Marigot with the great Orient Beach.
There is no question about it the market in Marigot was nice,the shopping areas were nice the restaurants were nice but when Willem our Taxi driver drove us to Orient beach, that did it for me, what a beach, they say sometimes life is a beach,and it is.
We saw it all the yacht far away ,the Para-sailers, the jet ski's the sail boats , an enormous trampoline in the water , a para-surfer (somebody please correct me if that is wriong) a dog drinking salt water, and then licking its lips after. It was Paradise. Of course it is Orient Beach that I missed the most ,Lori says she agrees with me as much as she likes shopping ,the Beach was her favorite also.
I forgot to mention that Orient Beach has two areas seperated buy a pile of rocks
You pass those rocks there will be a sign that says Nude Beach or Place Naturist.
That shows that Orient Beach has it all.
Bagging a Lighthouse
Today is St. Maartin, and we don't have any tour. I set the wake-up call for 7:30 anyway. The ship is always at the dock well before we are scheduled to be, so when we turned on the ship channel, we saw that there was a ship ahead of us on the dock and another one docking on the other side. The Captain came on and said that the one ahead of us was the sister ship to Mercury - the former Celebrity Galaxy. It is still registered in Malta, but the name is now Mein Schiff, and it appears to be German. The boat on the other side of the dock was Disney Magic and next to us and last to arrive was NCL Gem.
I had one goal today and that was to get back to the lighthouse that I saw on the first visit. We started out to walk down the pier and it was a long walk. I didn't know that I could have paid $1 for a ride in a golf cart. Bob got halfway down the pier and realized that he had not brought 'his' camera, but didn't go back.
When I got to the end of the pier I went to look at taxi tour rates as Bob was absolutely against renting a car. Had I done a rental on the internet it would have been at least $45 for the day. It looked like a tour out to Marigot would be $18 each if there were two people and quite a bit less if there were three or four. I asked the man who was selling the tours about seeing the lighthouse, and he denied that there was any such thing. He said there were no lighthouses on the island.
If I had looked on the Lighthouse Directory page, I would have seen that there were two lighthouses - one on a fort on the Dutch side and the one I had seen on the French side. But I hadn't done that. So we went out to the taxi rank and I asked about going to Marigot and Grand Case because the lighthouse I had seen was between them. They put us in a cab with two other people who were going to Marigot. As before the traffic in Phillipsburg was terrible. The cab driver had the sniffles which made me want to tell him to blow his nose, but I didn't.
There were red flags everywhere and also some orange ones - apparently there is going to be an election here also and these are the political banners. Eventually we got to Marigot on the French side, and the other couple got out, as soon as we rounded the corner on the way to Grand Case, there was the lighthouse, which the cab driver confirmed was indeed a lighthouse. Triumphantly, I got out and took a few pictures and then we drove back to the ship. He charged us $50.00. I figured that was $18 each for the drive back to the ship and about $6 each for the ride out.
On the way back we saw some statues in one of the roundabouts and one of them was labeled the Bus Driver. Apparently this was a man who drove generations of children in a school bus (according to the taxi driver). We were back at the terminal by about 11:00.
I wanted to ride back to the ship and flagged down one of the golf carts, but when I went to look for money to pay, I didn't have any. The other man on the cart paid the $1 for me.
After a rest, we went up to eat lunch about 1300. Bob said he was going to the usual place, but I really didn't know what that was because he always hails me after he's already got a seat. So he went to the usual place, and I tried to go there too. I got an egg salad sandwich because he usually gets a sandwich. I also made a salad of spinach, hard boiled egg, olives and cherry tomatoes. I asked the sandwich guy what the various meats were and he had to go ask for the name of the pastrami. I didn't find Bob. Then I went and got ice cream for dessert. I got back to the room and Bob was already there.
I also went out on deck and took pictures of the town from the ship.
On the way to trivia, we passed a cabin where they were installing metal ceiling pieces (sawing them up with a great deal of noise).
This trivia was billed as Geographic Trivia, and we won in spite of my taking Chuck's answer that the official language of Romania was Hungarian. They gave us luggage tags as the prize.
For dinner, Bob had the shrimp cocktail, cold fruit soup and salmon. I had the carpaccio of Melon and Pineapple, and the rest from the classic menu - Caprese Salad (tomato and mozzarella), and Sirloin Steak.
"January 20th - Day at Sea."
Today we are to have a Brunch Buffet in the dining room from 1000 to 1300. I have bananas and apples and a naval orange that I've collected from the buffet. So I had a banana in the room for breakfast, and then we went up to Trivia. Which we won. We got golf hats. Then I went down and bought some T-shirts at the sale around the pool, and after we dropped them off, we went to the buffet. They had the ice sculptures and omelet stations and all the frills. The dining room was very crowded and people who came later had to go down the stairs to the 5th deck and take their plates back upstairs. We were there early enough to go a table on the ground floor. Bob had cereal, and sausage and shrimp salad. I had an egg Florentine, a piece of fried chicken, some spaghetti, a chocolate frosted donut. and pineapple juice.
On the way out of the buffet, we caught part of a presentation on digital photography. At 1630 we had another trivia which we also won with 14 correct out of 15. The one we missed was a question about what 10 lb. animal Ben Franklin killed with Leyden jars. Bob and I thought maybe a turkey, but I thought 10 lbs was small for a turkey, so I put what the other people thought which was a cat. And it was a turkey.
Afterwards I went for a swim because soon it will probably be too cold. Bob went to the show.
"January 21st - Day at Sea"
Tonight was formal night and for dinner Bob had Batonet of Pears and Apple and I had Escargot from the Classics menu as an appetizer. Then he had the Green Pea and Mint soup while I had the Caesar Salad off the Classics menu. They gave us a little sorbet palette cleanser, and then we both had the Lobster Melange for our entree.
After the main course the waiters did their parade with the Baked Alaska and we had dessert. After dessert there was a little tray of pastries.
"Jan 22 - Last Day at Sea and Jan 23rd-Disembarking"
January 22nd - Today is the last day at sea.
We went up to Trivia, and then down to the breakfast buffet where I found blintzes. I really wish I knew what the layout of this buffet was so I could find the things I like. Then we had another trivia, and after that we had lunch. I had chicken livers on a bagel with a poached egg and Bob had a tropical fruit cocktail. Then I had a Mexican Chicken Panini.
Bob made me pack in the afternoon. We had our bags ready to go before dinner.
For dinner I had the fresh fruit appetizer, what they called "Beef Goulash" listed as a soup, and the "evolved" Beef Wellington. I had Creme Brulee from the Classics menu for dessert.
We were given a time to disembark of 8:15 and we were off the ship and picking up our rental car by about 0900, even though the cab driver accidentally went through the tunnel first, and even though Bob (from the back seat) directed us all around the rental car terminal before we found the entrance. Drove home and got there before noon. Bob got the cars started and the water turned on, and then we turned in the rental car, and picked some stuff up from the commissary and unpacked - all on Saturday. Love cruising out of Baltimore
There was however a large problem in that when I turned on our wi-fi, my computer refused to acknowledge that there was one. The other computer could use it fine. It took me 6 days of work on the Internet with the Dell computer people to get back to almost normal. Until then, I couldn't send e-mails, although I could get them.