Page 5 of Great Adventures with Al and Karen Travel Blog Posts



It’s Sunday morning and last minute preparations are in progress. I’ve tried to limit the number of suitcases we will be taking with us but Karen expresses no interest in my effort. Leaving directly from the San Francisco port, we will not be taking any flights and because of this, she feels the need to pack everything. It reminds of the time we cruised from SF to Alaska for 10 days with 10 bags, one for each day. With limited room in our stateroom, we were forced to keep four suitcases out on the balcony. I can only imagine what our cabin stewards thought. When we put out our luggage the night before disembarkation, I spread it up and down the corridor so no one would know we had so much stuff. On this trip we’re ... read more
Our Trip for the Next 15 Days
New Cruise Terminal at Pier 27.  Our first time here.
L & L Limo Service at our door

North America » United States » Florida February 26th 2017

Geo: 26.1228, -80.1505Our final day is here. The alarm tells me it's 7:30am. All quiet next door and that the way I like it. Looking out over our deck, I see our ship is docked in Ft Lauderdale along with 5 other cruise ships that I can see from here. It's going to be another busy day. Soon Scarlett and Jonathan are up and about. Now she wants to fill out her paperwork. "What's this customs and immigration thing? What about this tip envelope? Where are we supposed to go?", she queries. It's all information that was passed out two days ago. Somehow we make it through this and go to breakfast about 8:30 in the Windjammer, leaving the room service food Jonathan ordered behind. Now the breakfast here is not bad but finding a seat ... read more
Somewhere On Our Way to Columbus, Ohio
Our Travel Book From Our Last Trip
A Page Inside.  Note How Comment Appears.

Central America Caribbean » Bahamas » Long Island February 25th 2017

Geo: 22.7439, -75.4511No need for early risers here today. We have no plans yet but I'm sure something will happen. As Queenie says, "live for the moment". To accomplish this, you make no plans and just let things happen. Hopefully, you're happy with the things that happen. I guess we're going to try this method today. First, breakfast at 10 am. As a rule, Queenie always orders room service for breakfast: bacon, eggs, sausage, potatoes, sweet rolls, orange juice, milk, cereal and coffee. Now no one ever eats much of it and sometimes they don't even deliver it. If they don't, she'll call and complain, they'll bring it and then we all go upstairs, leaving the plates, glasses and stainless covers still intact. Why she does this every day I don't understand. She says Jonathan likes ... read more
Mom Continues to Pack.
The Kid Checks Out the FlowRider. No Way, He Say
Jonathan Trying the Wall

Central America Caribbean » Haiti February 24th 2017

Geo: 19.7667, -72.2681This is the third and final port we will visit on this 7 day cruise. I researched and booked excursions for the first two stops but this one I left up to Scarlett. Not knowing what she or her son wanted to do and realizing their fear of traveling, I hesitated in making any commitments for this day at the resort. Labadee is a port located on the northern coast of Haiti. It is a private resort leased to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. until 2050. Royal Caribbean has contributed the largest proportion of tourist revenue to Haiti since 1986, employing 300 locals, allowing another 200 to sell their wares on the premises for a fee and paying the Haitian government US$12 per tourist. The resort is completely tourist-oriented, and is guarded by a private ... read more
A Nice Closeup Shot.
Dragon's Breath Zip Line
Welcome Sign

Central America Caribbean » Jamaica February 23rd 2017

Geo: 18.4888, -77.6558Before we discuss the events of today, I must divulge some information on a little fun I had with Scarlett. I had trouble with her committing to an excursion that I felt both her and Jonathan would enjoy. I know I would like it and Mom loves the water. Prior to leaving on our trip, I inquired as to whether or not Scarlett and Jonathan would like to visit the jungle and tube down a river. It out started simple enough. Al: Queenie, do you want to tube down the White River in Ocho Rios, Jamaica? Slow calm river ride plus Blue Hole, a giant pool of clear water. Not cold. $90 all day. This is private tour as ship tour is sold out.Queenie: Is it clean? Will Mom go with us? Al: Yes ... read more
Blue Hole
All of Us at the Blue Hole, Jamaica.
Down the River With Ricky We Go.

