E Caribbean – Part Three

Nov 22nd

We arrived in Grand Turk at 11am to a little downpour which cleared up in about 30 minutes.  We partook of the ship’s Stingray and Snorkel outing. Stingrays are amazingly graceful, soft and smooth, despite being deadly (i.e. Steve Irwin). We also learned about how to harvest conch which Doug ate a piece of raw. The snorkeling experience was one of Doug’s best due to finally being able to prevent water from entering his mask, using Vaseline on his mustache.   Part of this experience was being able to hold and kiss a ray as well as having your back “massaged”.  Kinda corny but good photo ops!  Fran saw a huge stingray quite a ways from shore and we saw a few more before getting on the boat. After returning to the pier we hurried back to the boat to change and we took a taxi to the town of Cochburn to walk a bit of the island. It’s not a big island (less than 10 sq miles) and no real industry since the salt ponds are no longer competitive, but Carnival put $50-60 million into creating a cruise center dock and shopping – so it’s really about creating captive buyers. Looks like it’s working for them, but we don’t shop. Other than drinks, excursions and food when off the boat, we didn’t spent more than a $75. We really enjoyed seeing the non-touristy part of Grand Turk and socializing with some of the locals.   Had a couple of beers sitting right on the beach and it was wonderful.

Back on the boat we had fun dancing. Doug won another trivia trophy.

Nov 23rd

This was our last full day and it was at sea, on our way back to Miami. We enjoyed sleeping in, then got some exercise walking – we’ve managed to walk 5-10 miles every day – still doesn’t make up for all the indulging we did. Doug took part in the final 3rd part of the team trivia challenge. His team dominated and was awarded his third of the aforementioned ships on a stick, as well as a bottle of cheap champagne and a medal. We spent more time relaxing, reading, hot-tubing, watching silly games on deck and strolling. That evening we watched a movie out on the Lido deck and took in another comedy show.

Nov. 24th

Our shipped docked early and we opted for the self assist disembarkation so we didn’t have to wait for our luggage and Doug noticed people getting off before they made the official announcements so we headed out and were at the airport before 8:30 so in plenty of time to catch our flight home via Washington DC – where it was below freezing and the plane lands on the tarmac not up at the gate!  Yikes – rude reminder of the fact that we were no longer in the Caribbean!