Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cruising with Scooter the DJ- November 12-19,2016

Saturday morning, November 12,2016 we were up early and on the move. At 6:30am we were to meet a bus to travel to Port Everglades, Florida to get on the cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, for an Eastern Caribbean cruise. Bruce and Cricket, friends, picked us up and drove to the pickup location. The bus ride was about 4 hours long with a stop halfway at a turnpike rest area. Scooter the DJ, along with Jan Ramsey (a dance instructor in The Villages) planned and hosted the cruise. Scooter rode in our bus keeping us all entertained. We arrived in Port Everglades a little before noon and made our way through the lines to get on board the ship. Our room was not ready until 2pm so we made our way to a buffet dining area to eat lunch. The ship, Harmony of the Seas, is presently the largest cruise ship in the world (over 6000 passengers) and this was the first cruise, an Inaugural Cruise, in America.
By 2pm we were in our room but our luggage did not arrive until later. The room was very nice with a king bed and lots of closet space and an outside balcony.
Tom and I strolled around the ship in an attempt to get oriented to where things were. The ship left port at 4pm.
At 6pm we had our first dinner dining with friends- Bruce and Cricket McGinness, Anni and Jeff Albert and Kitty and Dave Snell- all Village people transported from Maryland.
Sunday morning (13th) we arrived in Nausau, Bahamas at 7am and by 7:30am we were allowed to go off the ship.
A tour on a glass bottom boat had been prearranged for the 94 folks from The Villages traveling with Scooter for 10am.
Many fish were seen as we traveled over the water. We had to be back on board by 1:30pm so there was little time for anything else besides the boat ride. Dinner on this night was to be in dress attire. In walking about the ship we came across a show that was to start starring a ventriloquist, Ronn Lucas which Tom and I went to and really enjoyed. The entertainment schedule had gotten changed from the schedule that had been planned prior to coming on the cruise due to the need of the entertainers to have a break after relocating from Europe to America.
Monday (14th) was a day of sailing. From 10:30am to 12:30pm a private dance party with Scooter and Jan was held in the Dazzles lounge for our group. Scooter did his usual antics and dances he is known for in The Villages and Jan taught a few line dances. A good time.
In the late afternoon we went to a performance of "Grease" which was well done.
Then in the evening Bruce, Cricket, Tom and I bar hopped around the ship.
Tuesday (15th) we arrived in St. Thomas about 9am. Tom and I caught a cab that took us into the town of Charlotte Amalie. Our large suitcase made the trip to our room but when unzipping the zipper gave away. We were looking to replace that piece of luggage or to get some duct tape to secure the old piece when traveling home. The weather had been beautiful the past couple of days but on this day it was cloudy with rain showers. We were unable to find either luggage or duct tape so we returned back to the ship and enjoyed a peaceful afternoon. At 7pm we were under sail once again. We saw a show with Tony Tillman, a singer from Las Vegas, who was very entertaining.
Wednesday (16th) the ship arrived in Philipsburg, St. Maarten at 7am. Jeff and Anni had arranged an excursion for our 4 couple group on a boat touring around the island with swimming and snorkeling. Unfortunately, Jeff, recovering from a bout of double pneumonia, was not feeling well enough to go so he and Anni stayed on the ship while the rest of us went. It was a fun day on a Scarab boat with three 300 horsepower engines that really flew across the water.
A stop was made for a nice lunch. Stops were made before and after lunch for swimming and snorkeling.

We were back on the boat for the 4:30pm departure. A voucher had been given to each of us in the Scooter group for a dinner at one of the restaurants on the ship so arrangements were made for the Alberts, Snells and us to dine at 150 Park Place. The McGinness' also ate there with another group of their friends. These meals were very elegantly served and delicious.
Thursday (17th) was a day spent at sea. We had another dance party in the Dazzle lounge with Scooter and Jan from 10am to 12:30pm. In the evening we went to an ice show "1887".
Friday (18th) another day at sea. Scooter and Jan had another morning party and then AAA, the booking company, had a farewell cocktail hour in the early evening. Columbus the Musical was a show that we went to prior to dinner. This was a ships production and a funny, entertaining show.
Saturday (19th) we were up and had breakfast before disembarking the ship a little after 8:30am. Our Cabin Steward had found some packing tape for us to use on our suitcase which held things together until we got home. Our group was a little late getting on the buses due to some missing pieces of luggage. Eventually we were bused up and traveling home. Bruce and Crickets friend Ed met us and returned us to our house.