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Atlantis February 22nd 2017

Geo: 19.7234, -81.7902Sleeping in until 10 today, everybody's up and ready for breakfast. It's just a simple matter of getting dressed. Our room has plenty of breakfast already here from room service but it's been sitting in Scarlett's room and it's cold. We sit and wait & wait for Queenie to beautify but by 11, it doesn't seem to be happening so Karen, Jonathan and I leave for the Windjammer breakfast. We arrive there and find it a perfect place for breakfast. Everybody's else is done already. We find a nice table, get our food and watch for Scarlett. For 45 minutes we watch. She finally shows and we leave her to eat in solitude while Mom goes down to the stores and checks out the sales. Not much going on which is good for me. ... read more

North America » Mexico February 21st 2017

Geo: 20.4286, -86.87926:30am this morning comes way too soon. The boat has been rockin' and rollin' during the night but, upon awakening, the water is calm and we're approaching Cozumel just as the sun is rising. The forecast is for overcast skies and 81°F but looking from our deck, there's quite a bit of sunshine right now.  Jonathan wanted to see how the ship docked but all is quiet from their room and it appears we will be docking on on the starboard side while our stateroom is on the port side.  This won't afford him the excitement of watching the lines tossed to the pier with the captain bringing her in ever so gently right up against the fenders. We are both dressed by the time room service arrives with our breakfast at 7. Still ... read more
The Drink Menu
Mr. Sancho's
Queenie Bought Him Some Sunglasses $10

Central America Caribbean » Cuba February 20th 2017

Geo: 23.2698, -84.5038Now that we're dealing with two cabins, it's a bigger production to do anything, even breakfast. Karen and I get up by 8 but the entire group cannot possibly make it to the breakfast venue until after 10 due mainly to the beautification process taking place next door. The kid tries passing out toast, coffee and juice, ordered through room service by him.  Arriving at the Lido, we all have an adequate breakfast; fried egg, toast, fruit, orange juice and coffee for me and other stuff for everyone else. Queenie won't drink the water aboard so she uses the bottled water, $4.With our meal out of the way by 11:30am, three of us head up to Deck 15 to get a place by the pool while Mom stays in our stateroom, preferring the solitude ... read more
Our Ship - Allure of the Seas
No Room Here
None Here Either. I Say "Forget the Pool".

North America » United States » Florida February 19th 2017

Geo: 26.1228, -80.1505So I set the alarm for 7:30am but forget to set my clock ahead one hour so I'm up extra early. We don't have much to pack up, just our two backpacks with last minute items. Our three big bags are already gone, having been picked up last night by the crew. We asked for a late departure and were issued "purple 2". Karen texts Queenie and finds she is actually in Ft Lauderdale, apparently having gone to Miami yesterday just to check it out and have dinner with Nickole and her boyfriend. She's taking a hotel shuttle to the port at 11:30. We head upstairs to the Lido to have our last breakfast aboard the Koningsdam before returning to pick up our knapsacks in our room, making one final check for missed items ... read more
Mom Waiting to Board Next Cruise. We're Gold.
Our Route for the Next 7 Days
We Are Purple 2. We Leave Late.

Central America Caribbean » Bahamas » Cat Island February 18th 2017

Geo: 24.5712, -75.9297Today we are at Holland America's private island, Half Moon Cay. It's a short stay, only 8am- 3pm but that's fine for us. We've been here before, back in 2012 when I rode the horses and Karen and I played with the stingrays. Today our plan is just to relax on the beach and enjoy the sunshine. We have reserved a clamshell, a place of refuse from the sun and the kooks where we have two lounge chairs and somewhere to keep our stuff together. Just $20 and it's reserved for us all day so no racing to the beach to find an empty chair. Adding to that challenge is the presence of another Holland America ship today, the Nieuw Amsterdam, with 2000 additional passengers, moored right behind us.Half Moon Cay is one of ... read more
Getting Off the Tender From the Ship
Welcome!
The Beach




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