Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day 2009 - Anchors Away...

Later today, we'll be boarding the 'Royal Clipper'. We board at around 4pm local time and sail at 10pm.
Royal Clipper

We're not sure yet if we can get an internet connection on the ship, so this may be the last posting until we get back next Saturday!

Over the coming seven days, the cruise will take in the following Caribbean islands:

Union Island - Grenada - Tobago Cays - St Vincent/Bequia - Martinique - St Lucia and then back to Barbados.

We're going to spend our final hours at Sweetfield Manor getting packed, and then just chilling-out.

Clayton, our personal taxi-driver was his normal conscientious self and picked us up just after 4.15. He took us to the terminal via Bridgetown (which looked very interesting) and after about twenty-minutes, we were unloading our stuff ready to board. We're used to cruising, and we're especially used to the long drawn-out affair of registering before you board. So, today was a very pleasant surprise as it only took about 20 minutes before we were walking up the gang-plank.

Once aboard, we helped ourselves to food and drink whilst the Rick-Wakeman sound-alike tinkled away on his keyboard providing background music to eat and drink by.

After snacks we moved the Library to check-in. This, in our experience, is another part of the process that normally takes ages, but we were processed in no time. So it's now off to Cabin 258 that'll be our home for the next week.

Another thing we're used-to is cabin-size - normally small, but the Royal Clipper redefined the term! How we got the majority of the stuff unpacked I'll never know (and just where did we stash the kitchen sink?). Anyway, half-an-hour later, the bags were squeezed under the bed.

We headed for the restaurant around 7.30. It was tastefully designed over two levels and was already quite busy by the time we arrived. We managed to get a table for four (they don't take reservations) and were quickly provided with menus and a wine-list. Service was brisk and initially, we seemed to be drowning in wine-waiters, who were all anxious to take our order. Things settled down and we chose a bottle of the French House White whilst Ralph stuck to his beer.

The menu was pretty extensive - Karen and I had the lobster soup whilst for mains, Ralph and I had the veal, whilst Ann tried the steak and chips and Karen had the salmon. We finished of with cheese - when I say finished off, Karen and I finished off the finishing-off with ice-cream!!!

image We just had time to pop back to our rooms before going up on deck to see the ship sail. What a magnificent sight - seeing the sails slowly unfurl gave an even greater sense of occasion as we sailed out of Barbados at 10pm under the night-sky.

10.30 We were tired by now and headed back to our Cabin. One thing we noticed, being a much smaller ship, is that you definitely know you're at sea! Watching from a distance, it would be hard to tell whether we'd been on the Rum or just coping with the ship's movements!!!