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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Veterans of the Pacific War honored in Fredericksburg

I never expected to see such an incredible place of honor for veterans of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. Take a little tour of the museum here — my article in The Tribune:
http://www.ourtribune.com/article.php?id=16026

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One week to sail date!

Exactly one week from today, The Mariner of the Seas will embark on a 41-day repositioning journey from Galveston to Singapore. That leaves only six more days to finish packing and set our sights on the horizon.
As luck would have it, the Lyrid meteor showers will peak during the first and second nights on the ocean, and I’m really looking forward to that experience – far away from the lights of the coast. The Lyrid meteor showers come along this time every year, and it just so happens to coincide with the kickoff of this cruise. We lucked out!
With the countdown to the voyage speeding by, it seemed like a really good time to soak up as much Texas as possible today, while on a day trip to visit with family.
The first thing we did was chose a place to enjoy some real Texas BBQ. We chose the Chappell Hill Bakery and Cafe, where it doesn’t get any better. This eatery was recently mentioned in Southern Living magazine. We sampled all the BBQ meats on the menu, including brisket, ribs, sausage and chicken, which were all very delicioso. The sides were very yummy, also! Then, of course, we had to sample a piece of pie and take home some Kolaches! They are famous for pies and fruit and sausage Kolaches.
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http://www.chappellhillbakeryanddeli.com/ordereze/default.aspx

Another “pure Texas” experience presented itself as we made our way back home. Just east of Chappell Hill, hundreds of Bluebonnet lovers had pulled over to take advantage of this perfect Sunday afternoon to snap their yearly “Bluebonnet Pics.” Non-Texans may not know about this very traditional spring activity in Texas. The larger Bluebonnet fields were so crowded that we decided to make do with a small patch beside the road…it was better than nothing!

Now back to my packing list…and dreaming about a Royal Caribbean cruise that will take me and my fellow travelers on this exciting adventure, thanks to our friends at http://www.kingwoodtravel.com. Next Sunday we leave the Port of Galveston and will dock in Nassau a few days later. After that, we sail across the Atlantic and on to the Mediterranean, finally ending up in Singapore after a total of 41 days. Pinch me to make sure I’m not dreaming!

http://www.ourtribune.com/section.php?c=3&sc=117

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