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Celebrity Embarkation and Sea Days

Leaving a Cold Baltimore for the Caribbean


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Celebrity Cruise 2010 & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

After the Oyster Festival and the celebration of our 50th Wedding Anniversary in October 2009, our next trip was a cruise on Celebrity Mercury from Baltimore to the Caribbean

Bob was basically packed a week beforehand. I mostly packed on Sunday, after we went over to get the rental car ($19.95/day). They gave us an Elantra which we weren't familiar with at all.

Monday 11 January 2010

we were up by 7, and I did the last quick and free internet before we left at 9.
Our house as we left the driveway

Our house as we left the driveway


The drive up to the airport went well. We stopped at the Royal gas station and 'filled up' - gas was $2.65/gal and the car only took 2 (two) gallons. That meant 44 mpg which was GOOD.
Royal Farms

Royal Farms


When we got to the car return place, they offered to drive us to the airport, so we didn't even have to get the bags out of the trunk. She dropped us right off where the taxi rank was. Bob tipped her $2.00.

We got an Indian (from Punjab) taxi driver.

Photo of Celebrity Mercury from the cab

Photo of Celebrity Mercury from the cab

I was able to get only one not so good photo of the ship as we approached (11:21) because I was on the wrong side of the taxi. There are no pictures allowed inside the terminal itself.

The driver took us to the boarding area without stopping to drop luggage off. My bag was heavy so I wanted to have it brought on board for me so I insisted on finding the luggage drop place. Bob waited with his bags. I couldn't easily get money so I didn't tip the baggage man although I wanted to. Bob usually does that.

Then they directed us to go to the security line. I had my wheeled computer bag but of course the place to put the computer was right at the bottom with everything else on top. They wanted me to pull the computer out and send it through the scanner separate, so I did. But I couldn't just slide it back in because everything on top of it had dropped down into the hole left by the computer, so this was a problem. As an example, the ball of my trackball dropped to the floor and rolled across the terminal to another area. So I got a lot of help, and they directed us to the handicapped check-in line.

Here we were checked in very quickly, and given an orange priority boarding pass. They asked if I wanted a wheelchair and I said yes and Bob said no I didn't need one. After we went over and sat in the priority section, I said I DID want a wheelchair so I got one pushed by a short slight woman. She said she was on the night cleaning staff for the public areas of Celebrity Mercury. The wheelchair was a Celebrity wheelchair.

When they let the orange priority people get on, it was about noon. I don't know what kind of picture they have for me because the lady pushing the chair didn't get me anywhere close to the picture taking place.

We went out onto the dock and both my attendant and I looked at the steep ramp up to the ship and thought "OMG we will never make it". But they brought us in down on dock level.

Then we got into an elevator to go up to the buffet. Here is where I noticed one significant fact about this ship. The elevators are small. They say that the limit is 13 people but we had a hard time fitting me the wheelchair pusher, Bob and his bags into it. For there to be 13, half of them would have to be small children. The most we've been able to fit has been about 8 or 9.

The other thing we noticed about the elevators - it is almost impossible to tell what floor you are on. Fortunately when the doors open there are big numbers on each floor to tell you where you are.There is a sign over the door inside the elevator, but the reflections from the lights in it make it hard or impossible to read, if the sign works at all which some of them don't.
Elevator floor sign - can you see it?

Elevator floor sign - can you see it?


Or at least no matter how hard I squint, I can't see anything there. There is even one elevator where the up/down lights outside the elevator don't work so you have to ask the people inside (if any) "Which way are you going?".

I took a photo of the clock as she pushed me through the pool area on the way to the buffet and it said 12:15.
Clock by the pool

Clock by the pool


We settled ourselves in the buffet to have lunch because it was lunchtime,
Welcome cake

Welcome cake


and they said our rooms wouldn't be ready until one. About 1315, we decided to go down to our room even though they were still announcing that the rooms weren't ready, and our room was ready.

We have an inside room and we usually check with the bow camera to see what the weather is outside. I find it relaxing to watch the TV showing the bow camera. But on the Mercury, the bow camera is not on all the time, and it is about a third of the screen on the TV. It alternates with the chart which sort of shows where the ship is.
Collage of the TV channel from St. Thomas - on the left the chart.  On the right the bow camera

Collage of the TV channel from St. Thomas - on the left the chart. On the right the bow camera


Unfortunately the scale of the chart and the size of the ship on it makes it difficult to tell exactly where the ship is. When she was in Baltimore, the symbol covered most of the Chesapeake Bay.

