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Old May 13th, 2010, 07:42 PM
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Default Not sure if this was just built in my honor

Hamilton, Bermuda
I’d mentioned our tour supplied by the Bermuda Department of Tourism on Wed. We began the morning with a guided tour of the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. I was pleased they took us there, because quite honestly it’s not a place I’d have probably chosen to go on my own. It was interesting to see the exhibits referring to both the history and future of underwater exploration, particularly within the waters surrounding Bermuda.

From there we toured the Masterworks Foundation Gallery, which is located within the Botanical Gardens. Perhaps sadly, I am not a man of culture. I have a bad ear for music, and just as badly, no eye for art. But those who appreciate the art and culture of the area they are visiting, I’m sure you’d likely enjoy a tour.

We then toured the Botanical Gardens, and I did enjoy the gardens very much!! It was interesting to hear about the various vegetation, and how it came to Bermuda, and how the government has programs in place to control what might be coming into the country now. It's a beautiful and tranquil place, and worth a visit.

After the Botanical Gardens, we went for lunch. Now that I know about! Lunch was on the beach at Mickey’s Restaurant, located at the Elbow Beach Hotel. This is an incredible looking property, with an incredible beach front. It’s out of town, but worth the taxi ride to enjoy the property, if you have the opportunity.

In my last report I detailed having cocktails that evening with the Minister of Tourism. It was after 8 P.M. when I left the lounge, and thought I might just head up to Lido Deck for a light dinner. I was disappointed to see it had already been closed for the evening. I could have gone to the dining room as a walk in, but ended up just having some pizza, by the retreat, aft on Lido Deck.

I love the aft outdoor areas on every ship that has them. It’s normally the spot anyone who might be looking for me, can most often find me, and it’s no different on the Veendam. There’s lots of tables for al fresco dining, and the area also features the huge outdoor screen. This was all added during the refit in April ‘09.

The only surprise, the table tops don’t seem to have been replaced at that time. They are all in fairly sorry shape, with deep stains, and rather dirty looking. It would take very little to replace the table tops, and it really doesn’t have to wait until a dry dock… nor should it.

I was up early this morning, as I had to report for my golf tour, at 8:00 A.M. I’d ordered room service to act as my wake up call, and requested 7 A.M. service. It arrived promptly at 7 A.M., and was as ordered.

I then headed out to meet up with the others who’d booked the golf day at the Port Royal Golf Club. This is a magnificent golf course, with many incredibly scenic ocean views. It is a rather difficult course, made much more so today, with wind gusts approaching 50 MPH at times.
By the time we finished our round I was exhausted; very happy that I had played the course, but exhausted!!

The golf tour, as sold by the ship is kind of odd, as it’s sold noting that the transportation to the golf course is not included in the cost. Printed on the tour ticket was the estimated cost of a taxi to the course; $40 each way. That cost is per taxi, not per person, and those of us on the tour split the cost. However going in I had no idea of how many people were playing, or if it was going to cost me $80 for the transportation, on top of the cost of the golf, and the extra for club rentals.

To me, the Port Royal Golf Club would have been worth the cost, for the pleasure of seeing this magnificent golf course, but communication on the details of the day from the ship’s shore excursion department could be better.

I also had a tour booked for 5 P.M. tonight, for a two hour “Famous Homes and Hideaways” cruise. I didn’t get back to the ship from the golf game until 4 P.M. and after being battered by the high winds all day, I simply didn’t have the energy to do the cruise tour. Very selfishly, I napped instead.
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