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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Not second best — The Best!

Here for the wedding!

Here for the wedding!

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie made our day! My friends Arceli, Shalni and I made plans a week ahead to take in this movie and to do it in style – authentic Indian style, that is!

We discussed our options of what to wear; decided when and where to meet and marked our calendars. We decided to dress as if we were going to the wedding in the movie – Fun!

Sunday afternoon seemed to be the perfect time so we met up at the local ShowBiz Cinema. We were excited to see what each of us had decided to wear and were greeted at the ticket booth with, “Where did you get your outfits,” and “We love your outfits.”

So we laughed and sighed and cheered for the characters and enjoyed the movie immensely. In fact, we left the theater with plans to eat nearby, ready to talk more about the movie. The Three Foodies (that’s what we call ourselves) ate at Oriental Gardens, and drank two pots of tea, which was just enough to get us through our evening.

The Three Foodies enjoying food, tea and conversation at Oriental Gardens after the movie.

The Three Foodies enjoying food, tea and conversation at Oriental Gardens after the movie.

We arrived at the restaurant at 4 p.m. and stayed until the restaurant closed around 9:30. I guess we didn’t realize how much we had to talk about and reminisce. Now that’s a lot of catching up! We were hungry, the food was good, and we had the best time talking for five hours, laughing and sharing our life’s journeys. I guess this movie just puts you in that kind of mood.

Some of my favorite quotes from the movie are by Sonny:

“It’s the teamwork that makes a dream work.”

“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”

“Instinct is the nose of the mind.”

“Coincidence is just a word for when we cannot see the bigger picture.” And my very favorite quotes are, “Sometimes it seems the difference between what we want and what we fear is the width of an eyelash,” said by Evelyn. And Muriel said she had heard someone say, “There is no present like the time.”

We’d like to properly thank Oriental Gardens in Kingwood, Texas, for giving us our table for most of the evening. For location and more information visit http://orientalgardensrestaurant.com/.

If you haven’t seen The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie, visit their Facebook page and website:  http://thesecondbestexoticmarigoldhotel.com/

Here’s hoping all your journeys are happy ones, and remember there’s no present like the time!

Trilla

Grand opening of Casino Royale on Day nine

Today was an exciting and much anticipated day for those passengers awaiting the grand opening of the newly refurbished Casino Royale! A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on the Promenade at 6 p.m. and free champagne was served! (I’ll post photos later when they are downloaded from my iPhone. The ship’s Wi-Fi works best when I use my laptop, so photos from my iPhone will have to wait.)
As with any grand opening, there were a few hiccups in the new casino. Machines didn’t seem to want to print out tickets, so at one point every machine in our row was blinking “call attendant!” However, things are sure to smooth out nicely along the way, we hope! Everyone was very excited and one slot player had already hit a $7,000-plus jackpot!
I don’t think I’ve mentioned that about 80-90% of the passengers on board are what you would call “Senior Citizens,” or retirees. Of course, there are a few young folks, and some even have small children.
At our dinner table, all are retirees! One couple is from Illinois and they are traveling with their 18-year-old granddaughter. They found out about the cruise when their Texas cousin sent a gift that was wrapped up in The Tribune newspaper with an ad by Kingwood Travel. Funny how fate works sometimes!
The rest of the diners at our table are either from Kingwood, Texas, or they used to live there. The table next to us is also filled with retirees from Kingwood. These two tables make up most of the group that booked this cruise through Kingwood Travel. A very nice bunch of people!
Since my last update, we’ve enjoyed excellent stage presentations in the evenings in the Savoy Theatre, with acts such as Hannah Starosta performing world class music on her violin on Saturday. Sunday night we were entertained by two-time gold medal gymnast, Lance Ringnald. I had a chat and took a photo of Lance, and I hope to talk with Hannah soon. Look for more talk and information about some of our entertainers in upcoming posts.
Today we decided to spend the afternoon enjoying the movie “Jack Reacher” on the big screen in the Savoy Theatre. Our friends Janet and Steve decided to take in “The Hobbit” poolside tonight. Of course, we had to check out the casino for a while – sadly, with no big jackpot to report!
It’s always our choice to make as to whether to stay busy with ship activities or just relax, read a book by the pool, take a class or take in a lecture, go to the spa, walk on the jogging track, play golf, climb a rock wall, play basketball or in-line skate. There is no end to the activities – the hard part is making up your mind. However, this morning was my time to catch up on lost sleep, after setting our watches up one hour each day, including today! Does anybody really know what time it is?
Until next time…

Golf in the middle of the Atlantic anyone?

Golf in the middle of the Atlantic anyone?

Can't wait to be a Mariner of the Seas!

It’s official now…a world cruise is in my future.
Planning, packing and putting all my affairs in order is the plan of attack for the next three weeks.
I’m excited, nervous and anxious, all in one, but mostly I’m thrilled to be taking a journey of a lifetime.
I’ll set sail on the Mariner of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International Cruise Lines) in three weeks and I hope to take you along with me…in my blog.
We set sail from the Port of Galveston and will end the journey in Singapore with many stops along the way: Bahamas, Portugal, Spain, Egypt, Jordan, India, Malaysia and Singapore, to name a few.

Hope you’ll come with me for the ride…

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

Can’t wait to be a Mariner of the Seas!