View Full Version : RE: Carribean vacation



firefighterjake
02-07-2008, 10:21 AM
My wife Heidi hates Maine winters . . . whereas I love Maine winters. This year I'm making a small concession . . . I'm taking off for a week and going somewhere south with her to a warmer climate.

In any case, right now I'm thinking about San Antonio, TX . . . anyone been down there and have any recommendations of things to do?

Another possibility is to head to some Carribean Island . . . but I have no idea of what are good islands to visit . . . and even more importantly how much we would have to lay out for the airfare, hotel, food, etc. Any suggestions??? Honestly, I kind of expect that the cheaper route would be to do the Texas thing, but I have to admit those beautiful blue waters certainly look appealing.

WhereRWe?
02-07-2008, 01:33 PM
Sheesh! San Antonio? Gotta visit The Alamo! LOL!

WhereRWe?
02-07-2008, 01:35 PM
And of course, the San Antonio Riverwalk (http://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/) is fantastic - great place to take your "sweetie"! :D:D

(And I'd bet that there are a LOT of geocaches in the area, too.)

dubord207
02-07-2008, 08:42 PM
My wife Heidi hates Maine winters . . . whereas I love Maine winters. This year I'm making a small concession . . . I'm taking off for a week and going somewhere south with her to a warmer climate.

In any case, right now I'm thinking about San Antonio, TX . . . anyone been down there and have any recommendations of things to do?

Another possibility is to head to some Carribean Island . . . but I have no idea of what are good islands to visit . . . and even more importantly how much we would have to lay out for the airfare, hotel, food, etc. Any suggestions??? Honestly, I kind of expect that the cheaper route would be to do the Texas thing, but I have to admit those beautiful blue waters certainly look appealing.
Texas? Isnt' that where President Gump is from? How big is your belt buckle? I would recommend jamaica,mon, perhaps Sandals or Couples. these are all inclusive American plan places with as much or as little as you'd like to do. Second choice, a cruise with Royal Caribeaan, first class outfit with a lot of destination choices. There's also Key West with a lot of out there folks but sun and fun. There are deals out there right now. You might want to call Day's Travel in Waterville, ask for Michelle. She'll give you the straight scoop. The travel folks get there pay from whereever you book so there's no cost to you and I've been all over timbuckto with these folks. TEXAS, NOT!!!!!!!! Giddee up cowboy!

darterkitfox
02-07-2008, 11:23 PM
I'd go with the cruise route. It costs a lot less than staying somewhere on one island for a week and then you get to visit more. We did 7 Carnivals and 1 Princess. Pick one with stops on the mountainous islands. St Thomas is good or Dominique. Jamaica has perfect terrain, the people are just kind of pushy trying to get you to buy their products. Forget about the boring flat islands like Aruba unless you just want to sit on the beach and drink. If you do San Antonio, like WhereRWe? says, Riverwalk is very nice. We were only there one day but besides the Alamo, we didn't find much else to do. Do the cruise!

Hiram357
02-07-2008, 11:28 PM
now im confused... i thought i posted to this thread already???? uh oh... I hope i didn't post it somewhere else... has anyone seen my post?? it probably isnt fitting into a thread very well somewhere and doesnt make a whole lotta sense... :confused::confused::confused:

hollora
02-08-2008, 09:15 AM
For me, I like the cruising route too. Of course the food is soooo, good and you are pampered in the dining room. At the last minute you can usually grab some nice, inexpensive rooms which haven't been sold at a reasonable price. You don't need a big room with a balcony cause you don't spend a lot of time in your room. And - there is a casino to enjoy along with shows at night.

Gump & Gumpette
02-10-2008, 07:52 PM
Gump & I like going to all inclusive vacations in the Dominican Rebublic. They were the best travel buys that we could find. Check out the GWV, TNT, and then call Michelle at Days. They usually have a March madness sale. Good luck with your search. Vegas is a good value also. Lots of geocaches too!!

firefighterjake
02-10-2008, 08:40 PM
Thanks for the replies folks . . . approximately what should I expect to pay for a cruise vacation or an all-inclusive type trip to the Carribean?

darterkitfox
02-11-2008, 11:38 AM
If you pay more than $500 a person for a 7 day cruise, it is too much. Go to vacationstogo.com and check on their 90 day ticker. One example is a 5 day cruise to Mexico out of Mobile, Alabama for $309 a person. Of course most of them leave from Florida, but if you want to do a day or two in San Antonio, a ship leaves from Galveston. Everyone has their opinion on the best cruise line. I thought I would hate it my first time but ended up enjoying it. Just in case, you may want to go with the 4 or 5 day cruise to start and add a day at your embarkation port before hand. The richer people here at Geocaching Maine will recommend travel agents, and different types of vacations but I have never met anyone that could take a cheaper vacation than me. Two years ago when I still had a job, in one year I went to Seattle for $59 on JetBlue from Boston for each way, St Augustine, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada where we stayed in a suite in the Palace Station Casino for $10 a night (internet special), a week in Mexico, and a one week cruise. Not bad for someone that only made $31,000 a year gross. Look around, deals are there.

firefighterjake
02-11-2008, 12:19 PM
If you pay more than $500 a person for a 7 day cruise, it is too much. Go to vacationstogo.com and check on their 90 day ticker. One example is a 5 day cruise to Mexico out of Mobile, Alabama for $309 a person. Of course most of them leave from Florida, but if you want to do a day or two in San Antonio, a ship leaves from Galveston. Everyone has their opinion on the best cruise line. I thought I would hate it my first time but ended up enjoying it. Just in case, you may want to go with the 4 or 5 day cruise to start and add a day at your embarkation port before hand. The richer people here at Geocaching Maine will recommend travel agents, and different types of vacations but I have never met anyone that could take a cheaper vacation than me. Two years ago when I still had a job, in one year I went to Seattle for $59 on JetBlue from Boston for each way, St Augustine, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada where we stayed in a suite in the Palace Station Casino for $10 a night (internet special), a week in Mexico, and a one week cruise. Not bad for someone that only made $31,000 a year gross. Look around, deals are there.

Good stuff . . . honestly until a day or so ago I kind of thought (and still question) if a cruise would be my type of thing since my wife and I are not big drinkers/party animals (well I just look like a yeti), but based on some folks' opinions here and in talking with my brother-in-law I might reconsider . . . plus I didn't know that such a thing could be done so cheaply.

So does anyone have any opinions on the various cruise lines???

Oh yeah . . . DKFox . . . you're hired as my travel agent!;):D

hollora
02-11-2008, 01:12 PM
DKFox is right - there are loads of deals on line. When I went away after Christmas I got my rental car on line for a great deal. Cache Maine and I used an online company for the vehicle we took to GW5.

As for Cruiselines, I know the Bangor Fire folks who cruise like Carnival but I found that company to be the party boat compared to Royal Carribean. And you don't have to drink to enjoy a cruise and Warrrmmmm weather!

