Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - Day 2 – Half Moon Cay, Little San Salvador
Island, the Bahamas
|The Rotterdam anchors in the beautiful tropical bay this morning, and by
9:30AM tenders are ferrying passengers ashore 300 at a time. This is a highly
organized day at the beach for the 1,400 passengers, with everyone being
accommodated no matter what the disability, unless the person is completely
Since I wake up this morning around 8:30AM, I miss the crowds of early birds
who want to catch the first tenders ashore. I pick up a cappuccino at the
Explorations Café and have a leisurely breakfast in the Lido before going back
to my cabin to get ready to go ashore, packing snorkel gear and changing into a
swimsuit and beach wear. The tender I take ashore around 10AM is only half full.
This part of the island is dedicated to giving Holland America’s cruise ship
passengers an enjoyable day at the beach. They certainly succeed at this,
providing everything any cruise ship passenger might want: a wonderful long
curving sandy beach; clear, warm and shallow water to swim in; a place to
snorkel and see some fish; shopping; personal services such as massage and spa
treatments; sports services such as horseback riding in the surf, parasailing,
small boat sailing, walking tours; and of course a BBQ lunch. I expected the
beach to be crowded, but everyone spreads out so it turns out to be a very
I have a clamshell reserved, which is a small half tent to provide some shade
from the tropical sun, including two lounge chairs. I take my snorkel gear and
wade into the warm water, not expecting to see much since there are lots of
people in the water, however I’m pleasantly surprised. There are several
varieties of fish swimming around, and I even spot two Barracuda and manage to
take a picture and a video of them! The BBQ lunch was good, and afterwards I
return to the clamshell for another hour before deciding to return to the ship.
After having a casual dinner in the Lido with my friends, we go to the
Explorations Lounge to listen to the "Adagio Strings" – four young women who are
a string quartet. They sound very good, which is a pleasant surprise for us,
since the “Adagio Strings” quartet who played aboard the Volendam cruise
last year were nothing short of dreadful. This quartet obviously practices and
actually cares about how they sound!
I decide to skip the entertainment in the main show lounge this evening, since
it is a Las Vegas headliner who sings and tells jokes – not my type of
entertainment. I return to my cabin and work on the photos and video I shot
today and yesterday. I like to keep up-to-date with the results from my camera
work while traveling. I find putting a caption on each photo and the location
makes it much easier to cope with all this material when I return home.
I also write a journal while traveling, which I find invaluable for creating
blog entries as well as using this material for my main JoeTourist website once
I return home. I enjoy the ritual of sitting down and reviewing the day, and
then committing it to words.
This evening I sign up with Rogers for their voice roaming package, which covers
Central and South America. This gives me a more reasonable per minute rate for
voice calls, so I
can use my iPhone to call home when we are ashore. Cellular service is offered
aboard ship, but it is outrageously expensive, so I will wait until we are
docked or ashore to check in with the family. While aboard ship and offshore, it
isn’t too expensive to send and receive email using the Internet access package
I signed up for yesterday.
The ship is bucking a 30kt headwind as we head south towards Cuba. Our speed is
14.5kts, which is certainly slower than last night.
Bahamas to Colombia
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