Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
9 Night Cruise to Bermuda, St. Martin, St. Thomas, and San Juan
We left our ship to board the Island Girl Ferry, destination St. John. Our ferry host (from Wisconsin) informed us about the various islands around St. Thomas and how the inhabitants deal with everyday life. Things like traveling from St. John to St. Thomas for school each day. These kids don’t hope for snow days. They hope for inclement weather days! Also, no snakes. Why? Well, see, the mongoose were brought in to deal with the rats, except rats are nocturnal, and mongoose aren’t. So the mongoose ate all the snakes instead. Now they have a lot of mongoose … oh, and they still have the rats … but hey – no snakes! (Cue music + “The More You Know” logo.)Once in St. John, we boarded our open air safari-type shuttle bus. Our driver, Chris, was SO much fun. He had us under expert control from the moment we met. (Example conversation: “What time is it?” “Time to go!” “Where are we going?” “Forward!” “When are we going?” “Now!”) We even practiced our “oooohhhhs” and “aaaahhhhs” before leaving the parking lot – ha! Turns out those oohs and aahs came in handy because we saw some vistas that were only rivaled by sites in Italy or Greece. We climbed about 1,200 feet and saw perfect water, perfect beaches, and perfect weather.
St. John is gorgeous. They have the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. Thank you to Laurance Rockefeller for turning most of this island into a National Park. His Caneel Bay Resort is definitely on my to-do list.During a brief stop at Maho Bay, Lex asked “can we stay here and swim?” Did we have bathing suits? No. Did he care? No. We had to restrain him from bolting into the water. All the beaches of St. John are open to the public and very clean. (Did I mention that the beaches were gorgeous?)
By the end of the tour, my son declared: “I am going to live here.” A few minutes later that turned into: “I am going to own a hotel here.” I think Lex has finally understood what paradise looks like! If anyone gets a chance to go to St. John, take it.We also met up with Joe’s cousin Lisa, and her friend Mary. They went snorkeling at Trunk Bay Beach, and said it was the best snorkeling they had ever experienced. After seeing it from above during my tour, it became my all time favorite beach too … and I haven’t even set foot on it!
Back on the ship, we freshened up and relaxed. I was so relaxed that I easily nodded off to sleep. This is very unusual for me but, I think with the early rise, the 4+ hour excursion, and the heat, I just needed to rest … and so I did, right up to dinner time. I missed the trivia, the poolside fun, the afternoon cocktails. Yep, it was siesta city for Nancy. Zzzzzzz.Dinner was in the main dining room this evening, where the five of us exchanged stories about our respective excursions. After dinner, Lex went to Adventure Ocean where Pirate Night was getting underway. Around 9 pm, the kids more or less took over the ship, marched down the main Promenade, and acted like pirates, complete with a rehearsed set of calls-and-responses. Very cute and lots of fun for all!
The adults ended up visiting the Schooner Bar, playing trivia (still not doing well – 10 out of 20 this time), and watching some on-stage game shows. Yes, I had another Lava Flow. Yippee!
I picked up Lex at 11 pm and we all headed to bed. It was a long, wonderful, fun day here in St. Thomas and St. John. I do hope I return to these islands soon as they were just so lovely.
Tomorrow is our final Caribbean stop: San Juan. We have scheduled a long morning walking tour so, hopefully, the heat will hold off until we return to the ship.