Friday, March 5, 2010

Barbados

Day #8: Friday, February 19
Barbados

Another early morning! We had another shore excursion booked, so we were up and at 'em by 7:30. We had breakfast and got off the ship to meet up with the group for our Turtle Encounter excursion!

Probably the best "first porthole view" picture yet: buses! Awesome. I love Barbados already.

Tickets for our Turtle Encounter snorkel trip!

There was a large group for this tour, so we got on a pretty nice-sized bus for the quick ride to our boat. The boat ride was about a half hour to the snorkel site, and while we rode they gave us snorkeling instructions. I just enjoyed the scenery - I absolutely could not get over how blue the water was. It was really incredible.

On our boat, headed out to snorkel

Our snorkel site (that's not our group though)

When we got to the snorkel site, everyone got in the water and the guides threw out some food for the turtles. We did get to see a couple of good-sized sea turtles, and they were so cute! I tried to swim after one that I caught sight of but ended up getting in "trouble" for going too far from the boat. Oops! We also saw some cool fish and stingrays at the bottom. I love snorkeling.

I clearly have already thrown my scuba training out the window as I give the "I need to go to the surface" hand signal.

Hi, Heather!

Hi, turtle!

This turtle is chowing down.
Fun fact: we were advised not to grab their tails. Why? "Because if it has a tail, it's a male, and it's not a tail." Oh, okay. Point taken.

Also, as a side note, as I was going through our snorkel pictures, I finally started to see what people mean when they say Heather and I look alike - I had trouble telling us apart in the snorkel pictures! We must look alike in the eyes, because when that's all you see, even I have trouble telling us apart, and I'm, you know, one of us. I had to keep looking at our rings to make sure I was right in guessing who was in each picture! I did enjoy that on this cruise - seeing what people thought about us. Some people thought we didn't look alike at all (a lot of people thought we were college roommates), but lots of people did think we look alike, and a couple even asked if we were twins (I think that's pushing it!). One woman even commented that we sound exactly alike (which my mom says is not untrue). My response to that? "If we were singing you'd certainly be able to tell us apart!"

The most awesome picture ever taken of my sister and me.

After our snorkel time was up, we got back on the boat and they served us rum punch and banana bread. Delicious! They took us to a little beach not far away, where we were able to spend about 45 minutes relaxing and enjoying more rum punch. I'm pretty sure this is about when I started wondering out loud why on earth anyone (myself included) does NOT live in the Caribbean. I mean, really. Why? Because THIS IS FEBRUARY. And I was on a beach drinking rum punch after a lovely swim in the ocean. WHY DO I NOT LIVE HERE.

On the boat after our snorkel, enjoying our rum punch.
I love that when they asked us if we wanted anything to drink when we got back on the boat, Heather right away said, "can we have the rum punch now?"

Our boat pulled up to the beach

Heather on the beach

Sisters in Barbados!
(Also, look Eric! I have a calf muscle!)

After not nearly long enough, it was time to get back on the boat to head back to port. On the way back I got into a good discussion with a fellow passenger about the "controversial" nature of jury consulting (that happens a lot when I tell people what I do, I don't mind), which then led to a discussion between me and Heather about thoughts on the death penalty. I feel this clearly demonstrates that the rum punch was flowing freely, because why else would we be discussing such heavy topics ON A BOAT IN BARBADOS? We are crazy people.

Also, on the bus back to port our fellow passengers were a bit more rowdy. I have never heard so many, uh..."wiser" people talk so freely about inappropriate subjects at one time in my life. Thanks again, rum punch!

Back at port I did my souvenir shopping and mailed Eric's postcard, then we changed into our "tanning" bathing suits and went out to find a taxi to the Boatyard. The Boatyard is a cruise ship crew favorite, with a discounted admission price for crew (this is where Heather's passenger status stinks - no discount for her!), yummy drinks, fun activities, and a lovely beach. The cab ride was quick, although our driver was a bit of a character and kept rolling down his windows to hit on girls walking down the street. Nice to know that's not just an American tradition.

As soon as we got into the bar area of the Boatyard, we saw a bunch of the cast, including Leisel and Ryan. It was happy hour, which meant half price drinks. And this is when I decided I OFFICIALLY want to live in Barbados. You see, the drink prices on the menu were similar to what you see in New York ($15 for a daiquiri, etc.). BUT, those were prices in Barbados currency. In U.S. dollars, the price was half that. PLUS half off at happy hour?! Hello, new home with cheap drinks. Where have you been all my life?

I like this setup. Easy pouring.

Heather and her very pale friend
(Also, yes, I was still sporting my super attractive cap. My eye was better, but still not normal. Stupid eye.)

We spent the whole afternoon hanging out with all of Heather's friends, being goofy, drinking, getting sun, and playing in the water. We also got free shots from the bar where they poured from the bottle directly into our mouths, so apparently I'm in college and this is spring break. Ha! It was so much fun though. We had a great afternoon, and I see why the crew likes that place. They also had games and other fun things like a trampoline in the water and a rope swing. We did not partake in any of those things, but I can see how one might enjoy them.

The view from my beach chair

Enjoying ourselves on the beach

Around 4:00 we took the free shuttle back to the ship and went up to the buffet for a late lunch. Then we went up to Deck 11 for a sail away party with the rest of the cast. I guess that area is somewhere that passengers can't normally go, but there was such an incredible view of the sunset from the front of the ship there that I felt so lucky to have the opportunity to see it. I had a nice time talking with everyone, and we enjoyed some wine and watched the sun go down. Then it was back to Heather's cabin to get ready for Island Night, another night off for Heather!

Heather on Deck 11 at sail away

Isn't that stunning?

We got dressed in our Island Night finery, then met up with Leisel and Andrew for the Island Night buffet that I had been hearing so much about. Unfortunately, the buffet wasn't quite ready yet, so we went up to the nightclub for a quick cocktail (I had some raspberry champagne thing that was fabulous). Then it was back down to the buffet, which was awesome indeed. They had really incredible fruit sculptures everywhere, and a couple of ice sculptures. Plus, the food was delicious. Do you have any idea how magnificent fried scallops are? I had never had fried scallops before, but I could probably eat them for the rest of my life now and be totally happy. Mmm, fried scallops.

Fancy fruit!

I really loved this one.

More fancy fruit

After dinner, we went out on the deck to join the party, and to fulfill one of Heather's cruise-long dreams: get a monkey head. By that I mean a monkey head carved out of a coconut, which is then filled with a Three Berries Daiquiri. So, basically a big ol' goofy cup of island fun. Heather had wanted one forever but nobody would ever get one with her. Have no fear, Heather. I will make your dream come true.

Proud owners of coconut monkey heads

We spent the rest of the night hanging out with members of the cast and dancing on the deck (I got to do the Dollar Dance, a favorite of mine from the Caymans!). Also, late in the evening they handed out streamers to everyone, and after a countdown everyone threw the streamers up so they got caught on strings rigged up over the deck. Then the streamers hung down to create a very festive atmosphere. Fun times!

Leisel, Ryan and Heather dancing on the deck

Dancing with our monkey heads!

Streamers!

Party monkey

We ended the night sitting on Deck 15, talking with a bunch of Heather's friends. Then it was finally time to head back to the cabin to relax a bit before bed. What a long but super fun day!

Up next: Stunning St. Vincent, and another new Heather show!

And, as usual, there are more Barbados pictures on the photo share site!

2 comments:

Becky said...

lol... "The most awesome picture ever taken of my sister and me"
You gotta love it!

Molly said...

I love the fruit, and the picture you took of Heather snorkeling, those are great colors! Looks so fun!!