The room is very nice. There is no sofa or table which means that in the cabin we slept a lot because we were already on the bed. The corridor with the bathroom on one side and closets on the other is dead ended into a wall instead of the door to the corridor so there is plenty of room to walk around the bed.
Bed and bedside table

Bed and bedside table


There is a safe which is easy to use (does not require a credit card)
Safe

Safe


and it is concealed behind the mirror over the desk.
Collage showing the Safe behind the desk mirror -- bottom mirror closed, top mirror open

Collage showing the Safe behind the desk mirror -- bottom mirror closed, top mirror open

There's a TV which has CNN, ESPN, and movies and stuff from the Travel/National Geographic channels,
TV with a shelf under it - my cane and the cabin door on the right

TV with a shelf under it - my cane and the cabin door on the right


plus the usual ship information stuff. We have a mini fridge but it is stuffed with things we don't want.
Fridge under the TV

Fridge under the TV


There is a permanent night light, and we have an ice bucket and a pitcher of ice water which the room steward keeps filled.
Ice water pitcher

Ice water pitcher


They give us bathrobes and umbrellas to use if needed.

As I discovered when I got up to go to the bathroom at night, the bathroom light switch is right where I put my hand down to steady myself before I open the door so it's almost automatic - I don't have to look for or feel for the switch.
Side of the bathroom sink

Side of the bathroom sink


The bathroom itself is nice with sink space and storage for items (like mouthwash).
Cabinets in the bathroom

Cabinets in the bathroom


Although I've taken to taking pills in the main cabin because I can't get the glasses in the bathroom back in their holders. The only plug for Bob's shaver is in the hair dryer.
Hair dryer in the bathroom with shaver plugged in to it

Hair dryer in the bathroom with shaver plugged in to it


A big problem with this sailing is that almost everyone wants the early seating and no one wants the late seating. So our cabin steward said we had early seating (which really confused him since he had it in his head that we had early seating) and the website said we had early seating, but they gave us a slip of paper that said late seating. Bob - since he had his suitcases with him - unpacked.

I wanted to change our dining time so I went and stood (sat) in line at the dining room manager's place and pleaded my case - to no avail. There was no way that they could accommodate everyone that wanted to be on the early seating even though we booked this cruise a year in advance. We have a table which would look out over the stern of the ship, which would be good -- except that it is pitch black dark in the winter at 2030.
Dining room from upper level

Dining room from upper level


The internet guy had me sign on to one of his computers, and then tried to get my laptop to recognize the wi-fi of Celebrity. Among other things he disabled my wi-fi card that I normally use. I was able to buy a package and log in once, but then it kicked me off again. I had to leave because it was time for the emergency lifeboat drill. They locked the doors of the internet cafe behind me. I found Bob already there sitting in the handicapped section of the theatre which was the place for our drill, so I went and sat with him. The theatre seems to be pretty well set up. A lot of us had the theatre as the place for our drill.

As far as I know, no one took roll. We didn't have our life jackets with us. The two crew members on stage demonstrated the putting on of the life jacket. The demo was done with exaggerated gestures,
Safety Drill

Safety Drill


and I think the girl at least was one of the dancers on the ship as she did some soft shoe across the stage and back. She and the guy also spent some time twirling their whistles.

I wanted to take photos of the sail-away which was to be at 5. I had a warm coat and hood (knowing that it would be COLD) and I went out at 5 trying to figure out where the best vantage point would be. I went to the promenade deck,
Promenade deck the next day with people playing shuffleboard

Promenade deck the next day with people playing shuffleboard


but you can't walk all the way round that deck. The deck is blocked toward the stern. You have to go up to the 7th deck half way around and even then you don't get to the bow. So I went inside and went up to deck 12 and went out on deck.
Looking up at 5:18

Looking up at 5:18


I took a couple of pictures and then my camera battery was low so I put the alternate battery in and that was COMPLETELY dead
100_5377.JPGSailaway

Sailaway

100_5378.JPGBaltimore - Almost dark

Baltimore - Almost dark


I gave up and went inside.

