Tag Archives: ship

Merry Christmas

Wishing all a very Merry Christmas with a prosperous, safe and event free New Year. Let us not forget why we celebrate Christmas and forever keep that in mind. Today, this era in time, the focus is on economics, money making and the giving/receiving gifts. It also come to mind how people will not give a gift if it is known that a gift will not be received from whom the gift is given.

Instead of celebrating the birth of Christ (thus the name Christmas) it is another reason to sell as many goods as possible. Tis the season to buy and give to those that you have a hard time buying for because the person probably have everything that they need or want. Most people have enough spare money to fill the coffers for the legitimate needy and then some. There should not be a truly needy person (child) anywhere. Think of the number of millionaires/billionaires we have in the USA, yet there are needy people. Remember why we celebrate the season.

The trip is over and it’s resting time before the next adventure. Twelve days cruising and having fun. That is what retirement is all about. Retirement is not for worrying about others, that have been done for many, many years and then some. My wife and I went to Puerto Rico, Barbados, St. Thomas, Martinique, St. Kitt and Antigua. Off and on light rain showers, warm and beautiful was the norm. Hated to return. It was cool when we left New Jersey but returning was a different weather condition. We returned on December fourteen. The twelfth we wore shorts, everyone was either sunning on the deck or in one of the on board pools. The thirteenth was chilly and the twelfth was windy, twenty degrees and snowing. What a welcome home.

Aboard ship was a continuous sea of activity around the clock with plenty of food, drink and entertainment. If anyone said there wasn’t anything to do, see, eat or drink, they were lying. There were times we ordered food and drink and stayed on our private patio, enjoying the sun and salt air. It was a trip worth taking and, of course, I took a thousand pictures or more.

Our next trip is already planned for the beginning of next spring. However, I made a deal with my wife. To go on this trip mean scheduling a trip to Europe. No Europe, no spring cruise. 🙂 It would be great if all the guys I was stationed with could all meet in Europe and party together again. That would be a retirement party to remember. Bucket list???

There is another trip in the planning stage. I forgot about the family reunion that will be in Florida. Have to keep that one in mind and save some energy for that. Retirement can be tiresome at times but it sure is fun. Leave the kids and grand kids at home and we’ll all PARTY!!!! We owe it to ourselves to do it. Lets do it!!!!

 

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Vacation Cruise

We have returned (my wife and I) to land after nine days at sea, on the Grandeur of the Seas, with stops in Bermuda, Nassau (Bahamas) and Coco Cay (Bahamas), over twenty four hundred nautical miles, round trip. I loved it but I did not love what we returned to, the aftermath of a terrible storm. Trees down, roads blocked because trees were across the roads and power lines and no electrical power anywhere. I have been through and seen worst but that is something a person can’t get used to. It’s an inconvenience, to say the least, but I’ll get to that later.

First let me write about the cruise. We traveled from Imperial Plaza by bus with twenty six other people and checking in/boarding was a breeze. It was better than what I anticipated plus the weather was perfect. In fact, the only day we ran into rain was at the last stop, Coco Cay, Bahamas, and that was an off and on rain. In fact, when I took the picture of the sailboat with the lightning strike behind it, it was a sunny morning. When the off and on rain hit, I was reclining in a beach chair on the beach, letting the warm rain wash over me along with a gentle, warm breeze. What a relaxing day.

The first stop was at Heritage Wharf in Bermuda. We took a tour of the entire island with frequent stops included. That night we cruised the waters in a glass bottom boat, looking at the fish and the old ship wreck that was sticking out of the water which have been there a couple hundred years. This is proof that Bermuda is surrounded by a reef and there are only two ways past the reef. It was quite warm but a nice breeze gave relief from the humidity. Lovely place but it would be expensive to live there. Michael Douglas and a couple other stars have property there but they can afford it. While we were on the tour, we stopped in the capitol, Hamilton, and did a short tour downtown. We also did the same thing at the far end of the island, St. Georges.

The next stop was Nassau, Bahamas and it was a little hotter (I don’t mean that in a bad way. I love the heat.). We toured a cigar making factory, a chocolate factory and the Natural History Museum. Of course I had to get some nice, fresh, hand rolled cigars. Love a good cigar (I know smoking is bad for you but to each his own, I say). From what I could see, Nassau is small and densely populated. My wife and I concluded that the reason people there moved and worked slowly was because of the heat, humidity and the closeness of everything. The more (faster) you moved, the hotter you become.

The last stop was Coco Cay, Bahamas (owned by Royal Caribbean). As we were entering the port I took the picture of the sailboat and never saw a lightning strike. Later that night, when I reviewed my pictures, I was startled to see the lightning in the photo. Now it is one of my favorite photos. It was sunny as we were coming into port but it later turned into on and off showers. The weather was warm with a nice breeze. I lazed under an umbrella and, as the showers came and went, I only got wet from the knees down but was never cold. The cruise line had nice food (hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ, fruit, and beverages). Then the seagulls started flying all around us and occasionally stole food. They were very aggressive and would get as close as a couple feet (can anyone say aggressively hungry?).

On board the ship was fantastic. I could write a book about the things that went on, the fine service, the wonderful shows and, of course, the duty free shopping. The food was greater than great and there was a different menu each day. The on-board casino kept me and my wife occupied (she won the slot machine contest. I came in thirteen out of the many people that entered) and the drinks flowed freely (not free). I love being retired and on a constant vacation. It was so wonderful that we signed up for a cruise in December 2017, but all good things must come to an end and it did.

Getting back to Imperial Plaza, via Imperial Plaza’s bus, was easy, especially with the traffic (only a couple slow downs). Then the bottom fell out. We knew there was a wind storm but we didn’t expect the power outage or the destruction the wind caused. Trees were down everywhere and electricity was out. Oh well, can’t fight Mother Nature, just cope with it. We returned on Saturday afternoon and Imperial Plaza’s power came back at four thirty Sunday afternoon and then the fun began. Saturday night we stayed in a hotel and returned Sunday afternoon. Then, forgoing unpacking, we began emptying the chest freezer and refrigerator/freezer plus cleaning both. Now we will restock with the insurance payout. The company we are with is making a fast payout for the lost food.

Monday, we walked the area taking pictures of all the devastation and carnage that had occurred. It looked like a war zone with so many trees down, broken trees, trees on cars, trees on houses, and traffic lights not working. There were many vehicle accidents because where the traffic lights were out vehicles had to come to a stop. Some didn’t and, of course, there was an accident (one death that I am aware of). There was even damage to one of the buildings of Imperial Plaza. The wind was a “straight line” wind, not a tornado, as I’ve heard some people saying.

Well, I’ll close this and say “stay tuned because it’s not over yet”. This year’s traveling is not over yet. This weekend we’ll go to Maryland Live (casino) for my wife’s birthday, then the following weekend is to Colorado for my grandson’s wedding. Then to Pa. for a family reunion and I don’t remember the rest. I’m retired and I love this traveling. I’ve worked many years to have and enjoy this time in my life. You all should do the same. I wish all a good summer and safe travels. Enjoy life!

Lightning Strike

Lightning Strike

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Grandeur of the Seas showtime

Grandeur of the Seas showtime

A resident of Coco Cay

A resident of Coco Cay

A small piece of the wind damage

A small piece of the wind damage