Oh my goodness we slept in again! This voyage we have been sleeping so well. So that is what it takes -- 30 days on a cruise ship to get me to sleep. I will take it.
Today we are in St. Thomas and when we wake we are already docked and people are streaming off. Weather is perfect - Patter shows a high of 26 and light puffy clouds are above.
Captain docked us so smoothly at 8 am. I see that again, as usual we dock with the aft towards the land. The pier is on the port side.
Bernie heads up to get some breakfast. While he is gone the ship is doing their mandatory Crew Emergency Drills.
This exercise is done each cruise. It is mandatory to ensure that the crew are kept abreast of all the emergencies training. It always happens on a port day when many are off the ship. But if you are not off the ship you will encounter noises and announcements with the start of each announcement saying “for exercise….” This means it is NOT an emergency and you don’t have to go to your muster station.
Today the drill begins at 9:45 and we are use to this. One couple complained about the drill to Bernie when he was at breakfast and said “why couldn’t they do this at a better time”. Thankfully Bernie did speak up and tell them “when would be a good time, this is the best time we are in St. Thomas and it is 10 am”.
When Bernie returns we are gathering our stuff to go ashore when the safe shuts down. We figured it maybe was affected by the generators so we wait for a bit. But nothing. So dressed in our suits, slathered in sunscreen, we head down to the front desk. Vicky at the front desk takes note of our issue and calls someone. You see we can’t go ashore without our ID. Well we could but watch this be the one time they ask for ID.
Vicky informs maintenance that we are waiting because we can’t go ashore until they come. We know that the drill is going on and many of the crew are there and we will have to wait for that to be done. Bernie heads up to the cabin and I wait in the Atrium. Vicky even follows up twice in the cabin to see if someone has come.
After about 40 minutes Bernie is back down in the Atrium to fetch me. I understand the delay in responding (because of the drill) and heck I had a good time watching them set up for the Princess World Orchestra, which is happening tonight.
Ended up the battery died. Apparently there should be some warning that it is going to die, but we didn’t notice one; however that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a warning, we just didn’t notice one.
Ashore we quickly head to the taxi area to catch a bus to Emerald Beach. Cost is $4 per person in a sharing van. It is a short ride from Crown Bay.
We arrive at the beach and we meet up with Louise and Brian and we take two lounge chairs (at a cost of $7 each).
|flounder trying to hide|
|three lobsters hiding in the rocks|
We did go in and snorkel (Bernie went twice). Great snorkeling and easy to access and not that deep. You do need to be aware that at many areas it is very shallow and you basically have to float over rocks/coral with very little clearance.
|this fish was so cool - it blended in with the grass|
|here is a close up of it|
|can you see the fish? It stopped when I got close but it is there|
Emerald Beach is a nice alternative to many of the busy beaches here on the island. But even those busy beaches today are quiet as there is only one other ship in port today.
Back on board around 3:30 (sail away is 4:30) I lounge on the balcony with my kiwi tea cooler from the International Café and watch the happenings on the pier. We have had a few medical evacuations today and there is another just before we leave. The medical staff on board the Royal are so good and I know they don’t make these decisions lightly.
Sail away from Crown Bay is so pretty too - I think prettier than Havensight as we get to sail past Water Island on our Port side. Honeymoon Bay on Water Island is calm and I so wish I would of gone there this voyage but hopefully there will be other trips back to St. Thomas in our future.
Tonight is a special night. We are doing the Wine Maker’s Dinner again. This time we are a group of 13 but it is all friends we know. Also we are in Concerto dining room. Jorge is our host tonight.
The menu is a totally different one than we have ever had.
Jorge introduces Silverado Vineyards and our first wine is a Sauvignon Blanc, Silverado Miller Ranch.
We start with a Chef’s Prelude of Scallop over green pea puree. Trying the wine before and after brings totally different flavours out in the wine.
Next course is Tian of Crabmeat, Avocado and Essence of Chilled Tomato.
Then a Frisee Salad with Duck Confit with a Poached hen egg and filo mushroom Crisp. Large salad! I could not finish it, if I would that would have been the end of the meal for me. But I really liked it. I especially liked the Duck. And the wine pairing really became sweeter after eating the egg. Or at least that was what I was told - I had already had enough wine to not really notice.
By this time the whole table is giggling and sharing stories and getting relaxed. This is something I love about this table, you really feel like you are at home with friends enjoying a special dinner.
The next wine is introduced: Cabernet Sauvignon Silverado. We taste it with a cleansed palate to get the full flavours of the wine.
Entrée comes out: Port Tenderloin Medallions Topped with Spinach Ricotta Ravioli and vegetables. Probably my favorite entrée dish of all the Wine Maker’s Dinners.
Dessert is prepared table side -- Crepes Suzette with a sauce of orange peel, sugar and a combination of liqueurs. Amazing!
Coffee/tea and bon bons are the final touch.
In total the meal took almost three hours but it was a great time and I am so glad we got to experience it with so many great friends.
We leave dinner and head to Vines to end our evening.
Sure we missed all the events happening on the ship but it was a special evening and I wouldn’t change a thing.