Plus the pampering - meals prepared and all included.........nice facilities to use, shows at night.....that sort of stuff......

darterkitfox
02-11-2008, 03:22 PM
I know the Norwegian cruise lines are cheaper than anyone else but I've never been on one. We did all Carnival except for one Princess. Carnival is known as the party boat but we don't drink either and have a good time. Remember, it is fun to watch the other people drink and make fools of themselves. Free shows, different events during the day (we like to join in trivia or watch scavenger hunts). You get free transportation to all the ports and a free hotel while there. High thread count sheets (changed everyday). Most comfortable mattress and sleep I have ever had and that's not kidding. Food almost constantly. 24 hour pizzeria, take a slice or order a whole one, all free. 24 hour soft serve ice cream. Free room service (a couple dollar tip is nice). Getting a BLT and hot cocoa at 2 in the morning delivered to your room is nice. Sauna, hot tubs, pools, exercise equipment (who wants to use that?) and lots of nooks to be private. We have walked the decks at night and not seen anyone else for the whole time. The couple things I liked about Princess was they had a huge LCD screen bigger than a movie theatre up on deck. Even in full daylight you could see the picture. They played family movies during the day. Sit in the sun, read, and watch the movie. At night they reserved the deck for people that had tickets (free, first come) and you could lay in a deck chair and eat free popcorn like being at a drive in. Terrific sound system. First run movie. When we were there they had Spiderman II and I, Robot. They also had better food with one night having a seafood buffet. Can you imagine King crab legs, several recipes of shrimp, and fried scallop all for the taking? I know I got rambling here but I can't recommend enough. If not now, go on one someday.

firefighterjake
02-12-2008, 08:58 AM
DKFox . . . have you ever booked a cruise through vacationstogo.com . . . I checked out the site and was amazed at the prices. I ended up printing off a bunch of possible cruises and my wife is looking them over today . . . then we'll check out airfare and make a selection. Again, thank you for the advice.

vicbiker
02-12-2008, 01:48 PM
Jake this is just a thought that occurred to me.....and I do have weird thoughts....bring Hiedi to the winter camp out...will get a boat and you can tow her around the bog. Snow sledding and cruising all in one.

firefighterjake
02-12-2008, 04:52 PM
Jake this is just a thought that occurred to me.....and I do have weird thoughts....bring Hiedi to the winter camp out...will get a boat and you can tow her around the bog. Snow sledding and cruising all in one.

I don't think she would go for that . . . she has this deep-seated hate of Maine winters, cold, bitter winds, snow, etc. for some reason . . . while I think towing or being towed around behind a snowmobile would be a blast I don't think she would appreciate it as much . . . especially after getting a face full of snowdust. ;):D

firefighterjake
02-12-2008, 04:58 PM
If you pay more than $500 a person for a 7 day cruise, it is too much. Go to vacationstogo.com and check on their 90 day ticker. One example is a 5 day cruise to Mexico out of Mobile, Alabama for $309 a person. Of course most of them leave from Florida, but if you want to do a day or two in San Antonio, a ship leaves from Galveston. Everyone has their opinion on the best cruise line. I thought I would hate it my first time but ended up enjoying it. Just in case, you may want to go with the 4 or 5 day cruise to start and add a day at your embarkation port before hand. The richer people here at Geocaching Maine will recommend travel agents, and different types of vacations but I have never met anyone that could take a cheaper vacation than me. Two years ago when I still had a job, in one year I went to Seattle for $59 on JetBlue from Boston for each way, St Augustine, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada where we stayed in a suite in the Palace Station Casino for $10 a night (internet special), a week in Mexico, and a one week cruise. Not bad for someone that only made $31,000 a year gross. Look around, deals are there.

OK, your vacationstogo.com tip looks very, very promising . . . Heidi and I both found a couple of cruises that appeal to us -- especially one that leaves for 7 days out of San Juan and goes to several islands . . . now any suggestions on getting cheap airfare . . . I figured it out and the cost of flying is almost as expensive as the cruise itself. The cruise we both liked would have us leaving from San Juan . . . but honestly even cruises that left from Miami were pretty pricey.

I'm willing to consider all alternatives . . . i.e. I don't necessarily need or want to leave from Bangor. In fact I checked some prices at Travelocity for fare out of Boston (going down to the airport via Concord Trailways), Manchester and Portland . . . doesn't seem to be a cheap way to do this.

If you can offer some tips I'll make sure your Travel Agent commission reflects the savings. ;):D

For that matter, does anyone have any suggestions besides Travelocity to save money. . . .

Mainiac1957
02-12-2008, 06:08 PM
OK, your vacationstogo.com tip looks very, very promising . . . Heidi and I both found a couple of cruises that appeal to us -- especially one that leaves for 7 days out of San Juan and goes to several islands . . . now any suggestions on getting cheap airfare . . . I figured it out and the cost of flying is almost as expensive as the cruise itself. The cruise we both liked would have us leaving from San Juan . . . but honestly even cruises that left from Miami were pretty pricey.

I'm willing to consider all alternatives . . . i.e. I don't necessarily need or want to leave from Bangor. In fact I checked some prices at Travelocity for fare out of Boston (going down to the airport via Concord Trailways), Manchester and Portland . . . doesn't seem to be a cheap way to do this.

If you can offer some tips I'll make sure your Travel Agent commission reflects the savings. ;):D

For that matter, does anyone have any suggestions besides Travelocity to save money. . . .

I would also look at Orbitz and Expedia. I was looking at flights to Sacramento for GW6 on Expedia. When I went back a few weeks later they were almost $100 a ticket less. It all depends on demand at the time I guess. Another tip I can offer is stay the night before your departure in a hotel. They will often offer free shuttle to the cruise dock, and some have airport transfers as well. I have heard from many folks that cruise that Royal Carribean is consistantly the best out there.

tat
02-12-2008, 06:42 PM
For that matter, does anyone have any suggestions besides Travelocity to save money. . . .

I use Expedia.com frequently. The trouble with the online search sites is that they don't or aren't permitted to represent all airlines. You won't find Southwest on Expedia, for example. Besides calling a travel agent, you can also look at the airport website and get a list of airlines that service it.

For Bangor, (www.flybangor.com) it's Allegiant Airlines, Delta, US Airways, Northwest, and Continental. If you see an airline that did not come up in Travelocity or Expedia, check airline website.


In Boston, check out Spirit Air and AirTran.



In Manchester, Southwest.



I've heard St. Kitts and Antigua are THE places to go!

hollora
02-12-2008, 06:56 PM
And you need to keep checking - ready to jump when you find the right price - prices fluxuate up and down within a day for all the lines.

Had a friend who just flew Allegiant (and there are some tricks with them to save money - buy your ticket at BIA = although it doesn't say on line you can - they do charge $10 per bag in the hold so pack smartly, etc.) but her tickets were bought after they had jumped had she been able to switch departure day she would have saved a lot more.

