Crew: Capt. "Bjorn" in charge. Haven't sailed with him before, but he's been here since the beginning of SD. Very conscientious and manages to miss the worst of the swells (yes, DJ, it is kind of "swelly"). Hotel Manager is Rico (who blushed when told of What Not's picture of him); MaitreD is Donato (hope I got that right); Goram is head bartender; Felix, Brian, Doramus, Mike all around. Shawn at the TOY and Richard is the CAD. Have heard so much about Richard over the years -- a delight to meet him.
FredPepples and DH are here -- consensus is that SeaSlug 1 and 2 are much more descriptive , but we'll let them decide that!
We flew into San Juan on Thursday -- rainy and cold. Stayed at the Doubletree and just chilled (literally) -- slept in the next morning, had a late breakfast and just waited til we could call the cab to go to the ship. Boarded and were some of the first on -- got ID cards quickly and went to unpack. While I was doing that (having thrown DH out -- have you ever noticed that husbands have an uncanny ability to be standing precisely where you need to go?), got a call from Housekeeping that someone wanted to meet me in the lounge. I had no idea who that could be, although the thought occurred to me that it might be FredPepples. Got to the lounge and Ivana was looking around and finally pointed to a couple sitting in the corner of the lounge. I peered in that direction and couldn't believe my eyes!!! It was dear friends of ours we had met three years ago on SD and have since sailed with twice and visited on land! I had tried to talk them into coming (as well as a few other CC friends), but got a "nah." Then they decided to surprise us, which they certainly did! She had been checking this board to make sure I was really going We were delighted to see them. Have met a delightful couple from Scotland-he/Spain-she and several other very nice folks.It seems to be a very relaxed, fairly quiet mix -- who knows what the 5 day portion will be like!
Left SJ late and arrived at Culebrita in the morning -- lovely island and we made a brief foray to walk on the beach. Then on to Vieques where we did the bio bay. Wow. Bus ride was not good for kidneys or back -- mosquitos were ravenous, but the bay was incredible. No moon, so the stars were unbelieveable -- when you get in the water and lift your arms or make "angel wings", the water turns phosphorescent and it looks like diamonds dripping off your arms (one can only dream!). I didn't stay in the water long, not being a big fan of swimming in the dark, and a couple of people did get minor jelly fish stings -- but it was an experience we won't forget -- stars, soft water, in the middle of the Caribbean. Came back to the ship for a wonderful caribbean themed dinner on deck. Have recognized a few recipes from the SD Cookbook and need to talk to Chef Josselin about how to properly "top" an egg. Have debated whether or not I need to have a Red Stripe for CTBJR, champagne for FT and everyone else's favorites, but decided catching up on my own would be time-consuming enough.
So, the first day and a half live up to SD standards -- yesterday, sitting on a balinese bed and watching the scenery go by, I thought "it just doesn't get any better than this." Will try to keep you all updated, but you realize that relaxation can be very intense Will have to wait til our return to post pictures, however. In the meantime, everyone stay warm and send good thoughts our way!