Cruising with the Birds to St. Maarten or St. Martin
Our third day of the cruise started out with breakfast after which MA and I went in different directions, me to the Princess Theater to see a lecture on “The CSI Factor in Trials” presented by a former prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office and I think MA went to a Zumba class.
Anyhow the “CSI” presentation was like work except I didn’t have to look for the evidence or solve the case. The cases presented were the Spector murder case, the OJ Simpson murder case and the Patty Hearst case. He was right about one thing. People who sit on juries expect the police to solve the case using test tubes and forensics like on CSI and to do it in under an hour which of course is not reality. I’m just glad I don’t have to worry about that anymore.
Our day at sea yesterday was spent around the pool or listening to the ship’s ensemble in the Piazza (central focal point of the ship). The ensemble (violin, piano, accordion, guitar and base) plays music from movies or songs that really have real words (understandable!). It was fun to sit and try and guess the name of the songs they played.
Last night there was a “captain’s party” and they do this champagne tower where if you want, you can pour champagne from the top and watch it trickle down, and in the process, get your photo taken so you’ll purchase it later!
I can’t really brag about the food on cruise ships because it’s really not as good as advertised nor as good as it used to be in the “good ole days!” Most menus have an abundance of adjectives to describe the various dishes but in reality they are really just a variation of fish, chicken, pork or beef with some vegetables.
St. Maarten or St. Martin (4th day)
During our approach into St. Maarten the Ruby Princess was accompanied by a lot of sea birds. I recognized one as a Brown Boobie and another as a white and black Boobie (I think). They flew alongside the ship diving into the water catching fish. The ship’s wake makes it easy for them to find food because it breaks up the many schools of fish underwater.
We arrived in Thursday morning at St. Maarten (9:00am) if you’re Dutch or St. Martin if you’re French. The island in divided into two parts with the Dutch possessing the southern half and the French the northern half. Our friends from Paris wanted to go to the French side so we grabbed a taxi at the harbor gate. The driver took us to “Sunset Beach” where I wanted to see and photograph airplanes on approach for landing, flying directly over the beach where we were. No, there are no topless sunbathers there unless you want to see some fat old guys!! The planes come in about a 200 feet above your head before they hit the runway. It is deafening. We watched and I photographed one 737 landing right over my head. See photo.
We then caught a taxi to Marigot, the French city on St. Martin and had lunch. After walking through the many open air markets, we bought some water to take back to the ship. Thanks to Michel’s eagle eye, we caught a local “jitney” bus back to the Dutch side, for $2.00 each (compared to the $25.00 each we spent going over to Marigot). The bus driver let us off less than a kilometer from the cruise ship docks and MA and I walked the rest of the way.
Once on board we went down to the 5th floor, got a couple of iced coffees and listened to the ensemble again. We played guess the song and match it to a movie. MA’s never been a movie “buff” so she didn’t connect the songs with the movies and so I won!