Caribbean Cruise

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NOVEMBER 2014 -  We cruised to the Caribbean first stop Dutch Antilles Sint Maarten. The Island was divided up in 1648 to one side Dutch, the other side French. We decided to go by taxi to the French capital Marigot Saint Martin first, which had colourful markets. On returning to the Dutch side we looked at the Town Hall.

Next port was Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas which belongs to the USA. We had a boat trip to St John, which is part of the National State Park. When we were in the open coach we saw the remains of a sugar plantation. In the afternoon we went to Charlotte Amalie Main Street, expecting only diamond shops which we are not interested in, but found it was the Veterans Day, with a marvellous parade not only of the Forces veterans, but all the shool childrenís forces units and marching bands. Next day we were at St Juan Puerto Rico we went on an organised Tour to see the Fort and learn more of its history

Royal Caribbean has its own island Coco Cay. There is a nice beach, a nature trail, and you have a barbecue. I saw a bearded dragon lizard while I was eating my lunch.

After a night in Fort Lauderdale we caught the Amtrak Train to New York passing through many places including Philadelphia and Washington. It turned out not to be the adventure we were looking forward to as it takes 26 hours to reach New York and we didnít have a sleeper, the restaurant was all booked up, so we lived on snacks and the toilets were not cleaned until 23 hours into the journey!

However on reaching New York it was pouring with rain so we only managed to see Times Square. Luckily on day two we managed to go on the Staten Island Ferry, visit a little church amongst all the skyscrapers dedicated to Elizabeth Bayley Seton who founded the US Order of the Sisters of Charity and the first parochial school.. Our visit to the American Indian Museum was very interesting, and then to the new 911 museum which I will cover in a separate postcard.. Day three we only had the morning to spare so we looked at Central Park and then went to the Carnegie Hall Museum which was of interest to Geoff because Andrew Carnegie paid for the building of Kings Lynn Library where Geoff was born, in the hope of receiving a Knighthood from Royalty at nearby Sandringham. He didnít get one! The museum had a display covering its opening and all the people who have appeared at Carnegie Hall since. The museum now belongs to New York but is still fully booked every night when there is a show just as when Carnegie owned it.

Finally we had to leave and join the Queen Mary 2 for the non-stop voyage to Southampton. Geoff was very pleased because they have a Planetarium on board although they only show projections on the ceiling. In all it was a very good holiday with plenty of variety.

 

(Report Jackie Towler, Photos: Dr Geoff Towler)

 

Marigot Market, St Martin

Boat to St John

Sugar Mill, St John

Veterans Day, Charlotte Amelie

Amtrak Train, Fort Lauderdale

Coco Cay

The Old Fort, Puerto Rico

Bearded Dragon Lizard

Horses in Central Park

Wall Panel on the Queen Mary 2

Carnegie Museum, New York

Statue outside Planetarium on the Queen Mary 2

Shrine of Elizabeth Bayley Seton

Papoose on display on Red Indian Museum

Red Indian Museum, New York

 

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Brentwood U3A web site was created and is managed by Brian Leith

Saturday, 22 September 2018