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Allure of the Seas – Day 4, St. Thomas

March 21st, 2012

It’s been 3 months since the trip, but it still feels like yesterday. Or last week. Or something. Hmm, maybe it does feel like it has been 3 months. Anyway. I’m still going to crank out these trip reports so that I can look back at them to create our photobooks. I’m determined to get these things finished!

So, where was I? Ah, yes, I had finished our “at sea” day, so now we’re ready for our port day in St. Thomas. St. Thomas was new for the four of us.

We woke up around 7:15am, which is a fairly normal time for our family. The kids seemed to have slept better the night before. We had plenty of time to get ready for our shore excursion to Magens Bay. Gabe’s parents were going to breakfast at the same time, and they shared their beautiful views from their balcony as we were coming into the port. We were already much more impressed with St. Thomas than we were with Nassau!

We ended up with the a la carte service in the dining room for breakfast while Gabe’s parents tried the buffet. After breakfast, we tried to see our photos but the photo place wasn’t open. We then went to see if the carousel was running, but it wasn’t either. We were getting ready to head off the ship to head to our excursion, and Cullen required a last minute diaper change. I suppose his timing could have been worse (like just as we were boarding the bus).

The first thing we noticed when we got off the ship were all the iguanas on the rocks! I was then happy that I could get my free Diamonds Direct charm as I thought I wouldn’t be able to get the one from St. Thomas. They had a store right at the port, of course.

My parents did an excursion that involved a sailboat, snorkeling, and drinks. Melissa and Jason did an excursion that involved a boat, beach, and snorkeling. Melissa’s parents had an excursion as well. I think that Gabe’s parents explored St. Thomas on their own.

We experienced some confusion when trying to find the meeting place for our shore excursion. We were then told to follow “that guy” and “that guy” high tailed it “that way.” We had a hard time keeping up with him! Luckily, we kept up with the guide and boarded our open air “bus” (making sure to put the kiddos on the inside). We attempted to apply sunscreen on the kids on the way, but that was quite a challenge.

Our “bus” made two scenic stops as we climbed the summit overlooking the harbor. St. Thomas is quite beautiful.

We met Lady Gaga, the donkey. Melissa’s parents told us later that they had seen Lady Gaga, too.

The “bus” ride was a little scary at times, especially with two small children. Magans Bay Beach was much narrower than I expected it to be, but it was absolutely beautiful with few people. Right away, we wished that we had brought our swimsuits. The water was so calm, and the weather was perfect. We could have easily taken the kids into the ocean here!

They were happy to play in the sand.

And walk along the beach barefoot.

And spend time together in the sun!

We had a difficult time getting decent photos, despite the beautiful settings. We were happy that a stranger offered to take one, even if it isn’t awesome of the kiddos.

The kids enjoyed flinging sand into the approaching waves. It’s a good thing that the beach wasn’t crowded. They ended up flinging sand all over.

Oh, and I got pooped on by a bird! Somehow that didn’t seem so bad with such beautiful surroundings. Hooray for wet wipes!

We had overpriced mediocre food at the “restaurant” on the beach, continuing our trend of sub-par dining experiences when not on the ship.

After lunch, we had just enough time to glance in the gift shop and take a potty and diaper break. We hurried back to the parking lot to meet the bus. And then we waited for an hour. We were annoyed. Fortunately, this wasn’t an excursion that was cutting it close for departure time on the ship, but have you ever waited an hour for a bus with two kids under 4? They were getting restless, to say the least. We were already pushing Cullen’s naptime back an hour or two, so this didn’t help matters!

He looks happy here, though, doesn’t he? Between the beach and the parking lot were some interesting trees to run around.

When the bus driver showed up, she didn’t even apologize for being so late. The ride back seemed even scarier than the way there. I imagine the driver was in a hurry to get back to port. Cullen didn’t want to be on the bus and cried the first 10 minutes or so, saying, “I want to get off the bus. I want to get off. I want to get off.” Fortunately, we made it back safely.

We made it back to the ship and got everyone showered. Showering the kids in the tiny shower on the cruise ship is an interesting experience. Thank goodness for the detachable shower head/sprayer! We let the kids relax with some cartoons. Cullen was obviously not going to nap as we missed his window of opportunity.

We tried to see our photos again, but the photo gallery was closed. Again. We ended up meeting up with Melissa and Jason, and we all lingered by the Progressive Trivia since it was the music round. We weren’t planning on playing, but one woman got our attention and asked, “hey, do you know this song?” I said, “you’re trying to cheat!” She convinced us to join her team, though we warned her that we couldn’t promise to make it to other trivia rounds. The husband and wife were the trivia champions from rounds 1 and 2. Also, the husband had placed 2nd in the Jeopardy Seniors Tournament some number of years ago (how cool is that?). This was the 3rd round, and the name-that-tune trivia wasn’t their forte. Fortunately for them, we knew most of the answers. We always manage to meet some fun people from each cruise, and we were so glad by the end of the cruise to meet Sandy and Jerry!

We ran the strollers back to the room and ended up being about 15 minutes late for dinner. Maddie insisted on sitting next to Grandma, of course. Cullen was a bit restless due to having no nap. He did enjoy the fruit soup again tonight, and he especially enjoyed feeding it to himself. Of course, much of it was all over the front of his shirt!

Gabe took Cullen back to the room a few minutes early to get him ready for bed. Grandma and I followed soon after as Grandma had offered to babysit for us this night.

We headed to the comedy show with my parents and Melissa and Jason. The comedy club is a very small place, but somehow we never noticed that Melissa and Jason’s parents were there, too.

The comedy show was very entertaining, though I learned that it can be awkward to sit next to your parents at a comedy show. You probably don’t always want to know what your parents will find hilarious. Of course, I’m mostly joking about the awkwardness. It didn’t outweigh everyone having a good time seeing a show together!

We had some time to kill between the comedy show and Qwest. We first went to get our photo taken with Puss in Boots at one of the scheduled photo ops.

We chatted a bit with Melissa’s parents in Central Park, and then we headed up to play mini golf. It was far too crowded, so we played the first and last hole and wandered around trying to decide what to do.

At some point, we walked through the Promenade, and I grabbed some tasty pizza from Sorrentos.

We went to Dazzles to watch the Finish the Lyric Game Show. It was entertaining enough, but most of the songs were lame. We ended up leaving partway through the game show so we could grab seats in Studio B for Qwest.

We have seen Qwest many times, but this was the first time for Melissa and Jason. It’s an adult scavenger hunt, and it just has to be experienced. I’m always amazed at the crazy things that people will do. Usually, you form your own teams and our team generally bows out about half a dozen questions into the game. This time was different since the venue is so large. They divided us into 8 large teams with two team captains each. Most items were passed down to the captains, but sometimes items required audience members to come to the stage. Melissa ran down at one point and wiped out on the slippery floor (and almost took out the camera man!). Fortunately for Melissa, people did far more embarrassing things on purpose. It’s a crazy event.

When it was over, it was late and we headed back to the cabin to relieve Grandma of her babysitting (and napping with Maddie) duties.

Day 4 favorites:
Kerry: beautiful beach views
Gabe: the beach
Maddie (according to her): the beach
Cullen (according to him): the water

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