When I went inside, I was on deck 10 which is the one our room is on, and was confused for a moment by the fact that the room numbers were in the 1100's. But I quickly realized that there are no rooms on the 11th deck which is where the buffet and pools and gym are. Then as I was walking along, by room 1110, there was my suitcase which was clearly marked 1010. I had been afraid that because I didn't tip the guy at the dock that I wouldn't get my suitcase. I took it with me.

I unpacked, and plugged in the camera batteries to be charged. Bob went to the 1900 show which he said was dull. Because Bob was getting hungry, we went down to dinner before 8. We sat outside the dining room doors and listened to the guitarist that was there singing in the Manhattan Bar.

In the dining room, there was a "Classic" menu which is available all the time,
Classic Dinner menu

Classic Dinner menu


and the regular daily menu. We were at a table for 8 and two of the couples were childhood friends from British Honduras which is now Guyana. One now lives in Silver Spring, and the other couple were their friends from outside Toronto. Our other couple was a young couple (the man had a soul patch) also from Canada. All of us at the table had asked for early dining.

For dinner, Bob had the shrimp cocktail, the lobster bisque and the salmon (all off the classic menu).
100_5391.JPGClassic Menu Shrimp Cocktail and Salmon

Classic Menu Shrimp Cocktail and Salmon


I had the
Crab Louis

Crab Louis

100_5392.JPGBelgium endive salad with apple and walnuts and Prime Rib - medium rare

Belgium endive salad with apple and walnuts and Prime Rib - medium rare


For dessert, Bob wanted the apple pie on the Classic menu, but it wasn't on the dessert menu, so he settled for
Profiteroles

Profiteroles


My banana blueberry crepes

My banana blueberry crepes

I can log on from the cabin which is way more convenient than lugging the computer around. I looked and saw that there was no urgent email and logged off again and we went straight to bed.

Tuesday 12 January 2010

We ate breakfast in the dining room, but there was no cranberry juice on the menu. Bob had V-8 juice and eggs and bacon. I tried the
Fruit salad with yogurt

Fruit salad with yogurt


and didn't think much of it. Then I had the poached eggs on toast and bacon. The poached eggs look like tadpoles with a big round head/yolk part and a little tail.

Then we went up to trivia at 0900. We got there a little late and joined another couple (Diane and Bill), and I supplied most of the answers - we only got 10 right out of 21. One group had 19 right. We got the first four largest states (AK, TX, CA and MT) but missed NM. You couldn't see the bow from the Navigator Club
Can't see the bow from here

Can't see the bow from here


which is the place on deck 12 at the bow. There were a lot of antennas on the deck we could see - every step/stanchion seemed to have an antenna on it.
Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises


100_3354.JPGPool deck

Pool deck


I went out on deck and took some pictures. Of course it is still cold (we are off NC near as I can tell from the puny chart on the TV). I saw the sign that said Deck 14 was reserved for topless sunbathing
Reserved for topless sunbathing

Reserved for topless sunbathing


but I didn't think there'd be anyone up there (and I was right) so I went on up as far up as I could go and from there I could just barely see the bow sticking out.
Just barely see the bow from here

Just barely see the bow from here


After that we went to the Cruise Critic's "Connections" Party,

which I found a bit disappointing - they didn't have people introduce themselves or anything. Four of the them got together and sang an a cappella barbershop quartet which was really good and enjoyable.

Table decorations at the Cruise Critics meeting

Table decorations at the Cruise Critics meeting

"I want to take you on a Sea Cruise."

"I want to take you on a Sea Cruise."


Some of them also got together and sang "I want to take you on a Sea Cruise." The Cruise Director and the Activities Directors were there and they had both just gotten on the boat in Baltimore so they apologized for the lack of activities but said that the programs for the first two days were printed before they got on.

We went down to the dining room and looked at the menu but couldn't tell whether it was lunch or dinner and it didn't say. The lunch menus are distinguished from the dinner menus in that they are also somewhat confusing as it is NOT divided into Appetizers/ Soup-Salad/ Entrees as most of them are. This one has Starters-Soups-Salads, Heart Healthy, Vegetarian, Main Course, Barbecue & Panini Grill and Desserts.

Bob didn't like anything he saw on the menu so he went up to the buffet, and I stayed to eat in the dining room. There are signs on the table with the waiter and assistant waiter's name, and they introduce themselves each time.

