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Old January 16th, 2012, 09:05 PM
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Default Celebrity Equinox Holiday Cruise Day 8

Celebrity Equinox Holiday Cruise Day 8
Friday December 30, 2011 St. Maarten




We had booked a last minute excursion in St. Maarten, and it did not get off to a good start.
On the pier by 9:45, we waited 35 minutes for our tour guide who arrived late via golf cart.
Another guide had been trying to hold together 2 groups of tours, and there was much arguing
and consulting before we finally got under way. It was a long walk to the tour bus, and the port in St. Maarten was very crowded as there were 4 other ships besides ours in that day;
Holland America's Amsterdam, Carnival's Victory, Fred Olsen's Braemar, and Star Clipper, a luxury yacht.









Once on the bus we were caught in very heavy traffic for a long time, then a 45 minute drive to a surprise stop in Marigot. I say surprise, because we thought we'd booked just a beach
day in Orient Bay, but apparently it included a 1 hour shopping stop in Marigot.
We felt the shopping stop was a waste of good beach time, and just sat on a bench by the Marigot Maritime Terminal (cruise ferries), waiting for the bus to leave. We were delayed a further 10 minutes when 5 passengers didn't return to the bus; we finally left without them.

Our bus driver made me nervous, as he drove through very heavy traffic one-handed while holding a microphone in the other hand, and giving a running commentary about the island
and its highlights as he drove.

We finally arrived at the Kon Tiki Beach in Orient Bay on the French side of St. Martin, around 12:30. There was a complimentary rum or fruit punch awaiting us, and a beautiful beach, but first, our free lunch. (included in the price).



Lunch was served on a lovely outdoor terrace overlooking the beach, and our choices were BBQ chicken or ribs, with salad and huge fries, and it was delicious!

The beach itself was quite crowded, but beach chairs were included and we found ourselves a spot.








It was also quite windy, but a welcome breeze, as it was about 84F or 29C that day.
The sea was quite active as well, with big crashing waves, but that did not deter me, I was in there floating around in no time. I had waited this whole cruise for my perfect beach day, and this was it!






But, like all good things, my perfect beach day ended all too soon, and they very nearly had to drag me off the beach, banana boat and all!



All too soon, we were back on the bus taking a different and much shorter route back.

The port area back in Philipsburg was teeming with people, and I avoided the shopping area, and surprisingly, my favourite old haunt, "Happy Hours", foregoing my usual Margarita
because it was just so crowded.




Back on board in time for the 4:30 Music Trivia (name that tune), and sadly, even though we
had had some of the same songs a few days earlier, I STILL couldn't remember the answers!

Dinner this night was back in BLU, becaause on the menu was Kobe Beef Meatloaf, and we just had to try it! I couldn't imagine taking this prime cut of beef and making meatloaf out of
it, but that's what they did, and served atop pureed potatoes, it was out of this world!
I didn't think it was possible to top this meal, but dessert was even better...After Eight cake.
This was a thin layer of very moist chocolate cake, topped with creamy green mint mousse, then dark chocolate icing, and garnished with a culicue of chocolate. It was so good I wanted
to lick my plate! We complimented the chef and he wanted to bring us more, but really, we were too full. What an amazing meal!

Showtime this evening gave us a break from the strange song and dance numbers.
An illusionist from Copenhagen Denmark, Mark Brock, performed the usual feats of card and number tricks, rope tricks and one disappearing act. He was good, but not amazing.

I convinced James to stay up till midnight to go see comedian Steve Caouette's show in the Celebrity Central theatre. Fortunately, we arrived 20 minutes early because it was already full. By midnight, it was standing room only, and Steve did not disappoint; his humour was funny, enjoyable, and not one word on profanity used. Kudos to Steve!



Good night to St. Maarten, and tomorrow, a sea day and New Year's Eve!

donna
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Last edited by rollerdonna; January 16th, 2012 at 09:35 PM.
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Old January 16th, 2012, 09:35 PM
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I have to say..Orient Beach looks much better than I remember. It was not crowded at all, and we were just viewers that day, not bathers.

It's amazing in just the course of our cruising history, how imapcted the island are now by the amount of ships in..not to mention adding in a behemoth!!! Remember Grand Cayman on our Century cruise....7 ships in!!!

For your April cruise, think, excursion research
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Old January 16th, 2012, 09:38 PM
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I agree - research! Usually, we do, and thoroughly, booking before we leave home, but as this was a last minute thing, we took what was left and didn't read it carefully...lesson learned!

donna
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Old January 17th, 2012, 06:45 AM
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R/D,

Am glad you finally got your beach day and crowded or not, it appeared very appealing. Am eagerly awaiting New Year's Ever at sea pictures!
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