We got to the pier at 11:30 am and it was a breeze going through security and checking in.We were through the security check in 15 minutes and walked right up to an agent to check in. Once we had our Sea Pass we walked right to the picture taking checkpoint to get our faces into the security system and then straight aboard. We had a nice lunch in the Windjammer and then to the cabin to await our luggage and unpack. Our luggage showed up right away and we had everything placed and stowed and made our way to the Schooner Bar for a pre-meet and mingle to meet our CC buddies asap.
Sail away was just at sunset and very pretty. Going under the Skyway Bridge and leaving the bay was made easy by Capt Rob. He announced the time so that we could head forward at the right time. The age demographic on this cruise was the oldest I have ever experienced. There were more canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters than you could shake a stick at. Early seating was at 5:30 and late seating at 8. We had late seating and the DR was about 2/3 full. Early seating was a sell out. Very few children and only a couple of teens. There was never a problem with deck chairs being taken for the entire trip.
We had great weather for the entire trip. 80-85 with mostly sunny skies. The first two days, when sailing into the wind, it is very windy on deck. The second sea day we had a Coast Guard medievac of a critically ill passenger. They closed the pool deck to facilitate the helicopter dropping the basket and it was a really amazing to see them in action. The entire process was carried out with precision and it is amazing how dangerous the procedure is. Capt Rob changed the ships course to meet the helicopter that much sooner but unfortunately the passenger did not make it to the hospital.
We had Cabin 8088. We booked 18 months out to get an Aft JS looking right down the wake. This JS has a triple size balcony that accomodated 2 chairs, table, and 2 pool lounge chairs. We still had plenty of walking around room as well. Our group had all 4 across on Deck 8.
Unfortunately our time was cut short due to the rescue emergency. All the shore excursions were cancelled but we only planned to stroll OSJ and have dinner so we were happy.The view coming into the harbor is the best on the trip.
Here the ladies in our group shopped up a storm at a warehouse outlet for all the street vendor type stuff and then hit the jewelry stores on Front St. We rented beach chairs and umbrellas at the beach right off the pier for $5 per person and soaked up the sun.
We hired our own private taxi via a Cruise Critic Board recommendation. We e mailed and set it up with Rose and Jims Taxi.Jim had a great Toyota van that was perfect for our group.For $30 per person we saw the Batik Factory, Brimstone Hill Fortress, and the volcanic beaches on the Atlantic side of the island. Breath taking scenery and lush island vistas. A photo op a minute.
Here we were on a tour on a fast boat and did a complete trip around the island that included lunch. We saw the sights, stopped at a Stingray City type attraction, and swam with the rays and actually got to hold one. This was about a 6 hour tour that also included 3 snorkeling stops and a harbor tour where the big boats moored. The beaches were beautiful.
Our last stop was Tortola, BVI but we saw nothing on Tortola. Our ships tour took us to Virgin Gorda.Most of our group did a private tour on a catamaran that also went to Virgin Gorda. The ships tour was less and we got to see more because we had a fast ferry vs the Cat. We saw Spanish Town, and spent about an hour swimming and snorkeling at a secluded beach before going to the Baths. The baths are a couple of beaches where huge volcanic boulders dot the beaches. There are a collection of boulders that separate two beaches and they have created a maze path to squeeze through that they call the Cave. It is about 350 yds from the lot to the beach and a longer walk back up if you choose the non-cave path back up. Nice bar, restaurant and pool at the top for those who didn't want the beach. It was a shame that we left at 1 but it was the last stop and we needed to leave to get back to home port.