Also, agreed - travel the day before you sail. Coming back - it's up to what you can get for reservations.

darterkitfox
02-12-2008, 10:14 PM
Check out Skybus.com out of Portsmouth NH. They have 10 tickets per flight for only $10 a piece. They are reasonably priced even without this deal. Plus there is free parking in Portsmouth which adds a big expense at other airports. JetBlue is still my favorite. Just don't limit yourself to direct flights. Sometimes they have $59 tickets to a state away from your destination and then take a bus the rest of the way for only $30 more. It helps to be as cheap as me. My wife and I walked from Central station at Times Square down to the dock with two bags of luggage each because I wouldn't pay $15 for a taxi. By the way, if the San Juan cruise goes to Aruba, Dominique, Barbados, that was a great one. Hopefully you got the private email I sent you answering your previous questions.

firefighterjake
02-13-2008, 09:05 AM
. . . By the way, if the San Juan cruise goes to Aruba, Dominique, Barbados, that was a great one. Hopefully you got the private email I sent you answering your previous questions.

That's the one we're looking at . . . since this would be a first time for my wife and I and we're really into scenic areas, culture and history we figured we would rather spend more time at islands and less time at sea.

I never received the PM or e-mail from you unfortunately.

firefighterjake
02-13-2008, 09:06 AM
Again, thank you to everyone who has replied to this thread to help this clueless want-to-be traveler.

tat
02-13-2008, 08:30 PM
Forget the bus, forget the plane, this (http://www.caribbeanendeavour.com/cita) is the way to go to the Caribbean!

firefighterjake
02-27-2008, 09:28 AM
Update:

Well I did it . . . or rather I'm going to do it.

I've booked the cruise, flight and first night hotel stay for late-March . . . after perusing through a bunch of options my wife and I elected to do a 7-day cruise with Carnival that leaves from San Juan, Puerto Rico with stops at St. Maarten, Antigua, Dominica, St. Thomas, St. Kitts and Barbados. We choose this trip and line based in part of various reviews (depending on how things go, next time I might try Royal Carribbean since one fella here says they are quite nice) and based on the fact that this trip seemed to hit a lot of islands and that's what really interests my wife and I.

Right now I'm still working on trying to set up shore excursions that would appeal to my wife and I . . . and not totally break the bank. I've heard now from several sources that generally opting to go with an independent tour operator from the cruise line usually results in some savings so I'm doing lots of research on line.

I've also printed out some geocaches located on these islands, but my wife saw the stack that I had and said something about not geocaching . . . but I figure that I might be able to sneak off and do one or two at least!;):D

I have to admit now that I've made the reservations and started the research that some of those pics from the sunny south look pretty nice.

Sudonim
02-27-2008, 11:56 AM
Update:

I've also printed out some geocaches located on these islands, but my wife saw the stack that I had and said something about not geocaching . . . but I figure that I might be able to sneak off and do one or two at least!;):D


Make her a deal, "only" 1 cache per island. You will get to cache (and get all those islands on your cache map) and it will look like a concession to her:p

darterkitfox
02-27-2008, 02:25 PM
Make sure to buy a cheap kite at Wal-mart for use in San Juan. The huge grassy lawns near the fort by the cruise ship terminal is condusive to flying and many locals do it. Walk the long tarred walkway below the wall surrounding Old San Juan. There are hundreds of ferral cats living in the rocks by the shore so if you like cats, take some treats and if you don't, take a sling shot. I'd recommend the Rasta Man tour on Dominique if you do at least one tour. You do a lot of hiking and the guide points out lots of things that the original natives used to use to survive. You can then swim in a mountain stream. Later you hike up to a couple waterfalls where you can swim under them also. Careful though, one of them you have to go straight up the sides and need a rope to pull yourself up. My wife slipped and sprained her ankle. Made for a long walk back. I can't remember if it was Barbados, or Antigua but we ended up walking just up the road from the ship and taking a city bus out of the station for $1.00 each. It took us all the way to a free state park where we snorkeled and lounged. Just ask around at the info booth on what's around. It was a nice way to see local life. I can't believe how crowded the bus was as it also picked up school kids going to school. At one point the police stopped the bus and talked with the driver in 'Spanish?' or something I didn't understand but the driver then made a bunch of people get off. We found out the bus was overloaded. Very fun, almost free, entertainment. The point of all this rambling is, you can take a more expensive shore tour, or go on your own and be fine. I didn't cache back when we could afford to take vacations but if you don't at least do a couple, you will disappoint a lot of people. I can't wait to have a purpose when we ever go again. By the way, did you try Vacationstogo.com?

firefighterjake
02-27-2008, 03:48 PM
Make sure to buy a cheap kite at Wal-mart for use in San Juan. The huge grassy lawns near the fort by the cruise ship terminal is condusive to flying and many locals do it. Walk the long tarred walkway below the wall surrounding Old San Juan. There are hundreds of ferral cats living in the rocks by the shore so if you like cats, take some treats and if you don't, take a sling shot. I'd recommend the Rasta Man tour on Dominique if you do at least one tour. You do a lot of hiking and the guide points out lots of things that the original natives used to use to survive. You can then swim in a mountain stream. Later you hike up to a couple waterfalls where you can swim under them also. Careful though, one of them you have to go straight up the sides and need a rope to pull yourself up. My wife slipped and sprained her ankle. Made for a long walk back. I can't remember if it was Barbados, or Antigua but we ended up walking just up the road from the ship and taking a city bus out of the station for $1.00 each. It took us all the way to a free state park where we snorkeled and lounged. Just ask around at the info booth on what's around. It was a nice way to see local life. I can't believe how crowded the bus was as it also picked up school kids going to school. At one point the police stopped the bus and talked with the driver in 'Spanish?' or something I didn't understand but the driver then made a bunch of people get off. We found out the bus was overloaded. Very fun, almost free, entertainment. The point of all this rambling is, you can take a more expensive shore tour, or go on your own and be fine. I didn't cache back when we could afford to take vacations but if you don't at least do a couple, you will disappoint a lot of people. I can't wait to have a purpose when we ever go again. By the way, did you try Vacationstogo.com?

Well you know Darterkitfox you're one of the main reasons I ended up going on a cruise . . . especially after reading about your travels and then you directed me to the vacationstogo.com site and for the first time I realized just how affordable these trips could be (although the airfare is pretty pricey) so if I don't like this I'm coming back to rant about this to you. ;):D

I'm actually hoping to visit some of the sites around Old San Juan (we booked a Howard Johnson's located right in the city that is in an old, very old building) . . . and since I have five cats . . . well I guess I might be stocking up on cat treats when I go! ;):D

At this point it looks like we'll be taking few, if any, excursions offered through the ship . . . although my wife sounds a bit nervous about possibly missing the boat (I'm not as worried.) It seems like the independent operators and "taxi tours" offer a better value and give you more time without being herded on to crowded buses or boats that stop for only brief amounts of time at each stop.

