Monday, December 17, 2007

A Week at Sea

Sorry about the long silence. Dave and I were away on a cruise of the eastern Caribbean. We got home late last night. (Dave asked me not to mention much about the trip before we left for security reasons.)

There's much to show and tell, so I'll have to share our adventure over several posts. This was my first cruise, and it was quite an experience.

We sailed with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines on Radiance of the Seas. The boat was spectacular. There were 2,000 guests and about 800 staff onboard.

That's me clowning around in Deck 12. (Notice I'm wearing the teal tank top made with Callista.) Behind me is the outside pool on Deck 11. It was windy, rainy, and cool that day so no one was in the pool, but it was crowded most of the time. A band played island music every day, and some people danced at poolside when the spirit moved them. There was also an indoor pool in a windowed area on Deck 11 called the Solarium. I spent a fair amount of time in there knitting and watching the ocean go by.

We had a day at sea, and then our first stop was San Juan, Puerto Rico.

That's Dave on Deck 12 with San Juan harbor behind him.

Dave disembarked and used the opportunity to photograph me standing on our balcony. (I'm just above the "R" in Radiance.)

Dave was standing on the pier when he took that shot. Our cabin was on Deck 7. From our balcony we could see the bridge where the captain steers the ship. We could also follow the ship's progress on the TV in our cabin - which provided live video from a camera on the bridge overlooking the bow alternating with a map of our progress through the Caribbean and GPS readings. Since Dave is a pilot he loves maps, readings, and instrumentation. When he was happy with the ship's progress he could stand on the balcony and give Captain Mal a thumbs up. I'm sure that made Captain Mal's day.

The weather was gray and rainy for the first few days.

In San Juan we did a little sightseeing then got rained on, so we came back to the ship and warmed up in the Schooner Bar with some Irish coffees.

That night there was a big storm. The ship was tossed about in the waves. It crashed loudly and shuddered all night. I was really thankful that we were on a big cruise ship. There's no way our little 23 foot sailboat could have withstood a storm like that. The next morning Captain Mal announced that we'd ridden through tropical depression Olga. He'd tried to avoid her, but she'd taken an unexpected turn and we were caught. Later we learned that over 20 people in Puerto Rico were killed by the storm. Although it was a rough ride, the captain assured us that we were never in any danger.

To my surprise I found I really liked the ship's motion. When we take the Odyssey out on the lake the motion of the boat on the waves relaxes me, and this was no different. We were lucky, though. Dave and I had a touch of queasiness the first day but no other sea sickness after that. A number of passengers wore sea sickness patches, and some people got pretty sick. At dinner we learned that one man was so sea sick after the first 3 days that he begged the captain to have him airlifted home. (The Radiance has a small helipad on the bow.) The spa staff gave him an accupuncture treatment to see if that would help. I never heard whether it worked or not, but no one was airlifted off the boat during the cruise.

The weather and the scenery improved after that. We had a lot of fun, but I'll tell you more about that tomorrow.

1 comment:

Robin said...

WOW...Top Secret Cruise!! I would have carried your luggage for you if you'd said you were going!!