Saturday, December 1, 2012

Travel Blogging II

Kralendijk, Bonaire: This cruise we visit only A an B of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao). Yesterday was Aruba, today Bonaire. They were a former Dutch colony that still maintains close ties with the Netherlands, Bonaire more so than Aruba.

Tomorrow we are on to Grenada, site of a minor U.S. invasion some decades ago. Today Grenada is mostly known for hosting a medical school for would-be doctors who can’t get into the extremely selective med schools in the States. Hitting the books when hitting the beaches is nearby has to be hard.

We flew south from Pittsburgh to Ft. Lauderdale a few days ago, and have been cruising the Caribbean Sea since. The contrast between late autumn Pennsylvania and the same period in the Caribbean is dramatic.

That contrast is much greater than we’d experience going from northern CA to HI at the same time, nearly as much as the contrast at this time between WY and HI. Understanding the area’s draw on chilled northeasterners is a no-brainer – it's thawing out.

Having seen Aruba not long ago, we stayed aboard the ship when most folks went ashore. It is like having this large ship to ourselves, our own giant “yacht.” Actually, I like the “sea days” better than the “port days.”

We were on this ship two months ago for a Baltic Sea cruise plus trans-Atlantic crossing and in that two months the “feel” of the ship has changed substantially, for the worse. Same ship, different “feel” – go figure. Many of the personnel have turned over, gone home on leave or gone to other ships in the fleet. Of course it’s a different passenger “consist” too.