Friday, June 21, 2013

Holland America Westerdam Caribbean Cruise, San Juan Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Half Moon Cay

Holland America Westerdam Caribbean Cruise

Since Anna was getting ready to go on her mission to Australia, we decided to take a mother/daughter trip and this is where we ended up. It was so much fun and we bonded in a way that we never had before. So, So worth it! The only bummer about the trip is that we were supposed to go the the Turks/Caicos Islands as well but there was a break out of some sickness and so we spent extra time in San Juan. This trip was back in March but I've been a little busy and it's taken me a while to get to my blog.

Leaving Ft. Lauderdale

Nassau, Bahamas

We had to make an emergency stop in Nassau to drop off a lady who needed an operation

Formal night was great fun. Our favorite part of the boat was spending dinner with a different group of people every night. We got to know them and then it was fun running into them on the cruise boat later on

Puerto Rico

First stop was Puerto Rico. I had been here before and didn't have that great of an experience but this time it was so different. I learned to love Puerto Rico. I just wish I could remember more of my Spanish

The blue tile cobbles roads were amazing!

The streets were clean and beautiful

The fort has some beautiful views

Inside the fort

We had a tour for the afternoon and had some time to kill so we went to the fort and then the beach

We learned later that the hotel beach (La Concha) we stayed on was owned by Marc Anthony (whoever that is)

In the afternoon we took the tour and stopped at this viewpoint. You can see the beach where we stayed that morning

We stopped at the Capital building which was beautiful

And we learned all about how it works that Puerto Rico is a Protectorate of the US. They are considering trying to become the 51st state but there are a lot of pro's and cons

There are shanty's on the beach in some places

Fort San Cristobal

St. Maarten 

St Maarten was a beautiful island owned half by the Dutch and half by the French

We took a city tour that took us to some view points that were beautiful

We got a coconut to try out the milk. It was quite good

Even if it was an interesting place where we bought it!

Then we went shopping for a bit. I bought some praline nuts from this man

A picture of the marina from the shopping area

Then they took us to a beach on the French side. They didn't tell us it was a topless beach until we were pulling in. We didn't look around too hard. But I did note that most people were wearing swimming suits.

It was an incredibly beautiful beach with awesome white sand and blue, blue water. It was called lovers beach. That should have given me a clue!

There were only French running this place but they were very nice

Leaving St. Maarten. You can see the Carnival Cruise boat on the far left. It was the one that lost electricity but made it into the port. I heard they put a lot of crew members on our boat since Holland America is also owned by Carnival

Eating was the best

There were beautiful sunsets

Half Moon Cay

Our last stop was Half moon cay which is an Island owned by Holland America. We loved it

The beaches were even better than St. Maarten. We got there early before it was filled with people

There were lots of colorful buildings

Lots to do

We just rented a mat and a chair. It was a fabulous beach day

This is the look Anna gives me when she is tired of smiling for the camera. They fed us a great lunch on the Island!

It really was incredibly beautiful

We met Max who was so helpful. It was funny actually we kept running into him everywhere. He was the guy in charge of exercise programs I think. 

We also made a friend from Holland. He was the youngest member of the officers. He was quite interested in Anna's going on a mission and we spoke a lot about it.

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