Tuesday, September 4, 2012

St. Thomas and day at sea

I was so excited to be on the ship the first night I had a hard time sleeping. 

I was even more excited to wake up and opened our window to St. Thomas! How exciting to sleep and then just be at your destination!

We ordered room service for breakfast so we could eat and go. 

As I was hanging out on the balcony I thought these birds seemed to be pretty comfortable hanging around us, they seemed to be hovering some. I imagined they were used to begging from people. 

My hunch was right. We threw them pieces of leftover bagel and they loved it.  Of course this attracted more birds and they got loud. 

Jeff freaked out that the noise would wake up our neighbors and he said "Christine they said NOT to throw anything off the boat"

I told him that nothing ever hit the ground, the birds ate everything midair but because of the noise I didn't let Taylor feed them for too long. To justify myself I saw other people feeding them too. (hee hee)

St. Thomas was beautiful and we were excited to get going and check it out. 

Our one downfall (and eventual blessing) with the trip was we didn't plan any excursions before hand so we were getting off the boat wanting to see things but not knowing what we were going to do that day. 

Normally Jeff likes to be ultra prepared but this summer we were busy, and put it off and then it was here. Not wanting to spend $80.00 or more per person for each excursion through the cruise line (this would've added up with 10 people) we planned on getting off the boat and just figuring out what we were going to do and haggle with taxi drivers and do our own thing.  

So Joel found a taxi driver willing to take us to the beach and back (a 20 to 30 minute drive) for $15.00 per person. So we took it. 

We hopped on this bus/tram thing and away we went. 

The roads were not too crazy and there were a lot of the same stores we have here.

Our driver took us to Coki beach which ended up being a great beach with food, gear rentals and close bathrooms right there. 

I found out on this trip that Scott hates swimming and isn't a beach person. 

This wasn't the vacation for him!  Sorry Scott!

He didn't even come with swim stuff on that day...but it wasn't too long before he headed into the water clothes and all. 

The water was warm and calm and there was lots of snorkeling. As we walked onto the beach a guy gave us a large dog biscuit to feed the fish with. If you let it soak up the water and then break it apart the fish loved it!    Who knew that dog biscuits would make good fish food!

The only down side was the turf wars. We were approached by a lady who was supposed to be our food server and drink person. She said if anyone else came on the beach and tried to sell us stuff to tell them we already had our server. 

Well there were multiple people trying to sell us $9.00 drinks, with each one of them trying to say their's were better than others. I guess we came during the slow season so we were the only cruise ship per week in a lot of these places so our money was the only money coming in awhile and they all wanted to find ways to help us part with it!

Scott and the boys enjoying the water. 

After hanging out at the beach for awhile we got a ride back to the boat and shopped a bit right next to the boat and then got on the ship for a late lunch. 

I had intentions of getting back off the boat and shopping after lunch...but after sitting there I was too tired. 

So we hung out and waited until we left the port of St. Thomas. 

That night we went to a comedy show on the ship. The first two shows of the night are "family friendly" and then the next 3 shows are adults only.

Both guys were funny but it was more funny to me at times to see them struggling to keep it clean ;)

The warnings they gave about the "adult shows" of course intrigued Jacob. Later on in the cruise he admitted that him and a couple of buddies he met on the ship had plans to try and sneak into one...of course they had bouncers so it never was even possible. It was funny that their warnings would make it all the more tempting to adventurous teens to try and get in by telling them that it wasn't for them.

That night we sang to Jacob for his birthday. He turned 14 while we were on the cruise. He didn't get to celebrate with friends but he got to have a cruise for his birthday (thats what we told him ;)

I think Dean liked eating whatever he wanted at dinner. He became the world's biggest fan of chocolate milk but I don't  think he was a fan of how long sit down dinners took. 
Chocolate milk usually quieted him down though.

I'm wondering if Virginia has to serve it to him all the time now.

That night we came into our room and found a cute towel animal. 

At first I thought they were giving us a pair of glasses too....nope they just found a pair of mine to use. :)

Every night we would come back to a different animal.

The next morning we had a day at sea. The kids were tired of getting up early to go sight seeing so we promised them that nobody would wake them up. 

So we left for breakfast and left them a note. "Kids, we went  to breakfast. We'll check on you when we are done. If you leave take a walkie talkie with you" 
 (we brought walkie talkies to keep tabs on everyone since cell phones didn't work)

By the time we got back they were gone and crossed "Kids" off the note and put "Parents"

It was nice that they felt comfortable enough to roam the ship together and even get their own food. 

Virginia and I brought the younger two to the candy store and told them they could have a dollar or two of candy. 

Once we met up with the boys later guess who was down here getting their fare share of candy!

Today we finally got to relax at the pools and some of the kids tried the waterslide and Jeff and I watched the ice sculpture demonstration. 

This guy hacked and hacked away...for about 9 minutes and then voila...

He was done. It was an Indian face with a feathered headdress

 (don't know how well you can see it in the picture, the face is to the left side.)


On the very top of the ship they had a mini-golf course. 

I don't think the boys played by the rules and somebody ended up hitting their ball right off the side of the boat....

but thats OK it was another something fun to do to pass the time. 

Sisters sailing through the Caribbean...:)

That night it was impossible to brush Ashley's hair before dinner. I finally realized it was all that wind whipping it around on the top of the boat!

That night was the first dress up dinner. 

The kids grumbled into their church clothes and then we headed down. 

I secretly think they have the dress up nights just to take more pictures for you to buy and give you a reason to use their hair salon, buy formal accessories they had for sale and so forth. Everywhere you looked the ships try and up sell things...but thats OK it was still fun to dress up and eat a nice meal with the kids. 

On the trip the kids all tried things they wouldn't normally eat.

Ashley who HATES fish tried sushi. She also tried frog legs and alligator fritters.

Jacob tried alligator and shark...

and so did Taylor along with ribs and lobster and lots of other stuff that they offered. 

Jeff ended up with 3 DINNERS that night!

Long story short it was due to an overly accommodating waiter...if you even ask about something that's on the menu they are liable to just bring it to you!

After dinner we went to the night show. 

Just the adults and Ashley and Jared came with us. 

(I only have pictures of the stage before the shows because they were really strict about no pictures during the show)

We sat on the balcony but Jared and Ashley wanted to sit right in the front row. 

We were wondering what the show would be because the program said the show was rated PG for costuming. 

They girls came out in Vegas style costumes singing and dancing like a Vegas Rockets type show. 

They turned around and they were wearing glorified G strings...our two kids had a front row seat...
we could tell they were uncomfortable. 
They only lasted 5 minutes and left to go back to the room. 

Ha ha. 

We were glad if they were uncomfortable that they left. 

To give the show credit as soon as that first act was over they put other costumes over their Vegassy costume and were more covered up. It wasn't a big deal from where we were sitting but I could see it being uncomfortable sitting in the front row. 

Joel was a little flustered when he got back to the room though and Jared grilled him on why he stayed at the show and didn't leave with him. 

Tomorrow we were headed to Barbados!

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