Friday, June 27, 2014

CRUISE 2014 - FINAL DAYS (ST. LUCIA, AT SEA & SAN JUAN)

DAY 7 - ST. LUCIA

It was a day that we planned to not do much.  Since we had been to St. Lucia several times before and knew that most things that we would want to do would be very costly and take the entire day...and that St. Lucia is not really known for its beaches, we had decided to make it a low-key day spent mostly on the ship.
Breakfast overlooking Castries
I woke early and grabbed a bit of breakfast and sat on the deck reading and writing in my travel journal.  Around 10:15am, I went back into the Windjammer and rustled up an omelette and a bunch of fruit for Dave and he got the luxury of breakfast in bed.  We had no real plans nor were we in a big hurry to accomplish anything so we didn’t get off the ship until around 11am. 

The ship was berthed at Pointe Seraphine and we found a spot to buy wi-fi access and spent some time online.  After my ½ hour was up, I wandered through all of the shops in the terminal area.  I found a lovely little art shop and a painting on the back wall drew me in as I had never seen such a unique technique use before.  It was large smears of multi-coloured oil paints layered over the entire surface of the canvas that look like they were applied with a paint knife.  They were so beautiful!  I took note of the artist so I could check him out online.  Check out the gallery and click on 'Oils' to see an example of what I was looking at.  I overheard a conversation with a prospective buyer and it sounded like it took months, if not more, to dry?  http://www.llewellynxavier.com/#gallery

We spent a couple of hours in the terminal and then got back on the ship to grab some lunch.  Dave went back to the cabin and I went to the sun deck but the sun was very strong and I couldn’t spend more than about 20 minutes in the full sun before I felt like I was burning up.
 I read for awhile in the shade and then found my way to the (adult only) Solarium and located the one lounger that was not occupied and staked my claim for a couple more hours of reading.  Connected with Dave for a mid-afternoon snack at the Seaview Café and then a nap.  Sigh…such a strenuous day demanded a rest J
In the Solarium
After supper, I went up to the Centrum to watch the 70’s Dance Party.  Disco music is a favorite and the staff dancers were fun to watch, as were the not-so-professionals!
DAY 8 – AT SEA

Our final day at sea was another very quiet and relaxing one.  Eating, reading, sleeping….all the best of pursuits!  We decided that we should go to at least one  production show so before supper, we went to the Farewell Show in the theatre.
 


DAY 9 – SAN JUAN
Our neighbours on the ship were up at 5:30am (what!!!) so we were awake very early.  The alarm rang around 7:30am and we got up, had breakfast and were off the ship by 9am.  The line for customs was very long so we paid the $5 for a porter to manage our bags and went to a much, much shorter line designated for them.  It was worth the money to not stand in the hot warehouse.  We got a cab back to the hostel (Posada San Francisco) and found that the elevator was broken and out of service.  We had to laugh or we would cry!


We hauled our bags up the six flights of stairs and stored them in a secure area, since check-in wasn’t until 3pm and we were well ahead of that time. 

The breezeway of a theatre on our walk
We walked a few blocks to the bus terminal and caught the bus to Plaza Las Americas, which is the big mall in San Juan.  It took an hour to get there as we had to switch buses.  I intended to keep track of what buses we took but didn’t do that task very well.  We relied on a local who was waiting at the terminal who just happened to be going to the Mall as well.  We wandered the mall for a couple of hours, grabbed some lunch at Applebee’s and caught the bus back to Old San Juan.  We were really unsure which bus to take and our local suddenly appeared again and we just followed him onto the correct bus.

We were happy to see the elevator had been fixed when we returned to the hostel and were checked in around 4pm.  The rest of the day was spent trying to nap, watching the NCAA Final Four games and getting our suitcases organized for our return flight.  We walked up Calle San Francisco and grabbed some Subway for a late supper and then tried to grab some sleep before our late flight.  We grabbed a cab to the airport around midnight and checked in for our 2am flight.  I didn’t sleep much on the flights but Dave slept the entire way…both flights.  He even slept on the floor at JFK while waiting for our second flight.
Sunrise at JFK

The guy can sleep anywhere....
We landed in Portland, ME on time around 10:30am in the morning and called the hotel shuttle to get us back to our car.  We had stayed at the Howard Johnson’s just a few miles from the airport.  They have a great Park ‘N Ride deal that also allows you to leave your car in their parking lot for up to 21 days and we always take advantage of that when flying out of Portland.  We picked up our car and with a very well-rested driver, made our way back to snow and reality….feeling very blessed that we are able to escape winter for wee spell.