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Old December 12th, 2009, 06:02 PM
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rollerdonna rollerdonna is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Caribou River, Nova Scotia
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Default Celebrity Constellation, Part 10

Celebrity Constellation, Part 10
Day 8, Monday November 16, Barbados

My first thought on this day was that it was my sister's birthday, and I wished she could be here in Barbados with us to celebrate.
She and I have decided, come hell or high water, that next year on her birthday, her 50th, that we will be celebrating on a cruise!

We had not booked a shore excursion in Barbados, but decided instead to just take a taxi and go the beach for the day.
It's quite a walk from the dock, through the shopping terminal, and out to the taxi area. We stopped at Visitor's Information and asked about taxis and they assured us taxis (mini-vans) were $3 per person, very reasonable.
Just outside the terminal area we were accosted by various dispatchers of a multitude of taxis lined up.

We told one we wanted to go to Malibu Beach and were directed to one half-full van.
The driver of the van demanded $4 per person, despite the fact we had been told inside that it was $3, and despite the signs posted at the entreance that it was $3. James argued with the driver, not because it was a big difference, just on the principle of feeling ripped off.
It did no good, and anxious to get to the beach, we got in anyway, and the driver closed the door and walked away.

We were 10 people in a 12-person van, and the driver wouldn't depart until he found 2 more people to make a full load.
There was no air-conditioning, and we were crowded, hot, and people were getting impatient, angry, and dangerously over-heated; it was hard to breathe.
There we sat, for 10 or 15 minutes, waiting, until everyone revolted; someone forced open the door and we all got out, gasping for air, and stalked away.
The driver lost 10 fares due to his arrogance, greediness and inconsideration, and we were left with a sour taste of Barbados.

We were so angry and overheated, we decided that rather than chance another bus, we'd just go back to the ship.
We realized later that we should have walked past the the main taxi area, and out the "Exit" archway, and found a taxi on our own as we had done the last time. The cattle-herding that goes on at the main area is ridiculous.

Back in the terminal/shopping area, it was not comfortable to shop because there was no air conditioning there either, except inside a few shops.
The outdoor kiosks were tiny, dark and also not air conditioned, so also not conducive to lingering over purchases.
After very little shopping, we headed back to the ship.

One thing we liked in Barbados were the other ships we saw in port. Across from us there was a German ship called Mein Schiff, and we could tell that it was previously owned by Celebrity, because you could still see the mark of the Celebrity "X" on the smokestack under the ship's new logo which looked like a winking smiley face

There was also the beautiful 5-mast sailing cruise ship Club Med 2 which looked very inviting. I sure would like to try that one some day!

We also saw a submarine in dock behind the German ship,and I heard someone say it was from Holland.

We both enjoy seeing other cruise ships in port and often will choose our next cruise based on a certain ship we saw in a port.

After photographing the other ships, we returned to our ship, greeted at the gangway with ice cold refreshing towels, a really nice touch from Celebrity. These towels were also handed out poolside, as well as little paper cups with iced sorbet or fresh fruit.
Just an example of Celebrity's attention to details in their service.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in the near-deserted pool area, with our choice of seats, and every time I went in for a dip, I was alone in the pool!

The evening's entertainment in the Celebrity Theatre was singer Jordan Bennett, who we didn't see, but here is a link to one of his performances on Celebrity.
YouTube - Celebrity Cruise Lines-Lighting Design

At 10:30 p.m. there was an "Island Night Celebration" poolside, with live Island music from the band Sipra, a beautiful buffet with fresh fruits and ice sculptures, and dancing led by the entertainment staff.
While taking photos, I caught CD Josh Riffe sneaking a snack at the not-yet-open buffet!

We did attend the party, but found it lacking somehow in energy and participation.
A lot of people were just sitting and watching, or up on the upper level looking down, there was very little participation, and the staff didn't seem to be able to generate any enthusiasm for things like a conga line, or a limbo contest that went on way too long.

We left before it was over, and stopped in to see guitaritist Eugene in the Seaside Cafe before heading off to bed.

Tomorrow, a Sea Day....

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