Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas

Caribbean Repositioning Cruise


Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Thanksgiving Thursday, November 23, 2006



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Cruising Through British Virgin Islands Arriving At Road Town, British Virgin Islands Port Of Road Town, British Virgin Islands
Freddie's Fun Bus Guana Island Murals Describing Life In Historic Tortola
Cane Garden Bay The Tree House Bar, Lounge And Pool
Miscellaneous Ship Items Midnight Chocolate Buffet


I woke up this morning and worked on my photos some before heading to get mom and dad for breakfast.  We got up to the Windjammer Café at about 10:00 AM.  I had another salmon, shrimp and cheese omelet which was great.  We started to see the British Virgin Islands out of the front of the ship while we ate.  Sail Boat And Dinghy In Sir Francis Drake Channel


After finishing breakfast we headed up to the front of the ship on deck 10 to Mom And Dad On Deck 10 While Cruising To Tortolawatch us head into Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.  We definitely made it to warmer weather now as it was about 85 degrees out.  The bridge of the boat was packed with people watch us sail into the port.  We approached Tortola between Scrub Island and The Dog Islands.  There were a bunch of sailboats out today.  An ominous sight was the remains of a shipwrecked boat on a reef during our approach.


 A pilot boat came out and dropped off a pilot to steer the boat into Road Town.  A sailboat crossed in front of our path while we were making our approach and the pilot hit the Grandeur of the Seas horn and it scared the hell out of everyone on the forward bridge.  The guy next to me must have jumped a foot in the air.  We pulled into Road Town and docked next to the MSC Lirica which looked smaller than our ship originally but once we docked they looked the same size.Shipwreck On The Rocks In The British Virgin Islands


Mom and dad had left me on the bridge earlier and they had decided to stay aboard today.  I headed out with no plans other than to walk through town at about 1:45 PM.  Right behind me when I got on the dock were Carol, John, Alison and Eric, who said they were going to see what the travel agent was going to do.  Unfortunately for them the travel agent had no plans.  We got separated as I started taking pictures and I ended up taking about five pictures of people at the Tortola Welcome sign at the pier.  I walked out of the pier area and John saw me and came off a bus they had just gotten on and told me they were going to go on Freddie’s Fun Bus for a $15 2 1/2 hour tour of the island.  It was hot as hell and Freddie looked like he had the most modern of all the tour busses including air conditioning. Most of the tour busses were open air.  So I decided to join them.  It was a priceless tour.Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands


Freddie cracked me up almost continually throughout the day. 

First, he kept asking people to join the tour as we drove down Road Town’s Main Street.  Second, he was just talking a mile a minute.  Carol turned around and laughingly asked me how many times he said the word fun.  “We’re going to have fun and Freddie’s fun bus.”  The beginning of the tour was just telling us every business we were passing.  Lots of banks, but my favorite was the Glenn At Welcome To Tortola Signbarbershop/snack shop.  Before heading out of Road Town we had to make a stop so he could get us all brochures.  Right before his stop someone stopped in front of him while driving and Freddie just started raising hell about this guy who wouldn’t move.  This took us to one of the highlights of Road Town, the only traffic signal on the island.


Once we got out of Road Town we headed up into the mountains.  The Tortola roads are amazing.  They go straight up.  VeryMural On Top Of Tortola Depicting Life In Tortola - This Is A Funjie Band few switch backs, just steep inclines with an occasional hairpin turns.  Again, this was another reason I liked Freddie’s Fun Bus.  It was a very modern, new looking bus that could handle the roads easily.


We had some great views from the top of the island.  We stopped and got a great view of the Grandeur of the Seas and the MSC Lirica leaving port. Freddie also stopped to show us the airport on Beef Island (which is connected to Tortola by a bridge) and Guana Island.  Freddie then told us some story where we got to judge if there was anything such as a true lie.  I didn’t listen as I was taking pictures but he was happy as could be that he proved there was a true lie.


There was one neat sight at the top of the island, a long mural that had been painted along a wall on the side of the road depicting life as it used to be on Tortola.  This was about a 100-200 yard long wall.  During this ride to the top of the mountain with Freddie going on and on, Eric was just dying with laughter.  Carol would turn around every once and awhile and give my Eric laughing updates.  Alison and Eric are really two of the nicest, well behaved kids I have ever met. 


