One Crazy Fiber Lady

The ramblings of a fiber-affected single mother of twins who makes a living as a code monkey

One Crazy Fiber Lady

Re-entry

February 15th, 2010 · 10 Comments

Where to begin?  It feels almost surreal to be sitting in my room again, computer with internet access near at hand, after 9 nights at sea.  Wow.  I figure I’ll give you a day by day run down of the trip.

Day 1 – Friday Feb 5th:  Departure day.  We left from Port Liberty, also known as Bayonne, NJ, on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas.  We had a family cabin in the bow of the ship, right below the bridge.  While this was a great spot for the view, it did have its dark side.  Here’s the view as we left NY harbor.

leaving_nj

Day 2 – Sat Feb 6th:  At sea.   I don’t remember much of Saturday.  Unfortunately we sailed through the storm that pounded the east coast with snow.  This translated to 20ft seas and winds of up to 100mph.  I awoke in the middle of the night with the boat pitching rather violently in my mind.  There is where being in the bow totally sucked.  In the middle you get rocking and rolling, but not the up/down.  Blech.  I got sick.  Quite a few times.  Alex joined me for some joint sessions in the bathroom.  We skipped breakfast and headed for the Medical Bay where i got a shot for the nausea and Alex was given some benadryl.  The two of us slept off the rest of the day.  Kat spent the day with the folks who took her off for her first onboard show, which she loved!

Day 3 – Sun Feb 7th:  At sea.  The combination of lots of sleep and calmer seas made for a much better day for all of us.  The kids spent some time during the morning at the Adventure Ocean day camp until my father picked them up early as he was missing them.  He then took them in the kids pool in the aft section of the ship.  Kat was too short for the slide, so he went with her.  Poor little monkey.  Mom and I deemed it too cold yet to so we watched 🙂  In general, it was a quiet, relaxing day on board.

Day 4 – Mon Feb 8th:  4pm arrival – San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Monday was the first really warm day of the trip.  After breakfast, we joined the 0ther 3000 or so passengers on the pool deck.  I went with the kids on the slide and spent some time relishing the warmth.   We had lunch at the onboard Johnny Rockets.

onboard

I also did a little shopping on the boat and bought myself a new camera.  The poor little Elph had been showing some signs of age and I’d been considering replacing her.  I picked up an Olympus FE-5020 in the lovely purple color.  Being on the trip gave me a good chance to use it as at 4pm, we pulled into our first port of call, San Juan.  This was the view of the port area from our cabin.

view_sanjuan

We hired a cab for a trip out to el Morro, where I got to play with the new toy 😉

delmorro

And a rare shot of me…

elMorro

I’ve been to San Juan before, but only very briefly to board the ship for my honeymoon cruise.  We never saw any of the island and certainly not el Morro.  It really is beautiful.  We did a little shopping, making stops at Radio Shack to replace the forgotten charger for the DS, and Del Sol for some color changing t-shirts.  This was a brief stop and the ship pulled out at 11 that night.  We were back long before that at 8 for a late dinner in the Windjammer cafe.

Day 5 – Tues, Feb 9th:  St. Thomas.  We arrived in port early on Tues, at around 8am.  Mom and I got up early, dressed, ate quickly and were out shopping in the Havensight Mall right next to the docks.  Mom bought herself the same Olympus that I bought on the ship (for a touch better price), while I treated my Rebel to a nice 75-300mm telephoto lens.  I also picked up a beaded/shark tooth necklace for Alex, and a set of hoop earrings for Kat.  Another visit to a Del Sol added a color changing t-shirt for myself.

Having shopped ourselves out, we headed back to the boat to meet back up with the family for a ride off to Magen’s Bay for the afternoon at the beach.

magensbay

I was able to take this picture of the twins using my new lens 😉  On the way back to the ship, the driver pulled into a lookout over the harbor area for photo opportunities.  Here’s our ship along the pier.


stthomas_explorer

The beach was nice, but very crowded.  There were two other cruise ships in port with us, which made for a lot of tourists soaking up the sun.  Still, better than wearing a winter coat!

Day 6 – Wed, Feb 10th:  Dominican Republic.  Another day, another port of call!  We anchored off the coast of Samana in the Dominican Republic.   On the advice of our waiter, we opted for one of the ship sponsored excursions.  At 10am, we boarded a small speedboat and headed for the island of Cayo Levantado.  It was a 15 min or so ride from the boat to the island, and what a fabulous island it was.  The beach was magnificent.  The water was warm and calm.  Drinks were plentiful and served 😉  Kat had a few braids added:

braids

She totally surprised me and still has the braids in.  I figured they’d be out by dinner that night.  She wants to wear them to school tomorrow.  Good girl.

More pictures from our day trip:

cayolev

busykids

bluewater

We didn’t return to the ship until 4pm.  While I protected the kids pretty well, I was haphazard in my own use of sunscreen and managed to fry a good bit of myself.  Ouch.  Worth it though.  I love that little island.

Day 7 – Thurs, Feb 11th:  Labadee, Haiti.  This is the one stop that had me concerned.  I felt guilty about a stop that would have us frolic in the sun at a location where there was such misery not so very far away.  Labadee is RCI’s private beach area on the north side of Haiti.  The cruise line was invited by the Haitian government to continue to make this port call as it provides jobs and income for an area that desperately needs it.  So the stop is made and over 100 pallets of aid are offloaded from the ship.

offload_aid

There is a local artisan market on Labadee and I did my part for the local economy.  I came away with too large bags of maracas, carved bowls, necklaces and bracelets, as well as some metal work that I’ll be giving coworkers. (There’s a tradition of bringing souvenirs amongst the development group at work.)  We spent the remainder of the day snorkling and enjoying our last port of call.

labadee

Before too long, it was time to return to the ship..

labadee2

Day 8- Fri, Feb 12th:  At sea.  As we spent the day heading north, the sea was getting rocky and the temperature was dropping.  The water was too rough and the pool was closed.  We spent most of the day sitting on the pool deck stubbornly hanging on to the last bit of non-coat wearing weather.  I started the day feeling a bit seasick again as we’d passed through a small storm during the night.  I found the back of the ship far more conducive to peaceful enjoyment.  It was mom’s birthday and she treated herself to some nice time at the salon for a massage.  Nice.  Sadly, the nausea prevented me from enjoying the broiled lobster dinner though in hindsight, it was have been enjoyable at least going down 😛

Day 9 – Sat, Feb 13th:  At sea.  Our second full day at sea heading north.  We hit another huge storm during the wee hours of the morning.  I beat a hasty retreat from the cabin first thing in the morning before I could get queasy.  The family joined me in short order where Alex got sick again.  Poor kid really takes after me.  We commandeered a table in the Windjammer cafe where the majority of us felt good with a view of the horizon and the most reduced motion.  The kids did some of their homework while I read.  And because there was close proximity of food, we all sort of nibbled our way through the day.  A farewell dinner had the kids hugging our waiter and assistant waiter goodbye.

Day 10 – Sun, Feb 14th:  Port Liberty, NJ.  It was over far too quickly, especially with the seasickness a memory.

onbus

A short car ride from the terminal and we were home.  Sigh.

Lessons learned:

  1. Alex and I get motion sickness.  Will need patches next time ( bonine and those motion bands don’t do quite enough)
  2. Never get a cabin right in the bow.  Midship is the best place that is the area with the slightest range of motion.
  3. Never get a cabin and either end of the ship as the stuff you want is always the other end!  There was a 1000ft walk between our stateroom and the dining room!

I can’t believe its over already!  I’m glad I had today off for the holiday.  Tomorrow is going to be tough!

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Tags: Family

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tina M. // Feb 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Welcome back! And I’m so glad you got to see a little bit of PR. If you ever get the chance, hop a plane and go there as your sole destination. The rainforest is amazing, as is the food. There’s lots of stuff for the kids to do, and the historic section of San Juan is a fantastic walking tour for the day.

    Sorry you guys were sick, poor things. No fun, especially when you’re missing out and paid all that money. Welcome back!

  • 2 dorre // Feb 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Welcome back 🙂 Sounds like a trip despite the sickness.

  • 3 JessaLu // Feb 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Welcome home! That last photo of Kat with the ship in the background made my stomach drop – yet another reason why I probably won’t ever do a cruise. Too tall! Too big! Too…everything! hehe

    Glad you mostly had a good time, though!

  • 4 Whendi // Feb 15, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    How did your foot fare?

  • 5 --Deb // Feb 15, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    I was just thinking of you this morning and wondering when you’d be back! So glad you had such a great time–despite the seasickness. It sounds like the ankle/foot wasn’t much of a problem, either, I hope?

  • 6 margo // Feb 16, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Wow, it sounds like an adventure. So sorry about the chumming part. I would have been right beside you.

    Is it worse to get away from this mess and have to come back to it?
    The kids are growing so fast and you look great.
    Hugs

  • 7 misa // Feb 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    It sounds like a fabulous adventure, even with the motion sickness. Welcome back to the frozen North!

  • 8 janna // Feb 16, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    It sounds great, despite the seasickness. Actually, I think being somewhere warm would be worth being sea sick!

  • 9 Donna // Feb 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Despite the sea sickness, it sounds like you had a great time. I didn’t even know going on a cruise from the tri state area was an option this time of year!

  • 10 lynne s of oz // Feb 26, 2010 at 6:29 am

    Nice cruise! Sounds too short though – not enough time in between being seasick! 😉
    Kat looks somewhat taller than when I saw her (not surprising, really)
    (can’t believe that you got back over 10 days ago – time is flying!)