Updated  Monday, May 05, 2014

Movies        Herrick Recipes      Adam Herrick       Photographs

Brenda and my TWO WEEK CRUISE - 2014

Skip To Camels

Skip To Stingrays

Skip To Boobies

Skip To Hummingbirds and Honey Eaters

Skip To Snail Kites

Skip To Black Vultures, etc.

Western Caribbean then Eastern Caribbean
Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Key West, Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, Half Moon Cay 

The weather was terrific, 82 to 86 degrees every day with sun every day.

Day 1 - Saturday, March 15, 2014 - Englewood and Ft. Lauderdale
1
Brenda getting ready for our trip, packing the suitcase!

Brenda and I drove to Englewood, Florida to visit and go out to eat with Dan and Missy. Seated next to the water was perfect and enjoyed our time with them catching up on things, during an excellent lunch of melt in your mouth Grouper Rubin dinner at a local restaurant.


Continuing on to Fort Lauderdale (it was Spring Break time), we stayed the night at Rodeway Inn & Suites (954-792-8181). It is just on the west end of the bridge before going over to the island where the cruise ship port is. The "Stay, Park and Cruise" package that they have is great! They even had breakfast and a lift over to the port and back when we got home on the 30th. The night's stay was noisy due to the AC running, but heck, the room was essentially free as we were going to park there for 15 days - the port cost for parking was that expensive!


Day 2 - Sunday, March 16 - Ft. Lauderdale and at sea.

A full serve yourself  breakfast and out to the very busy hotel front. People and luggage were scattered everywhere waiting to be called to their shuttle to get to the correct Ship! We got to the Eurodam in time to meet Brenda's daughter Andrea on the gangway.
2


3

4

 When Andrea was finished photographing on the gangway (above), we met in the Lido, an almost unimaginable vast array of meats, sushi, salads, vegetables and desserts, for lunch on the ship at noon. Our first of MANY great meals on the Eurodam. At 3:15 we did the lifeboat drill - always exciting. People packed on the decks, underneath lifeboats of which they are still wondering how 100 people could actually fit in there :). 
5

Unpacking was fun and then off to eat and then to the night's entertainment. We were off on our cruise. The ship sailed through the night but we slept well, rocked to sleep.
Our cabin was on the 4th deck, food on the Lido was on the 9th deck. We did not use the elevator, five flights of stairs kept us busy! Dining was  however was on Deck 2, so we only had one flight to get there, That night we met the most interesting couple, he was a wood turner of custom Pool Cues!

Day 3 - Monday, March 17 St. Patrick's Day - at sea

Half Moon Cay. The ship arrived at the island first thing in the morning but the wind was too strong to anchor, tender boats were bobbing like toys, so we waved goodbye. Breakfast with Brenda and Andrea on the Lido Deck. Thus, we had a sea day on the way to Jamaica.

67
Cuba..................................................Brenda taking photos of Cuba on the way by!

 Checked out several of the venues: the Cafe's, Bars, and the Casino. Stuffing ourselves at the Lido again and Afternoon Tea at 3pm, consisting of luscious little desserts of lemon meringue cakes, pink cakes of strawberry mousse, scones, chocolates, etc.! 
8
Dinning that night was most elegant, waited upon by attentive waiters that soon became our friends. Two of the photographers played about the dining room, catching a  photo of us and a St. Patties Day figure, then went on to the next victim. 
9

10

Andrea met us at 9:45 in the Crow's nest, a very stately library, game room, bar, coffeehouse of huge windows spanning the very front of the boat and down both sides of the room. Then went down to see the Recycled Percussion show at the beautiful main stage
, above. These guys were quite energetic!
We kept up the five flights of stair climbing all day!

Day 4 - Tuesday, March 18 - at sea

Up and breakfast, then Kitchen Tour. 

11

Andrea caught us on video as we went by! We then went to the Queen's Lounge to Dance With The Stars, we danced the Cha Cha, a lot of fun. 

12

Andrea invited us to see the ships bridge!!!!!!!!!! What a treat!
 13

1415

16

Looking down through the glass floor on the ends of the bridge......................the EASY button!

