Southern Caribbean Cruise
January 2001

Cathy and I had a great time cruising the Southern Caribbean.  It was a great break from the cold dreary Philadelphia winter.  Not to mention a great time away from work.  We didn't have any travel companions this trip, it was nice to be away from everyone.  The statue to the left was one of the many beautiful piece of art on the Grandeur of the Seas.  Our second time on the ship, but with a different itinerary scheduled.  The ship is beautiful, especially the Solarium, a pool area with a retractable roof.

Well, here are the pictures, the reason the web pages exist.

Aruba

Our first stop on the cruise was Aruba, which we had visited on an earlier cruise.  The desert island was as beautiful as I had remembered.  We took a bus tour of the Island, last time I went snorkeling so didn't get a chance to see the sights. 

The windmill shows the Islands Dutch heritage, and the alter is from one of the oldest churches in the caribbean. 

The cemetery next to the church is typical of the caribbean, the graves are above ground due to the high water table (it is an island).  Most of the graves are family owned and have the remains of many generations.
We then stopped at a big rock, I forget what it is called, and botanical garden.  The view from the top was amazing.
The rock formations were cool, and we took the opportunity to catch some shade.
We saw beautiful flowers and many lizards.
We also stopped at the famous natural bridge.  It was exciting seeing the water rushing under the rocks.

Curacao

These shots are all from the ship in Curacao.  I went diving and didn't get any other island shots.   It is a new docking facility built by Royal Caribbean.  It is a little further from town, but allows larger ships to stop at the beautiful island.
In the picture on the right, the tall building, a hotel,  is the only building in the world with insurance against "cruise ship collisions."

St. Martin

We also enjoyed new docking facilities for our first time in St. Martin.  They now allow ships t dock rather than forcing people to use tenders to get to shore.
There were a huge number of small sail and power boats in the harbor, it was amazing to see.

As in Curacao, I spent my time in St. Martin underwater.  Hopefully I'll have a camera to take underwater pictures next trip.

Voyager of the Seas was docked next to our ship.  While it typically doesn't stop in St. Martin, Bill Gates had apparently chartered the entire ship for a company trip.  I guess when you charter the largest cruise ship in the world, you decide where to go.
From St. Martin, you can just make out a small island on the horizon.  Look familiar?  It is the island used in the original King Kong.  In reality it is Saba, where I'm told there is some of the best scuba diving in the world.

Dinner


What would a Parzynski cruise web page be without mentioning Dinner.  It was outstanding.  Nothing beats the food on a Royal Caribbean cruise.  We did, however, have a few different table partners early in the week.  We started with a lovely couple from Chile, but we didn't speak the same language..... The service was wonderful.  Our waiter, Darrius, from Lithuania, and our assistant waiter, Mariska, from South Africa, made sure all of our dining needs were met.
Joining us for dinner, and able to speak with us (they are also from the Philly area) were Harry & Diane and their daughter Chris. 
We also dined with Gayle.  She was cruising alone, enjoying the time at sea and the Peter Noone concert (he was on-board).  She was a most interesting and enjoyable dinner companion.

As always, when the trip is done, it is back to reality.

But there will be a next time.

Another vacation to take us away.