Finally, in answer to your question . . . yes . . . I went through vacationstogo.com . . . so far, so good . . . they were very prompt in sending in the paperwork, I've got nearly every registered on-line with Carnival and the VTG.com people even corrected a typo when my wife was "Johnsom" instead of "Johnson."

firefighterjake
02-27-2008, 03:49 PM
Make her a deal, "only" 1 cache per island. You will get to cache (and get all those islands on your cache map) and it will look like a concession to her:p

Hmm . . . that might work . . . although I'm already working on scoping out where some quick and easy (i.e. close to the pier) caches will be as well.

"Uh, hon . . . you go on board . . . I'll be right there. I need to go speak with our tour operator for a bit." ;):D

firefighterjake
03-20-2008, 01:31 PM
So long folks . . . I'll be out of communication for a little more than a week as I'm driving south with my beloved wife tomorrow . . . and then on Saturday I brave both the TSA and my fear-of-flying wife as we fly down to Miami and then on to San Juan . . . and then it's on to the rest of the Carribean on Sunday.

Hiram357
03-20-2008, 01:57 PM
So long folks . . . I'll be out of communication for a little more than a week as I'm driving south with my beloved wife tomorrow . . . and then on Saturday I brave both the TSA and my fear-of-flying wife as we fly down to Miami and then on to San Juan . . . and then it's on to the rest of the Carribean on Sunday.

Good luck jake!! bring us back somethin nice!! (perhaps some more snow???) :D:D:D

vicbiker
03-20-2008, 01:59 PM
Jake, people going to funerals sound more excited then you do....put some of that FFJ enthusiasm into the trip. You'll live.....There will be another winter.

vicbiker
03-20-2008, 02:00 PM
Jake, people going to funerals sound more excited then you do....put some of that FFJ enthusiasm into the trip. You'll live.....There will be another winter.:)

firefighterjake
03-20-2008, 02:21 PM
Good luck jake!! bring us back somethin nice!! (perhaps some more snow???) :D:D:D

What are you doing home?

Send me your address ASAP.

Mainiac1957
03-20-2008, 10:21 PM
Remember your going for Heidi, You just have to suffer through the warm water and white sand beaches. The fruity drinks and the good food. I have an idea... You stay and I'll go!:D:D

Sudonim
03-20-2008, 11:22 PM
He's acting like he will have to interact with groups of people when he gets down there. We know how much he hates that! ;)

firefighterjake
03-21-2008, 04:11 AM
He's acting like he will have to interact with groups of people when he gets down there. We know how much he hates that! ;)

:) Very true . . . in fact it's the one thing about this trip that I'm worried about since most of my previous "big" trips have been to places that are less crowded (i.e. out West to Montana, Prince Edward Island, etc.)

However, I was able to get a dining table reserved for two instead of the usual 6-8 people and I have found a great BBS and was able to find out where some of the quiet areas on the ship can be found for when I need to get away from the people.

Plus I chose tours with private operators to avoid the herds of people on ship-sponsored tours that I have heard about and I even found out about a relatively quiet beach or two that while note totally isolated should hopefully not be mobbed with tourists.

firefighterjake
03-21-2008, 04:35 AM
Jake, people going to funerals sound more excited then you do....put some of that FFJ enthusiasm into the trip. You'll live.....There will be another winter.

Actually it may not seem it, but I am pretty excited about this trip . . . although I am still unsure if this is something I will like or hate as this is a whole new experience for me. I suspect I may like learning about the different cultures and people, but may not enjoy being cooped up on the ship . . . we'll see.

I have scheduled several tours and some "down" days which will most likely be spent going to the beaches or doing some light hiking. Heidi also found out that I packed my GPSr, but I think I can sway her to going geocaching if I don't go overboard . . . I mean crazy . . . with the geocaching.

Today I'm driving down to CT for dinner with my brother-in-law and mother-in-law and then bright and early tomorrow morning I head to the Bradley Airport in Windsor Locks . . . I would have liked to fly closer to home, but despite Bangor International's ads about how it's almost as cheaper and more convenient to fly from their airport I found that when I can get two tickets in CT for the price of one ticket in Bangor that it was worth the drive south. I'll be flying into Miami and then on to Puerto Rico Saturday afternoon. We're staying at a small hotel in Old San Juan and will probably be pretty tired tomorrow night . . . which is fine with me since I may be able to convince Heidi to take a short nap while I go out and geocache a bit.

On Sunday morning I'm hoping to see the old forts in town and just look around at the sites before getting on the cruise ship.

Monday: Our first stop is St. Thomas . . . however I am planning on getting a taxi and then a water ferry and going to see the "last virgin" . . . Water Island . . . the US Virgin Islands latest acquisition. Supposedly with just a short walk we can go to a very quiet beach, Honeymoon Beach that has good swimming and fair snorkeling (as those of you who know me know I need glasses and don't do contacts and so I've done the Maine Redneck thing and ended up using some high winder adhesive silicone to stick a pair of my old glasses to my diving mask . . . I did this since a) I want to see what I am looking at while swimming and b) I don't want to be reaching out to pet an angel fish and find out later it was a shark. :)

Tuesday: We're doing a tour on Dominica. I'm really looking forward to this tour of this island. It's a poor nation, but rich in agriculture and scenic wonders. Besides seeing some good views and natural sites, I really am hoping to get some insight into the people and culture.

Wednesday: Today we're doing another tour on Barabados this time around. I'll be honest . . . this is my guilty pleasure day since I booked a tour that goes to Harrisons Caves (I have always liked caves . . . sometimes I think I am part dwarf) and the Wildlife Refuge where they have green vervet monkeys (I have a "thing" for monkeys . . . and chimps, lemurs and well just about every other primate.) I think there are also some scenic views, an authentic Barbados lunch and a stop to see some orchids, but it's the caves and monkeys that I am most looking forward to seeing.

Thursday: Antigua. We scheduled a down day here to see one of the 365 legendary beaches. I choose Darkwood Beach based on the size, supposed quietness and fact that if we choose we can take one of the island buses . . . which is both cheaper and a great way to meet some native Antiguans I hope.

Friday: St. Kitts. Our third and final tour (unless we change our plans and do a tour at some other island). Here we're seeing the Brimstone Fortress, some views and I forget what else.

Saturday: Last official stop of the cruise . . . St. Martin. Another beach day. I am definitely not doing the very popular Orient Beach . . . and not because of the full frontal nudity as that really would not bother me . . . but rather because it seems like this is THE BUSIEST beach in St. Martin. I've got a few other possible beaches lined up but I forget the names of them right now.

Well that's it . . . on Sunday we disembark and fly back to CT and then on Monday we drive home and then on Tuesday it's back to work . . . or rather back to my workplace. :) See you all then.

