Day 6 Food

Unfortunately, our amazing cruise had to come to an end. . .

Here’s the menu for our last night on the ship:

 

 
For an appetizer, I had the Chicken Fettuccini.  It was wonderful.

I also tried the crab cake and I wasn’t a huge fan of it.

My main course was the jumbo panko crusted shrimp.  I LOVE shrimp.  You might have noticed how many times I ordered them on this cruise.

Before dinner, some of my family and our travel agent brought Josh some Indian food because they got to meet the chef and told him how much they all enjoyed Indian food.  They ended up bringing Josh a plate and he was very excited about it. 

St. Kitts

Unfortunately, we didn’t really do anything exciting in St. Kitts.  By this time, we were pretty tired and decided to spend some time shopping in the complex right where we docked.

Like all of the other islands, the views in St. Kitts were beautiful as well.

This is the shopping center.  I believe that it was a fairly new build and they definitely had a neat variety of shops to look around in.  Josh and I even ended up going into a convenience store/internet cafe to check up on our emails before we got back onto the ship.

I did manage to get a photo of the adults only pool area which also happens to be where the grill and the pizza cafe is on the ship.  I didn’t ever get into the pools on the ship, but Josh swam in the mid-ship pool and enjoyed it.  According to the TV in our cabin, the pool temperature for all of the pools was about 77 degrees (air temperature and water temperature are two completely different things people) and my minimum for even touching the pool is 78 (and that’s on a day when I’m feeling like being really cold for a while).

Day 5 Food

Here’s the menu:

I love how the fried shrimp is listed as "Fried Shrimps".  Apparently, the menu author isn’t a native English speaker. 

 

Josh had the chicken tenders marinated in Thai spices.  In my experience with Thai food, I know that I need to be careful when I order a Thai dish because sometimes, they are crazy spicy.  This dish was in the mid-range of spiciness.  It didn’t kill me, but it wasn’t Sunday at Grandma’s house either.

I ordered the fried shrimps.  They were definitely shrimps.  🙂

I ordered the Duet of Petit Filet Mignon and Short Rib Confit and it was incredible.  I could have done without the red onions completely covering my potato (that was gross) but once I got rid of the onions, the potato was awesome.  I’m pretty sure that Josh ordered the same thing as I did this night.

My dad ordered the vegetarian lasagna.  If you look close, you can see his fingers and understand the true size of this gigantic piece of lasagna.  It looked awesome and everyone who ordered it seemed to like it a lot.

My mom went the very traditional route this evening.  She ordered the turkey dinner.  Normally, she wouldn’t eat the items that came with the turkey, especially since the menu didn’t say mashed potatoes and gravy anywhere, but she was brave and tried most of the items.
 

For dessert, I got the Chocolate Raspberry and Vanilla Cream Cake (still not the melting cake).

And Josh ordered the apple pie, which was amazing!

Antigua

We had big plans in Antigua.  We were touring with Gordon of www.tourguidegordon.com and it was well worth the wait.  Gordon was actually our guide in our van and he did an amazing job of showing us all about his home.  When we docked in Antigua, the Norwegian Dawn was in port with us.

One of our first stops in Antigua was an old Fort.  There was an adorable puppy at the Fort and it seemed like he didn’t really have a home.  We were all to scared to touch him, but he sure was cute!

You can see the puppy walking in front of Josh here:

Antigua wasn’t as hilly as some of the other islands that we visited this week, but it had its share of hills.

This is the oldest church on the island.  It was small, but beautiful.

Next, we stopped at Nelson’s Dockyard.  This is an area that the British used during their occupation of Antigua.  There are two rows of these pillars and there used to be a boat house on top of the pillars.  Boats could sail into the channel under the boat house and have their sails hoisted into the boat house to be repaired.  Obviously, the boat house is no longer intact, but the pillars are amazing.

They’re a lot bigger than they look in photos.

Antigua had some really beautiful scenery.

The house you can see here is Eric Clapton’s House.  His Crossroads rehab center is just to the left of the house (out of the picture).

This is a view from above Nelson’s Dockyard.  It was amazing to see from this viewpoint.

Through the trees there, is Eric Clapton’s first home in Antigua.  He moved to the larger hours because neighbors were building all around him and he wanted to get some seclusion. . . he got it, don’t you think?

This is Devil’s Bridge.  It’s a natural land bridge and it an incredible sight to see.  The ocean is so powerful here, it really makes you put things in perspective.

I bought a yummy pineapple soda at the beach.

Here, we’re sailing away from Antigua next to the Norwegian Dawn.

More sail away photos. . .

My Barbados sunburn had made its full appearance by this time.

Day 4 Food

Again, no menu photos.

For starters on day 4, I had the Corn Chowder and the Cream of Broccoli Soup, which were both very good.
 

Josh has the escargot, which he always enjoys.
 
He also had fried oysters.

I don’t remember why I don’t have photos of both our main courses this night, but I did get a photo of the shrimp dish that we shared in addition to our normal main course.  Neither of us thought it was amazing.

I got an artsy shot of the table since there wasn’t anyone sitting across from me this night.