I had
Two Fried Mozzarella sticks

Two Fried Mozzarella sticks


something that was described as
"Crisp BBQ Pork Knuckle and Fontina Cheese Panini on Organic Baguette"

"Crisp BBQ Pork Knuckle and Fontina Cheese Panini on Organic Baguette"


which turned out to be a sub roll with a crisp crust and BBQ sauce on ham and cheese. The BBQ sauce dripped out on my shirt. I've washed it, but can't get the stain out. I asked for vanilla ice cream with chocolate fudge sauce for dessert and got
What passes for fudge sauce here on Celebrity (it looks and has the texture of chocolate pudding) over butter pecan ice cream

What passes for fudge sauce here on Celebrity (it looks and has the texture of chocolate pudding) over butter pecan ice cream


Which I do like, but that's not what I asked for.
Centrum

Centrum


I went down to the front desk and asked about a chart with the ship's position and there isn't one. A lady came by about the time I was there and said that she was feeling unwell and the concierge gave her a bottle of pills and said "Take one every 12 hours, and if you don't feel better taken another one". I went back to the room to download photos and had a nap. It is a bit rougher than before - there are whitecaps on the waves.

Tonight is Formal Night, but no lobster. The young couple did not come to dinner. I suspected that he wasn't well as he was already wearing a patch on the first night. But apparently they were upgraded to first sitting and so we will be a table for 6 from now on. We were the first ones there, and I told the waiter that I wanted cranberry juice for dinner as I have not been able to find it on any of the menus and I'm sure that they have some on board for the mixed drinks. After I reminded him again, he brought me some.

Bob ordered TWO shrimp cocktail tonight and then we both had the
Chilled tangerine and apple soup

Chilled tangerine and apple soup


which was very good. I had the baby spinach salad (no appetizer). Then they brought us
Tiny little red ice in a tiny cup

Tiny little red ice in a tiny cup


It was either cinnamon or ginger flavored or both. Bob again had the salmon off the Classic menu again, and I had
Rack of lamb

Rack of lamb


For dessert he had a sundae and I had "After Eight" ice cream which proved to be chocolate mint flavor. The feature dessert was Cherries Jubilee and I took pictures of the
Cherries Jubilee Prep Station

Cherries Jubilee Prep Station


which they were preparing at the entrance to the dining room.

We didn't go to the Captain's reception afterwards - the waiter pointed out to us that the Captain was eating in the dining room at a big table in the next area to ours.
.
Wednesday 13 January 2010

Bob's alarm clock isn't working very well, but we managed to get up and get to breakfast in the main dining room. This time he had figs, raisin bran and bacon, and I had
Oatmeal

Oatmeal


cheese omelet and bacon. Service was slow. Then we hurried up to the 9:00 trivia in the Navigator Lounge and we were late for the first question. We stood there and said softly "Can we join someone?", and a couple nearby invited us to join. His name was Chuck

Chuck

Chuck

and her name is Bobbie and they live over on the northern neck of VA

The trivia is different from other cruise line trivias in that they make no attempt to limit the number of people on the team and they let us mark are own papers.

This trivia is only 15 questions, and we got 10 right which wasn't a lot. I was able to tell them that the thing Dunlop added to tires was air, and that the doll that was originally a foot tall and was withdrawn and reissued at 3.5" was G.I.Joe. Bobbie knew that the nursery rhyme character that the Brits used as a name for any short clumsy person was Humpty Dumpty, and Chuck knew that the name of the German invasion called Barbarossa was the invasion of Russia. But we absolutely could NOT think of Charro's name from her given name. We know who she was, just couldn't think of the name. But anyway we won!!! They gave us all Celebrity pens.

So we agreed to meet them for the other two trivias which were scheduled today. The second one was at noon, so we met for that one, and this time we got 12 right out of 15 (and would have had 13 if Chuck had written down Mt. Blanc as the tallest mountain in Europe instead of what he put which was the Matterhorn. Anyway, we won again and got some more Celebrity pens.

Then we went to lunch and happened to be at a table with an Army guy and an Marine both of whom had done several tours in Hawaii. (where I am going with my grandson in June) The wife of the Army guy suggested that I stay in the base temporary officer's quarters so I said I would look into that. I had Beef and chicken satay skewers

Beef and chicken satay skewers


and Bob had papaya bisque, and then I had
Poached orange roughy which came with buckwheat noodles

Poached orange roughy which came with buckwheat noodles


which were good but hard to eat. I think Bob had either another soup or a salad. For dessert he had his usual ice cream sundae and I had
Banana creme brulee

Banana creme brulee


I liked the brulee part, but not the bananas in it.

