A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: dpedler

Day 28 – “At sea” (was to be Montego Bay, Jamaica)

14 Dec 2010

View MV Discovery - 2010 on dpedler's travel map.

We got to sight the entrance of Montego Bay before being advised that the local authorities had closed the port due to dangerously high winds.

As the ship has 119 Americans on board, all due to get off at Montego Bay, we couldn't just continue on to Cuba (US citizens are not allowed to visit Cuba – could we have dropped them off at Guantanamo Bay? I'm not sure - hehe). So we headed to Kingston at the other end of Jamaica where they disembarked late that evening. Unfortunately no-one else was allowed to leave the ship.

With another day “at sea”, the passengers needed entertaining so the guest lecturer’s pulled together and presented additional material.

Posted by dpedler 11:46 Comments (0)

Day 26 – Oranjestad, Aruba

12 Dec 2010

View MV Discovery - 2010 on dpedler's travel map.

Heavy rain this morning and with no scheduled tour, I started the day slowly. Seemed most of the passengers had the same idea. The sun appeared just before lunch and we headed into Oranjestad. It turned out that most of the shops were closed as it is a Sunday leaving only a few tourists wondering about.

The place did have the same Dutch feel as Curaçao, although not as pretty.

Posted by dpedler 11:46 Comments (0)

Day 25 – Willemstad, Curaçao

View MV Discovery - 2010 on dpedler's travel map.

11 Dec 2010

Up early this morning to watch the ship arrive at the very picturesque Willemstad; also know as Amsterdam in the West Indies. The Dutch influence is so strong, it is like being in Amsterdam in a heatwave.

On arrival the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge (on 15 pontoons shaped like little boats that swings open about 30 times a day to let boats and ships through) had to be opened as we headed up the channel (called St Anna Bay), under Queen Juliana Bridge, into Schottegat harbour where the ship did a three point turn and back into the channel, under the bridge again to berth in the town centre. Truly wonderful to see.

There are two ferries that go back and forth free of charge whenever the bridge opens up. It's quite amazing to sit and watch this going on constantly throughout the day.

It was the Willemstad Trolley Tram tour this morning around Willemstad. It was a simple little tour that provided a real feel for this very colourful town with its many Dutch colonial houses.

Curaçao is quite unlike any other Caribbean nation we have been to so far, very neat and ordered with real footpaths. At some time, the governor of Curaçao, who suffered from migraines, ordered that all the buildings be painted pastel colours rather than white, because the glare drove him mad. Consequently, it is like a picture postcard, with a myriad of gorgeous colours on Dutch style buildings (apparently, he also owned the paint supply business!).

We sailed late at 9:45pm just as the lively city, with all its music and lights, provided a spectacular fireworks display. I was standing above the bridge to watch our departure when the fireworks started a few hundred metres just off to our right. A wonderful farewell to a lovely port.

A clean, neat, friendly, colourful town and a great place to visit; well worth a return.

Posted by dpedler 15:51 Comments (0)

Day 23 – Porlamar, Isla Margarita (Venezuela)

09 Dec 2010

Today was to be a sea day, instead we are now visiting Margarita Island.
La Guaira has been cancelled for the 10th December as the Government of Venezuela has decided against allowing cruise ships due to the extreme weather conditions – widespread flooding and landslides, resulting in the loss of life of several people.

The lazy morning was spent at the beach located only a few hundred metres away from where we docked. The afternoon in the bar overlooking the beach drinking margaritas (of course) and the local beer. It was a wonderful relaxing day.

Posted by dpedler 15:51 Comments (0)

Day 22 – Port of Spain, Trinidad

View MV Discovery - 2010 on dpedler's travel map.

08 Dec 2010

Today is Trinidad and the huge and very modern city of Port of Spain. Our tour guide very proudly pointed out the tall buildings as if this was the measure of success and prosperity. Some sightseeing, a walk through the Botanical Garden and a trip across the island to the highlight of the beautiful Maracas Beach.

A visit into town that afternoon (between showers) to watch the locals shop and get a feel for the culture. A wet day that almost spoilt the beach and trip into the city centre, didn't matter as it was a wonderful introduction to this island.

That night was another amazing meal. Monday the whole table at dinner had fresh marlin (none was left for late sitting – tough luck), Tuesday was a lobster bigger than my plate (best I have ever had) and tonight was a good portion of red snapper; all caught on the day – can't complain about the food on-board.

Posted by dpedler 15:51 Comments (0)

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