Friday, February 26, 2010

Photo(s) of the Day February 23rd

Ready to snorkel with the Jolly Roger Pirate crew
Mary shows us how to master the ship's rope swing!
Our first island stop was today; we docked in Aruba around 8am and after breakfast we decided to take Sophie onto the island to walk around and check out the sights. Another note for future travels: Sophie is not a “wanderer”... the aimlessness of our path combined with the heat made for a grumpy girl about 15 minutes into our walk, and we ended up having to head back to the ship earlier than intended. A few minutes in the air conditioning combined with a cup of chocolate fudge ice cream brought her back to her normal self, and we decided to let her spend the afternoon in Adventure Ocean rather than exposing her to the constant heat on the island again. Chris also opted to spend the afternoon on the ship enjoying some quiet time while Mary, Courtney, Brandon and I went on a snorkelling excursion with the “Jolly Roger Pirates”. We hopped on an open-air bus that took us to a small pier off one of the beaches in the resort area of the island, and from there we boarded the Jolly Roger pirate ship. The sun was shining and the breeze was blowing as we sailed to the site of the Antilles shipwreck, where many of the passengers opted to get off and snorkel. Our group decided to stay put and watch because of the roughness of the seas at the site of the wreck, but we enjoyed the music and watching some of the other folks snorkel (or attempt to – as I mentioned, the water was pretty rough so several people got in only to get right back out.) Our second snorkelling stop was much calmer, and we all dove in and enjoyed watching the bright colourful fish dart in and out of the coral... it’s so easy to lose track of time and location when you’re snorkelling - more than once I found myself quite a ways from the Jolly Roger ship as I followed schools of fish. The time flew, but I managed to make it back to the ship before it sailed away and we headed to our next stop, a calm grotto where the crew pulled out a rope swing and invited us to take turns jumping off the boat and swinging out over the ocean, where you then let go and drop into the water below. Mary impressed us all by shooting up her hand when the captain asked who would like to try the swing first – after she lead the charge on the rope swing we had a blast watching people take turns swinging over the water (sometimes gracefully, sometimes not so much), and were amazed to watch the crew take turns doing complicated spins and amazing back flips into the water. A few times crew members even carried passengers on their backs when jumping off the ship with the swing – it was amazing to see!

Other vacation notes for today:

The Adventure of the Seas is one of the few cruise ships that feature an onboard ice rink, and they make the most of it by offering an ice show on two nights of the cruise. It’s incredibly popular, and the (free) tickets available for both performances were gone the morning they were offered. We were disappointed to have missed out, so since Mary had offered to have Sophie go to sleep in her cabin at the beginning of the night, Chris and I slipped down to the “Studio B” stage and waited in line for standby seats. We were in luck, and got to see the show despite our ticketless status – it was very well done, very artistic, and really just an amazing site when you consider that you’re floating on a ship in the middle of the Caribbean. After the show we slipped up to the pool deck to enjoy the “Carnival Under the Stars Deck Party”, complete with late-night buffet, Mardi Gras beads, masks and dancing. We are going to be so spoiled when we get home... aside from the wonderful food and complete lack of cleaning to be done, there’s at least one (if not several) fun events happening every night on board. What will we do when we get home and there’s no one to serve us four course meals every night? What will we do without a parade or party each evening???

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