Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas
Caribbean Repositioning Cruise
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
|2923-E Olney-Sandy Spring Road Olney, MD 20832 Phone: 301-774-4646 Fax: 301-774-3610||Send Me An Email To Comment Or Book A Vacation mailto:email@example.com http://www.lynx-travel.com|
|Arriving Grand Cayman||Georgetown, Grand Cayman||Breezes Restaurant|
|Grand Cayman Taxi Tour||Departing Grand Cayman|
|Hell||Grandeur of the Seas Photos|
I was up early and watched a little television when dad called at 8:45 AM saying he was ready with mom. I thought they werenít even going to wake up until 9:00 AM. I went to their room and sent them up to the Windjammer Cafť for breakfast while I went to Deck 6 and the Singing In The Rain Lounge to get tender tickets for Grand Cayman. I went to meet them afterwards and started getting my breakfast and they were still looking for a table. A couple switched from a table for four to an open table for two and we took their original table.
They were on tender 6 when we started breakfast and we had a tender 12 ticket. Of course I found out later it didnít really matter because no one ever check our tender tickets. I took some photos of the other ships in port including the Freedom and Navigator of the Seas, Carnival Triumph and it looked like the Celebrity Constellation but I couldnít be sure. I heard them call up to tender 8 and never heard another tender call over the PA system until our tender 12. I was as far away from the tender as possible so I hurried down to get mom and dad.
When we got down to the tenders they had a couple of deck hands help with mom and her wheelchair. They asked if she could walk at all and told them with some help but we ended up blowing off letting her attempt any walking. I grabbed the back end of the wheelchair and they each grabbed the front end and we carried her down the stairs to the tender. She looked like Cleopatra being carried through the crowds of Cairo.
The tender got us to downtown Georgetown, Grand Cayman fairly quickly. We hooked up with the first taxi driver who we ended up blowing off as soon as we got to her taxi. The taxiís all try to get 9 people in them and she thought we could get mom into the 3rd row of this minivan. I also didnít like her attitude. We walked back to near where the tender left us and saw Clyde and Debbie who were with a lady getting ready for the same tour. They had signed up for a ship tour but when they got to shore the tour had left 30 minutes early.
This ended up working out great. The minivan was much nicer and larger and our taxi driver was really nice. I was up front talking to Veroneda and she was really funny. She told me she was worried about us and the weight in the van but it was actually riding much smoother than usual. She was also really nice to mom. Mom wanted a picture with her that we took at our first stop Seven Mile Beach. She had driven past the Governorís House and the second oldest house on the island before Seven Mile Beach.
Our next stop was at Hell. Hell is at the end of Seven Mile Beach and literally looks like what you would think Hell would look like. Itís jagged black phyytokarst. Translated that is limestone and dolomite that has undergone extreme erosion due to activities of small tropical organisms. Needless to say, I got that from the Hell flyer not from my sterling memory. The way the area got itís name was in the 1930ís a Commissioner from England, Commissioner Cardinal while visiting the West Bay area shot at a bird amongst the large pointy black rocks. He missed and said, ďOh Hell!!!Ē and from this area has been known as Hell.
I rolled mom to rock formations and we took a bunch of photos. A lot of the photos were with a cut out of the Devil that had the face cut out so you could put yours in its place. A classic tourist shot.
It took us a while to take these pictures though because there was a family that had camped out at the cut out and were taking there time taking a lot of photos. I donít have any problem with taking a lot of pictures, lord knows I do, but if youíre do it quickly as possible so everyone else can take a turn.
I wanted to get a postcard and send it from the Hell post office but couldnít find a postcard from Hell. The family monopolizing the Devil cutout was now in the three small souvenir shops and somehow was doing the same thing at the shops that they were at the cutout. So I blew off the postcard and buying souvenir Hell shirts.
Our next stop down the road was at the Tortuga Rum Store. The funny thing that happened here was a lady bus driver telling Veroneda that she was jealous of her taxi tour participants. She was particularly fond of dad. Mostly she liked dadís hands. That was kind of weird but it made dad happy.
The store was packed. They had samples of rum and rum cake which I got some of the rum cake for mom and dad. They headed outside while I bought a couple of the rum cakes and a little barrel of 12 year old Tortuga Rum which I almost left on the counter as I left. When I got outside dad had to go back inside because sticky fingers Sandy had left the store with a Grand Cayman magnet. The store was too packed to wait to pay for one magnet so he returned it and came back. Veroneda had a good laugh at this.
