Sailing onward to destination Bermuda – West End

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We’re on a three-week cruise celebrating our 50th anniversary, along with the Caribbean Princess Cruise Line!

Our journey so far, after a delayed start from Houston due to severe weather, took us to Port Everglades in Florida (See my first post in this series.)

Trying to make up for lost time, the Caribbean Princess sailed away during the wee hours of the morning on Thursday, April 21, leaving Port Everglades in our wake and headed for the next port destination, West End – Bermuda.

Just call us lazy because for the past few days we have requested breakfast delivered to our room to enjoy as we watched a little news on TV, and kept current on the ship’s course. We decided to take our paperbacks out to the deck chairs for some contemplation and relaxation. We have settled into our lazy days, gourmet meals and live entertainment every evening.

Tonight will be our first formal evening, so we made sure that we had our party clothes ready to go to the Coral Dining Room on this always-fun occasion. The dinner was a culinary delight, unfortunately, I felt ill a while later and stayed in my room the remainder of the night. These things do happen and it’s a good idea to pack Imodium for such occasions. The next day is Friday and I thought it best to take it easy and do some reading on the balcony, which is really an awesome alternative! The weather is in the 70’s, mild and pleasant. The views of the Atlantic are spectacular in its deep, aqua-blue sereneness.

The Caribbean Princess is back on schedule. Today we would prepare for our arrival in West End Saturday morning April 23 around 7 a.m., by watching a presentation on Bermuda. The island offers glass-bottom boat rides, an aquarium, museum, zoo and several golf courses, plus lots of beaches and water adventures! We were planning a tour on our own and take a boat ride from West End to Hamilton, then take a bus back to the port area, or vice versa, with our friends Don and Margie.

This island is quite spectacular! As we near our destination, from our ship we can see the British Royal Navy WWII staging area in our sights. The weather is perfectly pleasant and in the 70’s.image

West End, Bermuda, is a bustling place full of tourists, buses and traffic. Buses have the right of way here, where every possible post boasts a sign that says, “Give way to buses!” I wonder what’s the rush, as buses fly by.image

Once in town, we walked the streets and found shopping malls, churches and restaurants. The history here is British, so traffic drives on the left, which makes American’s uneasy to say the least. There are narrow, winding streets, so our bus ride was pretty much like a fast ride at DisneyWorld. I could see pedestrians hopping out of our path as we barreled through, barely missing bus stops!

The City Hall and Arts Building caught our attention with its pristine white exterior and clock tower — very British!

Our walking tour led us to a church with beautiful stained-glass windows and tall steeple. The Anglican Church of Bermuda, Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, was consecrated in 1911. Beautiful!image

Walking around West End was exhausting on sloping streets, and often the walkway would lead to steps down to the next street level.

We decided to stop for a beer and snack at a restaurant with outside tables – Bone Fish Bar & Grill. Here was the best place to do some people watching, and enjoy our cold drinks during the heat of the day, which was still only in the 80’s.image

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Our boat ride across the bay by water taxi was uneventful, although the scenery was well worth the effort.image

We left West End, Bermuda, thinking that for a tropical island, this one’s climate was not too hot to enjoy the surroundings — I give it an A+. I would like to return for a longer visit one of these days…

The Caribbean Princess would now set its course for Liverpool, England. Yes, that means we won’t see land for about a week on this trans-Atlantic voyage.

(You are reading the second post in a series depicting my travels on the Caribbean Princess ship for three weeks from Bayport Cruise Terminal in Houston, Texas, to Ft. Lauderdale, Bermuda, Liverpool, Wales, Hamburg, Le Havre/Paris and South Hampton/London in the spring of 2016.)

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Relaxing in Atlantis before starting our trans-Atlantic journey

Hi!

Hi!

