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Old November 20th, 2007, 11:55 PM
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Default Nov. 20 - Freedom

Nov. 20 – Freedom
Great news for everyone visiting St. Thomas who thinks the pre-existing 1983 jewelry, electronics, and T-shirt shops, weren’t enough. There’s a new high end luxury shopping mall, located very near to the pier at Havensight.
St. Thomas is actually a terrific port of call for cruise ship passengers. It’s a destination that has something for nearly everyone; lots of variety of water sports for those so inclined, great beaches to visit, and shopping for those who are after just about anything money can buy (though these days the “bargains of historic proportion? are just that – historic – mostly because of the huge number of tourists being brought to the island by the ever growing cruise industry).
If you’re seeking a less developed Caribbean Island experience, a trip to St. John, by ferry or shore excursion will do the trick. Most cruise ship passengers seem to choose a mix; part of the day in some water related activity, and part of the day trying to bargain their way through every shop that time allows.
If you want to visit the new mall and your ship is docked at Havensight, simply turn left when you get off your ship, and keep following the security fence until you get to a new gate.
Having visited St. Thomas many, many times by ship, Mrs. Kuki and I opted to take one of the open air group taxis to the downtown area, to stroll around, and visit some of her favorite shops to make certain the shopkeepers could still keep food on their tables. Taxis to all the tourist destinations are waiting at the pier, and per person prices are pre-set. The trip downtown or back, for example, is $4 PP. The taxis are half or ¾ ton trucks adapted with a carriage, allowing each truck to carry 25 passengers. I’m guessing, from the numbers of these taxis, that converting these trucks to taxis is probably the second biggest industry on the island next to tourism.
After patting down every jeweler downtown, we returned to the ship by taxi for some lunch, and we’re going to walk over to the new mall, just in case there was some form of bling we hadn’t seen yet. However by that time a pretty consistent, driving rain developed, and we opted for a much more relaxing alternative, an afternoon nap.
For the curious, there were no new baubles for Mrs. Kuki. I tried to get a 3 carat ring for her, but no one would make that trade.
As we left our position at the dock we passed very close to the Carnal Truph. I suppose I should explain that; it was evening, and there were a few lights burnt out on the sign on the side of the ship.
At any rate, it was fun passing so close by the Triumph, as passengers on both ships waved and hollered at each other and the ship’s masters “waved? to each other as well, with traditional soundings of the ship’s horns.
Our whole dining room table had reservations for the Sun King Supper Club tonight. We felt bad leaving our new service team after just the one night, but the reservations had been made in advance. By the way, you can now make advance reservations for the ships that you’re going to be sailing, which have Supper Clubs, via a link on Carnival’s Cruise Director, John Heald’s Blog.
Each of the 6 of us ordered steak for their entrée, and everyone said their steaks were outstanding, and prepared exactly as they requested. The Supper Clubs have a $30 per person surcharge. Shorty I’ll be writing a feature article for CruiseMates about the Supper Club, and comparing it with the alternate surcharge restaurant on the Celebrity Constellation, which we’ll be sailing on next week. I’ll also be doing a daily Virtual Cruise Report from that ship as well, and you can cruise along on our Celebrity Message Board, if you’d like.
Our reservation in the Sun King was for 8:30 P.M., and the restaurant was quite busy. In our past experience these restaurants have not been all that busy. I’m guessing the cooking demonstration they held early in the week had something to do with more people taking advantage of this facility.
After dinner Mrs. Kuki and some friends went to this evening’s production show in the Victorian Lounge (theater). I headed to the casino for a bit of entertainment, and the place was hopping. I’d intended to visit the Piano Bar afterwards, but I did run out of gas, and headed to the cabin to file today’s story and get some sleep before we arrive in St. Maarten tomorrow.
It appears I do have my technical problems with my camera corrected, but now I’ve run into a problem trying to load them to the photo galleries from the ship. On Saturday, when we’re back in Miami, I will load them all.
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