Somewhere in this area Freddie wanted us to sing with him.  The song after he practiced for a while with his Do-Ra-Mi’s was “The Wheels On the Bus Go Round And Round”.   Freddie added to the song by using his horn for the horn part and turned on his windshield wipers for the wiper part.  Classic Freddie.


Freddie With Freddie's Fun Bus At Cane Garden Bay   Alison And Carol At Cane Garden Bay   Boats Moored At Cane Garden Bay

Our next stops were above Brewer’s Bay, which Freddie told us had the best snorkeling on the island and a pit stop at Cane Garden Bay.  We had 15 minutes to wander around.  I got a beer, took in the bay itself and bought some souvenirs at the stands set up here.  It was a beautiful bay with lots of big boats that would back up and anchor within 15 yards of the shoreline.  If I came back on a cruise ship again I would jump in a cab and head to this beach for the afternoon. 


From here we headed back to Road Town.  We did pass a bar I had seen on the travel channel that has a crazy full moon celebration.  I think it was called Boomba Shack on Cappoon Bay and the next celebration was on December 4.  

 Bamba Shack In Cappoon Bay Which Is The Home Of The World Famous Full Moon Party During Every Full Moon

We were about 15 minutes from Road Town and Freddie finally seemed like he was running out of steam.  When we got to town he was going to drop everyone off at a shopping area but except for Alison, Eric, Carol, John and I everyone on Freddie’s bus was over 60.  We were the only people who opted to jump off instead of have Freddie take us to the ship.  I gave Freddie $20 instead of $15, his entertainment was well worth it.  Carol, John the kids and I did some shopping in a tented area outside the ships dock area.  I told them I was thinking of blowing off dinner since I had never been to Tortola before. We separated shopping and I eventually crossed the road to have a couple of Carib beers at the Tree House which featured a beautiful iguana named Issy.  While drinking my beers it got to be about 5:00 PM.  I decided I could still make dinner so headed back to the ship.  It was getting dark out anyway so I figured I’d go back to have Thanksgiving Dinner with mom and dad.  I ended up walking in with Clyde and Debbie.  I had seen them on one of the open aired busses.  They went to a beach for an hour on top of their tour.Thanksgiving Formal Night Ship Photo


I showered and got dressed as it was the second formal night and headed to mom and dad’s room at 5:50 PM.  Imagine my surprise when they weren’t dressed and didn’t look like they were going to get dressed.  I couldn’t believe I got dressed up twice, someone who hates getting dressed up, and they weren’t going to dinner again.  Dad made a lame excuse that he thought dinner would be later because of the 7:00 PM ship departure.  I left to go to dinner and they hurriedly got dressed and showed up a couple of minutes late.


I’ve never been a big turkey fan so Thanksgiving dinner on a cruise ship worked out for me.  I had a seafood pot pie which I could have eaten a dozen of, Caesar salad and stuffed Cod.  Apparently I am my father’s son as he was the only other person at the table who didn’t order Thanksgiving turkey dinner.  I finished up with apple pie ala mode.  We told everyone at the table about our adventures with Freddie’s Fun Bus during dinner. 

Dad At The Midnight Chocolate Buffet 

I caught up on my journal and chilled out until about 10:30 PM then went and got dad to go check the internet.  We finished that fairly quickly and watched a little of the Denver – Kansas City football game in the Schooner Bar before heading to the Great Gatsby Dining Room for the Chocolate Buffet.  It started at 11:30 PM and it was packed.  We were seated at the table right behind ourThe Midnight Chocolate Buffet In The Great Gatsby Dining Room regular table and met a very nice family from Canada, the Monsurate’s.  I joked with the daughter that the smallest person at the table had the biggest plate.  Apparently like me she had just lost about 60 pounds but was not worrying about her diet on the cruise.  The father and son ran an immigration service in Vancouver, British Columbia and they were fascinated by dad. 
They were amazed at all the things he was involved in with the Treasury Department. We ended up talking to them until almost 12:30 AM before heading to bed.  We arrive in St. Maarten at 7:00 AM tomorrow and dad said he saw on television that the ship was only traveling at 9 knots per hour.


Continue To St. Maarten November 24, 2006


Back To Day At Sea November 22, 2006

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