The day on shore in Nassau and Paradise Island, The Bahamas, was planned as a time to enjoy the beach and all the other exciting features of the Atlantis Resort and the many shops in Nassau. Our excursion included transportation to and from Atlantis, a spot on the beach with towels, chairs and shade.
Our particular beach location was in Cove Beach, where the waters are calmed by breakers and the sound of the surf, along with the aquamarine color of the water, helped to bring peace and calm.
We made the most of our time spent there, including lunch and tropical drinks. No doubt about it, the large marine life enclosures on the grounds were astounding! We saw sharks, stingrays and barracudas. The sheer architectural magnificence of the buildings and their almost surreal surrounds is absolutely breathtaking! We also visited the casino, but no winnings to report!
The tour bus brought us back into town with time to spare for shopping in the many stores of the Diamond District, which proved to be very productive.
The last time we visited The Bahamas, which was about three or four years ago, we toured the city and Paradise Island by car. We also took a leisurely ride on a glass bottom boat to see colorful fish and coral offshore. This time we just wanted to relax and enjoy an island setting that is unique by any standard – Atlantis! In case you’re wondering, the Michael Jackson suite can run $25,000-$36,000 per night! Yikes!
One reason we just wanted to relax and enjoy this island day, is because we were gearing up for an eight-night, seven-day journey across the Atlantic Ocean on The Mariner of the Seas. We left Port Nassau about 5 p.m. tonight (Wednesday, April 24, 2013) on a charted course to Madeira in Portugal.
Unfortunately, we just found out that the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi will encounter dead zones during the trans-Atlantic crossing. So, if we thought Wi-Fi was slow before, it’s going to be practically non-existent for the next few days/week.
If the signal will allow, I’ll post an update before we reach Portugal. If you don’t see and update, I’ll try to catch up whenever possible.
Until next time…

Get ready for some southern comfort!

Here is a look at a few spots that I consider the cream of the crop!

Tuscaloosa! Dreamland BBQ — now that’s what I’m talking about.
Tuscaloosa pic
Read the story here! http://www.ourtribune.com/article.php?id=12951

Daytona! Not just for NASCAR lovers! The sights, the sounds, the aromas — Love Dayton and nearby spots, too!

Read more here:

Daytona Beach

Read more here! http://www.ourtribune.com/article.php?id=12918

Civil War Trail in West Tennessee! Follow the Civil War Trails in Tennessee and learn why both sides had their stories to tell. Memphis is a great place to start on this journey…
Civil War Trail in W TN
Read more here: http://www.ourtribune.com/article.php?id=11010

Sailing in the Gulf of Mexico from Kemeh – Galveston!
Sailing in the Gulf
Read about it here: http://www.ourtribune.com/article.php?id=7846

Beaumont! The little city with a big heart — visit Spindletop, home of the big gusher!
Beaumont treasure
Full story link: http://www.ourtribune.com/article.php?id=12914

La Torretta Lake Resort and Spa – Golfing, boating, swimming, and more — all on Lake Conroe, TX!
La Torretta Lake Resort La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa [/caption]
Read more: http://www.ourtribune.com/article.php?id=12929

Mountain Lakes in N. AL! Surprises around every bend makes this one of my favorite locations in the south for soaking in all the south has to offer!
Mountain Lakes region of N. Alabama!
Get the scoop here: http://www.ourtribune.com/article.php?id=13001

Shreveport-Bossier! Shopping, casinos, movie stars (yes, they make movies here!) and much more!
Shreveport-Bossier
Read more here: http://www.ourtribune.com/article.php?id=14084

Mobile, AL! This is the ultimate location for southern hospitality and charm!
Mobile, AL
http://www.ourtribune.com/article.php?id=14255

Navarre Beach! Located in the Florida panhandle, this is one of the lesser known white sand beaches…one of Florida’s best kept secrets!
Navarre Beach!
http://www.ourtribune.com/article.php?id=11840

Houston, we have a Fun Park!

Houston, we have a Fun Park – But you have to drive to Galveston! The Pleasure Pier on Galveston Island was a pleasant surprise encounter! On a recent Sunday afternoon, while taking a leisurely drive and enjoying a day of sunshine, we were drawn to the ocean (well, in this case it’s the Gulf) like a duck to water.
We knew the Pleasure Pier was up and running but we had not found the opportunity to check it out — until now! At this point, we looked around us and wondered why we didn’t have our grandkids with us. Next time, we said, and we can’t wait!
We bought a walk-on pass and continued on our fact-finding mission. This is a full-blown amusement park constructed on a pier over the waves. We were amazed!
We looked at the brochure and it said. “Calling all Thrill Seekers!” Can you imagine 16 amusement park rides all on one pier? It is amazing to see!
There’s a kiddie big top area, pier party zone, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., gift shoppes, photos, live music & entertainment, food, midway games and more!
Hope you get the chance to check out The Pleasure Pier soon!

Another excuse to visit Galveston!

Another excuse to visit Galveston!