Baked Alaska. . . I love Neapolitan ice cream!

And this was some kind of chocolate cake that Josh ordered.  I don’t remember specifics about it.

St. Lucia

Day 4 of the cruise was the best day BY FAR!  I had been looking forward to visiting St. Lucia since I first saw the photos of the Pitons on Google Earth when we first booked the cruise.  I couldn’t wait to see those gorgeous mountains come into view backed by the Caribbean Sea.  I knew it would be a moment of the cruise that I would never forget. 

When we were talking about the next day’s activities the night before at dinner, Ashleigh mentioned that she and James and her mom would like to go with us if there was room with the tour group.  Luckily, Cosol Tours had extra room for the day and they were all able to come with us.  It was an awesome experience.

The first thing we saw when we started the tour was the Holland America HMS Noordam.  This ship just happens to be the ship that Josh and I are spending our honeymoon on in May.  I knew that it would be in port with us, so I made sure to get some photos of it.  It looks like a nice (but significantly smaller) ship and we’re excited to sail on her.

This was one of the first sights that we stopped to photograph.  It’s a natural bridge along the shoreline of St. Lucia near the town of Casteries.  It was beautiful!

Our tour guide then took us to a banana plantation along the side of the road.  We were able to sample fresh bananas (which are nothing like you get at the grocery store here in the states).  They were very sweet and tasted amazing.  This is what baby bananas look like.

A banana tree only produces one bunch of bananas in its lifetime.  The tree takes 6 months to grow from planting to producing the bananas.  When the tree produces it’s bunch, the bananas are harvested and then the tree is cut down to make room for new trees.  The bags in the photo below replace pesticides.  If the plantation owners cover the bananas with plastic bags, the bugs can not infest the bananas.  It was pretty cool to see.

The cliffs of St. Lucia were pretty amazing.

This random guy was standing along the side of the road waiting for people to stop and pay him to hold his snake.  It was a boa constrictor and we weren’t about to open the door of the van.

The views in St. Lucia were gorgeous.
 
Early in the tour, Cosol took us to a private home and had a buffet set up for us.  The food was incredible.  There were fish cakes, coconut bread, banana bread, fried bread and tons of other kinds of food.  This is only one of the tables that he had set up for us.  There was a whole second table for us to sample from and there was plenty of food for us to fill up.  He also had rum punch, local Piton Beer, and water throughout the whole tour.

Here is our first view of the Pitons and it was everything that I expected it to be. . . absolutely breathtaking.

Before we got to the Pitons, we drove into the drive-in volcano.  The smell of sulphur was pretty strong and it was definitely an interesting experience being in the crater of an active volcano.  We were told that if this volcano happened to erupt, the entire area that we had been traveling through that day would be obliterated.

We were also fortunate enough to be able to visit another waterfall.  It was beautiful and Josh even dipped in for a few minutes.  It was pretty cold though, so no one swam long.

As we got closer to the Pitons, I got some better photos.  The beach between the Pitons is only accessible via water taxi because the Jalousie Plantation owns all of the land surrounding the beach.  While beaches in St. Lucia are all public by law, the only way for people who do not happen to be staying at the resort to get to the beach is via water taxi.  Getting to the beach was quite an experience and I will never forget it.  It was one of the most amazing trips ever and I would do it all over again in a heart beat.  Unfortunately, when we arrived at the beach, my dad fell out of the boat when he was trying to get out and ended up getting soaked before we even got to the sand.  He wasn’t very happy about his experience, but I think he enjoyed the view never the less.

After we arrived at the beach, I decided to take my dad’s snorkeling gear and try out the wildlife preserve on one end of the beach.  It was beautiful, but I didn’t last long because there was a defect in the snorkel and I was inhaling salt water, which is not a pleasant experience at all.

This school of fish was coming right for me.  For those of you who’ve seen Finding Nemo, these fish all look like Dory. 
 
This video was shot by Josh on our way from the beach back to the tour vans after we were done with beach time.  It was awesome.  Unfortunately, my camera’s SD card ran out of memory as he shot the video, so we didn’t get all of the video that we wanted to.  🙁

These photos show the size of the Pitons up close, but there is absolutely no way to describe what a mountain shooting straight out of the ocean looks like.  It was absolutely amazing!

 
Here I am right after boarding the water taxi to go back to the vans.  You can see the private section that belongs to the resort in the background.  I don’t think we’d ever be able to spend one night at this resort, but it looked incredible.

Here we all are riding on the water taxi back to the vans.  Can you believe the color of the water?

Day 3 Food

I forgot menu photos this night.

After spending the day in the sun in Barbados, we were definitely ready for dinner.  I was excited to see a grilled chicken quesadilla on the starters menu.  It was very good.
 
I was also excited to see sushi on the menu, but because it had mussels in it, I avoided it.  My dad is allergic to mussels and I have never wanted to take the chance that I’m also allergic to them, especially on a ship in the middle of the ocean, so Josh ordered the sushi and I didn’t get to share this time.  🙁

There was also a sushi bar on the ship that opened every night around dinner time.  The sushi from the sushi bar was better than the dinner sushi (according to Josh) but it definitely wasn’t Wa from home.  Wa sushi is incredible! (http://www.yelp.com/biz/wa-restaurant-lawrence)

For the main course, I got the short ribs.  They were very good.
 
