( Poolside- Miami Hilton. Irene is in the red blouse - I am taking the picture)
Irene even tried her hand at the one-armed bandits. We were able to meet the Captain, the Cruise Director, and several other shipmates.
The dining was beyond description. Only those of you who have taken cruises understand. The evening meals were something out of a Camelot-like fairy tale. We were shown to our table which happened to be at the stern of the ship. This area had large glass windows. So we had a beautiful view as the sun went down. After sunset it was even more spectacular. Usually there was even moonlight to see the water in the darkness. We could also see the wake of the ship as it made its way through the water. But wait there is more, as Sully would say, the ship disturbed the plankton or phosphorus something or other and the water would glow in the dark. What can I say about the food? Scrumptious? What does that mean? How does it describe the food in a way that does it justice? Needless to say, it was "heavenly."
(Right - downtown San Juan, Puerto Rico after it got dark)
There is nothing like being in your cabin after a full day. The faint hum and vibration of the ships movement is like a symphony deep in the recesses of your hearing. Moon light shining through the open drapes gives a glorious glow off the deep dark water. Soft music piped through the cabins set a very romantic mood. The evenings were as rewarding as the days.
But, someone once said, "All things must come to an end." So sad but so true. After docking at our destination ports the ship turned around and headed back to Miami, Florida. After an incident where someone didn't believe the authorities about smuggling drugs aboard ship we were finally let off of the ship. We were bussed to Ft. Lauderdale airport where we caught our flight back to Portland, OR.
After a day of rest it was back to the salt mines. Now this dream cruise is only a distant memory. It is a memory so pleasant that I like to take it out of the library of my mind and relive it. I can still feel the Florida sun, the soft sheets of the Hilton, the gentle gliding of the ship through the deep blue Atlantic Ocean. I can taste the exotic foods, listen to the passengers joyous white noise of conversation, and recall the interaction with the island natives. Sometimes it is sad and so hard to put this memory back into the mental library. I do not foresee a repeat cruise in my future therefore I am afraid that this memory will be lost in that vast library of my mind, or will fade in time. But until then, "All aboard!"
View from the top of St Martin Island
Our ship docked at St Martin Island
From above on a tour of St Thomas Island
Irene shopping in a shop in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Irene and myself on St Thomas Island
A view of San Juan as we sailed into port in order to dock
On board our ship
San Juan, Puerto Rico
500 year old Fort San Cristobal protecting harbor of San Juan, Puerto Rico
Our ship the Carnival Triumph!
Have you ever taken a cruise?
What was your favorite vacation?
If money, time, health, and kids were no problem,
what would you consider to be the ultimate vacation?