Middle Aged Drama Queen's Eastern Carib Review: Fun on the FREEDOM!!!

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Kansas City MO/Fort Myers FL
2,242 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by Luetta
First let me say that I love your reviews. I have no plans for a Med Cruise (maybe someday) but loved your review, your stories, and pictures (even the pigeons and cats).

We went to Marigot on our St Marteen trip last summer because I wanted a French Pastry, dang I dont know how I missed this shop. We just ended up walking the open market and paying to go the bathroom at the mall, then getting a crepe from a truck (not that great). So how do I find this treasure?
It's across from the market...down the road about 50 feet...you'll see the bright awnings outside....if you can't find it, just ask anyone where Sarafina's is, and they'll be able to point you in the right direction!
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Sherri



Adventures of a Middle Aged Drama Queen

Middle Aged Drama Queen Goes BIG

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Southern California
1,775 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Originally posted by KansCocoa
Hey - the Chiefs are on tonight; I'm a HUGE fan, as well! You can take us out of KC - but you can never take the KC out of us, huh?!

And thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying it! This one is only an hour; my Serenade review, so I hear, is now a 3-hour read or so. Yikes.
So true! Sadly, we rarely get a televised KC game here, unless they are playing (shudder) the Raiders or Chargers.

I will have to check out your Serenade review when I have three or so hours to spare! Still enjoying this one...and will definitely have to sneak in some bad, private karaoke on my future cruise.
Texas
188 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by KansCocoa

We’re to meet Bernard’s Tours at the Information Center, which is located right on the pier:


You can't miss the Info Center...it's to the right, after you walk down the pier...

Originally posted by KansCocoa
Mickey's real name is Mikayla - named after Hubby Mike. SHE'S the one who decided to shorten it to Mickey - she started this in 4th grade. It's funny; now she's in middle school, and she's thinking of going back to Mikayla, as she feels it sounds more "mature." Because when you're 13, it's all about being mature, you know!

And I'm JUST NOW getting used to "Mickey." Ack.

Mikayla is NOT impressed!

(as inspired by: http://mckaylaisnotimpressed.tumblr.com/ )

Sherri...I've quietly lurked through both your Serenade review and this one, and have thoroughly enjoyed them (just like everyone else) - but I finally had to comment after seeing this picture, and the tidbit about Mickey's real name!

Wrightsville, Pa.
7,773 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by KansCocoa
Hi, Gwen - yes; Maho Beach is a must!

Mickey's real name is Mikayla - named after Hubby Mike. SHE'S the one who decided to shorten it to Mickey - she started this in 4th grade. It's funny; now she's in middle school, and she's thinking of going back to Mikayla, as she feels it sounds more "mature." Because when you're 13, it's all about being mature, you know!

And I'm JUST NOW getting used to "Mickey." Ack.
That is a beautiful name. It does sound more mature. Whichever one she goes by, she is a sweet young girl. Although she looks more mature than a 13 yr. old. I had 2 boys, and finally had a granddaughter. She is 16 now and of course Grammy is too old to pal around with. She's our sweetie and always will be. Only girl in the family besides my DIL and me. I have 2 grandsons too. Love them all. Grandkids are the best. You can give them back when they get to be too much to handle.

Gwen
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92 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Hi Sherri, I'm usually more of a lurker than a poster but I just had to say how much I loved your both of your reviews.
I think our daughters must be related. Mine is 12 1/2, is tall with same color hair as Mickey, LOVES to read, is DYING to go on a cruise and HATES sand in her swim suit (which seems to happen anytime she goes to the beach).
You two seem like a great pair. Thanks for sharing your adventures with all of us.
Virginia
3,922 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by KansCocoa
Mickey's real name is Mikayla - named after Hubby Mike. SHE'S the one who decided to shorten it to Mickey - she started this in 4th grade. It's funny; now she's in middle school, and she's thinking of going back to Mikayla, as she feels it sounds more "mature." Because when you're 13, it's all about being mature, you know!

And I'm JUST NOW getting used to "Mickey." Ack.
We named our eldest daughter (of three ) Jessica. We figured she'd be Jessie until about the age of 12 of so. Nope, she wanted Jessica, even in pre-school! We've always called her Jessie. I don't think she likes it, because as a teenager she was always "Jess" to her friends, and even as an adult (28 now), she's always been Jess in her jobs.

I wonder if it has something to do with Uncle Jesse on Full House?

I think I've convince DH to take that Bernard's Tour #1 when we go to St. Martin in December.
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Joan



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Northern California
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Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by joand452
I think I've convince DH to take that Bernard's Tour #1 when we go to St. Martin in December.
I don't think I need to take Bernard's tour. I just want to go and see the Blue Iguanas. They are really unique, and somewhat endangered. We will definitely have to visit them next time.



