realize that it was Friday the 13th until the day was mostly over.

Angry North Atlantic
Wonder of the Seas
January 14, 2023

And finally, the trip back to Port Canaveral is a rough and windy one. The ship is very large and we hardly feel the rough North Atlantic. 

We expect to have a good day on the ocean, but the Captain advised us yesterday that the open upper deck would be closed or access would be severely restricted due to the high winds. I looked at the weather map and it seems we may be sailing into a 30 mph headwind at about 25 mph. Does that equal 55 mph over the deck? I don't know.  

Should be a fun day.

-- Bob Doan, Wonder of the Seas, North Atlantic

Friday, January 13, 2023

Wonder of the Seas - Day 6, Puerto Plata

Sailing into Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Wonder of the Seas
January 12, 2023

 The day began rainy and overcast. It was the first rain we had experienced on the trip. We did not tie-up until 11 AM and could not get off the ship until about 11:30 AM. Chris and I did leave the ship to visit a place we had not before visited. 

There is not much in Puerto Plata, yet. We explored the cruise terminal area and there are a number of shops and it is clear that the locals are trying to turn the cruise port into a shopping Mecca. There is a lot of construction in the terminal area and based upon the portion that has been completed, the end result is going to be very nice. 

Now for conditions outside the terminal area. We were confronted with a Cozumel-like commotion. Lots of taxis trying to drag Chris and me off to unknown locations. We walked along the street to the edge of the town, there was not much to see and we decided to return to the ship, running the gauntlet in the opposite direction. 

Back on the Wonder of the Seas we were treated to a relaxing afternoon in the Solarium hot tubs enjoying multiple conversations with other travelers. The ship provided an afternoon parade which was more of a show. It was one of the finest parades I have experienced and it surpassed Disney in creativity. 

Dinner was at a specialty restaurant called the Mason Jar. It is a southern style restaurant and the country band was playing live music to accompany our meal in the adjoining bar. It was a great meal and a fun time.

Exhausted, we collapsed into our bed at the end of another full day. 

Today we are in Labadee, Haiti! And the cruise is rapidly coming to a conclusion.

-- Bob Doan, Wonder of the Seas, Labadee, Haiti 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Wonder of the Seas - Day 5: Return to the USA

Castillo San Felipe del Morro
from Wonder of the Seas
Sailing into San Juan Harbor
January 11, 2023

Well, we returned to the USA yesterday although not where we began the voyage. We set foot in Puerto Rico and enjoyed a full afternoon in San Juan. 

Chris and I headed off on our own and visited the two forts and spent time walking through Old Town San Juan as we returned to our trusty ship. It was another busy port day as well. The Wonder of the Seas was the 4th ship that entered the Port of San Juan as we arrived, but a 5th ship arrived while we were exploring the town. I do not enjoy having so many ship in port simultaneously. The lines represented were Oceania, Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean, and the late arrival was Norwegian.

Exploring the forts was a lot of fun and reminded me of the Spanish history of the region. We had been to San Juan before and enjoyed the forts, but we took our time yesterday and really immersed ourselves in the historical period to better understand the difficulty that faced the Spanish soldiers assigned to San Juan. 

Upon returning to the ship we enjoyed some time with Patrick and Jen sharing dinner and evening Adult Comedy entertainment. We closed out the day listening to a country music band. Yes, there was a country music band performing live outside of a southern-style specialty restaurant called the Mason Jar. 

Today Chris and I are making our first visit to the Dominican Republic when we land at Puerto Plata. Sadly, I am told it is much like the Mexican port of Costa Maya. Having been to Costa Maya, I understand the possible comparison. 

Tomorrow we head to Haiti! Isn't there unrest there?

-- Bob Doan, Wonder of the Seas nearing Dominican Republic 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Wonder of the Sea - Day 4, Sea Day

Brown Booby
Wonder of the Seas, North Atlantic
January 10, 2023

 Day 4 was an at sea day. 

I enjoy at sea days because there is less stress about what are we going to do or where we are going to go. Such was the truth yesterday.

I spent some time trying to image the brown boobys flying next to the ship. That was fun. They are beautiful seabirds who gracefully navigate the winds and surf. I managed a few good images. They were flying in formation with the ship and they were so close. It's was inspiring to watch them fly, dance, and dive into the ocean to gather breakfast. 

Chris and I managed a 2-mile walk around the ship, just for fun. Later I called my Dad and wished him a happy 95th Birthday. Thank goodness for Wifi calling!

Looking Down on a Brown Booby
North Atlantic Ocean
January 10, 2023

The day was punctuated by spending time in the hot tubs and learning the game Magic - The Gathering. I am truly a novice, but the game is very interesting and as complex as one deems it necessary to be. 

