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Entries in Cruise (2)


Celebrity Eclipse 2013

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Finally back on terra firma, after an amazing 14 day adventure and several more ports, including Antigua, St Lucia,  Barbados, Granada, Aruba and Curacao.  This itinerary has been lots of fun for us because we got the opportunity to visit several islands we have never been to before.  Below is a photo journey through these islands, along with some scenes from around the ship.





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The infinity pool at the Sheraton in Ft Lauderdale

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Just onboard, waiting for the rooms to be released. - now in official vacation mode.


Bow to the Banana King!


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This ship has some very cool art on board

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Coming back to port in St Thomas after spending the day in Tortola 

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Swimming with Dolphins

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Getting launched by Hippo - the big male dolphin

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Day two was St Maartin. The gargantuan Oasis of the Seas is here - along with 6 other boats. 

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Today we rented a jeep with our friends and took a lap around the island.

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Colleen, with our cruise buddy's Robyn and Doug from Alberta

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I got to check an item off my bucket list today. Maho beach is the one in St Maartin where the runway is right on the beach. This is the place where the fools (yes - you can count me in with that group) stand on the beach while jets take off and land right overhead. Aparently once a day, a KLM 747 comes in and it literally blows people off the beach and into the water. I did not get to experience that - no do I think I want to… This was just a regular jet and it was crazy enough.


Jet takes off on Maho Beach

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Pano of Maho Beach 

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Then we headed over to Orient beach on the other side of the island for a little sun.

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Then back to the boat.  The port was crowded with 5 ships, including the Oasis in that day.

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but nothing a cocktail on the lawn couldn't fix…..

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Next stop = Antigua - and a island tour from our great driver, Charles. 

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Today there was only one ship next door. A Costa that had come from Paris. So that's what one of those looks like, when its not on its side…. (too soon?)

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We ended up at an absolutely picture postcard beach called Vally Church. Crystal clear aquamarine water, nice locals, good shopping and ice cold El Presedente beer.

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Back on board again - The Martini bar on deck 5 has an ice surface. Each night I would build a snow man.

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This was my first attempt.

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The second one was a little better….

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Then I discovered a small martini glass makes an excellent mold.

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The stairs to the atrium

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the wine collection in the main dining room

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the 'mixology' bar. Here they served amazing cocktail creations with dry ice and exotic fruits

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Art instillation on deck 5. - there is definitely a bit of a ice / snow theme running through the ship.

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I call this the 'melty' bench

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Next port - St Lucia.

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this beach, although beautiful to look at, was not as nice. Black sand and steep drop off into the water. 

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This was where one of the seasons of the Bachelor was filmed. Apparently an $1800 a night hotel that overlooks the Pitons

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The Pitons

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Also in St Lucia at Marigo Bay

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Several nice yachts here including the 2 Ladies - available for charter - for a mere $245,000 per week.

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This Catamaran made me laugh. - how exactly do you sail from Durango Colorado to St Lucia?

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The wine lounge on board - Cellar Masters - has an extensive tasting system. Here you can try an 2008 Opus One for $49 a glass.

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This also made me laugh.  The sinks sport a Mercedes Benz logo in the overflow drain.

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More 'ice' themed art from the Martini Bar Area

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Day 7 in Barbados on another picturesque beach with beautiful water.

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Pano at the beach

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Colleen got a wild hair and decided to get braids - 

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Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to build a sandcastle. - not my best work, but good building sand here.  There was a nice German guy here who apparently was a sand engineer… each time I would dump out a corner turret her would critique it and comment 'more water next time' or 'still too dry'

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The Library on board

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The atrium tree

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Next stop was Grenada - many of the buildings here were devastated by hurricane Ivan eight years ago - and still have not been repaired.

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Pano of Grenada

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This guy followed us as soon as we got off off the ship - but then ended up being very cool. He have us a waling tour of the island with an extensive history.

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The port in Grenada

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After a day at see we shot across the bottom of the caribbean and made it to Aruba. - I loved this sign. Be careful where you park…. you never know...