Josh ordered the seafood pasta and was disappointed that he only found one scallop in the entire dish.
 
Josh ordered warm bread pudding for dessert and I’m sure that I probably had the warm chocolate melting cake.

Barbados

On Day 3, we arrived in Barbados.  We didn’t have a shore excursion planned for this island, but I heard through Cruise Critic that the beach owned by Malibu Rum distillery was beautiful, inexpensive and well worth leaving the ship so Josh, Ashleigh, James and I got into a taxi and headed that direction.  We arrived and paid the fee (somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 per person) for the distillery tour.  With the tour, you also get access to their beach, a free drink and a rum tasting at the end of the tour.  Josh stayed on the beach for the tour but James, Ashleigh and I decided to go.  I swear, the people at the Malibu distillery make the BEST Pina Coladas on earth.  It was amazing and I would definitely like to get their recipe.  Even if it was just a little taste at the end of the tour, it was well worth the time and the tour was pretty interesting.  It’s amazing to learn what all goes into the process of making Malibu Rum.

After the tour, we were able to enjoy the beach for several hours before our taxi driver picked us up again.  Some private tour operators brought their horses by for a quick dip in the water.  I’ve never seen horses swimming in the ocean before and it was pretty awesome.

When we got back to the ship, I had to take a picture of the aft end of our ship. 

Day 2 Food

When we returned to our cabin after spending the day in Dominica, we found these. . .

and this. . .

And, no, they weren’t from Josh, as many friends and family assumed they were.  They were actually from Penny, our travel agent and friend who was traveling with us on the cruise.  She sent them to thank me for all the work I put into planning the cruise.  We took the champagne to dinner to share, but we ate the strawberries ourselves.  They were wonderful!

This is a treat that we were fortunate to see throughout our cruise.  Our waiters entertained us all week long, although, you could definitely tell that the waiter on the right was not comfortable with this display of fun at all.

 

As you might notice, this was formal night (hence the lobster). . .

Josh enjoyed the stuffed mushrooms, but since I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms, he got this one all to himself.

I, on the other hand, ordered the shrimp cocktail, which was pretty standard.
  
This was the pumpkin soup.  I think Josh ordered it but it mist not have been terribly memorable because I don’t remember who even ordered it.
 
Our friend James ordered the Chile Rellenos and he said it was awesome.  He wished they served it every night.

Josh ordered the duck, which looked awesome.

He also ordered Cherries Jubilee with an extra scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I ordered the caramel apple pastry and it left quite a bit to be desired.

I’m not sure who ordered this, but it was the diet strawberry cake.

Dominica

Day 3 of our cruise was our day in Dominica.  Dominica is called the “rainforest island” of the Caribbean, and I definitely know why.  Just sailing into Dominica, we could see the lush greenery of the mountainous rainforests in the distance.  It was breathtaking, as you can see in these photos. 

Josh and I spent some time on the decks checking out the island as we sailed in and we were really impressed with what we saw.

When we got off the ship, Josh, my parents and I all joined Reyno Tours to tour Dominica.  I found Reyno on Cruise Critic and knew immediately that I wanted to tour with his company.  People on Cruise Critic raved about Reyno and his amazing tour around the island of Dominica.

I was really looking forward to this tour and seeing what Dominica had to offer.  Yes, there were some poor areas of the island (as I have found to be the case on all Caribbean islands that I’ve been to), but it’s a really beautiful place to be and I could definitely find a way to live there.

Isn’t is gorgeous?  Off in the distance in these last two photos is the ocean.  It seemed like almost everywhere we went in the mountains, we could see water.  It was amazing!

One of the stops on the tour was Trafalgar Falls.  Trafalgar Falls is a set of twin waterfalls in Dominica.  We were able to go as far as the viewing deck but were asked not to go any farther, we the rocks are slippery and they didn’t want us to get injured.

Other people risked it though and went into the falls.  I wasn’t upset that I didn’t get to go in since I wouldn’t have been very happy touring for the rest of the day in wet clothes anyway.  Ick!

Another stop we made was the sulphur springs.  This spring consists of boiling water and oh boy, does it stink.  It was quite a hike to get to the springs and several in the group decided to quit half way to the springs.  I was glad that we got all the way there, even if the end result isn’t huge, but at least I got a good video of the springs.

After the springs and several other sites in Dominica, we drove through the Botanical Gardens.  The tree in the photo below is called a Century Palm.  It blooms once in 75 years and then dies.  This tree had recently bloomed and was in the process of dying.

This bus was crushed by a tree during Hurricane David in 1979.  They decided to leave it as is to show people how bad the hurricane really was.  Fortunately, no one was on the bus when it was smashed.
At the end of Reyno’s tour, we were taken to a viewpoint over the city where our ship was docked.  It was breathtaking!

Here are a few more videos of our time in Dominica.