Team Richards
03-21-2008, 07:32 AM
WOW that sound like a busy trip but full of interesting stuff. I know what you are saying about being cooped up on the ship I don't think I would like that much.
We hope you have a great time, can't wait to hear all about it.

hollora
03-21-2008, 08:56 AM
Have a wonderful vacation!

dubord207
03-21-2008, 09:51 AM
WOW that sound like a busy trip but full of interesting stuff. I know what you are saying about being cooped up on the ship I don't think I would like that much.
We hope you have a great time, can't wait to hear all about it.

As a long time cruiser I can say without hesitation that with the new Mega ships feeling "cooped-up" is unlikely. These ships are llike floating cities and Jason has the right idea about finding quiet places on board. I'd been on over a dozen Royal Caribean ships before I found the Champagne Bar which is in the middle of the ship and seats no more than 15 people. The beauty of a cruise is that you can do as much or as little as you want. Jake's destinations are well chosen and cruising out of San Juan gets you out of the rat race of Miami. I have a lot of friends that stayed away from cruising for the same thinking you have but once they try one, most are hooked. This winter I opted for Sugarloaf which today is completely shut down with 80 MPH winds at the summit. Guess I should have headed to Puerto Rico. I'm sure Jason and his bride will have a great time.

darterkitfox
03-22-2008, 08:50 AM
Please have a good time. After all my talking you into trying it, if you don't, I'll hermit myself away, never to be seen again!

firefighterjake
04-02-2008, 11:30 AM
Well here it is . . . the story of my trip to the Carribean.

Heidi and I started our vacation by driving to CT . . . mainly because flying out of Bangor was $900 plus change for one ticket vs. $800 plus change for two tickets when flying out of CT). We made sure to arrive in Puerto Rico a day early . . . which was a great move since we arrived to find a sunny, 80+ degree day and greenery everywhere versus the overcast, 29 degree, snow-covered landscape we had left behind in Maine . . . my beloved snowmobile was quickly forgotten after only a half hour.

The flight from Connecticut was pretty uneventful . . . other than the fact that my name appears to be on the "No Fly" list as I had to check in with an American Airlines rep, give quite a bit of extra information (i.e. social security number, date of birth, etc.) and was the only passenger to get selected for the "random" pat-down check . . . fortunately there was no strip search or body cavity search.

Our taxi ride from the airport to Old San Juan gave us a taste of what to expect from island taxi cab drivers as the driver zipped through traffic, cutting in and out of traffic while making liberal use of his horn. We arrived at the Howard Johnson at the Plaza de Armes within 15 minutes and made our way to our room -- an inside room with no windows (this hotel is built in the old part of the city and is over 200 years old). While my mind wanted to go outside and take in the new sights, sounds and smells, my body simply wanted to take it easy and go to sleep . . . and in the end that's just what my wife and I did after grabbing a quick bite to eat . . . at the local Wendys. ;):D

The next morning I woke up early so I headed out to do some early morning exploring and geocaching. After exploring a little bit of the walled city and seeing countless cats and lizards I headed back to the room and Heidi and I spent the morning walking around . . . checking out Pigeon Park (lots and lots of pigeons there) and the El Morro Fortress (along the way I was attacked by an errant kite being flown by one of the many, many families out flying kites and picnicing on this sunny Easter Sunday.)

Around mid-afternoon we returned to the hotel to collect our luggage and get on board the ship . . . that night we met a guy who actually works for Kraft making macaroni and cheese. On subsequent nights we had a table for two on the stern of the ship which meant we usually could catch some great sunsets and/or views of the islands we were leaving. Usually after dinner we would head back to our stateroom and read for awhile before heading to bed . . . the sun, heat and busy days really sapped us.

Ports of Call: We mixed up the ports of call with some tours (all independently booked) and some "down" days with visits to the beach. On most days we rarely spent more than $100 for the two of us, with the exception of the tour in Barbados (this included lunch.)

St. Thomas: Originally my wife and I were going to visit one of the many beaches on St. Thomas, but at the last minute we opted to check out Honeymoon Beach on Water Island . . . and as a result we got to meet some great people. On the ferry ride over to the island we met Jan Robinson . . . a cook and owner of a rental property on Water Island. Jan graciously invited us to a ride in her "limo" which was a golf cart with a rear seat.

After seeing her wonderful home on Water Island (with fantastic views of the bay and Honeymoon Beach) and meeting Tom, the local island handyman, and helping him hang a mirror at Jan's place we were whisked by Jan to the beach (after a quick stop at the dump). Honeymoon Beach was everything I wanted to find in a Caribbean beach . . . it was quiet, there were no crowds of people . . . just beautiful, warm, clear water to swim and snorkel in. Later a catamaran and pirate ship (I was looking for Hollora and Cache Maine to appear, but they never did) came to the beach, but even then the beach didn't seem very crowded. This was an absolutely wonderful way to relax and spend a day in the sun.

Dominica: On this day we booked the first of three tours. The tour was pretty good as we were able to learn about the flora and fauna of the island and see bananas, coconuts, pineapples, cashews, almonds, papaya, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger growing. Perhaps the best stop was Trafalgar Falls . . . the Falls were perhaps the most spectacular and Amanda the local tour guide there was great as she gave a great mini-tour. The only two negatives to this tour was that it seemed a bit long with a lot of driving and the fellow passengers -- a couple that were always concerned about the time and missing the boat (even though we were several hours from the boat leaving port) and two couples that were rude to the point of pushing in front of lines, mocking the Dominican's homes and standard of living, etc.

Barbados: We booked a tour and as a result were able to get a lot of insight into the history and culture of Barbados . . . and at the same time managed to be the first tour company to Harrison's Cave. The sights in the Cave were fantastic with stalagmites, stalactites, underground lakes and streams and waterfalls, etc. After this we went to Orchid World . . . I was a bit surprised to find that I enjoyed this spot even though I'm not really much of a "flower" sort of guy. This was a nice spot to really relax and "stop and smell the roses" . . . or rather in our case the vanilla scented orchid. We then stopped for dinner after a few photo stops near the "Soup Bowl." Our final stop was the Wildlife Refuge and this was without a doubt one of the best places we visited . . . the iguanas, tortoises and other animals were neat to see, but the best part was that we were able to get there in time for the 2 p.m. feeding of the wild vervet monkeys -- these monkeys roam free and around 2 p.m. return for the free food. Afterwards my wife made friends with a captive vervet monkey which was quite expressive . . . making smacking sounds with his jaws, rubbing his belly, putting his hand out for a snack, etc. to show that he really wanted a snack. Unfortunately, we had no snacks and we were pretty sure feeding the animals would not be allowed.

