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Published: January 2nd 2018
Janet and David
at the New Year's Eve formal dinner
Today we need to start with the conclusion of yesterday’s story. We published early or we probably would not have gotten it done at all.
One thing we failed to mention is that a large percentage of the land on St John’s Island is a National Park. The land was purchased by one of the Rockefellers a long time ago and was then donated to be a park. As such there are strict rules for development and very limited commercialization. In some cases that has led to delays in repairing hurricane damage. We saw one beachside resort which had a lease on some land, but the hurricane had wiped out everything except the cement works – all but the basic shell had been washed back into the sea. Since there was only 2 years left on the lease and the owners were afraid they could not renew the lease, they were not attempting to make repairs. But on the plus-side, much of the island is still in its original natural state.
We met the Demings for New Year’s Eve dinner. They told us about their day’s excursion on St Thomas. They started with 2 hours of shopping (maybe because
Joyce and Jerry
at the New Year's Eve formal dinner
it was Sunday and the shops were closing at 1:00), then a scenic drive to the top of the island to enjoy the views, and then a couple of hours on a beach. Firstly, they observed similar hurricane destruction/recovery as we had seen but since St Thomas has 10 times the population of St John’s, there were many more structures with blue tarp roofs. Secondly they found there were actually 2 more cruise ships docked elsewhere, so the main beach and swimming bay they were visiting was extremely crowded. Again we were glad to have gone to the other island.
We and Joyce each had the Lobster entrée but Jerry had the Beef Tenderloin – he says he’s never met a cow he didn’t like. This was after our usual courses of appetizers and soup, but tonight they also served us a raspberry champagne Intermezzo as a palate cleanser. For dessert Janet had chocolate-chocolate chip ice cream with chocolate syrup, and David had New York cheesecake with strawberries.
We all four went to the theater for the evening performance by a magician named David DaVinci. It was entertaining but nothing really unusual. Then we split off from the
Make some noise
with noise makers, before the show
Demings and we went to the Vista Lounge for an hour show featuring a very good saxophonist. He played a variety of songs which we enjoyed. This got us to 10:00 so we went to the Wheelhouse Lounge and listened to a guitar player singing popular “sing-a-long songs”. At 11:00 she was replaced with the ships band playing for another hour until midnight. So we made it all the way to 12:00 and got to ring in the New Year. HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! We toasted the end of 2017 with Janet having a Dirty Banana and David had a Newcastle beer. There were several other venues where other parties were happening so we went down to the main Piazza where there had been a huge balloon drop right at midnight – it was incredibly crowded and we knew there would have been no way to get to sit there. We skipped going to the Deck Party where more people were celebrating. We got back to the cabin about 12:30 and went to sleep. Actually with all the parties continuing and the many revelers with noise makers, it was nice and quiet in our cabin and we slept well.
Main Piazza at Midnight
right after the balloon drop
So that brings us to today. The ship was not scheduled to dock until about 10:00 and we have no shore excursion booked because we were here last March, so we slept as late as we wanted. David got up about 7:30 and got some breakfast from the Horizon Court – mostly the other people were with little children or a few of us early risers. Janet’s knitters group was scheduled to meet at 9:00, but she chose to sleep in and skip it. We watched a second ship dock at the pier while Janet had breakfast in the Horizon Court, and David had a second breakfast.
Our plan today was to have a restful time and then wander through the shops near the port until we got tired of shopping and then return to the ship. David saw on the internet that the temp in St Louis was reported as -4 this morning, Here the temperature was 87 degrees warmer. We are sorry it is being so tough on everyone at home but at least they haven’t said anything about snow. There was another couple who had wanted to join us on the cruise (Mike & Barbara McCord)
left of the pier - seen from our ship
but they had a family obligation come up and had to cancel. Hopefully wherever they went, maybe it is nice and warm for them.
We waited and didn’t go to town until about 1:30. There is a lengthy pier from the ship to town, with a lot of tents at the end of the pier selling local products. Then there is a large shopping area in down just opposite the pier. So we had a leisurely walk along the pier and did as much shopping as we wanted in the tents. David was going to walk around town and look in more shops but Janet decided to catch a peddle-cart back to the boarding ramp at the ship. David quickly discovered all the shops were closed – it’s New Year’s Day here too. So he returned to the ship and we happened to meet in the Piazza for a light snack. Janet was able to get another of her special Salted Carmel Strata coffees, and we had some assorted little pastries.
Back in the cabin about 3:00, we settled down to watch a movie. They had Dunkirk on the cabin TV so we watched it. This is a
good but complex movie as they kept switching between multiple plot lines and many of the characters looked quite similar so we weren’t always sure who was who. It is a movie that will need to be viewed a couple of times to get it all straight. Of course it does follow history as best we know it.
We went to the evening appetizer which was a “Shrimp Fountain with American Cocktail Sauce”. Today Janet had another Cherry Blossom Garden and David had a Port Lemonade (which did not taste anything like lemonade). Then we went to dinner and had another delicious meal with Joyce and Jerry. David had the Jerk Chicken for his entrée and Janet had Fettuccini Alfredo. We each had Apple Strudel with vanilla ice cream for dessert. After dinner we went down to the theater to see a second show by the comedian Robbie Printz – he was equally as funny as last time.
After the show we stayed in the Piazza for an hour of music by the Princess World Band, playing a selection of tunes from around the world. They were very good and the whole area was packed. Afterwards Janet went back to the cabin for the night but David went up to the highest deck in the aft section of the ship for “lights out star gazing”. Unfortunately there was a bright full moon, the rest of the ship lights were on which still made a lot of “ground light”, and there were occasional clouds. All this made viewing no better than from at home, so David came back pretty quickly to post this entry.
We had a fairly restful day and hope you had a good day too
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