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The beach in front of the Riu hotel in Aruba

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Walking along the boardwalk there were several of these very cool shade trees

IMG 1182Next stop for us was Curaçao, it had a great little shopping district were you could pick up Tommy Bahama shirts, 3 for $99

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This was the floating 'draw' bridge in the port in Curacao. It's just starting to open to let a boat go by. When that cruise ship behind leaves, it will swing completely sideways to allow it to pass.

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One last port bar and a chance to try the local special, a frozen Mojito

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Very refreshing on a sweltering day.

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Back aboard again for two more sea days home

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Another chance to practice my snow man making skills at the Martini bar. 

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Colleen with her new best-ie Robyn

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The obligatory towel animal for the last night home.

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Thats all folks! - 


Southern Caribbean on the Celebrity Eclipse Days 1-3 

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Last year when we were on the Eclipse / Solstice combo cruise we met a great couple form Calgary, Robyn and Doug at our dinner table - so before we left, we decided to book another cruise together this January - and the day finally arrived. After a couple of weeks of single digit temperatures in Denver, it was nice to get out of the cold weather and head to the Caribbean. Our itinerary this time was 14 days on the Eclipse. It is one of our favorite boats, simply because it has a huge acre sized lawn on the top deck. In fact, as I sit here and write this, I have a cold coors light in my hand, my toes in the grass, the afternoon sun behind me and island music playing in the background.

Travel to Ft Lauderdale was uneventful. - we went through Atlanta and were a little worried we wound run into ice storms, but no glitches and our suitcases all arrived without problem. Lauderdale, however, was packed. We always fly in the night before just to give ourselves enough time to deal with any delays. There was one poor guy on our airplane that was trying to get on a boat that afternoon - and when we landed at 3, he was trying to push past everyone in the isle saying "I have to catch a boat!" … fool.Hotels were a little harder to come by this trip, because there were eight (county them 8) other ships in port on this particular Saturday - including the massive Oasis of the seas - so all the port hotels were $$$$. We did find a deal at the Days inn - but instantly regretted it once we got there. - Luckily we had a car for the day, so we pulled up anchor and ended up spending the night in a Westin, up in Plantation.

Embarkation was painless as always on Celebrity. Budget has a rental location directly outside the port gates that has a free shuttle, and we have the process down pat. We rent at the airport - then hit a liquor store on the way to the ship and grab four bottles of wine and a case of water. Celebrity lets you bring on one bottle per person so two go in the checked bags and two in our carry on backpack. We slap a ship luggage tag on the case of water and drive the car into the port and drop all our bags and the water off with the porter at the ship. Then drive back out, drop the car off at Budget and catch the shuttle back with just the backpack…. Easy Breezy.

We did run into a bit of a traffic jam getting out of port, with the seven other ships - and did not leave until almost 630 - Too dark to wave to the sail away cam - bummer. On this particular itinerary - our first two days were at sea so there was no need to try to get anywhere in a big hurry… Decent weather for both days, and lots of deck time, followed by a bit of gluttony and washed down with a great bottle of Zin. The one item of note on this particular cruise, however, was the mean age of the other passengers. When we traveled last year at this time, we did 2,  seven day back to backs and most forks were in there 30's- 50's with some younger and some older. I'm not sure if it is because this time was a 14 day strait, but the average age seemed to be mid 60's. Celebrity has very few kids - and that suits us just fine. Our days of belly flop contests and limbo by the pool are long over…  On a positive note - you never have to battle Edna for a prime deck chair!  

Our first port was St Thomas. Since we have been here several times, we ended up grabbing a ferry over to Tortola to swim with the dolphins. This ended up being a amazing experience. Colleen has always wanted to swim with the dolphins - so this time we took the plunge (pun fully intended) and booked the whole swim encounter. The facility (Dolphin Discovery) was very clean, and seemed to have nice accommodations for the dolphins. - We have always had mixed feelings about paying to support a captive dolphin program. This one seemed to be pretty well run - compared to some we have seen down Mexico way. Our two dolphins, Hippo and Kepler were great. They are beautiful, powerful beasts that are incredibly docile and you can just tell how smart they are when you are next to them. We got to practice several behaviors with them, including a rocket jump, where they come up behind and below you and each one pushes on a foot, launching you out of the water like a rocket. - simply amazing. (photos below).

Thats all for now…..

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