From the Tortuga Rum Store we were supposed to stop at the Cayman Turtle Farm put this was vetoed by the entire van except for me. Apparently no one wanted to play with the turtles except for me. By the way there was another family of four in the van and they were on the nay side of the turtle farm vote also leaving me at a 1-8 loser.
To make up for missing the Cayman Turtle Farm Veroneda took us by some of the ritzier Grand Cayman neighborhoods on the way back to town. She joked that one would be her home and then two houses down was her summer home but she was tired of it and was selling it. She was a lot of fun. After this tour of the better homes we headed back to Georgetown. The tour was short and quick, but of course we made it that way by skipping a lot of stops but was well worth the $20 per person.
Clyde and Debbie went back to the ship and we went to look for a place to eat. I took pictures at a bunch of locations in town including the stingray fountain and my favorite the statue of Big Black Dick. Big Black Dick was some sort of pirate back in the day and was now the icon they use to promote Big Black Dick Rum.
We tried to get into Margaritaville but when we finally found the elevator to the 2nd floor it was blocked by a bunch of boxes being delivered. We moved the boxes and got to the elevator and then found that the elevator didnít work anyway. Across the street was Breezes and I immediately located the handicap accessible sign leading to the elevator. Breezes is the restaurant/bar where Matt and I almost stayed too long on one of our cruises and almost missed our tender.
We have learned about ordering with mom now. We got a plate of fries and fried calamari. I also got a bowl of conch chowder in a sourdough bread bowl and mom got coconut shrimp. They were all great. Even more amazing was it was served about two minutes after we ordered.
After lunch we started back to the ship and saw a Waterford Crystal store. Dad wanted to see if he could find a replacement for the champagne glass Marshall Sokol had broken at dinner at our house. The glass ended up being a discontinued line but they were going to try to find out from the factory if they can get another.
I came out the best from this stop. I was looking at their gemstone globes that Iíve always thought were really cool. They had a big one that I really liked. Dad ended up getting me an early Christmas present. I think he really had a good time buying the globe though. We had a little Indian girl named Angel that he was playing with during the sale. He loves teasing the sales people in a cute, nice way. A big selling point of the sale was they deliver it to our home for $40 and no sales tax. Iíve looked at a lot of these globes and the price although expensive really seemed better than what Iíve seen in the past.
We left the store and headed back to the tender then to the Grandeur of the Seas. When we got back mom got to be Cleopatra again. We went up to the fourth floor Centrum and checked emails. Mom and dad needed a nap so I left them and headed back to Georgetown for some more shopping.
I caught the last tender to Georgetown and we got to town quick enough but ended up waiting to dock as the filled a tender back to the ship. It gave me about 40 minutes to get what I wanted. I wanted a Hell t-shirt for David but ended up getting him a Harley Davidson Grand Cayman shirt.
I wanted to find some Big Black Dick Rum to take home. Youíve got to love the name. I went to 3 liquor stores and they had all closed to deliver liquor to the ships that passengers had bought during the day. I had just about given up when I asked a police officer. He pointed out a liquor store and convinced me I could make it and get back to the tender with no problem and that they would have Big Black Dick. Itís kind of weird having to ask a police officer youíre trying to find some Big Black Dick in the first place.
I got to the store no problem and got my Big Black Dick and also got a Pepsi for my police officer in case he was still where I had left him. He was and imagine my surprise when our new friend from this morning Veroneda was there talking to him. She was so nice. She told me how much she had enjoyed this morning, told me to say hi to mom and dad, and to come back to Grand Cayman soon.
I made another quick stop before going back to the tender though. There was a store we had passed that was selling old maps that we said we were going to stop in on the way to the tender earlier. I stopped to get dad a map of Bermuda from the 1700ís as a Christmas present. I think it also that it might be made by one of the guys that made one of the antique maps we already have at the house.
I got back to the final tender with about 15 minutes to spare. There was one lady who was waiting for her husband and he didnít show up at the 4:30 PM leaving time. Weíve had to deal with this guy a few times during the week. He had an argument about a pre-bid at an art auction with Chad and Mark. He got real lucky that they were loading on boxes of purchased alcohol and it gave him an extra five minutes. Otherwise he would have missed the tender. Really, I wish he had. He just seems like an I donít care about anything but myself type of person. Of course if he had missed it Iíd hate to have to be the Royal Caribbean representative who would have had to listen to him complain that it wasnít his fault.
