THURSDAY 09 March – Georgetown, Cayman Islands
[ This post consists of some narrative and 12 photos with captions. ]
Our penultimate port of call was Georgetown, Cayman Islands. The port lacks a deep-water marina, so cruise ships “anchor out” and the guests “tender in.” There are quite a few things to do on the island, and there were numerous shore excursions from which to choose. This was not our first visit to Georgetown, however, and we were content to just go ashore and stroll around for a bit. As port towns go it’s not very interesting. Most of the things to see and do are elsewhere on the island(s).
The Cayman Islands in general, and Georgetown in particular, is known for its (offshore) banking industry. We were here as part of our 2nd Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise in 2013, so we knew the town itself is relatively small, without too much high-rise architecture, and is very walkable, but without very much to see and do. It seemed unchanged to us since our last visit. The two most novel things about our time here were: 1) an actual police officer directing traffic, and; 2) the number of cruise ships in the harbor; four at one time (as best I recall). The Joy departed at 5 PM for the final leg of our journey.
In larger ports that can handle multiple cruise ships simultaneously, it’s a bit mind-boggling how many people they can disgorge into a waiting community. Equally amazing, are the number of businesses (and people) that are in place at each port to service, and indeed depend on, these large number of visitors. Cruise ships have their purpose, however, and we had thoroughly enjoyed our time on the NCL Joy and the places it stopped. Perhaps someday we will return to some of these locations on our own, as well as others that our cruise skipped, and stay long enough to get a better sense of what they are really like. But if not, at least we have experienced them, however briefly, and been keenly aware that we were in places that were very different from where we have spent most of our lives.
FRIDAY 10 March – At Sea
We sailed all evening on the 9th, all day on the 10th, and into the early morning of the 11th. We had our last dinner meal aboard in the Haven restaurant on the 10th. After dinner, we gave gratuities to the key crew who had made our trip extra special, namely: Isidro (our Butler), Harold (our Stateroom Attendant), Patrick (the head Haven concierge), and Melody (the Assistant Concierge in charge of the Haven restaurant). These gratuities were in addition to the ones that all guests pre-pay and are (presumably) divided up (in some equitable way) between the entire crew (except for the butlers and the Haven concierges, as we understood it). These four people, however, had made our time onboard memorable in the best possible way.
Over the course of the day, I developed an irritated throat that got worse with time and eventually moved to my sinuses. Not the way I wanted to end the cruise, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it except for symptomatic treatments, until we got ashore in Miami, Florida and back to Paul and Nancy’s place at MOSN in Polk City, Florida.