Ruby Princess, Day 5 Thursday March 15, St. Thomas
We had a pre-booked early morning excursion in St. Thomas, so we were up and in the Da Vinci dining room early for a delicious breakfast of steak and eggs - what a treat!
Off the ship by 8 a.m., and set off on a long walk to the open-air buses.We were at the Crown Bay port this time, not Charlotte Amalie, but our tour bus took us through the downtown
Charlotte Amalie area on our way up into the hills.
We made 2 "vista" stops in the hills, with beautiful views over St. Thomas, the ports of Crown Bay and Charlotte Amalie, and Drake's Seat. We could see, in the port at Charlotte Amalie, the
cruise ships Celebrity Solstice and RCCL's Explorer of the Seas,
as well as our own Ruby Princess over in Crown Bay.
Our final destination was a stop at Magen's Bay, 2 hours at this most beautiful beach, where it was sheltered, with gentle waves, no rocks, no seaweed, just gorgeous water and beach.
By 10 a.m. I had a Bushwacker in each hand and was settled on this gorgeous beach, soaking up the sun and just enjoying the day.
(That's me in the middle with the red float)
As usual, I had to be dragged back onto the bus when our time was up, and from Magens' Bay we headed back towards town, stopping just above Charlotte Amalie at Blackbeard's Castle.
The "castle" was a very old stone tower with a long line-up, which we by-passed to explore the rest of the site. There was a pool behind the castle, pirate flags and pirate stautes everywhere, depicting various famous pirates from history.
There were also prisoner stocks where we posed for photos!
It was an interesting place, but historically inaccurate according to James who loves his pirate lore.
By this point we were hot, tired and ready to go back to the ship, but unfortunately, it was not so easy to exit, as the tour "path" led us through bars, jewelry stores, and into dead ends.
Down one dead end we found the exquisite "Amber Waterfall", made entirely of amber gem stones.
We eventually found our way down the "99 steps", the stone stairway leading back onto the street and the waterfront, where we found the tender waiting to take us back to the ship.
Our tender guide told an interesting story on the way back, about how in Dec. 2010, a cold front came through the U.S. Virgin Islands with a low of 61F, which effectively
closed all the schools for 2 days due to the unbearable cold! We had to laugh at that, because to us, 61F would seem like a heat wave!
Back at Crown Bay plaza, we stopped at a waterfront bar for another Bushwacker each, and sat on a bench and just watched passengers returning to the ship, and the huge iguanas on the rocks.
Back onboard we had a late lunch in the Horizon Court buffet, then went our seperate ways for the afternoon; James to read and relax on the balcony (he loves just looking at the sea), and me to the pool area for a swim, some sun, a good book and my MP3 player.
Just another perfect day....
This evening was our 2nd formal night, and before dinner, we were invited to the Captain's
Cocktail party for repeat passengers, held in Club Fusion.
At the door, we met and talked with Captian Tony Yeomans, our very funny British Captain
who kept us laughing all week with his witty comments over the P.A. system.
The party was well attended, the drinks good and plenty, and the wonderful band Accent was playing classic oldies while many passengers danced. Special prizes were given out by the CD and the Captain to those passengers who had exceedingly high number of cruise days under their belts.
Dinner in the Michaelangelo dining room was different tonight; we were seated at a table of
10, meeting many new people.
The dining room was crowded and busy, but this time there was a minimal wait for our food.
Our starters were Asparagus with Italian bacon and tomato in Hollandaise sauce, and James
had a Vegetable Pate. I had a delicious Chicken and Vegetable Broth soup, while James had
Cream of Tomato. For our entrees, I had melt-in-your-mouth beef short ribs (no bone),
with mashed potatoes, gravy and hearty vegetables, and James had a lobster tail and giant prawns. For dessert he had Cherry Trifle, and I enjoyed a Mandarin Sorbet.
The whole meal was excellent, and a big success all around. No complaints yet about the food in the Princess dining room!
I would like to insert a photo here, even though it was from the 1st formal night on Tuesday.
In the Piazza, after dinner, there was the spectacular Champagne Waterfall, tinted pink this time, and affording many passengers the photo op of having their picture taken while
pouring champagne down the waterfall.
For this evening's entertainement, we went to see comedian Steve Moris in the Explorer's Lounge. He does stand up comedy mixed with singing and guitar playing, and he was
hilarious. He is wrapping up a 9 year career with Princess, and in May will be moving on to Las Vegas headlining his own show. Check him out on YouTube!
The comedy show was followed by Family Trivia (or whatever group you happened to be
sitting with), so we played with some our our tablemates from dinner. We came within one point of winning!
Finally, we rushed to the Princess Theatre to catch the late show called "Stardust", featuring the melodic do-wop style of music from the early 50's, and it was one of the best shows I've seen in a long time.
Extremely talented singers, dancers, house band, well produced and choreographed, Princess know how to put on a great show!
Last edited by rollerdonna; March 28th, 2012 at 11:33 AM.
Reason: adding photos
Gail, we didn't spend as much time at Blackbeard's Castle and complex as we would have liked as James' knee was playing up and he wanted to get back, but it looked like a beautiful place (gardens, pool, shops, bar, restaurant, the waterfall) to spend a few hours.
The stairs'll kill ya though!