Sunday, March 21, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010 – Charlotte Amelie, St Thomas, USVI – 87F – Partly Cloudy

Another day in paradise – this time US paradise.

St Thomas Arrival (Small)

Arrival – St. Thomas

This could be our fourth time in St. Thomas. We generally walk into town for some shopping but today we are on tour - “St. Thomas Panoramic Drive” departing at 9:30 AM. The bus left the city and headed for the countryside. At the “Skyline Overlooks”, we could get a view of neighboring island, St. John,

St. John from Lookout (Small)

St John in the distance

as well as the Equinox in Charlotte Amelie Harbor.

Equinox in C Amalie Harbor (Small)

C and Equinox (Small)

Ellen – Celebrity Equinox from “Skyline Overlooks”

From this point, we also get a great view of Crown Bay

Cruz Bay I think (Small)

Crown Bay, St. Thomas

As do many of the lookouts frequented by tour buses, this one had its share of vendors hawking caps, shirts, and cold drinks.

Continuing our scenic run through the hills of St. Thomas, the bus arrived at “Drake’s Seat”, so named because Sir Frances Drake, the famed explorer, used this lookout to keep tabs on his fleet below. From Drake’s Seat, we were treated to a great view of Magen’s Bay – one of the best beaches in the world.

Magen Bay from Drake's Seat (Small)

Magen’s Bay from Drake’s Seat

Our final stop was at St. Peter Great House and Botanical Gardens. This is a private residence – West Indian Architecture- which also allows tours to come through. In the 1800s, this site was a 150 acre plantation. The estate is on 11 acres now and the residence tops out at 20,000 square feet. The estate sits at 1000 feet and you get great views of Hull and Magan’s Bay.

There are ornate mezuzahs on the doors probably put up by the current residents. There are also luscious gardens, some caged birds, a gift shop, and the best washrooms in the Caribbean (my opinion). Check out the poster in the men’s wash room.

Poster in Great House Restroom (Small)

H and C at St. Peter Great House (Small)

That’s us on balcony at Great House – what a view

C and Great House Plants (Small)

Ellen and the lovely plants at St. Peter Great House

From there, the bus headed back to the pier. It turned out to be a good tour – lots of great scenery and a comfortable bus.

Here’s something you don’t see everyday – while standing in line at the Shore Excursion Desk, I happened to notice that the TV monitors that usually display information relative to tours had my talk (no audio) running.

My talk on Shore Ex Monitor (Small)

Just what you need to watch while waiting for your excursion tickets.

We watched the sail away from St. Thomas from the deck.

St Thomas Sailaway (Small)

Tonight is the second formal night – it is also Lobster night. We opted for the buffet this evening. The place was essentially deserted but we did have a nice dinner (pasta made to order is still the best meal on the ship). The only other folks in the Oceanview Cafe appeared to be crew and entertainers including one of the dancers who had a show later that night.

The show in the Equinox Theater tonight was “Remix” – where tunes are given a new sound. I wasn’t able to ID some of the songs but the dancing was full of energy and the AV was state of the art. Loud but I liked it.

Tired from a long day…

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