February 22, 2009

One more Cruise

I can't believe it - just one more cruise left on the contract. It's chock full of 7 Carribean ports that I've been to before, so I will fill you in on the latest and greatest places to see, and things to do. Don't worry, I have only seen a few pieces of the world so far, and my traveling and singing isn't nearly over! I'm booked for a 12 day trip to Greece in the month of March (with a personal Greek tour guide!), and well, i won't get ahead of myself... but there's a lot more to see and do in the coming months :-) stay tuned!

February 20, 2009

St. Barts

lions and tigers and pirates, oh my! Here is a quick run down of St. Barts: bring snacks and be prepared to see a lot of amazing stores with incredibly expensive things! If you are addicted to celebrity gossip columns, you will know that this is a hot spot for modeling shoots and celebs to vacation. The first time I went to St. Barts (last cruise), I went to Shell Beach – which was a 15 minute walk from the ship. It is a rough, shell-spattered beach. There’s a 2 story bar and restaurant which a big group of us ate at, and our bill was roughly 50 euros a person (and I had a salad and 2 drinks). Yeah, make that American dollars, and… well, I’ll pretend like it didn’t happen! But we were rich and famous for the day. On this trip to the island, I decided on an easy window shopping day, full of fresh air, and lovely scenery. The kids of the island’s three schools had a parade – each grade in each school was dressed to the nines in a certain theme. Anything from African safari characters, to pirates, to a Venetian masquerade to Disney characters – you name it! The finale was a small drum circle and wild little dancers from the jungle. Nothing like a little “circle of life” to put a smile on your face!

February 19, 2009

I belong in Antigua

it's so windy up herreeeeee!!! Eric Clapton's Island home. (the rehab center is on another part of the island, but close by) Below: a limestone church. Today, I was given an itinerary of ‘must sees’ from the art director who used to live on this island. Marsha, Billy, Ben from the band, and I hired a driver for the afternoon ($25 each for 4 hours) to see some perfect points of interest. Our driver, Sammy, was a Rastafarian who filled us in on his lifestyle, tofu, and the vegetarian diet. We were first sent to the English harbor and “Admiral’s Inn” which was inside a national park. We purchased tickets to have access to the park, which allowed the driver to then take us to more secluded points of the island. Admirals Inn served good food, along with a view of the water and boats. Sandwiches, salads, seafood, and even a few oddball dishes are thrown into the menu – like chicken curry and pumpkin soup. After lunch we walked around the little shops and historic areas to then return to the driver. Next, he took us up to a lookout point on the park, where we could see Eric Clapton’s house, as well as his rehab center. He is an adopted child of the island. How Rockstar is that? Someday…. Ahhhh. Anyways, next we were to another overlook to see a surreal looking beach resort owned by an American, with tons of lovely boats sprinkled throughout the water. To get us back to the ship, we drove through a rainforest area, and some residential areas. Sammy said there are a lot of really nice looking houses because the people of the island are all about helping each other out – if you don’t have a lot of money you can get materials yourself and build a nice house. There was definitely some really unique and upscale houses. There are also plenty of goats lining the sides of the roads, some leek from farms and others are wild. We got a thorough tour of the island, along with lots of information about the people and way of life. This is a recommended island to hire a driver – it is more then worth the money. My only regret is not having lunch at one of the many vegetarian spots – now I know for next time that the island caters to the Rastas with lots of meat free restaurants. To be continued!

February 16, 2009

This time, a relaxed and new adventure was desired. To start the day, I headed to “the tap,” which was nestled among a cluster of local and upscale shops, right across from the tender’s drop off. Free wireless internet had me sold – and I couldn’t resist to try their famous mango beer. Both greatly satisfied, I am a simple girl after all! I then headed to a local Mexican eatery down the street for some appetizers, shared with Gary and Joey. Next, upon suggestion, we took a taxi to “cinnamon bay,” which was about a 15 minute ride. This was a beautiful, convenient, and practical beach. There was a restaurant/bar at the entrance, and after a short walk to the beach, there was a place to rent gear – from windsurfing to snorkeling. There was a camp ground, with tents pitched right behind the line of trees that created a privacy barrier for the beach. There was a small snack bar right on the beach with drinks and snacks, to keep the beach bums happy. Cinnamon bay wasn’t as baron as the Solomon Bay I had visited previously, and the amount of visitors wasn’t overpowering. I would say, for first time visitors, this or Trunk Bay is the place to go. If you want a less tourist-y spot, with a fun semi-workout of a hike to get there, go to Solomon. Personally, my favorite was Solomon Bay. I’ll let you know what I decide on my final cruise and last time at St. John next week!

