Cruising to Warmth

Day -2 travel

Jim gets up at 2am.  Travels easily

Nadya gets up in New Orleans gets to Dallas and they won’t let her leave. 3 hours late she arrives

Day -1 Ft Lauderdale

  • Free bloodies!
  • Hat purchase
  • Car watching
  • Soccer England vs France
  • Brits head butt each other.  Blood and bad spirits follow. France won
  • Nap and steak.  Yummy steak

Day 0 

Nadya fetched coffee and pastries to our room plus there was leftover steak. After a short Lyft ride and checking in, we were quickly in the priority waiting room before they’d started boarding. Shortly after 11, we were among the first on the ship and they clearly wanted us to go to the Lido since rooms wouldn’t be ready until 12:30. We complied and had lunch by the Sea View (aft) pool.

Jim brilliantly grabbed us a couple of the lounge chairs in the Crow’s Nest and we camped there and had a Negroni to watch us sail away, late much to the Captain’s chagrin. (We suspect a certain cabin that hadn’t completed the luster drill.)

Getting back to our room we stowed our three suitcases worth of luggage and were pleased at how well everything fit. 

Day 1 and 2 at sea

  • 8.5 of 12 bars sampled

Day 3 Bonaire

  • Glass bottom boat tour
  • Saw a turtle above the water and swimming under our boat!”
  • In a bar watching France vs Morocco. Locals seem to favor Morocco 
  • Sampled local Gelato. Approved of Gelato

Day 4 Curacao

Nadya’s foot hurt so she stayed on the ship and was lazy. 

Jim explored some caves (very cool) and saw bats and a red tortoise.   Toured the old town, saw old buildings, watched the floating bridge float into position, and walked across said bridge. 

Back to ship for beer, water, nadya, and cocktails

Day 5 Aruba

Got up, off the ship, decided it wasn’t worth it, back on the ship. Did go to the archaeological museum where we saw a picture of Amerindian boys shooting a lizard with bows and arrows.

Jim found that the Tamarind bay had Martini hour at 4 and we knew from the other night they had a great bartender so off we went. She made a Vesper, which we both liked, a drink with Chambord that Jim liked, and offered us chocolate martinis but that seemed a bit weird for before dinner. However the Canadian couple we chatted with had no problem drinking three of them!

Since Nadya didn’t care for the Chambord martini (she likes way less lemon juice than anyone else), she asked the bartender for a recommendation. She made Nadya a saketini with vodka and pear sake and it was delicious,  not sweet, just a subtle bit of pear and sake flavors. (2 oz Smirnoff 1 oz Moonstone pear sake, stirred)

After that we wandered to the Half Moon Bar, which we learned was the only one in the fleet. They had several specialty cocktails and Jim ordered the Rotterdam 7 (our ship) which involved smoking the ingredients and was very fun to watch and smelled and tasted delicious.

Day 6 At Sea

While Jim fought with Nadya’s razor, having neglected to bring anything to trim his face hairs, Nadya went and fetched double cappuccinos and croissants because she’s awesome like that.

We learned we are not good at art scavenger hunts but we are good at finding all the bars on the ship!  We even found the Sun Bar which isn’t listed as being open.  We also did fine at art trivia the other night because the answers are either Picasso, Monet, or Vermeer.

Try number 2 for Martini Hour. 

Jalapeño margarita 

  • 1.5 oz mezcal
  • .75 oz triple sec
  • .5 oz sweet and sour
  • .5 oz pineapple juice 
  • 4 thin Jalapeño slices 
  • Shake on ice 
  • Strain into cocktail glass Float a slice of jalapeño on top

Sugar cookie martini

  • 1.5 oz Baileys
  • 1 Amaretto
  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • .25 oz Vanillasyrup
  • Or use vanilla vodka 
  • Shake on ice 
  • Strain into cocktail glass half rimmed with sprinkles (rub lemon on rim first)

Day 7 Dominican Republic

Hung out on the ship and drank coffee.

Jim started the day with a nap. It was a good one.

Nadya went for a morning swim then supervised the crew lifeboat drill from the safe

Day 8 – Grand Turk

Tram ride into the main part of the island.  I didn’t know there was a cold war era air force radar station and base but it makes sense.  FAA maintains a radar.  

Two dive shops, 60 hotel rooms and several Airbnb Love Villas looks fancy!

Found a trinket for @Nadya 

Fought with the notes app sync 

Martini Hour this evening:

  • Blue kamikaze Martini
    • Vodka
    • Sour mix 
    • Blue curaçao 
  • Blackberry Martini
    • Vodka
    • Crème de violette
    • Blackberries 
  • Milk tea martini
    • 1.5 oz earl grey infused vodka (6 bags 4 days)
    • .5 oz frangelico
    • .5 oz baileys
    • .5 oz cream
    • .5 oz Monin white chocolate sauce 

Day 9 – Half Moon Cay

Rainbows entering and leaving Half Moon Cay!

Cabana was wonderful.  Showed nadya how to snorkel Last swim and then a rainstorm as we left.  Per fect day. 

Martini Hour

  • Canadian Martin (nice balance)
    • Canadian club 2oz
    • Lemon juice teaspoon
    • Cinnamon syrup -teaspoon 
    • Maple syrup 1/4 oz
    • Apple juice 1oz
    • Shaken
  • Earl grey martini
  • Gingerbread martini (yum)
    • Vodka 2oz
    • Amaretto 1/4 oz
    • Dry vermouth 1/4 oz
    • Monin gingerbread syrup 1/4 oz
    • Dust with cinnamon 

Did poorly at Food and Drink trivia

Finally completed bar blackout.  

Day 10 – Fort Lauderdale

Not really a vacation day but a travel day.  We were off the ship by 7:30 and at the airport by 8am for our 11am flight.   Breakfast of tacos and a quesadilla with actual spice.  

Enjoy the gallery from the trip!

Author: Jim Boone

Jim is the resident photographer and web dude. He enjoys driving, practical shooting, and the occasional shotgun game. He is classified as M in USPSA Open and is working hard to be a real M class shooter.