I got to the ship and they pointed me to the place to check my liquor and no one showed up for 10 minutes. Everyone got off the tender and I asked one of the security guards what to do and he told me just to take it to my room. Iíll have to tell Matt this on the next cruise he goes on. It really shouldnít be hard to get lost in the crowd with liquor and take it to your room.
I made a stop by mom and dadís room then went up to have a few beers and listen to the pool deck band Hot Spices until 5:30 PM. Afterwards I went and got ready for dinner. I got mom and dad and headed to the Great Gatsby Dining Room. Dinner was great as usual, shrimp cocktail, a spinach tart, sea bass and a white chocolate mousse. Clyde and Debbie told us earlier they had renewed their marriage vows this morning on board the ship. We set up with Yogi to bring them something. The brought them a white chocolate mousse with a couple of candles. They had the head waiter and some other waiters come around and watch them blow out the candles. They didnít really have a renew your vows song to sing like happy birthday.
Yogi had some fun with dad. Heís been asking for butter pecan ice cream the whole cruise. Yogi said heíd try to find some tonight but came back with vanilla with heated peaches from the peaches flambť they had tonight. Heís also been giving Yogi a hard time about our lobster dinner. Itís finally supposed to be tomorrow and when Yogi announced tomorrowís dinner dad started to say something and Yogi told him he didnít want to hear from him. Yogi also had fun announcing all the main courses by slowly going through the list and leaving lobster until the end.
Weíve really had a good time at our table. We closed down the early seating tonight talking to each other. We finally did leave and sticky fingers Sandy struck again. I didnít know tonight what a little kleptomaniac we have on our hands. She took her napkin and I come to find out from dad she had been taking it almost every night.
We took mom back to the room and went up to Deck 8 to check email again and try to call Craig. While we were up there we saw John and Carol and a little later Alison. They got a good laugh at my website and the Acapulco cliff diver picture I have with my head on all the cliff divers. We finished our emails and headed back to the rooms where Iíve been catching up to this point. I might go up and check out a scavenger hunt game John and Carol told us about thatís supposed to be pretty funny in the South Pacific Lounge.
Iím back from The Quest. I called dad who went to watch with me and it was pretty funny. Eric, the cruise director, really should be a game show host. He is really funny and quick with the one liners. The Quest was basically a scavenger hunt type game but it also involved performing tasks also. Eric would request teams to bring things to the stage to get a point. Things like two pair of shoe strings not on a shoe. Of course people get so excited playing a game and donít listen and almost everyone hurried to bring up one pair of shoe strings.
A couple of the funnier things were when he asked for girls with a tattoo. One girl came up and after everyone got credit Eric asked for this one girl to come back up to verify her tattoo. The tattoo was on her hip and was a butterfly. Ericís alter ego smart ass personality Dane came out and he told her that the tattoo is not always going to look like a butterfly. In time with aging it was going to look like a condor.
Another quest was for a girl from a team to come on stage and do the worm. He made one lady who was tryingÖ.unsuccessfullyÖ.. to perform the worm basically crawl across the stage. After he gave her credit he said that if he had her go for another half hour they wouldnít have to mop the floors tonight.
The Quest ended and we saw Carol and John again and we all agreed that Eric would make a great game show host. They went off to bed and we hung out for awhile in the South Pacific Lounge listening to the band, Rip Tide, play music for the 50ís & 60ís party that was taking place after The Quest. We listened to a few songs and they wanted crowd participation with The Peppermint Twist with one half of the crowd twirling their arms for the round and round part and the other half, our half, of the crowd to get up and down during the up and down portion of the song. Dad made the call to leave when he decided he only wanted to get up one more time today.
I had three quarters and dad had quarters so we decided to make a stop at the casino for the first time on the trip. I found a slot machine that had a two quarter maximum bet next to a slot machine that had a three quarter maximum bet. After eight pulls and a few even money bets our $1.75 was gone.
We watched a few hands on the life sized black jack and three card poker machines they had and wandered over to the craps table to see how it was going. There were two guys playing with an Asian guy rolling. I swear we saw him roll six or seven times and dad said he had a good roll going. Unfortunately for this poor fellow even though the Faunceís were not playing there bad karma shot him down. He rolled a seven and crapped out on the very next roll after dadís pronouncement of a good roll. Sorry dude, we just donít realize the power of our bad luck sometimes. Our work in the casino was done, I hated to ruin a innocent manís dice roll and leave but thatís what we did. We called it a night and headed to our rooms. I finished this days journal, changed my watch back an hour and went to bed with Cozumel 11 hours away.
Return To Day At Sea November 28, 2006
Continue to Cozumel, Mexico November 30, 2006