Monday, December 5, 2016
Gave my final presentation of the cruise, "Ghosthunting Florida," which included a crash course on paranormal investigation followed by examination of a number of specific reputedly haunted sites in Key West and Miami. Was was to tighten it up to just 30 minutes as bingo was scheduled to take place in the theater right after. Always glad to accommodate the needs of the entertainment program but, unfortunately, many of the people coming in for bingo were stunningly rude, walking in front of the podium while I was talking, chatting noisily, and generally being disruptive. This prompted people who had come for my presentation to go as far as yelling at the oblivious, trashy bingoers and to go to my poor activities manager after the event and complain to her, although she was certainly blameless in the whole thing (the person selling bingo tickets and not running crowd control on their customers, however, probably warrants a good thrashing).
Had a fun and productive day at sea and, among other things, gave my third presentation of the cruise, on "Exploring the Bermuda Triangle," which is always popular and in this instance had a turnout of about 80 passengers.
Went ashore on island of St. Kitts for the first time and spent time exploring Basseterre, capital city of the Federation of Kitts and Nevis.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Made port in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, about 9:30 p.m. Had coffee and breakfast in the cafe and then went ashore with an eye to eventually renting a couple of chairs and sitting on the beach a few hours. Noticed significantly larger police presence on the main street than during previous visits and everything seemed a littler seedier than it had before and, while it certainly did not fee dangerous in any way, it was a little offputting and made us decide against the beach. Had a couple of beers at the Greenhouse, a restaurant-bar on the way back to the cruise terminal that we have gone to several times before.
Returned to town on my own to take a few additional photos and visit the museum run by the St. Maarten National Heritage Foundation to see if I could get answers to a few questions I had about the history of the island. Met museum director Elsje Bosch, who generously spent more than an hour visiting with me, showing me around the musuem, and helping me sort out things I had questions about. Learned a number of interesting things about the island that I had not known before and which will allow be to correct some errors picked up in my earlier research.
Gave my first destination presentation, on "The History of St. Martin," at 10 a.m. in the Celebrity Central theater.
Made port in San Juan, Puerto Rico, about 3:30 p.m. Went ashore soon afterward and head directly to the Cathedral of Saint Join the Baptist to visit and take pictures. Then, went across the street to Hotel El Convento to reprise our tradition of drinking a pitcher of sangria there whenever we are in town.
Walked back through the darkened streets of Old San Juan and re-boarded the ship well ahead of its 9:30 p.m. departure.