BTW, the store that Sexy took you to is Rima's Beach World.

http://www.rimasxm.com/aboutus.asp

It is a fun store with a huge selection of things and tropical clothing. It's a great place to get those (made in China) Caribbean vacation souvenirs for co- workers.
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Caribbean
57 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
I'm so glad you went to Sarafina's - it's my absolute favourite bakery/ restaurant in St. Martin. I live in Anguilla and it is a MUST every time I go over (which is pretty often because the ferry is right there in Marigot). Next time you are in St. Maarten you have to take a day trip to Anguilla!

I have been reading your blog on the Mediterranean as well and am also a huge fan of your writing and your reviews.
MD+ FL
10,583 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
You certainly have picked out wonderful private tours to take on all of your traveling. I have been to St. Maartan a few times and never did as much in one day as you did. One thing, it was a shame that Orient beach looked like it did when you were there. Normally, that is a gorgeous clean white sand beach with no sea weed or debris on the shore. That must have been a big storm to mess up the beach like that. The three times I was there the water was very calm.

One thing surprised me, and that is you never took advantage of room service. When I cruise, I just love to have room service bring me coffee and a small danish to wake up to,(or course I will usually wander down to the dining room for a larger breakfast later) and some days I like to have lunch delivered to eat on a balcony. As sore as you were, having some hot soup or tea delivered would have felt really nice.
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Please please please don't do this. Ok, Ibuprofen is better than acetaminophen but taking over the normal dosing amount for a period of time can have a horrid effect on your liver. I did it on a vacation where I hurt my shoulder and on my following physical got told my liver results were so far off that I was banned from significant alcohol for what is now 4 plus years while it recovers.

Originally posted by marci22
Motrin usually helps but you have to take more than the recommended on the otc package.
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Pittsburgh, PA
829 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by sharpasice
Sheri, at Sarafina’s do they take US dollars? If not, where can you get the correct currency?
You can use US dollars and euros anywhere on St. Maarten. There are several shops (esp on the French side) that offer a $1-1€ exchange rate (great for Americans, bad for Europeans). Some euros managed to sneak home with us after our Serenade cruise this summer, so we are saving them for St. Maarten.

The official currency on the Dutch side is the Antillean guilder. We spent a week there last summer and paid for everything in US dollars.
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Toronto
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Your St Thomas tour brought back a lot of memories. I was also on a Bernards Tour in January and John was our driver. We went to pretty much all the same stops except Orient Bay and I have a picture with him holding a sea urchin.

Although he creeped me out a little (he kept making very suggestive comments that I just ignored), he absolutely catered to the kids in the group, which was nice to see. I'd use them again in the future.

Loving the review; keep up the good job!
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Florida
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Still LOVING your review! Hate to see it end.

Do you remember what time the KLM flight was scheduled to land at Maho?? That's the one thing we REALLY want to see when we got to St. Martin.
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Kansas City MO/Fort Myers FL
2,242 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by quantumleap
Mikayla is NOT impressed!

(as inspired by: http://mckaylaisnotimpressed.tumblr.com/ )

Sherri...I've quietly lurked through both your Serenade review and this one, and have thoroughly enjoyed them (just like everyone else) - but I finally had to comment after seeing this picture, and the tidbit about Mickey's real name!
OMG, that was hysterically funny! I hadn't seen that website - and what a hoot! (I hadn't even noticed my OWN Mikayla's smirk on the photo until I looked at it a bit closer! Hubby Mike and I got a good laugh out of this - thank you!


Originally posted by cruzinlady1947
That is a beautiful name. It does sound more mature. Whichever one she goes by, she is a sweet young girl. Although she looks more mature than a 13 yr. old. I had 2 boys, and finally had a granddaughter. She is 16 now and of course Grammy is too old to pal around with. She's our sweetie and always will be. Only girl in the family besides my DIL and me. I have 2 grandsons too. Love them all. Grandkids are the best. You can give them back when they get to be too much to handle.

Gwen
Thanks, Gwen - she is a great young lady who is growing up WAY too fast! Kids - and grandkids - are awesome...as well as our furry children, too!
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Sherri



Adventures of a Middle Aged Drama Queen

Middle Aged Drama Queen Goes BIG

Middle Aged Drama Queen Goes to the Caribbean

Middle Aged Drama Queen Conquers Europe
Kansas City MO/Fort Myers FL
2,242 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by cmoose
Hi Sherri, I'm usually more of a lurker than a poster but I just had to say how much I loved your both of your reviews.
I think our daughters must be related. Mine is 12 1/2, is tall with same color hair as Mickey, LOVES to read, is DYING to go on a cruise and HATES sand in her swim suit (which seems to happen anytime she goes to the beach).
You two seem like a great pair. Thanks for sharing your adventures with all of us.
Aw - sounds like you need a Mother/Daughter cruise in your future - see how much fun you can have? And how much whining you can listen to about sand in the suit??!!

