San Juan to St. Thomas

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 The Skyride cable car is just a block or two from where our ship docked in St. Thomas. There is a bar and restaurant on top where the views can be enjoyed. Lauren introduced me to a drink there called a Bushwacker that tastes like a milkshake…..so good! But I found out why it is called Bushwacker. 

Carnival Cruises now has an internet package rather than paying by the minute. Unfortunately the internet is so weak and slow that it took at least 10 minutes to upload the picture above. But, it is better than the nothing I had on previous cruises.

Our ship, the Carnival Triumph is the one in the picture. It’s half again as large as any we have been on before. In the past, we lucked out and always had one of the Spirit class sister ships so after five cruises I had finally learned my way around. I will never learn my way on this ship. For one thing, I have a terrible sense of direction inside of buildings. I still cannot figure out Aft from Port from Broadside to Starboard. None of it makes sense. A commenter on my last post asked if I needed a GPS. I never thought of that but it would be a very good idea. Carnival could make money by renting them out for the cruise.

The sea has been so smooth that I can hardly tell we are moving. Lauren however is not faring so well. She has been sick twice but that is always after she has been bar hopping late at night so that may have something to do with it.  These ships have at least 10 bars on them and it seems Lauren is about the only person in them each night.  There are no young people on this ship which is very, very unusual.  We did see one young handsome man the first night out, who it appeared was traveling with his father.  He was eyeing Lauren pretty good but their paths have not crossed again. She has had a stalker though who follows her everywhere, sits down nearby, and just stares. Lauren is about to throw him overboard.

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This blurry photo is of Madiana from Bali who is our sweet cabin steward. Carnival Cruises has 24 ships and my math reckons they employ over 1600 cabin stewards. Why is this significant? Because Madiana was the steward for Steve and I on our last cruise and it was on a different ship over a year ago to Hawaii. Madiana has a wife and 3 children in Bali and sees them every 6 months between contracts. 

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Our cabin with balcony. This ship is older than the Carnival ships we have been on before and not nearly as glitzy with the decor. But the beds are comfortable, it’s clean, and the food is way too good as usual. 

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We were docked beside the Carnival ship Liberty in two ports so far. Ours is on the left.

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A ship of two tails. ? A tale of two ships? Whatever. 

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Plenty of deck stairs and several swimming pools and hot tubs. I don’ know how many pools. Am not sure if I’m seeing the same one over and over.

We have been to three ports since St. Thomas and I took many pictures as I got off the ship each time.   I wanted you to see a bit of the ship first. Oh, the above picture was taken in St. Kitts, my least favorite port so far.

Also, I didn’t bring my good Nikon because my pack mule stayed in Colorado so my pictures are all taken with my little Lumix making for some blown out skies.

Colorado to San Juan

San Juan, Puerto that is.  At first I wasn’t too keen to fly to San Juan in order to take this cruise but now I’m quite pleased. As far as Caribbean destinations, you don’t hear much about San Juan but it was an extremely pleasant surprise. Old San Juan reminds me a lot of the colonial part of Mazatlan with the same style of architecture and colorfully painted buildings. However Old San Juan is cleaner, with more shops, and even narrower streets that are cobblestoned. It is breezy and comfortable everywhere as this part of town is surrounded on three sides by water.

Hotels are expensive though! Old San Juan has mostly small, old hotels and from a conversation I overheard, not a one has an elevator. We were on the 5th floor. The front desk clerk carried our luggage up but I carried mine down yesterday. My arms needed the strength training. Daughter Lauren who is 32, doesn’t feel sorry for me and refuses to help which is to my benefit. And she has even forbidden me to take the elevators on this 12 deck ship.

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Goodbye snow

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Lauren and some interesting chairs in San Juan

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A view from the rooftop of our hotel

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Many building have wrought iron balconies

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Parked next to a Holland ship, we had the quickest and easiest boarding ever. Next port is St. Thomas.

Today’s Assignment

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Grazing land?

In yesterday’s Blogging 101 assignment we were to leave a comment on at least four other blogs that we had never commented on before.  Now if I had known in advance that today’s assignment would be to write a blog post relating to one of those comments I might have set myself up for something fun to write about.  On the other hand, the subject matter of the blog post I linked to below is very dear to me mainly because of the animals that suffer, our health, and the damage to the environment.

A 19 year old Austrian student named Fabien has a blog called “Things To Think About” and wrote a post called Memoires of a Cow. I urge you to read this because it is so well written and so moving, but also with a word of caution; you might cry and you might never eat meat again.

I left a comment, the only comment this particular post has had.  Perhaps you can add your own to his blog as it is fairly new and I doubt that it is widely read at this point.

My husband and I eat a plant based diet at least 95% of the time. On Christmas Eve we fell off the wagon and had a bit of ham but after reading Fabien’s post we won’t fall off the wagon again.

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These cows in Bavaria want to live like this forever

Blogging University

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It is a cold and snowy day, perfect for sitting in front of the fireplace to catch up on blog reading.

Recently while looking for some blog help I discovered Blogging University on the WordPress site and that there would soon be a Blogging 101 course. Although I have been blogging for several years there is always more to be learned so I enrolled.  For instance,

I have never gotten into the habit of using tags but learned how helpful this can be in two instances:

  1. I like reading other blogs related to travel and photography but have a difficult time finding them. When I do find a blog that I like, I follow it in the WordPress Reader. What I didn’t know is that I can search for blogs by entering a tag and then all the most recent blogposts about that subject will appear in the Reader.  For example, I am interested in reading about Austria and now that is in my list of tags on the Reader. I set another up called Manitou Springs but unfortunately there are few postings with that tag.
  2. With the discovery that I couldn’t find much written about Manitou Springs I realized that I have several blogposts on that topic but with no tags. If I had tagged my posts people could read more about Manitou Springs and also see pictures of one of the the most beautiful little towns in America.

Now I have a new project for our next snow day. I will begin going back through my 500+ blogposts to add tags.  This course has been well worth it already and it’s not over yet.

Now don’t forget to tag your posts so I can find you!