Friday, March 4, 2011

Sail Away with Us.....

Tuesday, February 7, 2011

We had driven to Georgia, to visit with our friends, Jann and Al....and then, the four of us drove down to Fort Lauderdale, to start our cruise.  We got there the night before, and had a lovely dinner at a restaurant on a canal.  Lovely sunset, over the water.

Nice view, good food.

We're already having fun.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Up early for breakfast.  We have time to drive up A1A, to Del Ray Beach.  We used to come to this area often, but it's been quite a few years since we were there.

After our drive, we headed to the ship.

Jann seems to be wondering how we got our cabin so fast.

Onto the ship, and straight to the cabin. 

We were pleased with our room.  Deck 10, Caribe, room C206...way up front.

Nice bath.

Mini suites have a bath tub.  The step up into it, was high.  But, we really liked the extra room.

And, we had some extra room on the balcony.  Four chairs, instead of two.

Peter took a quick look out at the water.

Then we headed up to the Lido deck, to meet the group for Sail Away.
They've installed the Movies Under the Stars screen.  The stars were out all day, though.  Noisy....anyway...

Met up with our group.

Joyce and I enjoyed the Sail Away boat drinks.

The staff was working to get people up and dancing.  This was a party, after all.

We sailed out, past the houses at Port Everglades.

Out past the Lauderdale beach.

We had some time to explore a little.  The Sanctuary is a private area.  You can pay extra to spend time here.  It's open for viewing on Sail Away.

They have a small pool, just below.  Not sure how 'peaceful' this is.  The children's area is just below this.

Announcement were made to go get our life jackets, and head down for Muster.  Jann and Al were in the same Muster area.  We all met in the Princess Theater.

The crew gave us instructions on what to do, in case of emergency. 

Then, back upstairs in time to see Ft. Lauderdale disappear...

....into the sunset.

Time to get ready for dinner....first night at sea.


Fridays, February 11, 2011...
We sailed into Oranjestad, Aruba, as the sky was beginning to lighten.

Oranjestad, is the capital of this small country.  Aruba is on about 74 square miles.

It originally belonged to Spain.  But, in 1634, it was taken over by the Dutch.  It is now part of the
Dutch Commonwealth.

In 1929, the Lago refinery was built on the island.  It became the largest in the world, assuring Aruba's place as one of the most prosperous islands in the Caribbean.  The refinery now belongs to Valero Energy Corp. 

Aruba is a dry island.  It's well below the Atlantic hurrican belt, and there's no 'rainy season'.  Lots of cacti grow on this island.  The largest agricultural product, is Aloe.  Aruba is the world's leading producer.

The Pilot boat showed up, and they tied us up to the docks.
Since we were here such a short time, we didn't take an excursion.  We had time for breakfast on the balcony.

It didn't take long for the sun to get high in the sky.

You can see the large resorts in the distance.  They're the sign of the number one product here....tourism.

Off the ship, and you feel like you've walked into a Disney park.  The streets are lined with colorful buildings.

Tropical colors and white, with the backdrop of that blue sky.

And, one big thing to do here, is shop.

A bell tower chimed the time for us.

I climbed up some stairs to get a better view.  Yes, that's our ship in the background.

Figures on the clock tower.

Our ship, through the palms.

Some of us needed more, yes, after sailing for two days to get here...we stopped at Starbucks.

I have to say....I liked their mailboxes.

There were open air markets, as well.

And, since shopping is such hard work...we stopped for some cool beverages.

Open air seating is just what they do, in the islands.

Not much time, back to the ship.
We weren't the only boats in town.

Before long, the Pilot boat was back....

....and, they got us untied.

The engines roared, and churned up some sand.
And, we sailed away.

Past beautiful resorts.

And, outter islands.
In the background, you can see the refinery.
And, in the foreground, another resort.

Aruba is one of the 'ABC Islands'....Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao....
I think Aruba deserves being an 'A'.

Their happy little license plates, on One Happy Little Island.