Summary of the Cruise

Mariner of the Seas - Royal Caribbean

Because I am writing after the fact, I have dated this entry according to the date when we returned. We had a great time on our cruise.

We went to Cococay, Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. It was relaxing but there was plenty to do. Cruises are great for having a choice of things to do plus nothing to do but relax if you want. There is something for just about everyone who goes, it seems.

There was an earthquake on Thursday, November 29, 2007 which took place 90 miles underground. The epicenter was near Martinique and we felt the earthquake where we were, on the beach in St. Maarten. The ground was moving back and forth and I asked my husband what it was. He said it was the beach umbrella moving in the sand from the wind. For a split second I thought that could be right and then I knew it was an earthquake. He’s never been through one but I have been, so I somewhat recognized the feel. We watched the water first of all because we didn’t want a tsunami to come up. The waves were more rough and there were whitecaps in the water much more than before, but we didn’t have reason to fear the water. It was so amazing to experience this while on the beach, lying flat on the sand! What a trip!Back on the ship, no one we talked to knew it was an earthquake. One of the people in our group thought the ship was starting up to leave two hours early and that everyone on shore would be left behind. Some people said they felt the quake and some said they heard it. It was interesting to experience something like that on a cruise vacation – that’s for sure.

Our excursions (side trips) off the ship included snorkeling and kayaking, plus a trip on a catamaran. It was fun and vigorous on the kayaks and snorkeling was a pleasure. We saw a piranha and an eel and a large turtle as well as plenty of tropical fish. I held a starfish while it wriggled and then we also touched and held a sea urchin. We fed the fish bread and they nibbled and tickled our fingers. The kayak back was a little more endurance-like because we were paddling against the wind. But it was quite enjoyable. The catamaran (Castaway Girl) was nice and on the way back they served rum punch, which really had a kick. I think the punch may have been stronger time went on. But they were good to us because it was free alcohol and that’s not something the ship offered. Our whole group was having a great time there. What happened there, stays there. :o)

The second stop was where we did the catamaran, in St. Thomas. There was shopping and such and we took it easy there. The third stop was St. Maarten, where we felt the earthquake.

On our days at sea, when we didn’t have stops at any ports, I had a massage and that was fantastic! I would recommend that to anyone who thinks they would enjoy it. We toured the spa so we were given a chance to win other bonus prizes from the spa for doing so. While I was getting my massage, my husband went to the results raffle and we both won a foot and ankle massage the following morning. That was fantastic and relaxing. My husband would never have done that on his own, so it was an added plus.

The ship had a lot of activities: shows every night, a great sports facility (including in-line skating, miniature golf, rock climbing wall, full basketball court, pingpong and driving range), places to enjoy drinks including a piano bar and a bar that stayed open late, and it had an indoor skating rink! There was food galore, of course! There was a formal dining choice, a buffet at different times and a 24-hour cafe serving light sandwiches and pastries, as well as room service for those who desired that. The buffet changed and was not always the same thing, which was nice. Every evening was nice, as we chose the formal dining room with our group. It was enjoyable to choose from the many options on the menu. There were starters, salads, entrees and desserts every night. Then a person could choose to have a drink with their meal or afterward or both (drinks are optional and not included in the cruise price). Beverages that were included were iced tea, lemonade, coffee and milk. The alcoholic drinks were great; however I would recommend watching the bartender make the drink if you have a preference as to how you would like it to taste. A Long Island Ice Tea, for instance, can vary greatly in taste. We were fortunate to find a great bartender who made the drink quite well for our taste.

There were fun activities besides the ones mentioned in our Cruise Compass (the daily activities bulletin). There was a 70’s dance, volleyball on Cococay, which our guys played, and many other fun little things here and there. It was the kind of thing we enjoy and I would recommend it to anyone.

The End for today.

“I feel the greatest gift we can give to anybody is the gift of our honest self.” – Mr. Rogers

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~ by coffeebreath on December 2, 2007.

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