Originally posted by joand452
We named our eldest daughter (of three ) Jessica. We figured she'd be Jessie until about the age of 12 of so. Nope, she wanted Jessica, even in pre-school! We've always called her Jessie. I don't think she likes it, because as a teenager she was always "Jess" to her friends, and even as an adult (28 now), she's always been Jess in her jobs.

I wonder if it has something to do with Uncle Jesse on Full House?

I think I've convince DH to take that Bernard's Tour #1 when we go to St. Martin in December.
I have a stepdaughter named Jessica, so I enjoyed this story! And yay - I hope you take the tour - if you want to see more of the island, it's a good one...!

Originally posted by Coralc
I don't think I need to take Bernard's tour. I just want to go and see the Blue Iguanas. They are really unique, and somewhat endangered. We will definitely have to visit them next time.

BTW, the store that Sexy took you to is Rima's Beach World.

http://www.rimasxm.com/aboutus.asp

It is a fun store with a huge selection of things and tropical clothing. It's a great place to get those (made in China) Caribbean vacation souvenirs for co- workers.
Those iguanas were pretty, weren't they?! What a great photo!

And YES! Rima's!!!! I could NOT remember it for the life of me...thank you! It was driving my OCD brain CRAZY to lose this little bit of trivia in my head, so I appreciate this, so now I can sleep at nights. Seriously - its those little things that keep me awake!!!
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Sherri



Adventures of a Middle Aged Drama Queen

Middle Aged Drama Queen Goes BIG

Middle Aged Drama Queen Goes to the Caribbean

Middle Aged Drama Queen Conquers Europe
Kansas City MO/Fort Myers FL
2,242 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by Myari
I'm so glad you went to Sarafina's - it's my absolute favourite bakery/ restaurant in St. Martin. I live in Anguilla and it is a MUST every time I go over (which is pretty often because the ferry is right there in Marigot). Next time you are in St. Maarten you have to take a day trip to Anguilla!

I have been reading your blog on the Mediterranean as well and am also a huge fan of your writing and your reviews.
Thank you! And I am SO going back to Sarafina's and getting some desserts! I have heard good things about Anguilla; I think a day trip would be fantastic!

Originally posted by CAC104
One thing, it was a shame that Orient beach looked like it did when you were there. Normally, that is a gorgeous clean white sand beach with no sea weed or debris on the shore. That must have been a big storm to mess up the beach like that. The three times I was there the water was very calm.

One thing surprised me, and that is you never took advantage of room service. When I cruise, I just love to have room service bring me coffee and a small danish to wake up to,(or course I will usually wander down to the dining room for a larger breakfast later) and some days I like to have lunch delivered to eat on a balcony. As sore as you were, having some hot soup or tea delivered would have felt really nice.
You know, you're so right about Room Service...it never even occurred to me, and I don't know why....I would forget about it on the Serenade, as well. I need to put up a big sign in my cabin next time that says, "Don't forget about Room Service!!!"

Originally posted by sharpasice
Sheri, at Sarafina’s do they take US dollars? If not, where can you get the correct currency?
Yay - I'm glad others have answered this for you; yes, it takes US dollars, Euros, credit cards....I even received change in US dollars, which was nice!
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Sherri



Adventures of a Middle Aged Drama Queen

Middle Aged Drama Queen Goes BIG

Middle Aged Drama Queen Goes to the Caribbean

Middle Aged Drama Queen Conquers Europe
Kansas City MO/Fort Myers FL
2,242 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by Virtopia
Your St Thomas tour brought back a lot of memories. I was also on a Bernards Tour in January and John was our driver. We went to pretty much all the same stops except Orient Bay and I have a picture with him holding a sea urchin.

Although he creeped me out a little (he kept making very suggestive comments that I just ignored), he absolutely catered to the kids in the group, which was nice to see. I'd use them again in the future.

Loving the review; keep up the good job!
I could see these guys were really good with the kids! My only experience with John was when he rescued me from getting too lost at the beach!!!

Originally posted by IrishLassie
Still LOVING your review! Hate to see it end.

Do you remember what time the KLM flight was scheduled to land at Maho?? That's the one thing we REALLY want to see when we got to St. Martin.
Well...the AA flight landed at 2:00...so the KLM was between 1 and 2, I would say...but I don't have an exact time unless I did some more research on the internet. Does that narrow it down a bit? I'd say - if you were there, drinking at the Sunset Bar on the beach (!!) by 1:00 pm, you'd be sure to catch the KLM - in case it was a bit early!
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Sherri



Adventures of a Middle Aged Drama Queen

Middle Aged Drama Queen Goes BIG

Middle Aged Drama Queen Goes to the Caribbean

Middle Aged Drama Queen Conquers Europe
Kansas City MO/Fort Myers FL
2,242 Posts
Joined Oct 2004


Saturday…July 21st….Our LAST DAY.

