We then visited the California Lighthouse and enjoyed a 360 view of the island, although you can't go into the lighthouse, which was a disappointment. Our next stop was the Casibari Rock Formations, and we were among the brave few who climbed to the top of the highest boulder. Finally we stopped at the site of the Natural Bridge - the original collapsed in 2005, but there is a second bridge, which is just awesome to see. This bridge of rock was formed naturally by the wind and the motion of the sea, and is actually in danger of collapse as well by the very forces that created it.
Again we returned to the ship for lunch and a rest, and then headed out for some shopping among the colorful vendor stands. We got some great souvenirs and gifts, and enjoyed interacting with the delightful locals. I even tried out my just-learned language skills on them: Masha danki!
After returning to the ship for lunch, we headed downtown to visit the oldest synagogue in continous use in the Western Hemisphere. The bridge was open (closed?) - this is the most amazing thing, this bridge that floats. They run a free ferry when the bridge is open, and halfway down there they closed the bridge, so we headed back to wait. It was 4:23 by the time we got to the synagogue, and despite a sign that announces a 4:30 closing time, they were already locked up for the day. That was our single disappointment in an amazing day of sightseeing.
We then travelled down the other side of the mountain to Mero Beach, an amazing black sand beach, where we had an hour to sunbathe or walk the beach. If you go, make sure to take full advantage of the offer for a free rum punch -- much more rum than punch!
We had a great time snorkeling along the marked underwater trail, but the tour is way too short, and we only had a total of an hour and a half at the beach. I suggested we stay at Trunk Bay and pay for our own cab and ferry rides back, but that would have been an extra cost on top the excursion cost, so we rode back with the tour group. We were back on the ship by 1PM, even though the ship didn't leave until 6. They really need to look to extend the length of that excursion, even by an hour. It was really hard to leave that beautiful beach after snorkeling - laying out for an hour or so would have been such a nice way to end the cruise!
As we were rinsing off at Trunk Bay, I noticed the snorkel rental stand, so next time, we'll do our own excursion, so we can stay as long as we like.