Antigua: This day was a bit of a surprise for me . . . originally I had every intention of going to Darkwood Beach, but at the last minute Heidi and I decided to try Fort James Beach since it was closer and there was a geocache at Fort James (OK, mainly because there was a geocache there). This was one of my favorite beaches for the whole trip . . . it was very quiet, there were plenty of shells to collect and the swimming in the warm, turquoise blue water was absolutely wonderful. The only minor drawback is that the waters were too churned up to be able to snorkel . . . but the massage that my wife and I got from Stacy (a wonderful young lady from Jamaica who talked to us for a long time about her life) more than made up for the lack of snorkeling. I also cannot say how impressed I was with our taxi driver, Lewis, who drives a taxi and owns a small grocery store . . . he brought us to the beach I asked to go to without trying to convince me to go somewhere else like many of the other taxi drivers and he came back for us at the time we had agreed on.

St. Kitts: Without a doubt this was my favorite island to visit . . . in fact I really didn't want to leave. Maybe it's because this island is so beautiful and scenic . . . maybe because it didn't feel overly developed . . . or maybe it's because of folks like Thenford Grey who gave us one of the best, if not the best, tour of the whole trip. Thenford's knowledge and humor of the island's history, culture and wildlife surely cannot be surpassed . . . within just a few minutes of speaking with this great man you will realize that Thenford is a very well read and educated man. When I left this tour I felt as though I had not simply booked a tour, but rather that I had met a friend. After seeing Basseterre and realizing that Thenford knows a lot of folks on the island, we drove out to see the Carib petroglyphs . . . at which point we also met a couple with a baby vervet monkey which managed to give my wife a small nip on the hand. Thenford then gave us an excellent introduction to some of the flora at the Batik factory and then it was off to the awe-inspiring views and interesting history lesson at Brimstone Fortress. We finished out our day with the equally impressive views of the Southeast Peninsula and views of many, many goats and monkeys (do you notice a recurring theme yet . . . I have a "thing" for monkeys) before sharing lunch with Thenford at Cockleshell Beach. My one and only regret of my time in St. Kitts was that I had to leave . . . as Thenford said to us when we first met, "I know some folks are worried that they will miss the ship to which I say to them, if you miss the ship your punishment is that you have to spend more time with me here in paradise." I think truer words have never been spoken.

St. Martin: For our final island stop we took a taxi to St. Martin Park which was a nice way to kill a hour or so . . . it was there that a capuchin monkey pelted me in the chest with a small rock (it could have been worse . . . I could have been pelted with monkey poo)! Afterwards we took a ride with a young, Nascar-wannabe to nearby Dawn Beach. There were a lot of waves, but I could still snorkel and swim. Of all the beaches we visited this was the most crowded . . . but it was more a matter of degree as the other beaches had very few people at them. Swimming in the turquoise blue waters of Dawn Beach was a great way to cap our vacation.

dubord207
04-02-2008, 12:29 PM
Nice rundown. How was the ship, food, staff and accomodations? Welcome back!:)

darterkitfox
04-02-2008, 01:21 PM
Also, your opinion of vacationstogo.com?

Hiram357
04-02-2008, 03:53 PM
that's a lot to read jake... can you paraphrase that? or just say how it was on a scale of 1 to 10... :rolleyes:;):D

glad to have ya back :D

firefighterjake
04-02-2008, 04:17 PM
Nice rundown. How was the ship, food, staff and accomodations? Welcome back!:)

I'm pleased to report that everything was much better than I expected -- I went in expecting the worse, but hoping for the best and knowing that I am pretty easy to please. I half expected a party-like atmosphere, but either due to the timing of the month (after spring break and school vacations), port of departure (PR) or length of cruise (7 days) we were fortunate to have very few children or obnoxious college students on board.

The ship was older and you could tell it has had a hard life . . . our pink-colored sink had some scorch marks from a cigarette, curling iron or hair dryer at some point . . . and one of our reading lights was not working . . . but minor issues to me. The stateroom and other areas of the ship were clean . . . and that is the most important thing to me. For Heidi and I we were looking at the ship more like a hotel and restaurant . . . as long as it was clean and provided us a place to grab a bite to eat and catch some Z's we were good. I believe this ship is due to go into dry dock in a few months. While we were there the crew was always painting or working on maintaining something to keep it as clean and running.

Food was excellent. We had a table for two other than the first night's open seating . . . great views of the stern with the sunset and/or island fading from view every night. We skipped the formal nights and one night's dinner when Heidi wasn't feeling well . . . we did the deli that night . . . which was just as well since Heidi puked up what she said was a pretty good tuna sandwich. We never ate lunch on board . . . too busy in port and honestly we were never all that hungry. Breakfast was spent with the buffet . . . if one line was too busy we would try another line. My only issue was the last day when the scrambled eggs I picked out were quite runny . . . other than that I couldn't complain about the food. The prime rib was fantastic . . . desserts were half decent (although a lot of folks rave about the chocolate melting cake and I thought it was OK, but nothing really special.) As for me I tried some of the pizza . . . again not as good as many raved about on line but then again I'm comparing it to UHOP's pizza. :D Ditto with the Reuben . . . Dysarts does a much better Reuben, but I can't say it was bad. As for the soft serve ice cream . . . I can definitely attest to the fact that it was pretty darn good.

The best part of the cruise was the staff. Ketut from Indonesia and Rolando from the Phillipines were great waiters . . . very attentive to us . . . met any request . . . water glasses never were empty . . . made some good recommendations. Our steward was Jose from Nicaragua . . . he was a wonderful man who learned that Heidi loved the towel animals (she even ended up buying the stupid How To Make Towel Animals Book!) and so he made sure that she had a new towel animal at every opportunity and always made sure we had ice for the sodas we brought on board. Other staff that we met were just as nice and friendly and very willing to spend a few minutes to talk to you and tell you about their homeland and their families.

Accomodations were fine . . . we opted for the cheaper inside room. It was nice and quiet other than the first night when the over-excited kids next door began screaming at one point and another pack ran wildly through the hall . . . however that was the first and only night . . . and in fairness I think Heidi and I were in bed by 10 . . . right after the LifeBoat Drill was completed.

I guess the best thing I can say is that I'm already looking at booking another cruise next year . . . right at the start of February . . . I'm looking at Royal Carribean, Princess and Carnival since I honestly can't say as though I was disappointed with them . . . but as I said I'm pretty easy . . . just don't spread that rumor to anyone! ;):D

firefighterjake
04-02-2008, 04:19 PM
Also, your opinion of vacationstogo.com?

So far, so good . . . although I was supposed to have some on board credit due to a price drop . . . and the OBC never materialized. It wasn't a big deal since the only credited fees I had was the normal tips, a soda that Heidi bought and a How To Make Towel Animals book . . . no gambling, no drinking and no shore trips (we're kind of boring peop.e.) I have an e-mail into the travel agent that sold me the trip . . . we'll see what happens. Honestly, I was pretty happy with the original price . . . but hey if I can get something for nothing I'm all for it! I'm thinking that I would probably go with this company again . . . but I still want to see what they might do for me with the OBC issue.

firefighterjake
04-02-2008, 04:20 PM
that's a lot to read jake... can you paraphrase that? or just say how it was on a scale of 1 to 10... :rolleyes:;):D

glad to have ya back :D

11 . . . and while it was good to get away, it's also good to get back . . . it won't be long until we start scheduling some geocaching trips . . . or at least some trips to the nearby restaurants!

