We finally sailed last Friday, Oct. 28, 2011 and to show you how sad we were to depart we had someone take this picture at the sail away party just to let you know we were thinking of you:
With the Fort Lauderdale port smoke stacks in the background I took a picture of this young chick I had following me around the party:
This departure wouldn’t be complete unless I showed you the first night photos. For those of you who don’t remember or are following us for the first time, Susy and I have a tradition of taking each others photos every night of the cruise at dinner. Don’t worry I’m not going to bore you with our photos every day, but I will show you the first (Oct. 28th) and last nights (Dec. 11th). The reason we take the photos is to show the difference in our looks (and how we feel) after each cruise. Well here goes the first night:
Yes, and I was along to:
I know your going to say how can we look any better than that? I’m sure that when you see the Dec. 11, 2011 photos you will be able to tell the difference and if not Susy will certainly be able to help you out.
PORT #1 – ROAD TOWN, TORTOLA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Now we skip forward to today, Oct 31st (Halloween) and our first of 21 ports on this cruise. The British Virgin Islands are a part of an archipelago that has interested the Spanish, French, Dutch, and finally the British over the centuries. It was Columbus in 1493 who named the islands the Virgin Islands after St. Ursula and the 11,000 virgins, The Dutch settled Tortola in 1648 and a fort (Fort Recovery) they build to protect themselves from invasion at that time is still a tourist attraction on the island. Although several British colonists moved into the islands as early as 1666 it wasn’t until 1872 that the British Virgin Islands became a British colony. Before that struggles between the Dutch and British were prevalent, with the presence of Danish planters and of coarse pirates from all nations, including Blackbeard (1715), Bluebeard, and many others.
Today, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are made up of about 50 islands, Tortola being the largest (12 miles long by 3 miles wide). The entire population of BVI is 17,000 people and Tortola has 13,000 of those residents, with 3,200 living in Road Town, the capital of Tortola and seat of the BVI government. The island has powdery white-sand beaches and lush green mountains (that’s what the guide book says, I’d call them high hills).
Let’s look at the Road Town port, early morning:
Susy and I opted for no tour, walk around the port to pass the time. After a late start (early by Susy’s standards) we left the boat and I’ll just show the boat port sign this first time and then only actual port signs (if they have one).
Now what do you think was the first thing we did when we passed through the gates into Road Town itself? Have a beer? No. Look at a Church? No. I bet anyone who has been following us for sometime can guess:
Ok, we got that out of our system right away!!!! Ha, Ha, I’m only kidding Susy looks as if she is just warming up for the long cruise ahead.
We walked around the port for awhile looking at the local color:
This is the BVI government complex:
That’s really about all I have to show you for Road Town. It was a typical tropical day, 86 degrees F. and hot enough for Susy and me to spend most of our time sitting in an open café, drinking cold beer, and doing our emails. On the way back to the ship I took this picture of a typical island taxi, which they wait to fill up and then take off:
An finally I have to throw in Susy with her new hat in front of the Maasdam (our ship, the smaller one) on the left, and the Ventura, one of the new monster cruise ships on the right. The difference is the Maasdam has about 1200 passengers and the Ventura (I don’t know what line it is) has about 2,500 passengers.
Well that’s is for Tortola, tonight at 11 PM is a big Halloween bash at the indoor pool and tomorrow it’s port #2. Philipsburg, St. Maarten, AN. I’ll cover it next in a few days.
Love You All,
P.S. Some of you haven’t signed up for the automatic email each time I post. Just remember to do it when your on my blog, look for “Follow” if the far lower right hand side of your screen, just above the time on most of our computers, click twice on it and follow the instructions.