Boo hoo. Our last day…which is a sea day, of course.

Once again, it’s an absolute gorgeous sunny day in the Caribbean, and I’m sure the pool deck is a hoppin’ place.

We, though, have other plans.

We head to the MDR for breakfast, because today, it’s the much-anticipated Chocolate Breakfast. Isn’t that the Best Thing Ever?! Chocolate for breakfast??!! I always remember the famous Bill Cosby routine where he serves his kids chocolate cake for breakfast, and the kids sing, “Dad is great…giving us chocolate cake.” So…as we sit down for breakfast that morning, I’m singing, “RC’s great…giving us chocolate cake….!” Mickey is NOT impressed. Hee hee. However, Mickey IS impressed by the offerings on the menu this morning, as she loads up with chocolate pancakes, chocolate French toast, and a chocolate shake. Yowza! My head waiter, Edwin, is in the dining room, and of course, he comes running over immediately to make sure that no gluten neurons, protons or electrons will touch my lips. Drat. I get the boring gluten-free French toast. It’s okay…but its NOT chocolate. Sigh.


The Walk for Wishes was today at 10:45 am on Deck 12, but sadly…I can’t walk. If it had been a Crawl for Wishes, I would have been able to participate.


At 11:00 am, there was a (free!) backstage tour of the Arcadia Theater. This was open to everyone – and no pre-registration was required. We spent an enjoyable hour here, listening to a singer, dancer, lighting guy, and the pulley guy (who makes people “fly” in the shows) discuss their various responsibilities on the ship. Here’s where the singer and dancer admit that they have a very cushy job; their average workday is about 6 hours long, at the most. You could ask any and all questions about ship life, or the shows in particular, and they were very forthcoming.


Ew - Alien Eyes...creepy. Anyway - those stairs go up to the wig room....




They talk a lot about auditions for the show, rehearsals, etc…Backstage, I was really surprised at the lack of space – and how creative the backstage crew is with storage. If you have an hour to kill, I’d recommend it. Pictures are allowed.




At noon, we wandered up to the FreedomFEST, which was a big street fair in the Royal Promenade. Besides live music, there were all kinds of booths set up, offering (free!) nibbles of different types of food; demonstrations (such as towel-animal making); and various games.






We headed to the Main Dining Room for lunch, as is our tradition now for our last sea day…I wanted to indulge in some of the delicious made-to-order salad. Even without Edwin, my Head Waiter-turned Gluten-Free Enforcer, anywhere near, the crew seemed to know I was "gluten-free" - it made me wonder if I'd been labeled as such in some secret, invisible way. Seriously - how did they KNOW??!! There was a big discussion amongst the crew on whether I could have blue cheese salad dressing; I kept trying to tell them it was okay; however, they were convinced that they couldn't take that chance. They were much relieved when I finally settled for a vinaigrette dressing...whew. Catastrophe averted.


Mickey and I sat with a couple who had gone on an RCI excursion in St. Maarten two days before, and arrived at the scene of the bus crash shortly after it happened. This was the first we’d heard of any such incident…and it was pretty scary, listening to this couple talk about it.


At 3:30 pm, we participated in the Freedom Scavenger Hunt…teams meet in the Schooner Bar, are given a list of things to find (or questions to answer), and we had about 20 minutes to get the answers. Mickey had to do most of the running, although I hobbled gamely on…this is where we discovered who the godmother of the ship is; how many hot tubs are onboard; how many conference rooms are onboard – and so on. This was an intense competition – and we didn’t win. Drat. But – it WAS a lot of fun and got Mickey involved, somewhat.


Dinner tonight was a “Feast of Nations” – and it was hard to say goodbye to our wait staff. Sunil, Vincent and Edwin were amazing, and they will be my first choice of wait staff if we ever cruise on Freedom again. Just so you know - we did NOT receive any vouchers in our room for our pre-paid tips...which was a little...unsettling. I realize it's a great paper-saver/money-saver - but it still feels weird.


The Farewell Show was at 7:00 and 9:00 pm – and it’s the usual clapfest where the crew is invited to come out on stage to receive their well-deserved accolades.


Tonight was when Mickey and I FINALLY discovered how to get to the helicopter pad; I was determined that I wasn’t leaving this ship until we found it. We spent a bit of time up there with others, enjoying the sunset and our last night
onboard.




All too soon…it was time to pack; get our luggage out in the hall; and call it a night.

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Sherri



Adventures of a Middle Aged Drama Queen

Middle Aged Drama Queen Goes BIG

Middle Aged Drama Queen Goes to the Caribbean

Middle Aged Drama Queen Conquers Europe