About 4 days before our cruise, we got an email with a new cabin number---mid ship, tub, and with a super deep veranda with Plexiglas walls and even 2 lounge chairs on the deck as well as the 2 other chairs, ottoman, and little side table. About a day or 2 before the cruise, I called again because I noticed a couple suites opened up and I wanted to see if I could get an up sell for really cheap, like we did a couple years ago. This time they quoted me $250 for a signature suite and $350 for the Neptune. I was tempted, but also curious about the VA room we were reassigned. Apparently there are 4 of these rooms---1 on either side of the lifeboats, so they're a little deeper then the boats are wide (about 14'). I read a lot of mixed reviews about those rooms. Some people liked the extra space, others didn't because most of the veranda wasn't covered and, therefore, didn't have privacy. I wonder if that's how we ended up with it. I don't know for sure, just that there were no veranda rooms showing available for the last week or so before the cruise.
I'd say the actual covered area of our veranda was about what the regular verandas have. We were on the sunrise side of the ship most of the time, so only got to watch sunset from our veranda 2 nights. But I did spend a lot of time out there enjoying just gazing at the water.
And, yes, people will look at you if you wear a towel on your head! But most of the time we didn't even see people on their verandas. A couple above us chatted with us a bit, other than that, we hardly saw a sole.
Angie dropped us off at the port about noon. Boarding went rather quickly this time. Just the line to get our room keys, then we went right onto the boat. As usual, we dropped by our room for a few minutes then headed to the Lido buffet for our lunch.
Eurodam cruises .
Monday---Key West: The Eurodam was even docked closer to the beach then when I was on the Carnival cruise. This time we docked in the Naval base instead of the downtown dock. There were free shuttles running people to town since no walking around in the base was permitted. The shuttle left us off just outside the gates to the base and we walked about 15-20 minutes (rather slowly since I was taking pictures) to the beach at Ft. Zachary Park.
assortment of fish.
Shortly after sail away we were passing Ft. Zachary beach where we had snorkeled. Snorkeling by the rock walls was really quite good, despite the jellyfish encounter.
Tuesday was a sea day. Plenty of time to get out and explore the ship a bit.
The cabanas on Lido next to the family pool.
a spotlight from the bridge following a small light in the water. (the larger lights are the Carnival ship traveling along with us and another cruise ship).
Wed. was Grand Cayman day! Every since I went here with the kids for a land based trip back in 2001, I've been anxious to go back. The snorkeling was great and I knew there was a great place to snorkel right by where the ships tender into. I finally got back to Grand Cayman last Dec. on our girls' cruise, but we were unable to tender into Georgetown due to rough seas, so our plans for snorkeling there were foiled. But not today! It was a great day!!!
Walking from the tender dock to Paradise cafe (Marine Park).
Snorkeling here was not only fantastic, but it is FREE!!! I was a little surprised when I first got in and saw all the huge (5' long or longer) tarpins hanging around there. But they were harmless and rather fun to watch.
We were directed to go out past the yellow inflatable deck to the first buoy which was "Devil's Grotto", then continue left to the 2nd buoy "Eden's Rock" and back.
It always amazes me when I see fish with large chunks out of them and seemingly doing ok.
Black triggerfish---just like we see in Hawaii.
By now we'd been out there a couple hours and the inside of my mask was beading up with water. We decided to slowly head in so I could clean out my mask and put more defogger drops in it.
I had one more mission before going back to the ship---finding another pharmacy and getting some calamine lotion for my jelly fish sting (which felt amazing in the water!). So we walked back past the tender dock, around the Margaritaville to the shops behind it where the guy at the marine park said the pharmacy was and did indeed find some calamine lotion.
Thursday, 11-12-15---Falmouth, Jamaica:
I really wasn't looking forward to this port. Didn't figure we'd be able to snorkel, so I figured we'd hang out at the Margaritaville pool there. But when we saw it from the ship, it looked so small. We're thinking this was the pool there.
we decided to see if we could get a last minute excursion. This was a relativly new cruise port and it was nice and clean.
We made it to where the excursions were leaving from and signed up for the city and Greenwood Great House tour. Then they took us to a bus that was over filled. Apparently there was a 2nd bus that had just left and had empty seats, so we sat in jump seats until we caught up with the other bus. Made for a little awkwardness, but ended up being fine. Our "city" tour was basically just stopping at a church, then driving out of town as fast as they could. Couldn't really blame them, the town was very impoverished.
It is over 200 years old and was formerly owned by the family of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, the famous English poet. Greenwood is one of the best preserved great houses on the island. They said the new owners actually live there and have tours during the day to help pay for maintenance on it. It was a fascination old plantation house/museum.
back on the bus, Ken noticed a free wi fi sign, so we checked email and put a couple pictures on facebook.
We don't usually do ship excursions because they are so expensive, but we were happy with this one.
11-13-15 another sea day:
Just hanging around the ship. We did go to the Future Cruise desk and signed up for another cruise to get the reduced deposit and OBC.
More of Cuba
11-14-15 Half Moon Cay:
After not being able to tender into the beach last time we were at Half Moon Cay and ending up with another day at sea, I was anxious to see if we would get to the beach this time. We did and we (at least I) had a great time!
The Eurodam in the distance
a type of gobie, I presume
a view of a feather worm showing it's "stalk".
some of the tiny residents of the bay
Ken standing with fist on his hips willing me to come in so he can head back to the ship---an hour early! I would stay until the last shuttle if it were up to me. He's paranoid of being left behind!
When it was time to shove off, it was announced that a passenger was very ill and we would be staying here for a couple hours while we wait for a Coast Guard helicopter to get there for a medivac. The helicopter arrived near sunset and the passenger was loaded onto the shuttle and taken back to the island where they met the helicopter. Seems we always encounter a medivac of some sort while on a cruise.
A pretty nice sunset---right from our veranda.