Monday, January 18, 2016

Grand Turk January 17, 2016

The morning is a restful one.  We don’t arrive in Grand Turk until 1 pm. 

After Bernie delivers the coffees to the cabin - got to say I am very thankful for this extra service I get -- we relax until around 9 am when I shower and head down to the Atrium to get a coffee and an egg sandwich.  I stop by the Morning Show Drop Box to put in a shout out for Bernie’s Birthday tomorrow.  Sadly I found out later that it was already recording at that time and wasn’t read out. 

We took a seat in Vines near the window.  I love this area, it is a quiet area with a beautiful view with four chairs.  We sit here during the day and in the evening too if it is available.  Friends Sue and Bill come by to chat.  Michael stops by -- this is beginning to look like our office or hang out.  Our friends know just where to go.

Lisa is hosting the Mardi Gras Dance class.  Tonight is the big Mardi Gras in the Atrium and there are a lot of people attending the class so I bet tonight will be good.  After the dance class they have Steel Pan Drum Class and then the Drum Circle Class.

I tell Bernie I am going to head to Club 6 to read for a few hours until we dock.  But I will be at the Speed Sudoku at 12:30 - for which I sucked at but it was fun.  Not many people have been attending the Sudoku but those of us who have been attending have really had fun and chat amongst each other before and after. 

One thing about arriving in any port later in the day like today is people are ready to go.  Corralling them away from the gangways is key.  The Captain at noon announces about the fact we will need a bit of time to dock and do clearance before we can let people off and that people should wait in public areas away from the stairways. 

I am up in Horizon Court having a light lunch when we dock.  We are the only ship in port today and again the pier is on the starboard side of the ship.  Weather is clear and hot but the winds are strong.

The forward gangway is the one that is open today.  Reason for this is the pier is just not long enough to open the others.  Well they could but you would be walking off the gangway into the water.  So this does create a bit of a bottleneck so if you are coming here sometime soon take note and head off later like at 1:30 when you can walk off and enjoy less frustration.

We put on the swimsuits, get the beach gear.  We leave the snorkel gear in the cabin as it is just too windy.  Slather on the sunscreen (applied three times today), ball caps and my float.  

Off the ship we walk thru the Duty Free Shop and turn left and along the beach.  Now we are in Margaretville and there are a ton of chairs but we want something more quiet so we keep walking up to Jack’s Shack.  But of course Jack’s is not quiet so we keep walking a bit and lay out our large flat sheet that we bought at Target in Florida.  We lay out on that and jump in the water, read, enjoy a cold drink from Jack’s --- wicked!!! 

The wind is very strong.  So strong we later found out that the swimming area right near the pier was closed because the ship needed to use it’s thrusters to stay in place.  But there was still a lot of area to swim if you went further down the beach.  We had no problem with swimming where we were.

But I did go in the water with my float and sat in it and well the winds almost drifted me to a different island.  So that was useless.  Even swimming was great but you did drift with the current. 

The day was great though.  We raised our glasses to a great cruise so far, to an amazing island, to us, to the beach, to well everything - till our glass was empty.  I can only handle one of Jack’s rum punches though.

Around 5 pm we packed up and walked back towards the pier.  We stopped and visited with Martin and Sanja for a drink in Margaretville.  This is their last stop and they have to go around to the stores to pick up any items passengers may of bought that they want picked up by the shopping hosts.  They also have desk hours later tonight so they need to head back shower and get ready.  I am so impressed by them.  I have learned a lot about all that the shopping hosts do and I am impressed and seek them out if you have any questions about purchasing any item.

Back on board at 6:15 we peel off the suits and well the sand!  That sand sticks everywhere!  We rinse off our suits and float and jump in the shower.  It is a lot of work trying to get rid of that sand - but I will suffer thru it.  But oh that feeling after you shower and moisturize - feel refreshed and ready for a great night.

Down to Vines - well you know the routine. 

Dinner is back at our table with Dragisa from Serbia and Aggat from Indonesia.  We are connecting with them now and today the whole dining room is rather quiet.  Not surprised, late port stop (we didn’t leave until 7) and there is a football game and many are up there enjoying the game.

It is the Chef’s Dinner and I start with the goat cheese soufflĂ©, probably one of my favorites and it is perfect.  I skip a salad or soup and have the KFC for dinner, well at least that is what I call it.  But the first attempt was not very good, not crispy and dried out.  Dragisa recognizes right away that I am picking and immediately heads to get me a fresh one.  The second one is perfect. 

Oh forgot to add the sorbet they served to cleanse the palate was so good! Bernie ordered a shot of vodka to pour over the sorbet just like the chef's table.

We skip dessert and munch on some Gouda to complement our wine.

Tonight there is a lot going on, or at least a lot that we are interested in. 

The Atrium is a buzz with the Mardi Gras Festivities going on.  Last year we were here when they had just started this and it is interesting to watch how it has grown.  It definitely is more organized and setup and take down are coordinated much better.

They started with the steel pan players - sadly only half the players showed up and they quickly removed one of the tables with the pans.  Then after they finished they cleared that and then they set up for the drum circle.  But the lag time is noticeable and would be better if they could make it flow more seamlessly but that could be hard.

The drum circle was very good - I should try one of the classes next cruise or the one after.

Then the dancers set up and come on in.  It is a large group.  I missed the dancing around that they did last year but they may not have been able to coordinate this with such a big group.  We are dancing off to the sides and enjoyed ourselves. 

We run into Cindy and Dave and we all go to the Voice of the Ocean together.  The show is at 10:30 but get there early as the place fills up and the voting devices are limited and are handed out on a first come first serve basis.  Note you need to leave your cruise card with them as the devices are not cheap and they want them back. 

Our seats are right down in the front to the right.  The center three rows are reserved for the contestant’s family and friends (nice touch).

Those chairs are huge!  The coaches are Michael - HGM, Trisha from the magic show, Adam Ace the comedian/performer.  They are hilarious!  The singers blow us away and boy that takes nerve to do something like this.
In the end you vote for the last three singers with your device and the tally is automatic. 

This is wow and I am impressed Princess!  So if you are on the Royal, Regal, Ruby and the Emerald at the end of this month make sure to check it out!


  1. Vickie, in earlier posts you mentioned they tried to charge you for chairs near Jack's. This most recent time 2016, was there a charge for the chairs?

  2. we didn't use Jacks shacks' chairs but I believe they were free.