Friday, February 6, 2015

Grand Turk February 5, 2015

The sun is shining and the skies are clear and the high is according to the Patter says 26C or 79F.

We are at sea heading towards Grand Turk. 

I love that we can sleep in and relax and not have to worry about getting ready and heading ashore too early.  Bernie has gone down and gotten me my latte and we are relaxing in the cabin watching a movie.

For breakfast we head up to the Horizon Court and grab a small bite to eat.  I love the variety on this ship for breakfast and it is so spread out and you are able to get the same item in a few spots. Like for me I love bagels and cream cheese and I find it easy to find and they are also available in a different area.  So nice, it may be hard to go back to the “old” Horizon Court.

There are a lot of events happening this morning; Bible Study; Catholic Mass; Aero Box; Mahjong; Ping Pong; Morning Trivia; Ballroom Blitz The Forro; Drum Circle Class; Win Lose or Draw; Shopping Talk about Grand Turk; Steel Pan Class; The World of Rembrandt; Lawn Bowl Competition; Open Tennis Play; Wii@Sea Bowling; Bing; Afternoon Trivia. 

It is still early when we dress and head out (around 9) and we are surprised at how many people are dressed and ready to go ashore with their items.  We still have four hours before we dock!

The Atrium is busy.  It is lovely to see so many people chatting with other passengers that they have met throughout the voyage.  And really that is one of the great reasons we love to cruise.  It is the people you meet and the life long friendships you make.  Even we are so happy to see so many people we have sailed with before on this itinerary and we find that we may have met them on a prior trip but this voyage we are deepening this friendship. 

I sit in the International CafĂ© for a bit and sip my second coffee and do some reading.  But it is getting too busy and noisy so it is time to head elsewhere.

Coming into Grand Turk is a beautiful sail in so being up on deck provides a great opportunity for this.  I have to say I do miss the huge wrap around Promenade for being able to get out easily to see the arriving and departures from ports.  I do like their wide sections and seating area that is available but it is not conducive to walking and watching the happenings ashore. 

Back in the cabin we put on our swimsuits and slather on the sunscreen just when they announce the clearance to head ashore.  There is only one gangway that is open (forward deck 4) which is probably cause the ship is large and the pier can only accommodate the one gang way.

Grand Turk was founded by Taino Indians who crossed over from Hispaniola between 500 and 800 AD.  Ponce de Leon discovered the island in 1512, Spanish settlement began in 1766.  The area is located about 575 miles southeast of Miami and 30 miles south of the Bahamas, Grand Turk, just one of 40 islands in the Turks and Caicos island chain, site at the eastern end. 

We have been here before but I thought I would suggest we go explore a bit more.   Once we cleared the duty free shopping building we turned right passed the sperm whale statue and then along the beach.  We do have to walk along many rocks (you can walk up on the land to bypass this) and then we came to the point which is called Baby Rock Point.

We continue onwards for about another kilometer.  The area is deserted, there are really no amenities at all.  There is a place that has some palapas with some lounge chairs (but they are locked up and there is no one here).  There is a guy who is racking up seaweed for harvest I guess.  Even though the place is quiet the wind on this Atlantic side is high.  It isn’t really safe to head into the water as the waves are strong but right near the shore it is not deep and you can wade in.  Bernie wants to snorkel so he heads in but stays close to the shore and sees a lot of fish.  I just sit on the beach and read.

After about two hours we walk back and thru the Grand Turk Cruise Center.  It has grown since we were last here two years.  A few more shops and restaurants.  

Margarittaville is hoping but we walk along the beach and past the gate of the Center.  Again there are more beach bars set up here.  But we keep walking all the way to Jack’s Shack.

Jack’s is busy too but we grab two chairs and pull them a bit away from the noise and relax from sitting in the sun to floating in the water. 

At some point we wander up to the bar at Jack’s Shack for a drink and some food.  The prices are high but the drinks are darn good!  Food well not so much but it hits the spot (hamburger was $10 and you have to buy the fries separate $5).  But all in all it was a fun day at the beach and so nice to spend time alone on our own for part of it and then with good friends for the last part of it.

here are some ads for prices for some things you can do here.
this was located just outside Margarittaville on the beach

Back on board at around 6 pm (all aboard was 6:30) and when we arrive in our cabin there is a yellow rose on our bed.  It is from Natasha from the Celebrations store thanking us for our friendship.  Wow we are so happy and surprised, what a lovely gesture.  We actually met Natasha back in July when we went on the Crown for the day in Vancouver.  She was just joining the ship and we were visiting it for the day.  

We were so happy to see her on board and she is the highlight of our day when we visit her. 

We decide after a full day at the beach that tonight we are not going to the dining room.  It is great to have that option.  So we shower and head to the Elite lounge where we meet up with friends again. 

Friends saw Miguel Washington a comedian in the Princess Theater and they said he was very funny.  Team Rootberry is performing in the Atrium.  We feel for these guys cause they had to take four flights to get to Grand Turk to board after we missed Dominica.  I am very impressed at how hard Princess worked to get these entertainers to us for the last two nights of this cruise and the costs that was incurred. 
Oh forgot to mention that we were all credited $6.70 for the port charges that were paid for Dominica.

Tonight we head up to the Horizon Court for the Brazillian Buffet.  We have been to Brazil twice now and we always love their food so it was great to experience it on board.  There are tons of options, all kinds of meats, sausages, poultry, fish and many items that you won’t go hungry for sure. 

We are excited to head up on deck to the Retreat Pool tonight as tonight is the Night Sky Lounge.  This is a new feature that Princess has introduced on the Regal and the Royal.  If I had to describe it I would say it is like a nightclub that you would find in a city.  We have a few of them in Vancouver up on the top of roofs of buildings downtown. 

The pool is lit up and there are these cool plastic globes that light up in various colors.  Also these neat tables and stools that are of the same material.  Heck I want to take some of them home for our deck.

DJ Shea is spinning some cool mellow tunes and many of the officers are out and mingling and chatting with the passengers that are up here.  We grab a drink and mingle and enjoy the ambiance. 

Sadly it is very windy and I think it has kept a lot of people away.  I like the idea of this event and I hope it takes off.  It is held on the same night as the Latin Nites Party in the hopes that people will start up at the Lounge then wander over to the Latin Nites. 

I think it should be on a separate night than the Latin Nites and maybe have some drink specials, maybe bottle service in the cabanas.  Perhaps a red carpet or photo backdrop like you find at large premier events.  The photographers on board could take pics, make it an extra special event.
We are so tired though, it has been a long day and no nap means early to bed.  Back in the cabin we start watching a great movie called Pride, but we need to watch the end of it tomorrow cause I can’t keep my eyes open.

Tomorrow is a sea day and the last day of our second leg.

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