17

Brenda got the CAPTAIN's chair!  

18
         Looking out over the ocean.


19

Brenda at one of the many computer screens. This ship works all by itself, except for docking! We went on the private tour of the bridge as Andrea snagged us a tour with the crew to see the huge bridge! I asked about the reason we failed to stop at Half Moon Cay - "the winds were so strong that the anchor would not have held" was the answer. We discussed the grounding of the ship Concordia - "that ship had drifted to shore, not motored there, the captain of that ship should be going to jail for thirty years for his actions" was the response.

Off to play golf, Brenda beat all of us and got a pin for getting the ball onto the green, she got it right in the center!

2021


Lunch at 11:30 was a Collectors Voyage Lunch, then at 3PM the Royal Dutch Tea! Evening meal was formal with new friends, then down to the night's entertainment: Tableaux. 
2223


Again we kept up the five flights of stair climbing all day!

Day 5 - Wednesday, March 19 - Jamaica

Andrea kept us busy first thing mounting the photos that she had developed the night before:

2425

 

Then exited the ship in Jamaica!!

26

The ship in Jamaica.

27

PROSPECT PLANTATION, CAMEL SAFARI and DUNN'S RIVER FALLS!!!

The tour of Prospect Plantation included a stop at the main house. In front of the house is a mahogany tree planted by Winston Churchill! 
28

I asked the security guard if we could find a branch that I could use to make a pen out of. We looked around and did not find any. So, the security guard climbed up on the wagon and broke off a branch! He then sat down on the ground and trimmed off the small twigs with his knife for me. I now can make a pen from the tree! Below is me holding the branch and on the right is the resultant pen!
2930


Brenda then had a fun experience, a native was demonstrating how to climb up a coconut tree and asked for a volunteer to try it. 

3132  

Brenda volunteered. There were two notched foot holds to use, and then she stayed there for the photo and jumped back off. Now the Jamaican started up the tree, placing his feet perfectly in front of him, upon the tree's trunk and braced his hands upon the other side, making a V to increase the force of his feet on the tree. Immediately he shimmied up the tall Coconut Palm tree with agile speed. Upon seeing this, Brenda could not resist another try... and as the Guide and the group went across the path, she sprang onto the side of the tree trying to duplicate what she had observed. Gaining about two more feet up than before, she decided that was good as it as going to get,..,she started back down and, stepping backwards to the ground, caught her foot upon a tree root and fell gracefully to the ground several feet back. SPLASH! Right into a wet spot in the red sticky mud. 

33
Of course I did not get that photo! But off we went...Andrea was a little perturbed that she had to write a report on the incident, but Brenda thought that it was funny!

CAMEL SAFARI!!
Next we went to where they kept camels! The guide told us that there used to be camels in Jamaica 200 years ago but they had died out.
34

The guide said that he went to the airplane to accept the 20 camels that they had shipped over a few years ago.

3536

3738 

The baby (lower camel above right) wanted in on everything!

 39

40

41

The camels were looking at the camera!

42

Dunn's River Falls
Andrea took us down to the ocean, then we started up the falls. 
43
My left foot went down into a 3 foot deep hole and I skinned my right knee, but continued. Andrea was very agile and scampered up the falls, Brenda and I were more cautious and were slower. It was great fun though (and Brenda got most of the mud out of her clothes!).

4445

Back to the ship for a shower and a great meal, dancing and entertainment - a magician! 

Picture here46

We only did three flights of stair climbing this day, too tired after such an active day!

47

 

 

Day 6 - Thursday, March 20 - Georgetown, Grand Cayman

STINGRAY CITY SANDBAR CRUISE and HELL

Andrea, Brenda, and I caught a bus to the north side of the island. We got onto a boat and set off for Stingray City lying a few miles off of the north coast. As soon as we got anchored, off the stern we went. The sting rays were all around us! They brushed against our legs as they cruised past. We were able to pet them when the boat captain and mate picked them up. I also held one for a while! The plastered them up on us! The water was as clear as glass. 

