Allure Cruise – St. Martin

Welcome to St. Martin.  Saint Martin is part of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea. It comprises two separate countries, divided between its northern French side, called Saint-Martin, and its southern Dutch side, Sint Maarten. The island is home to busy resort beaches and secluded coves.

We hired a guide from tours by locals and he took us on a great tour of the island.  Our first stop was at an overlook that had awesome views.

Our driver then took us to Fort Louis which is one of the top island attractions and historical landmarks.  It also offers panoramic views across the island and beyond.

Our driver then took us past St Martin’s Princess Juliana International Airport, famous for its proximity to the beach, which sees aircraft swoop within spitting distance of sunseekers and planespotters.  Vacationers like to stand on the beach and watch the airplanes land.  It can be very dangerous and you can see the signs posted all over.

A co-worker had recommended that we lunch at a place called Mr. Busby’s so we had our driver take us there.   Mr. Busby’s is located at Dawn Beach and offers you everything you’d want in a Caribbean beach bar; great food, friendly people, a primo location and relaxing environment.  It was simply a great place to eat and relax so I’d highly recommend going there.

After an hour or so relaxing at Mr. Busby’s, our driver picked us back up and took us to Orient Beach.  Orient Beach is the most famous beach on the island due to its beauty and liberal policy on clothing; which is optional.  No pictures are supposed to be taken here so I just took a pic of the sign.

There are a number of places to cross the border between the French and Dutch sides of the island of Saint Martin.  Here is a picture of where we crossed over.

We had a great time touring this island and really enjoyed our guide, but after a full day it was time to go back on the ship but I will leave you with a couple of pictures of the views that we saw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Time Out

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  I’m taking a time out this week to get some stuff done for the holiday so won’t be posting about St. Martin this week so check back next week.  Hope all of you have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving and safe travels to wherever you go.

Allure Cruise – St. Thomas

Welcome to the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  St. Thomas is the gateway isle of the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. It’s known for its beaches and snorkeling spots.  We did our research on what to do on this island and decided to go into town and walk 99 steps up to a spot that at the top has a 1679 watchtower called Blackbeard’s Castle, in reference to the area’s pirate history.  It is actually more than 99 steps, but we weren’t counting:)

As you can see from the picture above, the steps are a brick staircase.  You do have to watch where you are going as parts of the steps are not too sturdy.

This is the 17th-century watchtower known as Blackbeard’s Castle.  You have to pay to go to the top of the Castle; which we did and the view was really quite awesome.  After the walk up, we figured we had worked up an appetite so, again having done our research, we found a restaurant that conveniently was right next door to Frenchtown Brewing.  The ladies in the group went to the restaurant and the guys headed over to the brewery.

The restaurant is actually a pub named Pie Whole which is known for it’s pizzas.  We enjoyed a salad and a well deserved adult beverage and the guys joined us after their brewery tour and they had pizza which they said was very good.

As you can see from the above picture, the guys enjoyed the Frenchtown Brewery and even bought a full growler.  Of course, they had to drink the entire growler prior to getting back on the ship, but we found a nice garage to sit in:)  It was a full day so we headed back to the ship to get ready for our dinner.

Next week St. Martin and the dutch side St. Maarten.

Allure Cruise – Bahamas

We all loved this ship, Allure of the Seas.  There is just so much to do and see on it.  Here are a couple of pictures of the ship that will show just how big it is.

Our first port of call was Nassau, Bahamas.  We have been to the Bahamas on cruises several times before and actually debated not even getting off the ship but we found this garden that looked very interesting.  It is called Versailles Gardens and French Cloister.  As you can see from the pictures below, it is a beautiful place to go to and take pictures of.

We spent some time there just wondering around and enjoying the views.  After taking our pictures and seeing the beautiful scenery, we decided to go back into town and check out a new brewery that had recently opened.  It was called Pirate Republic and we all enjoyed having a beer and wine and drinking on the deck and just enjoying the view.

We got back on the ship early and just chilled out a bit before our dinner that night.  Next week I’ll take you to St. Thomas.

 

 

Cruise – Allure of the Seas

Welcome aboard the Allure of the Seas.  It was one of Royal Caribbean’s largest ship until the Harmony of the Seas was built.  In February of 2016, we decided to go on a cruise aboard the Allure leaving Ft. Lauderdale for the Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Martin.  We had never been on a ship the size of the Allure and wanted to see how we would like it. We stayed two nights in Ft. Lauderdale before boarding the Allure and had a great time.  There are many sights to see in Lauderdale and since the guys are home brewers they had to stop by Lauder Ale Brewery for a tasting.

We toasted to our cruise on our last night in Ft. Lauderdale.  It also happened to be the wedding anniversary of one of the couples that went with us so we toasted to them as well.  Our group loves to toast to everything!

We boarded the Allure of the Seas as soon as we could as we were all wanting to check out this huge ship.  This ship is a small city on the ocean.  it has everything you could possible want on a ship; a rock climbing wall, mini golf, flow rider, zip line, ice skating, lots of entertainment and dining experiences from all over the world.  We just loved the Samba Grill.  The Schooner Bar was another favorite of ours for drinks.

One of the attractions on the ship was the Rising Tide Bar and as soon as we heard about this, we just knew we had to go there for drinks one night.  It’s a bar that actually rises off the lower floor to the upper deck of the ship.  It’s a fun and unique bar.

Next week I will write more about the ship as well as our first stop in the Bahamas.