• Upcoming trips

    September 7 to 15 Tony and Jo will visit us from the UK

    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem

  • theatre and Concerrts

    July 1  Saw “Napoli, Brooklyn” by Meghan Kennedy at the Laura Pels Theatre. It is based upon a real-life disaster, the surprise staging of which, is mind shattering! However, the story line has a surfeit of themes added; religious brain-washing, the effect of a bullying husband and father and lesbian freedom. None of these is fully convincing in spite of the excellent acting of the cast.

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Caribbean cruise on the “Gem”

In contrast to “The Breakaway” which we took on the last Caribbean cruise, the NCL “Gem” is a small, cozy, tub on which I had cruised  with Ethel many times previously.  Since our last cruise, however, it had been refitted and many inside state rooms had been added, to the detriment of their average size and convenience. Another result of the additions is that the state room corridors have become labyrinthine and difficult to follow–particularly since the directional carpets have been chopped up to follow the maze.

The constant battle against the spread of viruses includes a strict monitoring of the air quality in the state rooms and the air in the smaller inside rooms is almost too dry to breathe at nighttime. I am giving up on my old philosophy that the less money spent on the stateroom means the more money available for future trips–it’s outside cabins from now on!

Never-the -less, the “Gem” still caters for we older cruisers, and there is plenty of slow music to dance to.

A new destination on this cruise was a surprise hit and we would like to take further advantage of it before it, too, becomes a commercial wreck–It is Samana in the Dominican Republic. There are no deep water docks at the moment and ships have to tender. Passengers can choose to tender to Samana itself which has little to offer except the thrill of fighting off the myriad vendors who surround the unexpectant tourist, or to Cayo Levantado, a small island just off the coast.  Cayo Levantado  has a pristine beach backed by untouched rain-forest trees with a few grass-roofed bars and eating places among them. Plenty of free shade for picnicking and the beach chairs are free, too!

Click on the pictures for detail

Brilliant afternoon for our departure from New York, but very cold

Brilliant afternoon for our departure from New York, but very cold

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

 . . . .   Christine really needed her winter coat

. . . . Christine really needed her winter coat

Passing view of the completed World Trade Tower in context

Passing view of the completed World Trade Tower in context

Second sea day out and we were in the sun

Second sea day out and we were in the sun

Guess the name of the ship........

Guess the name of the ship……..

San Juan  . . . . .

San Juan . . . . .

 . . . . dockside sea-horse . . . .

. . . . dockside sea-horse . . . .

Carousel view of the ships

Carousel view of the ships

Outdoor school for acrobats

Outdoor school for acrobats

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. . . . . .

 . . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

 . . . . . . .

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SONY DSC

Serious dockside meeting–Somebody on the carpet?

St. Maarten beach

St. Maarten beach

Orient Beach

Orient Beach, St. Maarten

Swimming in the warm azure water of Cayo Leventado

Swimming in the warm azure water of Cayo Leventado

ST. Thomas

St. Thomas

St. Maarten

St. Maarten

The Gem's theatre curtain

The Gem’s theatre curtain

Deck party- Christine doing her "Cat" impression to much acclaim!

Deck party- Christine doing her “Cat” impression to much acclaim!

Pristine beach on Cayo Leventado

Pristine beach on Cayo Leventado

Parrots galore!

Parrots galore!

Local Art

Local Art

Local bar

Local bar

Woods nymph . . . . .

Woods nymph . . . . .

 . . . sea nymph!

. . . sea nymph!

Beach only for ships' passengers--take it while you can!

Beach only for ships’ passengers–take it while you can!

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2 Responses

  1. Looks like fun and very good pictures. John

  2. How bizarre and wonderful to go from winter coats to shorts and beach! Looks like a wonderful cruise, Ben.

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