February 26, 2019

Feb 25, St. Thomas

The ship pulls into the dock right on time. The skies are partly cloudy, but it has rained recently as the decks are soaked. The walking track surface on deck 12 is quite slippery, extreme caution is in order. The air temperature is about 75, where it will remain most of the day.

About 50 crewmembers from food service are getting instructions on how to load lifeboats. After about 30 minutes of verbal instruction, two lifeboats are lowered into the water for further practice.

I take a taxi to the downtown area, walk around, and have a drink at a local pub. Taxis are not as you would think, but short flatbed trucks with open sides and a roof. There is seating for about 20 passengers. Fares are regulated at $4 per passenger to downtown from  the ship.

Many  buildings and shops are boarded up. There is some infrastructure construction taking place, but today must be a day off ar there are no workers. With just the Serenade and a smaller Carnival ship in port today, streets are not too busy.

As on the mainland, craft beer is all the rage. There is none actually brewed on St Thomas, it is all imported from St Croix. At least they are honest about it.

Back on the ship by mid aftrnoon the crew is busy washing some of the outside windows. Just as they are  finishing, a brief shower passes by. 30 minutes later the sun returns.

The hotel manager comes into the Concierge Lounge and is looking carefully all over. He spots something he does not like in the outdoor seating area. He whips out his phone and calls someone. A few minutes later another officer with similar ranking appears. There  is a discussion and apparent agreement.

Another call, another officer, but of lesser rank as indicated by fewer stripes on his jacket. This process repeats about four times over the next half hour. Something is going to be addressed, I have no idea what but the message has started at the top and passed all the way down thru the ranks. Whether it is a cleaning issue or a repair issue I have no clue, I may learn in the next few days.

I exchange messages with my daughter. Verifying that my 6 month old grandaughter is not allowed in the pool and that dining reservations have been taken care of. Supposedly they are, but will know for sure when eight of arrive in the dining room. I think I will verify on the first day of the next sailing.

The cabin air filters are being replaced on my deck today. Hidden behind the panels where guests seldom see? Bright metal, not black mold as I saw on the ship of another cruise line.

Last week I talked to Karen, the Loyalty Manager, about the process when I reach the status of Pinnacle. One of the benefits is a free cruise, but I know there are strings and restrictions attached. She does not know the details and says to talk to the future sales manager. 

Future sales is a very busy department, but as I am walking by the desk I find the manager available.  Her response - talk to the Loyalty Manager.  She has no idea of the details of the free cruise and how it works. Am I surprised, not at all. Something to take care of when I return home.

Tonight is the one menu where there is nothing screaming at me to eat in the dining room. I go to the Windjammer instead. No frozen and reheated apple pie here. Tonight they have a fresh apple pie about three feet in diameter. Many of the offereings in the dining room are also available, a change from several years ago when the menu was always different.

I return to the lounge and have a Sprite Zero. I consider attending the 8:30 production show, but am too tired. I go to the cabin, sleep for two hours then spend the next three watching a movie.

We are moving at about 8 knots to our next port of St Croix. According to the Captain the seas are less than 6 feet but they rattle the ship periodically. They must be  hitting the side of the ship just right.