December 13, 2018

A Day in St Marten

Our ship docks smoothly and quietly. I don't even hear the bow thrusters despite being right above them in the bow of the ship. Skies are sunny, the wind light at less than 10 knots, and the temperature 75, expected to rise to 80 later in the day.

Not wanting to fight the crowds any more than I have to, I wait about an hour to disembark, in the meantime heading to Johnny Rockets for breakfast. Two pancakes and a sausage link.  Service was quick and a welcome change from my usual bowl of Special K. I head back to the cabin to gather what I need to go ashore. Cash, credit card, drivers license, camera, hat, sea pass card, and always my medical information cards just in case.

There are at least three gangways open to disembark. There  is no backup on the ship, but once on the pier the mob of passengers from our ship and the Adventure of the Seas, which shares our berth, moves slowly, reminding me of Main Street USA after the Disney fireworks. There is an awaiting ambulance to add to  the congestion.

There are  three other ships on the next pier resulting in a solid mass of people in a long line to the water taxi.  Four or maybe five boats are running. Some go to the pier I am accustomed to being taken to, the rest, including the one I am on head to dock at the other end of the beach.  It really doesn't matter except I have told several passengers how to find the Lazy Lizzard, from the other pier.

The Lizzard is about half full, still too early in the day for only but the hardiest drinkers to be at a bar.  Nick greets me as he does everyone of his customers. I order a cheeseburger and diet coke. Now that Nicks children are a little older his wife is working with him. We have a nice visit. 

Lauri and Jeff stop by but pass on a beverage. Shopping is their agenda for the day.  Most of the storefronts along the beach are now fully operational. Some of the larger buildings which probably were hotels or apartments remain vacant with little sign of being repired soon if ever.  Nick relates that the tourist business in general as well as his business has rebounded extremely well after the hurricane of last year.

I can connect to local phone service, a nice feature of T-Mobile, but apparently the system is overloaded by the influx of about 15,000 cruise passengers and I am unable  to  send or receive any messages or emai so I avail myself of the WiFi at the Lazy Lizzard to catch up and send a couple of posts to my blog.

I am back on the ship by about 2:00 ships time (3:00 local time). despite the time difference this captain has chosen to remain on ships time. I have yet to figure out the rationale for these decisions. Some captains switch to local time, others do not.

A shower, clean clothes, and pack all the dirty laundry for the ship's laundry to deal with. The Diamond lounge is usually fairly empty during the day, and it is a comfortable place to write. Well today not so good, there are about a dozen guests here, but one talking in a very loud voice, first on her phone and then to her husband that is ignoring her. She is totally clueless to the fact she is distrubing most other passengers and we really don't want to hear her. OK, I can't resit. Just as I am writing this the husband speaks up, the wife gets mad, they exchange words and they leave. I swear I did not say anything.

Last night I spent some time chatting with Mohamed, enough to learn we know each other from The Oasis of The seas. I am still always amazed at the memory of crew memebers.

I do not have any reserved entertainement for tonight, but there is a different ice show that I attend. Reservations are not required, so it is strictly a case of first come first served. I easily find a good seat. Right after the Ice show, I head to the theater to catch  the headliner show. The same ventriloquist as last night, but he claimedit will be mostly different material. 30% at most, but still enjoyable.

Tomorrow we head to San Juan. The weather remains perfect with calm seas. During the evening the temperatures drop to the low 70's and are expected to reach a high of 85 in San Juan.