Our cruise departed on Friday, September 8 for a 9-night Caribbean trip. The scheduled itenerary was 2 days (Sat/Sun) at sea, followed by stops in St. Thomas, St. Maarten (my personal favorite), San Juan, and Labadee. Then it was another 2 days at sea to come home.
Hurricane something-or-other had other ideas. (Okay, I confess... I never bothered checking any weather reports before we left, and I have no idea what the thing had been named.) It was on a path to Bermuda, where we were NOT going. However, the ship's usual 2-day route to the Caribbean would have passed right through the hurrican's track. So, they had to re-route us, following a route closer to the U.S. coast, which meant that it was going to take 3 days at sea to get to the Carribean rather than the usual 2. It also meant that we would miss our stop in St. Thomas.
More confessions... I'm not crazy about St. Thomas. I think it's highly overrated, especially the shopping. There are some gorgeous beaches, but they're quite crowded and I've seen equally lovely, less crowded beaches on other islands. What I like about St. Thomas is that nearly EVERYONE gets off the ship there, which means I can stay onboard and enjoy a very quiet day by the pool. The extra day at sea suited me just fine. ;)
We left from Cape Liberty Cruise Port (Royal Caribbean's fancy name for "Bayonne, NJ). We did this last year, and I discovered that I really like it, for a couple of reasons. First and foremost-- we can drive rather than flying to the ship. I love flying, but can live without the hassle when I'm going on a cruise. There's only one ship in port at any given time (only 2 sail from there currently), so the cruise terminal isn't nearly as crowded as in other places. Then there's the view of New York City when you are leaving port. BF doesn't get it, but I just love being on deck and seeing the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.
The ship also sails under a bridge as it is leaving New Jersey. The ship is quite large, and it just fits under the bridge. Our captain said last year what the clearance is, but I don't remember. I do know it isn't much, though. I missed this last year, because of dinner and a delayed sailing time, but I made a point to be there for it this time. Cool, huh?
Wow... I've rambled!! And we haven't even gotten to the islands yet. LOL I think I'll stop here and post about our stops later. For now, I'll leave you with a photo of one of the our towel animals. It was a "bad hair day" for me, but I'm wearing one of the outfits I made especially for the cruise, so I thought I'd share. By the time we left, I had finished 4 pairs of pants and 2 tops. (I'll post pics of those later.) Not bad for a rush job! :)