Sunday, September 28, 2003

I can't believe how tired I was -- slept for over 17 hours -- I haven't done that since third year, I think.

Anyway, again, my classmates and I just got back from a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas. Our ports of call were San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Martin, Netherlands-Antilles; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas.

San Juan is a quaint, historic city, and we took a walking tour around Old San Juan. The main interest points were La Fortelezza, which was originally constructed as a fort, but which is now used as the residence of the governor of Puerto Rico; and the Castille, which was the real fort which was constructed after La Fortelezza was found to be in a bad location for its purposes.

St. Martin / St. Maarten is a resort town -- very small, but has really nice beaches, so many high-end resorts are there. We went snorkelling here, and walked around the French side. St. Martin is interesting: half is owned by the Netherlands, half is owned by France.

St. Thomas is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and we mainly went snorkelling here... there were a LOT of fish! And since many tourists come here, the fish are not afraid of humans, and will swim up to us, so it was pretty cool to swim around schools of fish.

Nassau, Bahamas doesn't really need to be explained... high-end resort town, including the Atlantis Resort. We had the opportunity to visit Atlantis... it's huge and very nice! Very much like those big Las Vegas hotels, but with much better beaches, and an awesome water slide. Potential spot for our next vacation... =p

When we were not on shore, the cruise ship had a lot to do – the Explorer of the Seas has capacity for 3,114 passengers, and boasts an ice-skating rink and a rock-climbing wall. In the evenings, after the after-dinner entertainment, we were either people-watching in the Royal Promenade CafĂ©, dancing in the Chamber nightclub (when they weren't playing songs from the 70's =p), or in the Dizzy's nightclub, enjoying the Latin / Jazz band while watching people salsa / latin dance.

The average age on the Explorer would be the 40's… so the entertainment and music were mainly geared towards that age group, which made some things kind of boring. Good thing for Dizzy's nightclub, and ultimately, our companionship.

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

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