There is no menu at the buffet so I can't look to see what I might want. Apparently there is a dinner place where you can reserve to eat and be waited on up near the buffet and that does have a menu posted but I haven't found it yet. It is apparently not extra price, but it asks that you tip $2/person. The people that told me about it said they tipped in cash, which seems odd
Band on deck

Band on deck


People are starting to "lay out" on the decks by the pool, and the band was playing there when we walked through.

6744e610-ba75-11ea-8190-8dad980ad5cf.JPG

After lunch, Bob went into the library to see if he could get a paper, which Celebrity apparently doesn't deliver to you, but he didn't find one. I went to look for him and the library was deserted.

I went down to the Excursion desk and signed up for the BOSS underwater tour - thinking that it would be a good chance to try out my new underwater digital camera. Bob wouldn't go on the tour with me so I gave him an assignment to do while I'm on the tour.

I asked the front desk about getting a taxi transfer when we got home, but it would be $36 each instead of $36 for one taxi, so I decided to rely on getting a regular taxi.

We went to the third Trivia in the afternoon, and did not win this time. I met Chuck and Bobbie's daughter Trish and her friend Laurie -they are also going on the BOSS tour.

Casino

Casino

Bob went to the show at 7, and I stayed in the cabin and got a shower and wrote some. The room steward wanted to get into the room to make it up and knocked while I was getting ready to get a shower, but he said he would come back later.

At dinner the waiter brought me my cranberry juice, which is good. This time they brought both of Bob's shrimp cocktail on one plate instead of surrounded by a big empty stainless holder. I got shrimp cocktail too as nothing else on the menu appealed to me. I asked the waiter for Vichyssoise, but he said he did NOT recommend that. He said he tried it himself after someone in the early seating had complained about it. So instead I got Cream of Sweet Corn Soup, which really was much better.

Bob got the salmon again for the entree, and I tried
Chicken "Ciao Bella"

Chicken "Ciao Bella"


which was prosciutto wrapped and was supposed to have asparagus and rice pilaf with it. I didn't really like the chicken, and there were only two tiny sprigs of asparagus and it came with noodles instead of rice.

When it came to dessert, the others at the table ordered the apple pie off the Classic menu, so we found that we COULD order that even though it wasn't on the actual dessert menu.
Apple pie

Apple pie


So Bob got it but he said it was pretty ordinary. The waiter comes around with
Sample dessert tray

Sample dessert tray


a sample of the desserts to see - I got the
Biscuit Croustillant with chocolate mousse

Biscuit Croustillant with chocolate mousse


The biscuit part was very tough and hard to cut, but I liked the mousse part.

Back in the room, Bob found that the alarm clock (an old wind up clock) had gone crazy so I told him to throw it away because there was no use having it if it didn't work. He said he would set the alarm on his watch. He was successful in setting his watch and after that it went off faithfully at 0700, but he never heard it (even when he was awake), although it waked me up.

Our dinner companions said we should be setting our watches ahead, but there was no mention of it in the daily program and we didn't get any notification when the room was turned down like we would have done on HAL. So we didn't. I did ask for a 7 am wake-up call using the button marked "Wake Up Call" on the phone.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Bob's watch went off, and then a couple of minutes later we got our wake up call. Bob turned on the TV and then he said, "The ships time is 6 am. Or maybe it is 8 am - I can't read it." So I put on my glasses and sure enough it was 8 am. Not only did the ship turn the clocks ahead, but they did NOT put it in any of the programs except the first one we got on the pier, and they didn't turn the wake-up call ahead. Bummer.

The first trivia was at 9 and we were not dressed and it was 8 already. So we got up and went up to the Navigator Club (2 decks up). Every time I get off the elevator up there I see the reflection in the glass of the steps down to Deck 11 and I think I'm going to fall down the steps which I go around the corner
Reflection in the glass of the steps down to Deck 11

Reflection in the glass of the steps down to Deck 11


Then we went to breakfast at the buffet.

There was another trivia at 1100. This was Tribond Trivia which was really fun. They gave us three words or phrases and we had to think of the connection. For instance, the connection was that they were cartoonists for Walt Kelly, Walt Disney and Walt (can't remember his last name but he does Woody Woodpecker). The one I thought was most amusing was Dennis Rodman, Pamela Anderson and Fantasy Island (connection - Tattoo).