4849

5051

After playing for a while we climbed aboard for the ride back. As we approached the dock, the captain pointed out that there were iguana's on the banks! They were all over!

52

The three of us got back to where the ship was docked and Brenda and I decided to grab a cab to go see the town of Hell as Andrea needed to go back to work. The cab we selected had a wonderful lady driver that took us up to the town and told us stories of living there in Grand Cayman, and bringing up her kids there. 

53

5455
There were no other tourists when we got to Hell, so we played around a bit, I picked up a stick from which to make more pens...on the right the pen from Hell! 
Then back to the shops. I bought a seahorse sculpture and a necklace and bracelet for Brenda!

56


A cabin with a window had become free on Deck 1! More stairs now! Eight flights to climb for meals! 
57
I tried the "Casino Vault", a game where you try to move a "key" to the point where it would go through a hole and you win $500. I usually only spend $20 when I go to a casino but I only spent $17 before giving up. They have it rigged I think. 
58



Entertainment was great!
5960
We dressed for dinner too!
61

Day 7 - Friday, March 21 - at sea

Again we met Andrea for breakfast, then went to the "Dancing with the Stars at Sea" and learned the Samba. 

62


In the afternoon we went to the "Indonesian Tea Ceremony"! 

63

They had tea and deserts as well as some food. 
Back to hiking the stairs most of the time. I ate only seafood almost every meal all week, but we both felt that we had put on weight - ice cream and cookies or other deserts four times a day!

Evening meal was formal with new friends.

64
 

Then down to the night's entertainment: Sound Stage. The light panels they have are awesome! 

Bed time.

65

Day 8 - Saturday, March 22 - Key West

First thing in the morning Andrea, Brenda and I had a wonderful breakfast together, then we went down to hang the night's production by Andrea. 

666768
Then off to see the town. Andrea wanted to take us to some costume shops and out to lunch a a real Cuban cafe. I wanted to go to the Hemingway house, so off we went to see the town. First to pose at the southern end of US 1.
69


The Hemingway home was the same as ever, especially the huge pool. I had not seen the loft where he wrote, it was very, very nice. 

70

Hemingway cats:

7172

We then went off to the shops, 

737475

the costumes were awesome. 

7677

78

At one shop we met Paul Watson of The Sea Shepherds - "ECO-WARRIORS", Eco Terrorist? Eco Pirate? Whatever, they have several films out regarding their exploits, we watched one, he surely is aggressive. Paul is wanted by Interpol, but he did not seem to be worried. He purchased a girl's costume and had his photo taken with the owner of the store. Click below to see more about Paul:
Paul Watson

Andrea took us to lunch at Ochi Cafe (124 DUVAL STREET) where we had a great meal of pork and plantains

7980

 8182

where Brenda took photographs of an interesting cat with the greenest eyes. 

83

It was not a six toed cat like those at the Hemingway House.  Andrea went back to work. We walked around, shopping.

8485 

A famous landmark......................................................Someone's idea of Key West

 

 We purchased a glass figurine from the glass blower in the market there.

86

87

Then had to recreate a statue:
88


Back to the ship for dinner

89

 

 and the show: Dancing with the Stars at Sea Finale They had quite a show spotlighting seven passengers dancing, the judges were so funny!
Brenda and Andrea posed for me!

 90

Day 9 - Sunday, March 23 - Fort Lauderdale

So ended our 2019 mile Western Caribbean cruise in Ft. Lauderdale and began Eastern Caribbean cruise. BB King Blues Club came aboard. 
The Mainstage was set up with food and drinks for us and we stayed there for an hour while they cleared the ship, then went to the Lido for lunch with Andrea.
At 3:15 we had the mandatory lifeboat drill.
We went up on deck to see what was going on onshore.
9192

9394

Brenda tried her hand at dancing.

9596

The casino was undergoing some changes, sensors under the Blackjack table tops?????
9798


Underway again, and off to another adventure. I noticed the clouds in the sky out the cabin window were going the wrong way about 6 PM. Captain Henk Keijer came over the loudspeaker soon after to say that a jet ski was sighted with a person in the water, we were turning around to assist. Brenda grabbed her camera and got a shot of one of the two boats in the vicinity that were headed away from us. 

