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  • Well we had a lovely surprise yesterday, when we docked at St Maarten.
    The Serenade of the Seas was next to us and Maz remembered that Egbert and Chris were supposed to be on it for its transatlantic crossing.
    So we decided to ask their security to check if they were on board, the girl was lovely and not only checked they where on board but even phoned their cabin for us.
    As luck would have it they were in.
    So Sue spoke to Chris who said they were just on the way down to the pool, but if we gave them five minutes they would join us.
    It was great to see them as it was almost exactly 12 months since we'd last seen them, which was on the Suez Canal cruise on the Mariner of the Seas.
    We took the water taxi across to the town and had a few beers and a good catch up.
    Egbert filled is in on the details of his appearance on TV on the Antiques Roadshow and how he's now on first name terms with Fiona Bruce, lol.
    It was really great to see them both and there was some sad goodbyes when we went back to the ship.
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  • The rush you feel from the airplanes is so much fun. It's more exciting than it is scary. The beach is very crowded but that is because it is very small. We grabbed a table at the Sunset Grille and made our way out to the beach when the planes came. It was quite an experience and I would definitely come here again to experience it.

    Hippie Tip:
    **Be aware** If you are cruising, it will take a few hours to get back to the boat by taxi. Plan accordingly. Traffic is terrible!!
    Be sure to try Guava Berry Colada
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  • Землю побачили ми нарешті 28.09. Пришвартувались в гавані Сінт Маартена. Хоч маленька, але земля. І це все ще Європейський Союз...
    Це найменший населений острів у світі, поділений між двома країнами, менша половина якого належить Голландії, інша - Франції. Голландська частина більш туристична і більш населена. Але з голландського тут тільки назва і Хайнекен. Дуже відчувається американський вплив, хоча взагалі схоже на Ямайку: в основному, чорношкіре населення, яке розмовляє англійською з типовим карибським акцентом, люди широко усміхаються, явно не гребують травою і на вулицях грає Боб Марлі 😄
    Французька сторона менш населена, не така туристична і багатша.
    Взагалі на острові особливо нема на що подивитись, головна атракція- це пляжі. І вони тут справді чудові: ця блакитна тепленька водичка Карибського моря і білосніжний пісок, чого нам дуже не вистачало в Португалії. Але найвідоміший пляж, і взагалі- візитка острова - це пляж Махо на голландській стороні в безпосередній близькості до Міжнародного аеропорту принцеси Юліани. Літаки пролітають буквально над головами людей! Це неймовірне видовище! Особливо велике враження справляють величезні літаки - і через те, що масивніші, і через те, що летять нижче.
    Багато часу ми не мали, перебування на острові скоротили на 2 год в зв'язку з ураганом, який насувався з Атлантики в Карибське море.
    На корабель ми мали прибути о 15:30 і в 16 відчалювати. Але через те, що ми недооцінили відстані, заїхали на пару хвилин на сусідній пляж глянути і потрапили в страшенну пробку по дорозі до корабля, ми приїхали о 15:55 в порт. Корабель вже готувався відпливати, нас ніхто чекати не збирався, так нам і сказали. Тому ми дуже раді, що все так закінчилось. І хто би мені що не казав, а 5 хв грають роль 😁 Ми були єдиними хто запізнився, і всі пасажири і так вже знали нас поіменно, бо капітан нас оголошував купу разів по радіо, так вони ще стояли на палубі і бачили як ми червоні від сорому заходимо на корабель 😳😓. Того дня люди ще питали нас чи то не ми були 😬. Ввечері повідомили про те, що ми застанемо біля Аруби (яка була нашою наступною зупинкою) ураган Метью і вночі може сильніше хитати. Проте через ураган порт і аеропорт Аруби закрили. Відповідно нам лишилось лиш плисти далі, так що негоду ми уникнули, але було дуже шкода, що так і не потрапили на цей острів.
    Але ще менше пощастило людям, які планували висадитися на Арубі і забронювали готелі там або мали звідти квиток на літак....
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  • Phillipsburg, St Maarten today and the weather is fantastic, only problem is that the town is mainly closed today for the St Maartens day celebrations.
    But a group of us had a walk in to town for a beer and some free wifi.
    We only spent an hour or so then strolled back to the ship as the temperature was rising quickly.
    Not that I'm complaining, as we'll be back to our rubbish English weather soon enough.

    For a change last night we all gave dinner a miss and we went to Johnny Rockets, and pigged out.
    As usual it was great, with unlimited fries, onion rings and dips, amazing burgers, along with apple pie, ice cream and milk shakes.
    The Staff are always amazingly efficient and friendly in there. They did the dancing and singing in front of the counter as they normally do, but this time they had two extra dancers, with Eva and Frank joining them.
    It was great fun and we all really enjoyed it, but I don't think I'll be able to eat again for a week
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  • We've done a lot of the shows and things on board as we've not seen them before, and we've not been disappointed they've been excellent.
    Last night was no different, Tony Tillman was his name and an excellent showman was he.
    He sang everything from, Rat Pack, through Rock and Roll, Soul, Motown and even Country, although the country was a send up and very funny.
    There was one particular punch line that I found very good.
    He asked all the teenagers in the audience if they knew why he was not singing their kind of music and only singing their parents kind of music.
    Well kids it's because the parents paid for the cruise.
    Maybe not the funniest line ever but it's so true and it was brilliantly delivered.
    Another thing about the shows on here is that they are between an hour to an hour and a half long not the usual 45 minutes as on other ships.
    Changing the subject the one thing that is the same as on other ships is the meeting nice people, there's Carl and Gaynor from Birmingham UK, who have lived all over the USA for the last twenty odd years and still sound like they live in deepest dark Brummie land.
    Then there's five people from North Carolina one of them, Lilyan went to the same university as Maz, so they yatterd on and did their Uni hand signs etc.
    The names of the others are, Marvin Lee, Toni, Brenda, and the last guy has a Swahili name that I can't pronounce, probably not because it's Swahili, but because of his broad Carolina accent lol.
    I'll ask him again today and get him to spell it.
    One thing I do know about him is that he has the catering franchise for the Dallas Cowboys no less!!
    Today we're in St Maarten, but as you may have noticed if you have ever read any of my ramblings before, it's the travelling and meeting people that's more important to me than the actual destination.
    Although I do like St Maarten and will be getting off for a stroll.
    We all also want to go to Maho beach to see the planes land as they come very low right over the beach.
    But we'll do that next week when we're on the Indy as we're back here just before the Atlantic crossing, so today we'll just suss out the transport to the beach.
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  • With us doing the back to back on the Independence, we need some transport between ships. Normally the cruise line put on a shuttle bus, so Maz and I asked the Suites Consierge if he could sort something out as the are quite a few of us doing the back to back.
    He gave us some waffle about the company not supplying shuttle busses and that we'd have to find our own way to the other ship.
    So Maz had the idea to go and see Dexter the Diamond Consierge as he'd had dealings with him before.
    What a difference in attitude, he was so helpful and got right on the case, the guy in the concierge lounge only seems interested in suite guests.
    Obviously looking for the big tippers.
    To be honest he's not even walked around the lounge to introduce himself to anyone, which is what a good concierge would do.
    As for Dexter he asked if everything was Ok and chatted with us for a while, as I've said before it's the little things that make it.
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