At lunch, I had
Gumbo

Gumbo


and Bob had Potato soup which he didn't think much of. Then I had Rigatoni Caprese and he had Key West Salad. We both had
Bread pudding

Bread pudding


for dessert. We ate with an Italian couple and their little girl (just turned 3) and her mother. They live in DC - she a lawyer, he an architect, and her mother came over from Italy for the cruise. They were going to St. Thomas to buy a house there because they thought it would be a good time to do that.

Next we had Earth Trivia which was run from a computer with video images on the screen.
Earth Trivia

Earth Trivia


We got there late because service at lunch was slow, but Bobbie and Chuck had already started without us, so I joined them. We ended up with 10 right and won. Found out the Chuck had once lived in Pinehurst near Angel's Store where Bob's family lives. Believe it or not, there was another trivia later that afternoon (we didn't win although Bob got the answer to the question of which Empire did Jerry Seinfeld say was based on putting your feet up - i.e. Ottoman), after which I took the underwater camera with the floatie and checked whether it was floatation enough to make it really float. There is.

At dinner the waiter is concerned about my taking photos of the menu and he said he would give me copies and sign them. But I said that a digital copy takes less room in my luggage. Bob had his usual two shrimp cocktails, strawberry soup and his usual salmon. I had chicken liver pate which was good, the strawberry soup (very sweet) and
Beef rigatoni

Beef rigatoni

Tonight I called the front desk for a wake-up call.

Tomorrow - St. Thomas

Posted by greatgrandmaR 07:25 Archived in USA Tagged food cruise baltimore embark trivia Comments (0)

Bagging a Lighthouse

Taxi to the French side


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2010 Yellowstone and Hawaii & Celebrity Cruise 2010 & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

19 January 2010

Today is Sint 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.
Disney Magic on one side and the former Celebrity Galaxy

Disney Magic on one side and the former Celebrity Galaxy


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
100_3950.JPGRed election flags

Red election flags


and also some orange ones - apparently there is going to be an election here also and these are the political banners.
Border between Sint Maartin and Saint Martin

Border between Sint Maartin and Saint Martin


Eventually we got to Marigot on the French side,
Flag in Marigot

Flag in Marigot


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.
Back of Marigot Light as you come around the corner

Back of Marigot Light as you come around the corner


Triumphantly, I got out and took a few pictures
4730832-Marigot_Light_Marigot.jpgMarigot Light

Marigot Light


This is an active lighthouse of an unknown date - focal plane 20 m (66 ft); flash every 4 s, white, green or red depending on direction. It is a 33 ft round conical tower painted white. Located across the road from the base of the breakwater mole of the harbor of Marigot, the principal town of the French portion of the island of Saint-Martin, on the northwestern coast of the island. Site open, tower closed.
4730835-Marigot_Light_Marigot.jpgLighthouse

Lighthouse


The lighthouse is across from the marina.
Marina sign

Marina sign

The Fort above the Coconut Juice House poster

The Fort above the Coconut Juice House poster


and then we drove back to the ship.

On the way back we saw some statues in one of the roundabouts and one of them had three statues - one of them was labeled the Bus Driver.
Statues in the Roundabout  TaTa,The Bus Driver, Alec the Butcher and Lalie, provider of those in need.

Statues in the Roundabout TaTa,The Bus Driver, Alec the Butcher and Lalie, provider of those in need.


This was Jean Frederique Brooks “Tata the Bus driver,” who was best remembered for transporting students to from school. The second was Alexander Lionald Richardson “Alec the Butcher” , father of 42 who was best known for farming and selling fresh meat. According to his daughter her father introduced the Dr. Claude Wathey to politics as he was a member of the National Party. The third is Florian Eulalie Duzanson “Lalie.” She was known for providing fresh bread, tarts and shelter to those in need. While baking was her source of income Lalie also cared for students and people who came from Aruba to St. Maarten, she also provided shelter to many during disastrous moments such as hurricanes.