99

100101

102

We were about 11 miles out to sea. Brenda then took photos of what looked like a person in the water wearing a life vest, but we looked carefully at her photos, it was a bunch of balloons! There was another bunch of balloons flying by at the same time! I think that the balloons spelled out Happy Birthday, one part not shown was the Happy part, the photo above was of the BIRTHDAY (the "R", "Y" and "H" are easily visible with the "I" sticking out and other letters in the clump). Nothing else was found and we went on our way.

Dinner was excellent as usual, and then on to the evening's entertainment, a lady comedian from Portland, Maine : Julie Barr.

  Julie Barr, Comedienne - booking information

Day 10 - Monday, March 24 - At sea

Rainbows in the mist from the waves created by the wake of the ship on this beautiful day!

103

Pretty Andrea working hard.

104

while Brenda and I played!

105

And ate treats at afternoon tea.

106

 

Brenda saved a couple of pieces for Andrea.

107

Off to the library to do some research on the next islands we were going to. Then getting dressed for formal night at dinner.

 

    108

109

110

111

 

 

Day 11 - Tuesday, March 25 - Grand Turk

Fun in the sun, we are off to snorkel!

112

We found a spot!

113

Got off our clothes and got ready.

114

Swim!

115

 

116117

118

On our way back we saw several of the horses and mules that run loose around the island!

119

Back onboard ship we changed clothes!
120

 

121122  

123

 

124125

 

The night's entertainment was a juggler extraordinaire!

126

127128

There is a juggler in there somewhere!

129130

To see what Mike does click below!

Mike Price - Light at the Speed of Sound

 

Day 12 - Wednesday, March 26 - Puerto Rico

As we motored along toward Puerto Rico, the ship scared up flying fish. The Masked Boobie and the Brown Boobie used this to help them get a free meal!

131

Brown Boobie got this one!

132

The Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) is a large seabird of the booby family, Sulidae. The Booby's head and upper body (back) is covered in dark brown or black, with the remainder (belly) being a contrasting white. The juvenile form is gray-brown with darkening on the head, wings and tail. While these birds are typically silent, bird watchers have reported occasional sounds similar to grunting or quacking. Their beaks are quite sharp and contain many jagged edges. They have short wings and long, tapered tails. They also are spectacular divers, plunging into the ocean at high speed. They mainly eat small fish or squid which gather in groups near the surface and may catch leaping fish while skimming the surface. We had fun photographing them! The Juvenile Brown Boobie is the darker one.

133  134

The Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) is a large seabird of the booby family, Sulidae.

135136

Beginning his dive...................................................splash and swim down

137138 

Up he pops, missed that time:

 139

This time he got a flying fish!.....................................................................And here he tosses it!

140  141

 

But this guy got a good one:

142

 

Boobies hunt fish by diving from a height into the sea and pursuing their prey underwater. They have a number of adaptations which enable them to do this:

  • they have no external nostrils, they are located inside the mouth instead;
  • they have air sacs in their face and chest under their skin which act like bubble wrapping, cushioning the impact with the water;
  • their eyes are positioned far enough forward on their face to give them binocular vision, allowing them to judge distances accurately.

Boobies can dive from a height of 100 feet, achieving speeds of 60 mph as they strike the water, enabling them to catch fish much deeper than most airborne birds.


 

At 11:30 we went in for the Collectors Lunch and received two more clay tiles!

The pilot boat came out to guide us in by the fort in Puerto Rico.
  143 144 

145

The town of San Juan. The city/port was originally called the Port of Rico - Puerto Rico but the ambiguous use of San Juan Bautista and Puerto Rico for both the city and the island led to a reversal in practical use by most inhabitants: by 1746, the name for the city (Puerto Rico) had become that of the entire island, while the name for the Island (San Juan Bautista) had become the name for the city.

 146147  

 148149

Then off the ship to see the Fort at Puerto Rico!

150

151

The girls had fun!