WhereRWe?
04-02-2008, 04:35 PM
Sheesh! Great trip report, but didn't you do any geocaching? LOL!

Opalsns
04-02-2008, 05:42 PM
Yeah, What are the geocaches like down there and the geocaching experience. What do they put in theirs. And what about TBs and sig. items?
Opalsns

Medawisla
04-02-2008, 07:23 PM
How could you forget to tell us about the geocaching and beaches?!:eek:

firefighterjake
04-02-2008, 08:19 PM
Sheesh! Great trip report, but didn't you do any geocaching? LOL!

Yup . . . but it wasn't my main focus (my main focus was spending some quality time with my wife).

I pretty much only did some caching when it was convenient, close or when I had some spare time.

I found a cache in Old San Juan (micro), looked briefly for another in OSJ but only found a lot of cats and lizards after a short look, did a quick cache in Dominica (and in the process ended up completing half of that country's caches . . . there's only two on the whole island) and incorporated caching, visiting a fort and doing the beach thing while on Antigua . . . I left my signature ladders behind in Antigua and Dominica.

firefighterjake
04-02-2008, 08:22 PM
Yeah, What are the geocaches like down there and the geocaching experience. What do they put in theirs. And what about TBs and sig. items?
Opalsns

Well I only did three so I can't say a whole lot . . . but it appeared pretty much like the caches around here. One was a keyholder, one was a tupperware container (no issues with snow and the cold down there) and one was a lunchbox at a business.

I don't usually take stuff so I didn't spend much time pawing through the caches . . . looked like the regular old trinkets and cache junk you find in local caches here. As mentioned I only gave the caches a cursory look so I'm not really sure if there was much in there for TBs or SIs.

Haffy
04-02-2008, 08:30 PM
Hey thanks for all the insights into your trip and one of these days I would like to take a similar trip. Sure sounds like fun to me.

firefighterjake
04-02-2008, 08:32 PM
How could you forget to tell us about the geocaching and beaches?!:eek:

Mea culpa . . . I should have realized folks here would want to know more about the caching there.

As for the beaches . . . I only did three and a half. Loved Honeymoon Beach on Water Island (the "Last Virgin" so named since it is the latest Virgin Island to make up the US Virgin Islands) . . . very quiet, some fish, some conches, good snorkeling and good swimming and a local named Heidi has a food wagon there and there was a mini-shack that sold drinks. I could have spent a lot more time there swimming, snorkeling and enjoying life.

I also loved Fort James Beach on Antigua . . . snorkeling wasn't possible, but the warm water was great for swimming, there was lots of photo ops and the turquoise blue waters was something that you would see right out of a travel brochure. This beach was also very quiet, perfect for long walks along the sand, great for collecting shells and my wife and I in a very uncharacteristic move (we're not very touchy feely) opted to get a beach side massage from a wonderful Jamaican lady named Stacy. The added bonus was the nearby fort and geocache at the fort. Again, I could have stayed here a lot, lot longer.

We also did Dawn Beach on St. Martin . . . this was the busiest beach that we visited, but it was not overly crowded and to be frank I wasn't really up to risking seeing too much flesh at the ever popular Orient Beach with the clothing optional "section." Snorkeling was great here, the waters were warm and the same shade of blue as the Fort James Beach. This beach also can be very flat or very wavy depending on the weather . . . on the day we visited it was very wavy which made it kind of fun as I would bob up and down in the water like an over-sized buoy. ;):D

Our 1/2 beach was at Cockleshell Beach on St. Kitts . . . I would have liked to have sampled the swimming and snorkeling but this beach stop came on the tail end of a tour. As it was Heidi and I had dinner with the guide (and this was a fantastic use of our time as we got to really know him and learn about him, his past, his family, Kittian culture, etc.) and then the other couples we were with were getting antsy to get back to the ship. As it was I only had a little bit of time to check out the beach (it looked nice), collect a few shells and check out Wilbur -- an over-sized pig that is a well known resident of this beach.

firefighterjake
04-02-2008, 08:36 PM
Hey thanks for all the insights into your trip and one of these days I would like to take a similar trip. Sure sounds like fun to me.

Trust me it was . . . the fact that I'm willing to "sacrifice" my prime snowmobiling season time next February to go again God willing and if we can afford it is very telling . . . and to a very large degree I owe it all to Darterkitfox, Dubord, my brother-in-law and a few others here and at other BBS sites that convinced me it was something I might like to do . . . now if only we could get a Maine geocaching event together that involves cruising! ;):D

On the positive side . . . one of the couples on one of our tours told my wife horror stories about the snakes in North Carolina so I'm thinking one of her original thoughts to eventually move to NC might have been squashed . . . now she's thinking southern Colorado might make for a good "retirement state." I'm still pulling for Maine . . . or barring that some place in the Carribean. ;):D

hollora
04-02-2008, 09:57 PM
. . . now if only we could get a Maine geocaching event together that involves cruising! ;):D


Funny you said that - as you know - I love :D cruising! Have often though what a fun event a cruise would be???.........sort of like a Kayak Event or a Warren Island Campout..........only on a much larger, upper scale type of traveling.

My son and d-i-l enjoyed caching when they did their Anniversary Trip to Hawaii. In Hawaii, however, they were not impressed with the quality of caches but the sites were ok from what I understand - just a lack of maintenance.

FFJ - so happy you and Heidi (yes, I know she is real!) had a nice vacation!:) Here's to many more.

WhereRWe?
04-03-2008, 06:56 AM
As for the beaches . . . I only did three and a half. Loved Honeymoon Beach on Water Island (the "Last Virgin" so named since it is the latest Virgin Island to make up the US Virgin Islands) . . . very quiet, some fish, some conches, good snorkeling and good swimming and a local named Heidi has a food wagon there and there was a mini-shack that sold drinks.

Sheesh! A picture is worth a thousand words, Jake! LOL! ;);)

firefighterjake
04-03-2008, 07:50 AM
Sheesh! A picture is worth a thousand words, Jake! LOL! ;);)

Ask and ye shall receive. I'll try posting a pic or two later on today . . . last night I took an hour out to sort through all the pics I took. The funny thing is everytime I took a pic of the ocean I kept thinking of Haffy and his "issues" with pics with horizons that are crooked and not perfectly level -- I tried Haffy, I really tried to get level horizons -- couldn't get all of them level though. ;):D

firefighterjake
04-03-2008, 07:52 AM
Funny you said that - as you know - I love :D cruising! Have often though what a fun event a cruise would be???.........sort of like a Kayak Event or a Warren Island Campout..........only on a much larger, upper scale type of traveling.