February 15, 2009

Agrifest @ St. Croix

somehow i managed to find barbecue tofu and carob cake! Joey and Gary with puppies for adoption. We were especially lucky to be in St Croix today, with Agrifest 2009 happening. This is an annual agricultural fair with live music, local food specialties, a farmer’s market, and livestock. Gary, Joey, and I were in the mood to really soak up the local flavor, so after an easy taxi to the fair, we were able to enter the barn full of ‘award winning’ foods. Rotis are a usual Caribbean food – a fried pocket stuffed with meats and/or vegetables. There was also an area with a whole oven roasted pig, which the guys tried. Pretty much everything we found was fried – including some pumpkin fritters. After our first impromptu tasting, we made our rounds of the fair and saw arts and crafts, farmer’s market produce, and lots of livestock. We saw “big Johnny” who was about a 7 foot tall cow, weighing in at almost a ton. We also saw litters of baby pigs, goat, and lamb with their mammas! After our exploring I stumbled into a solely vegetarian hut – complete with barbeque tofu and carob cake. My parents make barbeque tofu which really can’t be competed with, but it was nice to feel like someone was sending a little gift from the gods for me… and the carob cake was very moist and definitely worth a try, even the guys liked it. Joey and I were feeling especially spontaneous and even tried a sea moss drink and a peanut punch drink. We really did try a taste of EVERYTHING – but why not, when there are so many unique dishes. The sea moss was actual moss of the sea mixed with soymilk and god knows what else. The peanut punch was like a peanut butter milkshake. If you ever get the chance to try them, do it! It’s like nothing you’ve had before, and they are both surprisingly good, and I imagine sea moss has some sort of nutrient you can’t find anywhere else. That is, if you can get past the idea of drinking, well, sea moss. We left the fair to return to the port, grabbed the local beer, and watched the sun set. I love when people visit. Am I really getting paid for this?

February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

well, i celebrated on January 31st (when my Valentine left the ship)... so the actual Valentine's Day was a girl's night out, with a party full of hearts and red attire, and my favorite DJ Marsha! yay! Here's a blurry solo pic... lotta love to go around!

February 9, 2009

St. John

Rockefeller beach below: $500 a night is what I heard! St. John certainly fulfills it’s promise for the most fabulous beaches. The color of the water is a beautiful and vibrant light blue, with hints of teal in places where the sun hits just right. When walking into the ocean, there’s usually a bit of a drop off, where suddenly, you find yourself swimming in neck-deep water that makes it seem like a pool. The sand is light tan, and holds palm trees all over. You can see mountains and other islands surrounding you. The first time I went to this port, I was whisked away by a pick-up truck/taxi, with benches in the back bed (and some over head rails to hold on to) which took me to Trunk Bay. This was a nature reserve where the most people hear about, so it felt a bit touristy. The beach was absolutely glorious, and there was a nearby snack bar. The next visit, Lindsay and I wanted to venture off to find something a little different/less touristy, so we hiked a trail to Salomon Bay. It was about a 25 minute walk on rocky terrain, and there was little lizards leaping all over the place. We even saw two donkeys ahead of us on the trail, before we turned down a side trail to go to our preferred beach. Salomon Bay ended up being a secluded, quiet, and breathtakingly beautiful beach. We borrowed some snorkeling equipment and even ventured into the water to see a few vibrantly beautiful fish. This is the beach to come to!

February 7, 2009

St. Kitts

Today there was a crew tour – snorkeling and sailing adventure. About 30 of us went – all of the fun crazy party people, and we had a blast! It was about a 45 minute ride out to the snorkeling spot – none other then “Shittensburg bay,” where we geared up and swam among the fishies. There were many large rocks under water where the fish would mingle. I saw an octopus, who blended in with the rock it was on, and I didn’t notice it until it slowly swam away. I fell in love with snorkeling. On the way back, the crew had an impromptu dance party.. I don’t even think it was noon yet, but everyone was so happy not to be working, and we all had a great time together!