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Published: February 22nd 2008
When there is a new tour option that may begin being offered to guests on the ship, it needs to first be tested out. That's when the crew come in. Often somebody from shore excursions will just go on a "fam trip" but sometimes, an invitation will be extended to other staff, those of us who are "at the front lines" of working with the guests. I guess the idea is not only do we test out the tours, but if they're great, we'll recommend them to guests. So today's test tour: a catamaran, snorkel & beach break on one of the small islands across from La Romana, Dominican Republic.
Somehow, we managed to get out of bed and ready for our crew tour only 4 hours after getting back from Club Onno's. Walking off the ship's gangway with Jody, I was convinced we were later - but we were the first ones at the meeting point! I was exhausted. Getting only a few hours of sleep every night all this week has caught up with me. I won't lie. The first while on the catamaran, I spent curled up on one of the benches, half-snoozing in the sunshine. I
The Entertainment Crew
Peter, Me, Denny, George, Lonnel, Logan, Allison & Melissa
left the early-morning socializing to everyone else.
But the tour was incredible! A great group of people - me & Jody, Lonnel (dancer), Denny (showband), Logan (theatre tech), Allison (karaoke host), George (dancer), Jacques (internet cafe manager), Libby & Gabby (nurses), a bunch of spa staff, some pursers . . . a great crowd.
I wasn't sure I was going to be up for the snorkeling, but I dragged myself into the water which totally did the trick. Woke me right up! The snorkeling was okay. Lots of rock & coral. Various fish, though not a ton nor any particularly spectacular ones. While my photos turned out excellent, the view actually wasn't very clear. But after last week's shipwreck snorkel in Barbados, I'm not sure I'll ever get a snorkel experience like that one!
It was also just nice to swim around and laugh with people in the water. There was this floating dock thing that a bunch of us climbed on and dived off of. It's always fun to be out in the ports with people.
Then it was back to the catamaran where they opened the bar. Most people were right back to it.
I just couldn't stomach the thought. But that was okay, I was happy to just enjoy people.
Awhile later, we transferred onto a small motorboat that brought us to the shore of the island. The beach we were taken to was absolutely stunning. One of the prettiest beaches I've been to, but what made it especially nice was how quiet, private and secluded it was. Felt like our own private paradise. Everyone kept commenting that "This is the life" and wondering if we could just be left there until next week.
Most people gathered around the (open) bar. I tried my best to join them when they cheered to my birthday, but still, just couldn't do it. I think I've truly reached my party limit.
Some of the tour girls started dancing. George and I jumped right up there with them. I learned some new butt-slapping moves from those Dominican girls!
We all took turns taking silly photos in the sand and in the surf. Oh I love a good goofy photo session!
Sadly, we were eventually made to go back onto the motorboat that took us back to the catamaran to start moving back
The View From The Back of the Catamaran
The Destiny in the far top left, and me napping on the right!
to the ship. Spent the ride back savouring being there - on the water, in the sunshine and with these wonderful people.
And so I returned one last time to The Destiny. Only one more night. By that same time tomorrow, I'll be sitting in the San Juan airport. Sometimes I'd remember that it was my birthday which at times seemed poignant and memorable and at others seemed like any other day (of living on a ship that is). I got lots of birthday messages through email and facebook and had previously received mailed cards from Sarah and Uncle Harold. Here and there around the ship, different people remember and wish me a great day. Thanks everyone who've sent birthday love my way in one form or another. It's very appreciated and reminds me of the people I'll return to one day, which is needed as I think so much right now about leaving people here.
Back at the ship, some celebrating continued. Brydon had given Jody a bottle of champagne the night before that he'd decided to save to share with me. So we went out to crew deck and laid out on some deck chairs. Logan
and George joined us and occasionally others stopped by. Just enjoyed the final afternoon on the Destiny.
I'm struggling that I'm leaving here. Having a hard time with it.
But for now, it's still been another phenomenal day.
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