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MEMORIES - "Grandeur of the Seas" 2005 - The Caribbean

Re: MEMORIES - "Grandeur of the Seas" 2005 - The Caribbean

Postby Camela » 23 May 2020 14:55

We have only done one back to back cruise and it was a nice feeling knowing we weren't disembarking. Must book a b2b when travel is permitted again!
"Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise"
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Re: MEMORIES - "Grandeur of the Seas" 2005 - The Caribbean

Postby rdw123 » 24 May 2020 08:08

Thanks Geoff. Brings back memories of our rum factory tour on Guyana. We did get the full works there. Up the gantries over the top of the vats bubbling away below, no health and safety there! It was a very overpowering smell! It was a very interesting tour and I never knew there were so many different kinds of rum. We all came away with a large bottle each which we ended up giving away due to weight restrictions on the flight back home. I remember the wooden jetty we were tied to being VERY rickety. Enjoying travelling with you.
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MEMORIES - "Grandeur of the Seas" 2005 - The Caribbean

Postby judgegeoff » 24 May 2020 08:20

Thanks to all for your kind remarks, I am glad that you are liking them. I am enjoying writing them and Chris has enjoyed reading them, they have revived so many good memories of better times for us. :D
Geoff

Booked cruise :-
"MSC Orchestra" - Cape Town to Venice 2020 (now virtual)
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MEMORIES - "Grandeur of the Seas" 2005 - The Caribbean

Postby judgegeoff » 24 May 2020 08:34

Day 12 – Sunday 8th May 2005 - Sint Maarten/Saint Martin

We awoke at 7:00 am this morning, just as our ship was arriving at Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Sint Maarten, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is a country on the southern part of a Caribbean island shared with Saint Martin, a French overseas collectivity. Its natural features span lagoons, beaches and salt pans. The capital, Philipsburg, has cobblestone streets and colourful, colonial-style buildings lining its Front Street shopping area. It is, as far as I know, unique in having two different countries on such a small island.

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The Dutch side of the island is just 34km² and the French side of the island, capital Marigot, is just 53km². The island hip-hopped between English, French and Dutch ownership, but was eventually divided between the Dutch and the French. On the 23rd March 1684 the island’s future was decided by a race between a Dutchman and a Frenchman. They were to set off (walking only) in different directions along the coastline. A line was drawn on a map between the starting point and the point where they met – and this became the new border. The fact that the French side is bigger than the Dutch side has, in history, been subject to several stories, including that the Frenchman drank wine whilst the Dutchman drank beer and that the French sent a beautiful young lady to waylay and delay the Dutchman. Who knows? It was a long time ago and both stories could hold water (or wine!).

After breakfast we went ashore with Arne and Sue and soon found a taxi driver with a big American car and asked him to drive us to the French side of the island and then return later to take us back to the Dutch side. The island was very lush and tropical and our taxi soon had us in Marigot, the capital of the French side. There was no discernable border between the two sides and no customs or immigration.

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Saint Martin.

Unfortunately, as it was a Sunday, most of Marigot was closed, but we found a cafe that was open and sat outside it enjoying the hot sun and our cold drinks. We then had a walk and found a market with a few stalls open and Sue and Chris bought some locally made jewellery.

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Marigot market.

When we returned to the place where our taxi had dropped us off, we were pleased to see that the car was there waiting for us and we were driven back to the port. We paid the driver and then made our way back onto the ship.

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Chris returning to our lovely ship

We refreshed ourselves in our cabin and then had lunch on the ship, before going ashore again to explore Philipsburg. We caught a water taxi to the nearby town – these little boats run about every 10 minutes and are a very convenient way of saving the long walk into town. The town appeared to have just one very narrow main street that ran parallel to the shore and along its length were a multitude of tax-free electronic, camera and jewellery shops as well as a few houses and a very cute little church.

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Aboard a water taxi.

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Philipsburg narrow main shopping road.

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Methodist church on Main Street.

I purchased an MP3 player as they were much cheaper than back in the UK. Arne looked at some camcorders, but didn’t actually buy one.

At the end of the shopping street we turned left and walked to the shore where we found a restaurant/bar where we had an ice-cold beer each.

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Our ship in the distance.

We then walked along the beach until we felt in need of more drinks and found a bar that sold chilled freshly squeezed orange juice.

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The view from the restaurant/bar.

By this time it was getting rather late, so we went to the nearest water taxi stop and caught a water taxi back to the ship. On the way we passed some small local children who were having a great time in the warm waters – running along a jetty and doing somersaults into the water. They were very entertaining.

We left the water taxi and then walked the short distance to the pier where our ship was moored. Back on board we had a coffee in ‘Ben & Jerry’s’ and then went up on deck to watch the ship sail out of Philipsburg.

In the evening we had dinner in the ‘Great Gatsby’ Main Dining Room and then went to the Palladium Theatre to see a very funny comedian named Rick Novell who did a very amusing juggling, unicycle and ladder balancing act.

After the show we had a nightcap followed by a walk around the decks and then retired to our cabin. It had been another very enjoyable day.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Continued tomorrow………..
Geoff

Booked cruise :-
"MSC Orchestra" - Cape Town to Venice 2020 (now virtual)
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MEMORIES - "Grandeur of the Seas" 2005 - The Caribbean

Postby Gillzajoker » 24 May 2020 09:01

I've been there a few times and loved using the water taxis, and there Duty Free is supposed
to be the cheapest in the Caribbean. :D
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