Vacation Cruise to the Eastern Caribbean - 2004

Our plane and our reflection in the terminal

Trish and I made time to get away for our honeymoon in December. We caught a red-eye out of Sacramento at 10:15 PM. On the right, this shot of our reflection also captures the 767 we flew to Atlanta. We caught a second flight to Ft Lauderdale and made a smooth transfer to the port terminal.

We had time on board the "Oosterdam" before our cabin was ready. So we found a comfortable spot with a good view at the Lido bar and relaxed. Before leaving port, we participated in an emergency drill (pictured below left) and found a restaurant where we enjoyed an early dinner before returning to our cabin to enjoy our departure as the sun sets over Ft Lauderdale (below right).

Lifeboat drill Sunset over Ft Lauderdale
Nassau, Bahamas

When we awoke Monday morning, the ship was already in port in Nassau, Bahamas (right). The weather was noticeably warmer at 79 degrees and more humid at 80%(perfect December weather). The ship was departing at noon so we didn't stray too far. Just enough to take in some of the the shops, talk to a few vendors and listen to some music.

The ship departed Nassau and we spent the afternoon on deck enjoying the beautiful weather. The lighthouse (below left) was out at the furthest edge of the inlet. After leaving the Bahamas, the next day was spent at sea (below right) traveling to St Maarten, our Wednesday stop.

Lighthouse in Nassau The trail behind the ship
Street vendor in St Maarten

We arrived in the bay at Philipsburg, St Martin and tendered to shore early so we would have time to walk around before our Noon excursion. It was a beautiful day and the locals were all very nice and genuinely friendly. There were many shops selling jewelry, watches, electronics and alcohol. The prices were amazing. There were also shops and vendors selling clothing, beads, shells, masks, carvings and many other souvenirs of one kind or another. We purchased a mask from the vendor pictured on the right.

There were also local schools, government buildings and churches mixed in with all of the shops. We walked by "Oranje School" pictured below left where recess was just beginning. A group of girls saw my camera and came squealing to the fence.

Schoolhouse in Phillipsburg School children Phillipsburg Courthouse Our ship from the island
The Baths at Virgin Gorda

The courthouse in Phillipsburg, above, sits in the middle of town. It was very quiet while we were there. We did some shopping before heading out for our day trip for some kayaking. Above, right is the Oosterdam in the bay at St Maarten. We had a chance to get the photo as we returned from a kayaking excursion that took us to the other side of the Island spliot by the french and the dutch.

We spent the next day at sea en route to Roadtown, Tortolla. After arriving, we took an excursion via tender to the baths at Virgin Gorda, on the right. It was a beautiful day at a postcard perfect beach, right. In the picture below, a cute little local dog was there at the beach ogling for attention and posing for photos.

The island of Virgin Gorda was covered by boulders. Theses massive boulders were everywhere, sometimes one or two and sometimes dozens piled up on each other. At the baths the boulders form caves that must be navigated to reach a second secluded beach. On the right, below, Trish is working her way through the caves.

More photos below!

Cute local dog mugging for attention Trish leads through the caves In the bay at St Maarten A Beautiful Sunset Breezy on-deck Reflection off a brass bulkead cover Elevator lobby on the ship One of Holland America's sister ships passes by

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