February 24, 2015

2015 Cruise Day Eight

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:35 pm by msweet42

Good Lord, 6:30 comes early when you’re trying hard to not be responsible. In spite of that we managed to get going and meet up with our group for our 4 x 4 Escape, There were eleven of us that climbed up into what was essentially a stretched version of an open topped Jeep. Shortly after leaving the port we were heading into the hills. Lots of hills. 

As was the case with the last couple of islands, St. Lucia drives on the “other” side. Since all the roads are winding and hilly, the locals are given to passing in places one would think were collisions waiting to happen. They’re used to it so we didn’t see any carnage. 

The guide did a great running commentary on the passing scenery. The harbours and resorts of St. Lucia have appeared in several movies and “The Bachelor” series of shows. Because we were crossing the island through the rural parts we missed all the glitzy places. I liked this because glitzy is pretty much the same where ever you go. I was more interested in where people actually lived and how they lived. We got more of a sense of that. At least, whatever you can get whizzing by on the roadway. 

Trivia bit. Cattle are put out to graze using long ropes, not fences, to keep them in place. Occasionally, cows being how they are, they chew through the rope and wander into the roadway. When there is a collision, the driver has the right to keep the cow carcass. If the cow’s owner can be determined, which is not often, the owner is liable for the damage. 

We arrived at La Tille Waterfall. Notice the singular. One waterfall. Getting from the jeep to the waterfall was an adventure in it’s own right. The path was a trail that switchbacked several times on the way down. The rustic handrails were a necessity. I was concerned for some of the older members of our group.

Having made it to the bottom of the gorge, the next thing (optional) was to crawl out on the rocks to the base of the waterfall and leap into the pool. We both did it. Something to tell our grandchildren about.

I went back and sat so the water was actually falling on me. Loved it. I amuse easily. 

When we were back up out of the gorge we were introduced to the man who owned the property. He’s been hand planting and tending a tremendous number of herbs for 30 or 40 years. One of the drivers took interested parties for a tour explaining the uses for each of the herbs and flowers. Sour Sup is one that is supposed to help ward off or cure cancer. 

Back into the Jeep for the trip back to the ship. Yesterday was their Independence celebration so most of the shops were closed. We found an open bar and after several attempts were able to set up a wifi connection to check in.

Before we found the bar, some local gents were suggesting we go to another place, either a bar or a beach, not quite sure. They weren’t really interested in taking no for an answer and one especially was getting a bit too loud, insistent, and in my face. I started to get a bit testy but Diane helped me understand going up to the bar we found was the best course of action. As we headed in that direction I noticed a security guard watching our would-be guides. Good luck to ’em. 

Back on the ship we rested and caught up on the sleep we’d lost in the morning. Dress for dinner was Smart Casual so we got sort of dressed up and met with our dinner partners. Deb and Dave reported catching the bar staff at the bar we visited trying to add something extra to their bill. I don’t think they did that to us. 

Diane ordered two shrimp cocktails as appetizers. She got one with three shrimp instead of the usual five. About the time she figured she was only getting that the other one appeared. She had coq au vin for her entree, I had a mozzarella salad and vichyssoise for appetizers and ravioli mare monte for the main course. No dessert for her and a warm low-fat french apple tart and crema catalana for my dessert. 

My usual haunt for reflecting on the day and writing this was disrupted by a Mardi Gras dance party happening on the pool deck. I was doing my best anyway when “Anita” happened. She was this woman who came out of a nearby hot tub to ask if I had a match for her cigarette. I gave her my lighter. She insisted I help create a wind break so she could get it lit.

She then launched into how this ship was garbage. All of them – garbage. Except the Oasis and Allure. Just garbage. And the service? Don’t let her started. Then she informed me she’d joined the ship in Barbados. For her girl. I’m not sure if she meant daughter or partner. More to the point, I didn’t care. Joining the ship was the worst mistake of her life. And they screwed up her cabin giving her an Ocean View Suite instead of an Ocean View Suite with a Balcony. And she’s having one of those installed (pointing at the hot tub) upstairs at her house because she can’t be bothered to go down to her pool. And she just had back surgery.

Really? 

I excused myself telling her I wanted to be with my wife and went over to where Diane was watching the Mardi Gras thing.

Diane went off to bed and I went back to my writing. The two ladies at the table next to me asked me if I knew anything about this lady that had left her stuff asking them to watch it for five minute – fifteen minutes ago. Somebody named Anita? We compared notes and worked out that we’d all had the same reaction to her. The ladies were worried Anita was going to be gone a long time and then claim the women had stolen something from her purse or something.

Ultimately, Security was called to come take possession of the items. Just before the Security guy showed up a busboy came and took away the empty drink glasses. Right after Security showed, Anita returned. With a new complaint. The busboy had taken her $15 bottle of water. Security asked her where she had paid $15 for water. She pointed to the nearby pool bar. RCI doesn’t have a $15 bottle of water. 

With Anita preoccupied explaining her version of reality to Security, the other two women and I made good our escape. I went down to Deck 4 to see about writing there. Too cold and windy. Went back to Deck 9. Whoops. Anita is still there. Finally located the Library on the ship.

All in all, just an odd day. 

Tomorrow is our last island, Antigua. What’s on tap? Something simple: “Relax and unwind at one of Antigua’s premier beaches, located just 10 minutes from the pier via air-conditioned taxi. Enjoy your 3-1/2 hour break at your pleasure and pace: sunbathe on your reserved chair, stroll the long stretch of white sand, swim in the azure waters, or take advantage of nearby water sports and other optional activities. Enjoy a complimentary drink of rum and fruit punches.

Highlights – Millers by the Sea at Fort James Beach: Enjoy 3-1/2 hours on a popular beach, famous for its length of white sands overlooking the sparkling sea. Beach Amenities: Relax on a reserved lounge chair at a bar/restaurant with easy access to optional water sports and activities. Relax and Enjoy: Savor the flavors of the Caribbean served with rum and fruit punches.”

That’s what it says. 

We shall see what we shall see.

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