152

153154

 155

 156157 

  158

 159160

161162

163164165  

 166

167168169

170

171172

173174

175176

177

Andrea took us to a neat place for dinner across the street from this:

178

Layers of plantain instead of pasta in lasagna!

179

Then the walk back to the ship.

180

181

182

 

Day 13 - Thursday, March 27 - St. Thomas
183

On the way into port we saw this frigate bird!

  184

Our greeter as we got off the ship:

185186

 

We decided to take the Sky Ride to the top of the mountain instead of walking or taking a cab..

187

 

Brenda took this fantastic photo of a Green-Throated Carib Hummingbird (on the left) and my photo of the Antillean Crested Hummingbird (right):

188189

I had never seen a hummingbird with a crest before, he was so fast it was hard to get any photo of him!

190

Below are honey eaters!
http://ibc.lynxeds.com/video/bananaquit-coereba-flaveola/bird-drinking-water-bromelias

Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola)

         

191192

193

194

The best daiquiris in the world, the one and only drink we had on the trip!!

195196  

197

Down on the ground we hailed a taxi to take us to town, the driver recommended Gladys' Cafe for lunch.

198

There we had goat, macaroni and cheese, rice, plantains, and white sweet potato!

199

 

Back to the ship for dinner. 

 BB King Crew was the entertainment.
200201  

202203

 

Day 14 - Friday, March 28 - At sea

12 noon we were invited to a Mariner Society Lunch, but decided to eat with Andrea on the Lido Deck. 

204

Afternoon tea as usual and had a quiet day.

205

Below is one of the many cabana's that people can rent:


206207

 

 

Formal evening at dinner.

Our companion at night:

208

Day 15 - Saturday, March 29 - Half Moon Cay

I got to play chess with another passenger, I won!

209

210

 

 

Day 16 - Sunday, March 30 - Fort Lauderdale - Everglades City and HOME

211

Getting off of the ship and waiting for our ride back to the hotel.

212
Stopped to have lunch on US 41 on the way home, alligator bites!!
213214

215

 

A fantastic airboat ride!

216 217 

A Snail Kite with a snail for lunch in the beak (left) and in the left foot (right). 

The Snail Kite is a locally endangered species in the Florida Everglades, with a population of less than 400 breeding pairs, we were lucky to see these I guess. The changing elevations of the water have messed up the amount of snails: as the snails go, so do the birds.

218219

A Great Blue out over the Everglades.

220221

A series of huts out on the Everglades.

222

A fun statue in one of the huts.

223

A Great Blue looking around!

224225

Back on the road, the sign says "Wildlife on the Road"...................and here they were, fighting over a scrap of meat!

Below are photos taken along the edge of US41! There is a canal all along the road, animals and birds galore.

226

227

Tricolor.

228

229230

Great Egret...............female Anhinga

231

 

We also saw an unfortunate 8 foot alligator, the Black Vultures now have enough food for the summer here. 

232233  

234


 

Then Brenda cried out "The studio of Clyde Butcher!" Brenda and I have always admired the work of "today's Ansel Adams" but we never expected to see Clyde Butcher himself!

Clyde Butcher

Mr. Butcher is seldom at his studio, but on the day we passed by he happened to be there giving an interview out in the Everglades!

235236

We spent time viewing his amazing work, then walked through his small piece of the Everglades behind his studio.

  237

238239

A butterfly............................................................................................. with an interesting soccer ball for an eye!

240

Huge air plants.

Suddenly Clyde Butcher appeared! 

241242

Brenda had purchased some of his art and he autographed it for her!

243

We left and continued through the Everglades. Another Kite! This was a Swallow-tailed Kite. It was eating a mouse (below left) while he was flying around! It slowly disappeared down his gullet.
Isis is said in Ancient Egyptian mythology to have taken the form of a kite in various situations in order to resurrect the dead. I do not think that the mouse is coming back though.

244  245

And we then "flew" on home, having had an exciting, wonderful, refreshing, delightful, unexpected, restful, thrilling vacation!

 

THANK YOU ANDREA!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OUT TAKES: