left Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, November 11th, 2 days after
our 10th Anniversary. We were joined by our friends, Eric
& Shari, who were also celebrating their 10th. Here is our
sailed out of Fort Lauderdale, had one day at sea and arrived in
San Juan, Puerto Rico, then to St. John's, Antigua; Charlotte
Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; a day at sea, then
Nassau, Bahamas and back to Fort Lauderdale.
is some information about each of our ports and links to our
Click here for photos of us around the ship!
Radiance of the Seas, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, at a capacity
of over 3300 people, including crew, 5 restaurants, a casino, 3
pools...etc., this was basically a floating city!
First Port: San Juan, Puerto Rico:
did a self-guided walking tour around Old San Juan, visited the
forts and walked through the cobblestone streets. The
weather was overcast but warm and it didn't rain until the very
end of the day, so we did get a bit wet but were on our way back
to the ship anyway!
Click here for our photos in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Juan was founded by Spanish colonists in 1521 and is the oldest
city in Puerto Rico. Today, San Juan serves as Puerto Rico's
most important seaport, as well as the main manufacturing,
financial, cultural, and tourist center of the island. The
buildings in Old San Juan date back to the 16th and 17th
century. The core old city is characterized by its narrow
cobblestone streets and colonial buildings, and encompasses less
than a mile by a mile and a half.
In 1898, United States troops bombed, shelled and subsequently
occupied the city during the Spanish-American War. Spanish rule
ended after 1898 and the island became a territory of the United
States of America. The latest census estimates place the city's
population at 433,733, making it the 42nd-largest city under the
jurisdiction of the United States. It is also the oldest
European settlement in United States territory.
Second Port: Antigua:
walked around the city of St. John's for about an hour before
meeting up with our tour guide, taking us on an Eco-Tour.
The city was quite poor, it looked like it had some earthquake
damage to the streets, they were really uneven all through town.
There were a few stores for shopping but I'm glad we had planned
an excursion out of the city. The Eco-Tour consisted of
hiking, kayaking and snorkeling with
Paddles, which was fantastic!
Click here for our photos in Antigua
Antigua (pronounced An-tee-ga) is an island in the Caribbean,
part of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. It has a population
of about 68,000, of which over 24,000 live in the capital of St.
John's, and is 54 miles in circumference, with an area of 108
square miles. Sugar and pineapples are the chief products for
export, but sweet potatoes, yams, maize and guinea corn are
grown for local consumption. The major Antiguan sport is
cricket. Antigua is the location of a 2007 Cricket World Cup
site, on a new ground constructed on an old cane field in the
North of the island. Sir Vivian ("Viv") Richards is one of the
most famous Antiguans, who played for, and captained, the West
Third Port: St. Thomas:
we arrived in St. Thomas it was raining and we had to go through
customs, since we had been out of the country (in Antigua) and
were now back in US Territory (The US Virgin Islands).
Customs was a fairly long process as every person on the ship
had to clear customs before anyone was allowed off the ship.
But when we got off the ship it had stopped raining, thankfully!
We caught a cab to the ferry on the other side of the island,
which gave us a good (but quick) tour of the island, and took
the ferry taxi to St. Johns, which reportedly has some of the
best beaches in the world. The weather had completely
cleared by the time we reached Trunk Bay, and it proved its
reputation, it was a fabulous beach!
Click here for our photos in St. Thomas (and St. John)
Saint Thomas is an island in the Caribbean Sea and a constituent
district of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), an
unincorporated territory of the United States. As of the
2000 census, the population of Saint Thomas was 51,181, about 47
percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands total. The district has a
land area of 80.9 km² (31.24 sq mi). In 1917 St. Thomas was
purchased (along with Saint John and Saint Croix) by the United
States for $25 million, as part of a defensive strategy to
maintain control over the Caribbean and the Panama Canal during
the First World War. Like Great Britain, cars travel on the left
side of the road. However, unlike Great Britain, the steering
column is located on the left side of the vehicle.
St. John is the smallest of the three main islands: Saint John,
Saint Thomas, and Saint Croix. St. John is located in the
Caribbean Sea about 4 miles east of Saint Thomas, the location
of the territory's capital, Charlotte Amalie, and 4 miles south
and west of Tortola, part of the British Virgin Islands. It is
50.8 km² (19.61 sq mi) in area and has a population of 4,197
(2000 census). Because there are no airports on St. John, there
is only access to the island by boat. In 1956, Laurence
Rockefeller donated most of the land he had acquired on the
island to the United States National Park Service under the
condition that it be protected from future development.
Virgin Islanders are now U.S. citizens, although they are not
able to vote in U.S. presidential elections and have only
non-voting status in Congress. The Virgin Islands are an
organized, unincorporated territory of the US and, since 1972,
have elected their own Governor and have a large degree of
self-rule through a small, 15-seat local legislature.
Fourth Port: St. Maarten:
day in St. Maarten started out hot and sunny! We were
headed for an America's Cup Sailing Regatta on 12 metre racing
yachts, actual yachts that sailed in the America's Cup. We
were all given jobs on the yacht, Scott and I were Primary
Grinders. We raced against another yacht, they beat us by
a hair! By the end of the day, it was raining so hard
there were floods in the streets, but again, we were on our way
back to the ship anyway...we did get wet though!
Click here for our photos in St. Maarten
Saint Martin (Dutch: Sint Maarten; French: Saint-Martin) is a
tropical island in the northeast Caribbean, approximately 240 km
(150 miles) east of Puerto Rico. The 98 km² (38 square-mile)
island is divided roughly in half between France and the
Netherlands; it is the smallest inhabited land mass in the world
that is divided between two nations. The southern Dutch half is
called Sint Maarten and is part of the Netherlands Antilles; the
northern French half is called Saint-Martin and is part of the
French overseas région and département of Guadeloupe.
The French part of the island has a land area of 53.20 km² (20.5
sq mi). At the October 2004 supplementary French census, the
population in the French part of the island was 33,102
inhabitants (up from only 8,072 inhabitants at the 1982 census,
a quadrupling in just 20 years).
Sint Maarten, the Dutch part of the island, has a land area of
34 km² (13.1 sq mi). In 2004 the population of Sint Maarten was
estimated at 33,119 inhabitants.
France and the Netherlands agreed to divide the island on March
23, 1648. To divide the island in two sections, the inhabitants
had to choose two walkers, one chosen by the French-dominated
community and the other one, named Menno Versteeg, by the
Dutch-dominated community, who were put back to back in one
extreme of the island, making them walk in opposite directions,
and not allowing them to run. The point where they eventually
met was set as the other extreme of the island, and the
subsequently created line was chosen as the frontier, dividing
Saint-Martin from Sint Maarten. Seemingly, the French walker had
walked more than the Dutch walker. (54km to 32km).
Fifth Port: Bahamas
We had planned to go para-sailing on the beach here, but it was
too windy! It was a gorgeous day but the wind was blowing,
so none of the water sports were available. We decided to
take a ferry-taxi over to Paradise Island and see the famed
"Atlantis Resort" which was definitely worth seeing. We
wished we had more time to visit "The Dig" which has the largest
captive marine environment in the world. We did see quite
a bit in the areas open to public but didn't have enough time to
do the whole tour.
Click here for our photos in the Bahamas
Commonwealth of The Bahamas is an independent English-speaking
nation in the West Indies. An archipelago of 700 islands and
cays, Christopher Columbus' first landfall in the New World was
on the island of San Salvador, in the south part of Bahamas. The
Bahamas is an independent country and member of the Commonwealth
of Nations. Political and legal traditions closely follow those
of the United Kingdom. The Queen of the United Kingdom is the
ceremonial head of state, represented by a Bahamian
governor-general. Prime Minister is the head of government and
is the leader of the party with the most seats in the elected
House of Assembly. The Bahamas is a stable, developing nation
with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore
banking. The Bahamas is generally reckoned to be one of the
leading offshore financial centers.
Back to the Ship: Food Pictures!
my blogger friends and all the folks out there who enjoy food
photos, this is a gallery for you! We definitely ate well
on the cruise and have pictures to prove it (of the food of
Click here for more food pictures!
Overall it was a fantastic trip and I'd do it again in a heart
beat! My biggest wish is that the times in port didn't
seem so rushed and that we would have had time to experience the
culture a bit more, experience some of each culture's food,
music, and local traditions. There just wasn't time for
that, but it did give a taste of several different islands and
which ones I would like to go back to.
Bahamas was nice but I would have to say my least favorite.
Most of this was due to our plans being changed due to the wind,
and that there were 7 cruise ships in port along with us (at
least 20,000 people) which made it VERY crowded, and the people
selling their wares on beaches, and in markets, were quite
pushy. I guess that is how they make a living so you can't
blame them! But it seemed more 'commercial' there
than the rest of the islands, with little to do other than bars
and casino's (neither of which we take part in) and shop (which
is not either of our favorite past times!)
favorite islands were St. Thomas and St. John (Trunk Bay), and I
would have loved to spend more time there. The people were
friendly, the cities were very clean and of course, the beaches,
are something you just have to experience yourself!!!
you enjoy the pictures!
Info blurbs are from