Day 61, Friday, April 25, Phillipsburg, St. Maarten

The Crystal Symphony is in Shanghai, China. The Crystal Serenity is in Lisbon, Portugal.

As I rose and started my walk we were still some distance from St. Maarten but there were other islands within view. There were clouds around the horizon but enough breaks that the sun mad it’s presence known without actually coming directly out. We pulled into St. Maarten about 7:40, the only ship in town on a very big dock. This is my 3rd visit here after the Crystal Symphony in 2002 and the Celebrity Summit in 2012.

I had a morning tour booked called See and Sea. We drove around the harbor to the French side and had about 45 minutes of free time at the picturesque harbor of Marigot, before continuing North for the Sea portion of the tour. We stepped aboard a small semi-submersible boat and went about a half mile out into the clear water to a coral field. The sightseeing portion of the tour took us down to a compartment perhaps 6 feet below the surface with glass sides. A diver swam around the boat with food and swarms of colorful fish came swimming by, with an assortment of colorful coral just below us. After a few minutes we continued to an area with a grassy bottom where large sea turtles were hanging out. I saw several but between the swimming turtles and moving boat found them quite hard to photograph. Our boat tour was probably 15 minutes each way in transit and about 20-30 minutes in the lower compartment. Our return trip took us around the eastern side of the island and finally back to the ship around 11AM.

We had the Mariner awards ceremony a few days ago. All the milestone recipients were called up individually for photos with the Captain and Hotel Director except for those at the 100 day level (about 200 of us). I had understood that the medallion recipients (mine was copper) would be presented those photos but nobody took down our names as we lined up for the photos. When I returned from the tour my photo was lying on my bed. A nice little touch.

When I returned the internet was also not working. I had been contemplating a walk into Phillipsburg (about a mile each way), and that was taken as a sign that I should do so. I spent about an hour at the internet café and had lunch, returning to the Amsterdam for the last time about 2PM.

The final sailaway of the World Cruise was an elaborate affair with free drinks around a very crowded Lido pool with the Casa Blanca Steel Orchestra providing the music. We slipped away from the pier for our final 2 days at sea about 4:45.

All but one of us from table 311 were present for a pirate themed dinner. The evening entertainment was one of my favorites, Shirley Dominguez at the harp. While harp music is generally pretty bland Dominguez is anything but. I was hoping she would play Mama Mia which did not happen, but Zorba the Greek was fantastic.

As today’s parting shot, I see a couple of little news summaries but there’s a lot I don’t see. In particular, I often see baseball scores but rarely standings. It’s seemed like most days when I see the scores the Orioles are losing. I finally saw some standings today in the Canadian news summary. While the O’s are in fact in last place I was pleased to see they are now above 500. May the Orioles keep their heads above water and go on to a winning season.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.