Caribbean Cruise!

We took a cruise to the Caribbean with Eric's family at Christmas

Train at the Orlando AirportOur room on the ship

Playing games with Kenny to amuse him at dinnerSanta Claus arrives on the ship

Getting a present from SantaKenny ripping open a present

Playing with his new toysKenny playing with Eric's Rubiks Cube

PLaying with Uncle KevinA woman won the belly-flop contest

Arriving in AntiguaOur taxi driver on the ride to Nelsons Dockyard was very talkative

The bridgeKenny playing shuffleboard

Kenny plays more shuffleboardFirst time Kenny has clapped at the appropriate time, at a show

At the spray park on LabadeeWalking through the craft market at Labadee

The waiters at dinner would often do a little "show" - walking around with clapping, and maybe singing.Kenny and I, getting some exercise on the 4th floor deck, which was usually pretty quiet.

The Cruise Comix doing a juggling show... and some bubble magic

...more bubble magic...still more bubble magic

On the plane. It went pretty well with Kenny - luckily we were able to take some breaks to walk up and down the aisle.The plane had an upswept wingspan. Later I read in the airline magazine that it's an innovation that saves fuel.

There was a beautiful train between terminals at the Orlando AirportWe spend the night in Orlando, to not have to do all the travel in one day

Our first view of the cruise ship, Mariner of the Seas - what a monster!Our room - small but well designed

The space shuttle launch site is visible from the cruise dock, through our binoculars

The "Royal Promenade", in the middle of the cruise ship, is like a little mini street, with shops and restaurants.Grandpa has a new diet plan - sit next to Kenny, who will easily eat half your food, especially if it's fruit.

At the lifeboat session. Kenny didn't want to put his lifejacket onThe workout room ("ShipShape center"). I got a mini workout most days. I also really learned to appreciate having a TV in our workout area at home.

The pool area

Dinner with Kenny. He did pretty well with the stretched out formal dinners, but still - for a 2 year old, sitting for one and a half or two hours is no fun!Kenny generally enjoyed his food, though.

First stop - BahamasDoing a lifeboat drill

Ours was the biggest around!The Queens Staircase in Nassau

At Fort Fincastle

Interesting tree at a local church

A conch-shell wallHair braiding was a big business at all the stops we made. I didn't think it looked too attractive

View of the pool deck area on the shipThe rock climbing wall on the ship

The basketball court was usually pretty busy

Putt-putt golf course. The time that we played it was so windy, the balls would fly away.Inline skating course

There's a mini-skating rink on the ship, and there was an actual ice show. Kenny was completely absorbed.

On Christmas Day, Santa came to the shipThere was quite a crowd, waiting for presents

Kenny getting a present from SantaLooking out the balcony

Kenny scored big with the presents from grandparents and Uncle Kevin/Aunt Petra and Uncle Brian.

Ken got a noise-reduction headset from Brian

A food-garnishing demonstrationThe belly-flop competition

In-line skating

Eric at a ribbon folding class with me.At a formal dinner

Cute towel sculpturesArriving in San Juan, Puerto Rico

As we get off the boat, this lady is just about to tell me to not take photos

We ended up taking a one and a half hour bus tour to El Junque rainforest, which was a bad idea. I wanted to see it because I worked there many years ago, but we really should have just walked around old San Juan instead. This church is at the bottom of the road that led up into the rain forest research station where I worked, next to the grocery store we went to all the time.

Old paths leading to rain shelters

An ant path along the trailAt the top of the observation tower

We did a really quick walk around old San Juan when we came back. This is the fortress of El Morro. It was great, but we meant to go to the other fortress (Castillo de San Cristobal).

It's a steep drop-off here - pretty scary!

Taking a picture of myself through a little slit in the wall, at a little isolated sentry station

Really regretting not seeing more of old San Juan!

We arrived in Antiga

The ship churned up a lot of sediment as it anchored

Taking a taxi to Nelsons DockyardRandom street scenes along the way

This building was build out of a stone called (appropriately enough) greenstoneKenny had fun walking on the old anchors

There were dozens of very expensive looking yachts at Nelsons Dockyard

Trail leading to Fort Berkley. We had printed out a geocache located here, but unfortunately forgot to bring it.

Huge aloe bushesAround Fort Berkley

Lots of this kind of rock formation around

The rock that they used weathered poorly - this is it, exposed to the elements

...and this is inside.

Climbing on cannons

Some goats resting in the shade

Kenny at a photo op

On the way back on board the shipThe "bridge" of the ship

Hanging out at the poolKenny enjoyed shuffleboard

Hanging out on the railingsOn St. Maarten

After walking around for a bit, we took a water taxi back to the ship

There were some divers next to the ship, inspecting the hull

Waiting for a show to begin. They had some very fancy curtains for the theaterOn St. Lucia. This was a very impressive crane that was helping with the loading

We took a taxi to Pigeon Island on St. Lucia. It's an historical park, with old ruined forts and hills to climb - perfect place to be with Kenny.

Kenny climbing some more cannons

Once we got to the top of the hill, carrying Kenny, we sat in what little shade there was

The taxi driver gave Kenny the little orange spaceman that he's carrying here.

On the taxi ride back - this was an unfinished mall

Took a walk around town later on, and went into some of the local shops. It makes you realize just how good we have it here in terms of shopping - everything you could want, a convenient drive away. The local shops (we went to one grocery store, and one variety store) had junky goods, but not even inexpensive.

Kenny slept in a pack n play in our roomOn the helicopter landing pad. Kenny fell down here and skinned his knee - here, unlike other areas on the ship, the surface was rough.

The midnight dessert buffet

The dining room where we ate

There was a playtime, sponsored by Fisher Price with exclusively Fisher Price toys. It was only okay.Kenny gets more presents - trucks!

The libraryA kids circus, on the Royal Promenade

Kenny enjoyed his strawberry ice cream

Watching the ice show AGAIN!

On the penninsula of Labadee - off Haiti, and the (leased) property of Royal Caribbean. This is the boat that took us ashoreA beach wheelchair

Playing at the spray park

Goods from crafts vendors nearby. They were nothing if not persistent, but Royal Caribbean must have had some rules on where they could go, because they were only in the crafts market. They also had to be uniformed.