Sunday, February 15, 2015

St. Thomas Day Part Two

Since our beach day plans have changed we are dressed and heading ashore and into town.  It is very muggy out!

The Seaborne Dream II is docked beside us and we are the only ships in port.  Wow, I have never been to St. Thomas when it has been so quiet.  But it is probably a good thing since there is quite a bit of flooding. 

Our bus
When we take the taxi (Safari Bus) to town ($4 per person) we see quite a few buildings cleaning out the lower floors from flooding.  A few roads have water flooding them and cars have to slow completely down when driving thru them.  We later see pictures from some locals of cars that were washed away and trees down and rocks blocking roads. 

Princess made the right decision to cancel the excursions today.  I can just see people take the tours and then when buses can’t make it along the roads or get stuck somewhere, or encounter dirty mess to walk thru to see the sites.  People would of complained. 

But of course downtown is open, there are a few stores closed as some business owners/workers just couldn’t make it into town to open. 

The driver drops us off right downtown and we wader around.  But we are not huge fans of St. Thomas’ downtown.  You can’t walk down the street without someone trying to get you into their store, or sell you something, or give you some gimmick.  We feel all the time like we are being taken.  At one corner this guy is trying to get us to see something, we say no thanks, and we ask if he can point us in the direction of a restaurant that we are looking for and he responds, I will for a price.  Oh that annoyed us and we just walk away and say “thanks anyhow” and he keeps following us and we just walk.  I know this is the norm in the Caribbean, more so in some islands than others but we are not crazy about this style.

Bernie stops into a store to buy some nice shirts and I try on a few things but nothing that suits my fancy.  Plus it is so hot and humid and not much fun to try clothes on in this heat.

We decide to just head back to the ship and we decide to walk back.  It is about 2 kilometers away or a half hour walk away.  They now have a good sidewalk that you can walk along now.  Some areas were very muddy though cause of the storm. 

Once back on board (all aboard is 3:30) we hand out more of our Valentine’s day treats to the crew.  My favorite experience was I saw these two cleaners cleaning the brass in the floors outside Wheelhouse.  These guys were from India and I handed them a Ghirardelli Chocolate heart each and thanked me.  When I walked back later I overhead them chatting with another crew asking all about this Valentine’s Day thing and what it was about.  It is great how all these different cultures work and live on board and we all learn from each other.

I run into Jim and Lyne up at the Horizon Court where we sit and catch up.  We both are so surprised that the thirty days is coming to a close.

After a short nap we dress and head up for dinner.  Tonight is a formal night.  Normally it would have been the night in Grand Turk but because today is Valentine’s Day they are having formal night tonight.  Which makes total sense.  They are selling lots of flowers and chocolates.

The Photo team is out in full force too taking lots of pictures.  And what a lovely souvenir too. 

Oh forgot to mention that today at 7:15 they did a group vow renewal ceremony in the Atrium.  We did this a few years ago on the Emerald but for us today a nap was more important.  Guess that is what 20 years of marriage will do to you.

We are sat at a big table beside the window.  The Aft Starboard side of the Horizon Court is section off for the Fondue night.  We are greeted by the hostess and then the Head Waiter Marko comes by to welcome us.  Melita is our server today and oh I love the aprons they are all wearing.

Here is the menu:

Lean air-dried Swiss beef, black forest ham and speck served with petite cornichons, pearl onions and crusty bread

Served with horseradish cream, dill & chives; a staple feature in many German, Austrian and Swiss restaurants

Romaine and iceberg lettuces, tomatoes, kalamata olives, garbanzo beans and red onion tossed with honey-mustard vinaigrette

Gruyère and emmental cheese, white wine and kirschwasser with crusty bread to dunk in. When the fondue is almost finished, a brown crust will form on the bottom of the pot. Do not let it burn; loosen the crust and give it to the honored guest

This special champagne fondue has wonderful flavors of Swiss cheese and honey. It clings well to chicken morsels and baguette dippers

Sharp cheddar cheese and pilsner beer with bratwurst and rye bread morsels

The chocolate and cream mixture makes it superb served with choux puffs marshmallows, strawberries and pineapple

Delicate layers of filo dough filled with a sweet & tart apple mixture, raisins and nuts, served with vanilla sauce and whipping cream

Traditional, light, and not overly sweet orange infused almond crisps

$20 Cover Charge per Person
Guten Appetit – En Guete – Bon Appetit – Buon Appetito

We really enjoyed the meal but it is filling, but we take our time and enjoy each bite.  We wait after the main course to finish our wine and relax. 

Federico joins us for dessert.  The chocolate fondue is so good.

My thoughts on the fondue meal are that it is certainly a nice option to try and the price of $20 is affordable.  The atmosphere up in the Horizon Court is lovely and the service is amazing.  Same thing when we did the Crab Shack, great service. 

The two cheese fondues we had were excellent in flavor and the accompaniments were just the right amount.  I would of like to have seen a broth fondue option too served with thin slices of meat and vegetables.  It is a lighter option.

I don’t think enough people know about the fondue option.  Some promotion of it may be necessary.  Talking about it on the Wake Show with maybe some pictures.  Anyways I loved it and would do it again.

After dinner we head down to Vines and take a seat at the bar.  We sit under “our” balloon, the crew have written on some of the balloons and ours says Vickie & Bernie Happy Valentine’s Day.

Michael Prasse - HGM 

Mama Lynne

The dance floor is filling up with New Deal playing.  The Atrium is full and I think passengers are either getting frustrated or maybe the alcohol is kicking in but we witness two different people getting into arguments with other passengers.

One woman was yelling at another passengers and demanding that some of the crew step in and do something.  I am not sure what they are expecting the bar staff to do?  This woman then goes to Toby the Deputy Cruise Director and asks for him to do something.  I am impressed cause Toby walks her over to a quieter spot and she explains what happens.  I am guessing Toby called Security as awhile later we notice more security around the Atrium.  But really people you are on vacation, have fun.  Walk away and be the bigger person.

We dance and dance but the floor is getting way too crowded!  It is hard to get off the dance floor cause so many people have taken tables and chairs and blocked the areas to exit.  In fact this is why there was the second altercation.  When someone was trying to leave someone pushed an empty chair to the side so people could leave the dance floor.  Well I guess the man who was using that chair came back and screamed at this man moving the chair.  Thankfully the man walked away and ignored him and his outburst.

They had set up the balloons to be dropped and there are prizes in the balloons but I can’t handle the crowds and will skip the balloon drop.  Instead we watch from the Vines bar.

Soon after we head up to bed.  Clocks go back an hour tonight and we don’t arrive in Grand Turk till later.

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