We closed out the night at a Karaoke Bar singing. Or attempting to sing. Adult beverages made the event seem even better than it was. 

-- Bob Doan, Wonder of the Sea, North Atlantic headed for Puerto Rico

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Wonder of the Seas - Day 3, Coco Cay


Wonder of the Seas
Coco Cay, Bahamas
January 9, 2023

They call it a Perfect Day at Coco Cay. Chris and I had never been to the island before even though we had sailed on many Royal Caribbean ships before. Turns out that the saying is true. It was a perfect day. 

We enjoyed ourselves immensely during the roughly eight hour sojourn to the Royal Caribbean playground. Mostly, we enjoyed being with friends and family exploring the island and its offerings. 

The water slides are many and varied. I did the tallest and the fastest. I even did one where the floor drops out beneath me. I also did one the Chris and I could enjoy together. The wave pool was nice and the swim-up bars was better, but the water was a bit cool for the day. 

Chris enjoying a hammock
Coco Cay, Bahamas
January 9, 2023

For the evening we enjoyed a fabulous dinner at 150 Central Park. A speciality restaurant right off the park in the middle of the ship. 

Today is a sea day. I wonder what exciting adventures we will experience. 

Tomorrow we land in Puerto Rico for some enjoyment and fun.

View of Coco Cay Water Slide Tower
January 9, 2023

Bob Doan, Wonder of the Seas, North Atlantic Ocean near 23.75904° N, 73.44760° W

Monday, January 9, 2023

Wonder of the Seas -Day 2, Nassau

Nassau Port from Popcorn II
Nassau, Bahamas
January 8, 2023

 The cruise continues. Chris and I spent a day in Nassau, Bahamas, and actually found something different to explore. 

We visited the Queen’s Staircase.


But before we were able to get there we had to navigate the 20,000 or so people who were getting off the 6, yup count them, cruise ships in port. Three of which were Royal Caribbean ships. Patrick was able to fly his drone and obtained this really cool image of the port with all 6 ships. You have to look close because only the very stern of one can be seen. It is a stunning image. 

Patrick, Jen, Chris, Me
Base of the Queens’s Staircase
Nassau, Bahamas
January 8, 2023

 The Queen’s Staircase was built in the late-1830s by freed slaves as a tribute to Queen Victoria. It comes down the hill from the fort and was carved out of solid limestone. It is impressive. We took a short taxi ride to the top of the stairs, walked down the stairs and then, stopping only to fly Patrick’s drone, Popcorn II, walked back into town. Total cost was $5.

After that we enjoyed some time in a local establishment and then returned to the ship to watch the final week of the NFL season. 

For the evening, Chris and I enjoyed the aqua show on the whip which is titled, Intense. And it is. Very enjoyable and worthwhile  it was good to be on a ship with real entertainment.

— Bob Doan, Wonder of the Sea, Coco Cay, Bahamas

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Wonder of the Seas Vacation - Day 1


Midnight Party 
Wonder of the Seas
January 7-8, 2023

Writing from aboard the largest cruise ship in the world this morning finds me nearing the Bahamas and struggling, as usual, to master the internet service being provided. 

It was quite a process getting about 6,000 passengers on board, but it went smoothly and once on board the immensity of the ship really hits home, especially after traveling on a smaller ship just two months ago. 

Sunrise over the Atlantic
Wonder of the Seas
January 8, 2023

We enjoyed a solid dinner and adult beverages while finding time to actually unpack our suitcases and then head to the Promenade Deck for the midnight balloon drop. I videoed the balloon drop, but it seems streaming video is blocked by the internet service and so I can't load it to YouTube for use on my blog.

Today we get to enjoy Nassau. I believe we will be arriving about 9 AM. And then it is off for fun and adventure.

-- Bob Doan, Wonder of the Seas, at sea

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Banyan Tree

Banyan Tree
Tequesta, FL
January 6, 2023

 On one of my biking routes there are a couple of Banyan Trees. 

One, in particular, is very large. Not as large as the banyan tree in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, which covers a whole city block, but large for this area. It takes up a significant area and provides a natural rest stop in the shade. 

The tree, on a corner, is where I usually pause to take a water break and just enjoy the day. Yesterday, although a bit cool when I was riding, it was only in the mid-60s was another perfect South Florida day.

Sadly, the image does not really provide the true sense of just how big this tree has grown until you notice the house next to it on the right.

I enjoy recording sights from my rides. I only did 16 miles yesterday because of the cool weather, but it was another great ride. I have to admit, I actually wore a long-sleeved fleece-lined hoodie to keep warm.

Today--Chris and I are off to Port Canaveral to begin a week long journey on Wonder of the Seas, the biggest, baddest cruise ship in the world. Chris believes that size matters!

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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