My son and d-i-l enjoyed caching when they did their Anniversary Trip to Hawaii. In Hawaii, however, they were not impressed with the quality of caches but the sites were ok from what I understand - just a lack of maintenance.

FFJ - so happy you and Heidi (yes, I know she is real!) had a nice vacation!:) Here's to many more.

You know with all the theme cruises they have (i.e. Soap Opera cruises, Battlestar Gallactica cruises, gay/lesbian cruises, Star Trek cruises, scrapbookers cruises, etc.) I really am surprised that there hasn't been a geocaching theme cruise . . . although can you imagine 3,000 or so passengers mobbing an island that has only two caches! :D

vicbiker
04-03-2008, 08:17 AM
Ask and ye shall receive. I'll try posting a pic or two later on today . . . last night I took an hour out to sort through all the pics I took. The funny thing is everytime I took a pic of the ocean I kept thinking of Haffy and his "issues" with pics with horizons that are crooked and not perfectly level -- I tried Haffy, I really tried to get level horizons -- couldn't get all of them level though. ;):DMy only problem with horizons that aren't level is all the water tends to run to one side of the picture.:rolleyes:

Mainiac1957
04-03-2008, 02:52 PM
You know with all the theme cruises they have (i.e. Soap Opera cruises, Battlestar Gallactica cruises, gay/lesbian cruises, Star Trek cruises, scrapbookers cruises, etc.) I really am surprised that there hasn't been a geocaching theme cruise . . . although can you imagine 3,000 or so passengers mobbing an island that has only two caches! :D

It would be like a crazy flash mob event. :rolleyes::eek::cool:

Haffy
04-03-2008, 05:35 PM
Ask and ye shall receive. I'll try posting a pic or two later on today . . . last night I took an hour out to sort through all the pics I took. The funny thing is everytime I took a pic of the ocean I kept thinking of Haffy and his "issues" with pics with horizons that are crooked and not perfectly level -- I tried Haffy, I really tried to get level horizons -- couldn't get all of them level though. ;):D

If you want I'll fix em for yah....lol. Looking forward to seeing them.

Cache Maine
04-03-2008, 08:31 PM
I know there is a letterboxing one....they have done it for several years.

I think a geocaching one would be great! Do we have any travel agents here?

hollora
04-04-2008, 08:30 AM
Can you imagine packing coin collections to be discovered, cache dashes at ports and all that stuff. We could even have a workshop on creating great camoed caches.........Wow! Oh, the possiblities.

firefighterjake
04-04-2008, 12:25 PM
Can you imagine packing coin collections to be discovered, cache dashes at ports and all that stuff. We could even have a workshop on creating great camoed caches.........Wow! Oh, the possiblities.

Hmmm . . . sounds like something a real woman of the high seas could plan . . . ;):D

I actually did a search at CruiseCritic.com . . . a BBS for cruisers which I found very, very useful and believe it or not the only hit for "geocaching" was a single thread from a few years back. I was rather surprised to tell the truth.

firefighterjake
04-04-2008, 01:18 PM
I'm going to start putting up some pics to share with you folks since some of you asked about them.

Kind of puts my "future home" views to shame . . .

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/OSJcemetery.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2427)


The streets of Old San Juan . . . very narrow, blue-bricks from the Spanish ship's ballasts and very, very old-world looking.

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/OSJStreet.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2426)


El Morro Fortress . . . a must-see attraction in Old San Juan

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/OSJElMorro.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2428)


A sentry post at El Morro.

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/OSJsentrypost.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2429)


When Kites Attack . . .

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/OSJWhenkitesattack.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2430)

firefighterjake
04-04-2008, 01:22 PM
Here's a shot from Honeymoon Beach on Water Island . . . it wasn't a deserted island beach, but it was plenty quiet enough for me . . . and it was a great way to kick off our vacation. This was the type of beach I was looking for -- that unbelievably blue color, warm and with some fish for me to torment . . . I mean check out. I really, really enjoyed swimming and snorkeling here.

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/honeymoonbeach.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2431)

firefighterjake
04-04-2008, 01:30 PM
A couple shots from Dominica . . . I've got lots and lots of pics, but I'm trying to just give folks a sense of what I saw and where I visited . . . I don't want to take up too much memory with all the pics . . . which reminds me . . . Rick if you would like to delete these photos in a few days, feel free if you need the memory back.

Sulphur Springs on Dominica near Trafalgar Falls

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/sulphurspring.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2432)


Trafalgar Falls . . . two waterfalls come together here . . . one has warm water, the other cold . . . honestly the picture here and others I took do not do this place justice.

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/trafalgarfalls.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2433)

firefighterjake
04-04-2008, 01:48 PM
I really liked Barbados . . . maybe because there are monkeys on this island. :D

Here's a shot or two of Bathsheba . . . a place known for its legendary surf.

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/bathsheba1.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2434)


http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/bathsheba2.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2435)


And some monkey pics.

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/505/thumbs/monkey1.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2436)


http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/505/thumbs/monkey2.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2437)


This is the caged vervet monkey that my wife made friends with . . . the one that made the smacking sound with his jaws, would rub his belly as if hungry and then hold out his hand for a snack presumably . . .

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/505/thumbs/monkeyfriend.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2438)


At the Barbados Wildlife Refuge there is a troop of vervet (green) monkeys that have become conditioned to stop by around 2 p.m. for a free feeding . . . these monkeys are allowed to come and go as they please, but the opportunity for a free and easy meal is pretty tempting. On the day we were here the monkeys began coming in a little bit before 2 p.m. One brave monkey even managed to get away with an entire bunch of green bananas . . . other monkeys would be munching away on the fruit and vegetables while sitting atop the large tortoises . . . which were also munching on the vegetables.

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/505/thumbs/monkeysfeeding.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2439)


The Barbados Wildlife Refuge also had a bazillion tortoises "roaming" free -- I just liked the look of this fella . . . he has that "don't mess with me" look.

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/505/thumbs/tortoise.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2440)


And here's a fella that proves that beauty is only skin deep . . . I'm not much for creepy crawly things, but I kind of found him cute . . . in a pug dogs are also cute sort of way.

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/505/thumbs/iguana.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2441)

firefighterjake
04-04-2008, 01:56 PM
Antigua as mentioned was a beach day . . . and a geocaching day . . . well I did get one geocache on this day. This beach was also a fantastic beach for swimming and pics and to avoid the crowds.

Fort James Beach . . . and Fort James where one can find the Fort James Cache

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/fortjamesgc5.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2446)

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/fortjamesgc2.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2443)

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/fortjamesgc3.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2444)

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/fortjamesgc4.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2445)

http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/507/thumbs/fortjamesgc1.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2442)

WhereRWe?
04-04-2008, 06:52 PM
http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/data/505/thumbs/tortoise.jpg (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/2440)



Sheesh! What a fantastic idea for a cache hide! ;);)

hollora
04-04-2008, 11:13 PM
In the zoo!