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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

cruise 4

We awoke on Tuesday, April 8th, to the announcement that we were anchored off the shore of Belize. This was because their harbor was too shallow for the large ships. Everyone going ashore would have to go by shuttle boats, called tenders. Those that had signed up for excursions here left first, we did not and went to breakfast – a very important part of the day – for me anyway.

A little later we took a boat in to check out the place and found it very hot – said to be 95F by several folks. We poked around the shops to see what they had and only got off the main shopping area once to check out another shop on the back street. When we did, we walked the gauntlet of several guys that wanted us to take a tour with them or to sell us something – we just walked on by.

In one of the shopping areas I saw the largest ceiling fan of my life, the blades spanned about 12 feet and did cool that one spot very well. We soon tired of the heat and took a tender boat back to the ship. There were two large tenders and several smaller ones that were running continuously to ferry folks back and forth from ship and land. We probably should have taken one of the approved tours.

We went back to the cabin to freshen up a bit and then up to the Red Sail Restaurant – the buffet area. This eatery has two buffet counters with two lines each and other areas for the desserts. I will tell you up front that I tried some calorie-laden delicacies that I had never heard of before. These were OK but I found myself longing for fruit pies and that was not a happening thing.

In addition to the other lines there were several other counters – one for Chinese food, another for deli sandwiches, one for pizza and some grills near each swimming pool that served hot dogs and hamburgers. There were two main restaurants for the evening meals and all passengers were assigned one or the other as well as being assigned a certain table for the cruise. These were the Golden and the Platinum – we were in the Golden at table 139 with two other couples from church.

I was curious about the number of folks on board and went to the purser’s desk to ask – I was amazed to find that there were 3,545 passengers and 1,150 crew. This was like a floating city. The Spice went back to the cabin and I went topside to witness the ship’s departure from its mooring. The time came to depart and we had not done so – boats were still bringing passengers back.

Finally one of the two gangway ramps was closed but the other stayed open and I wondered what this was about. This mystery was solved shortly when another boat arrived and several came aboard. And then another small boat came just after that – this last one had brought a passenger back that was strapped to a stretcher. I still don’t know if it was a problem from the heat or some sort of injury. After this the ship set out for open waters.

The leaving was a bit comical in that the water was so shallow – at least for a vessel of this size – that the propellers stirred up a muddy trail as we departed – and for quite a distance. Although the day didn’t hold any great adventures, I was still grateful to the One that created this great mass of water. ec


Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Your cruise sounds like great fun!

4/17/2008 01:38:00 AM  
Blogger JunieRose2005 said...

Hi Mr Eddie,

Just caught up with your cruise stories! Sounds like a fun adventure for you and your wife!

We have never been on a cruise- but maybe someday we will!

4/17/2008 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I'm really enjoying your cruise stories Mr. Ed. It's almost like being there.

4/17/2008 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

SSN - Much fun, relaxing and amazing!

junierose - I would recommend one of these delightful journeys to anyone.

brenda - We enjoyed the cruise and I'm enjoying it again in the writing thereof. ec

4/17/2008 10:52:00 PM  

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