Thu, 27 Oct 2005

St. Thomas

We arrived in St. Thomas today. Alas our shore excursion wasn't quite as nice as the day before in St. Maarten. We went to Magen's Bay, which is actually pretty picturesque. However, the first thing we did was walk along the bay, where we crossed a small stream which smelled like sewage, streaming into the bay a steady stream of brown water. I have an adage (I recently made up) which goes like this: "If it smells like sh*t, it's sh*t". Now the contractor who was providing the excursion explained that it was runoff from Wilma which had dumped lots of rain on the island, and indeed, the smell seemed to extend a quarter mile back from the beach and the trees seemed to resemble a recently created swampland. The excursion people mentioned there were mango groves nearby. Fertilizer, sewage, it didn't quite matter to me. And while the water streamed into the bay a quarter mile away, I didn't want to take chances on getting sick in the middle of a cruise.

I'm not aware of other people in the bay who got sick, but we were one of only two parties who left immediately after arriving. Instead, we returned to the ship, had lunch, went swimming in the ship pool, and went shopping for some booze (which is not taxed here). We bought approximately ten liters of rum, Chambord, and vodka at an average price of $10/1L bottle.

We also saw the Princess liner again, although we were docked in another bay and couldn't verify who arrived first or who left last. In any case, there were two Princess liners (along with a Carnival cruise lines ship), which is relatively unusual-- cruise companies avoid two ships in the same ports of call on the same day, but it seemed clear to me that Princess, like Disney, had sent their Western Carribean cruise on an Eastern itinerary for the same reason. Two weeks from now, when the Magic is expected to do another Western Carribean cruise, they'll probably come east like us too, because I suspect Cozumel and Grand Cayman will be mopping up after Wilma for a few more weeks.

Tomorrow we have a day at sea, followed by a day at Castaway Cay, which is appropriately billed as the ultimate day at the beach. Shouldn't be any sewage situations (or Princess cruise liners) there.

Khan Klatt

Khan Klatt's photo