There is another one of the statues outside of the docks
Freedom fighter

Freedom fighter


The driver 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. It wouldn't have been much more expensive to rent a car
Taxi driver's card

Taxi driver's card

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

Egg salad sandwich


because he usually gets a sandwich. I also made a salad of spinach, hard boiled egg, olives and cherry tomatoes.
Salad from the Salad Bar

Salad from the Salad Bar

Tiny fruit tart

Tiny fruit tart


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.
703134454738061-Photos_of_to..ck_Marigot.jpgPhotos from the aft deck

Photos from the aft deck


Town from the deck

Town from the deck

Bow of the NCL Gem

Bow of the NCL Gem


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).
Room repair

Room repair


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,

Carpaccio of Melon and Pineapple,


and the rest from the classic menu -
Caprese Salad (tomato and mozzarella)

Caprese Salad (tomato and mozzarella)


100_4003.JPGSirloin Steak and Tangy Lemon Curd

Sirloin Steak and Tangy Lemon Curd

Bob's Warm lava Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream

Bob's Warm lava Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream

20 January 2010 - 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 brunch buffet. They had the ice sculptures
100_4011.JPGIce Sculpture at the Breakfast Buffet

Ice Sculpture at the Breakfast Buffet


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.
Photography section

Photography section


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
125057234737902-Photo_from_i..am_Marigot.jpgPool steps

Pool steps

P1200004.JPGSky Bar from  and the Side of the pool

Sky Bar from and the Side of the pool

Floating on my back and looking at the sky

Floating on my back and looking at the sky

P1200011.JPGPool deck

Pool deck


because soon it will probably be too cold. Bob went to the show.

21 January 2010 - Another Day at Sea

Tonight was formal night and for dinner Bob had
Batonet of Pears and Apple

Batonet of Pears and Apple


and I had
Escargot

Escargot


from the Classics menu as an appetizer. Then he had the
Green Pea and Mint soup

Green Pea and Mint soup


while I had the
Caesar salad

Caesar salad


off the Classics menu. They gave us a
Sorbet palate cleanser

Sorbet palate cleanser


and then we both had the entre
Lobster Melange

Lobster Melange

.
Waiter with Baked Alaska

Waiter with Baked Alaska


After the main course the waiters did their parade with the Baked Alaska and we had dessert.
Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska


After dessert there was a
Little tray of pastries

Little tray of pastries


One of the brothers - our dinner companions

One of the brothers - our dinner companions

The other brother with the waiter

The other brother with the waiter

22 January 2010 - The last day at sea.

We went up to Trivia, and then down to the breakfast buffet where I found blintzes!!
Blintz

Blintz


I love them. 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

Chicken livers on a bagel with a poached egg


and Bob had
Lump crab and Smoked Salmon with Ginger Mango Citrus Salsa

Lump crab and Smoked Salmon with Ginger Mango Citrus Salsa


Then I had a
Mexican Chicken Panini.

Mexican Chicken Panini.


One of the lounges

One of the lounges


Bob made me pack in the afternoon. We had our bags ready to go before dinner.

For dinner Bob had
Roasted Pecan Chicken

Roasted Pecan Chicken

Dessert

Dessert


I had the
Fresh fruit appetizer

Fresh fruit appetizer


and what they called "Beef Goulash" listed as a soup, and the "evolved" Beef Wellington. I had Creme Brulee from the Classics menu for dessert.

Our waiter's card

Our waiter's card


I felt that the waiters were the best we have ever had. On Grandeur of the Seas, one of the men wanted a glass of milk each night and he always had to remind the waiter every night. On Celebrity Mercury, I wanted a glass of cranberry juice and after the first time, I never had to ask again. When we complimented (and tipped) the waiters, they said that Celebrity paid their waiters better than the other cruise lines.

Saturday 23 January 2010 - DisEmbarkation

We were given a time to disembark of 8:15 and that is when we were off the ship. Even though the cab driver 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 we were picking up our rental car by about 0900. 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.

It was lucky that we got back on the 23rd and not the first of February like the next group did.

1 February 2010

We got about 14 inches of snow -
Snowstorm

Snowstorm

11 February 2010

100_4090.JPGIcicles

Icicles


Backyard

Backyard

One of my kids commented on my write-ups of the trip that all we seemed to do was play trivia and eat. I counted about 6 pens, 2 golf hats, a luggage tag and a T-shirt that we had won, so I guess we did play a little bit

My next trip was with E's son. First we went to Yellowstone.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 07:47 Archived in Saint Martin Tagged snow pool lighthouse saint_martin trivia sint_maartin Comments (0)

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