St. Thomas

Charlotte Amalie
Virgin Islands US
Sunday, March 16th

Last night we sailed through the Caribbean Sea, passed St. Croix to St. Thomas.

This is the only port on which Jeff and I have arranged an excursion with Princess. We’ve been to St. Thomas before and that time we took a cab to a ferry, took a ferry over to St. John’s and snorkeled – then reversed the process to get back to the ship. This time though, we are not in port as long and thought we’d use some of our free cabin credit and go to Trunk Bay on a Princess excursion. We’re so happy that we had decided earlier to do this because if we had to wait to be tendered in there would not be enough time for us to do much of anything on our own.

We made our way to the meeting point on the ship for our excursion and were told that because of poor conditions the snorkeling part of the day had been cancelled. Happily we have our own equipment and knowing Trunk Bay is a public beach knew we could snorkel if we chose too. But by the time we left on the tender and got to shore on St. Thomas, conditions had apparently worsened to the point that the entire beach portion of the trip was cancelled.

So, let’s review… Broken airplane, broken boat, broken beach?? Wild!

Our choice was to return our tickets for a full refund, or to take the trip over to St. John’s, be dropped off to shop, etc., and get picked up 3 hours later. Since we aren’t really shoppers, we opted out. But here we were on St. Thomas carrying our snorkeling gear and beach bag and….it starts to POUR!! In seconds we were totally drenched. Oh well, since we were already soaked, we decided to make the best of things and walked (quite a ways) over to where to boat would normally have docked. It was a long, WET walk! But honestly, it was worth it. We came upon a farmer’s market. I bought some locally made ginger granola and, from a woman who used to live in Colorado (!), some home sewn hair things. They are very cute and I bought two as gifts. This is the first time I’m sorry I had all of my hair cut off right before the cruise as I would have enjoyed wearing one. She (her name is Cindi) and I chatted a bit. We exchanged email addresses and I promised to send her my recipe for dog biscuits. She and her husband live above Megan’s Bay and she said this morning there was a huge surge that came through so it was good we hadn’t gone snorkeling as the water was really churned up.

We stopped to check the taxi schedule because in our second ten days we’ll be back to St. Thomas (it is the only port we repeat) and we are making plans on what to do then. Hope the thrusters will be repaired by then.

We walked back to town and man! it started to pour rain again! I’m drenched down to my swimsuit. We explored some alleys, went to the historic bakery district but everything was closed up tight. Oh, duh, it’s Sunday – the only shops open are the tourist ones. We catch a tender and get back to the boat about 1:30.

I figure I’m already soaked and since I was wearing my swimsuit under my clothes, I go right up to the current pool and swam 1/2 mile.

This is our second formal night. After getting all dressed up, we went up to the special hors d’oevres and met a couple, Al and Nancy Stumpf. I think we have made friends for life! Al looks like Bob Newhart did but is actually 82 years old. We just couldn’t believe it. They have done a LOT of cruising with Princess and are at the highest level. It totally threw us when they started talking about Facebook and email…turns out Al was very early in the IT profession and has great pre-Internet stories and is very techie. We really, really like them.

We had dinner tonight with a couple from Australia (very nice), a couple from Sweden (very quiet as they struggled a little bit with English) and a couple from Denver. The woman from Denver was too ANNOYING for words!!! She had a horrible loud braying voice, dominated the conversation and was an awful know-it-all. The Australian guy, Ian, was seated next to me and at one point he looked at me and crossed his eyes like “can you believe her?”. Turns out Ian and his wife, Teresa, are spending 3 weeks after the cruise driving across the US. Braying lady was telling them they must do this and that, blah, blah, blah. I gave Teresa our email and address and invited them to contact us if they found themselves in Colorado. It would be fun to see them again.

Service was a little slow in the dining room and as it turned out all of us were going to see “Blame it on the Boogie” in the Princess Theatre. Everyone at the table skipped dessert and headed for the show. Jeff and I made a detour to our room for glasses of wine to take with (and to ensure we would not be seated anywhere near that Colorado couple. hahaha.)

Not the very best day because of the weather and tendering…but dressing up was fun, meeting Al and Nancy was great – go with the flow and have a great time.

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