Things We Learned While Cruising the Caribbean
- Bring sunscreen. Lots of it. Because the markup in tourist traps is something like 10,000%. Okay, okay — 400%, but still…it’s sunscreen!!
- Sea turtles can swim up to 25 miles per hour.
- In colonial days, Bermudans ate their entire sea turtle population as soup. They ended up trying to repopulate the island by getting eggs from Costa Rica. When the resulting turtles reached sexual maturity — 40 years later — they turned out to all be male, because Bermuda’s subtropical waters aren’t warm enough to produce female sea turtles. Oops.
- Weigh your luggage before going to the airport. ‘Nuff said.
- After visiting a beach in Bermuda and getting back on the glass-bottomed boat to return to the ship, make sure your driver’s license and cruise ID are still in your possession and not somehow dropped on the beach, thus requiring your husband to prepare for a fast run back to the beach while you — the one who actually lost said IDs — enjoy a free rum swizzle on the boat. Also, be thankful for kind fellow cruisers who found the IDs and returned them without the husband getting sweaty and frustrated, thereby allowing him to actually enjoy his rum swizzle as well.
- Have we mentioned sunscreen?
- Due to her classical soprano training, Geitra can hold an extremely high scream across the final 500-foot rope traverse during a canopy tour. She’ll still have breath to continue the scream upon completing the traverse.
- When visiting Old San Juan, there’s not much point in getting showers and dressing nicely for dinner when you’re going to walk 15 blocks uphill to dinner in 80-degree heat. In the rain.
- Linen clothing, light as it may be, is surprisingly warm. This is directly related to the previous lesson.
- Another note about dinner in Old San Juan — when reading the cruise line-provided map, there’s a difference between an uppercase “A” (marking the restaurant we wanted to go to) and a lowercase “a” (marking, apparently, a museum). As a result, Neil didn’t exactly get us guided to the birthplace of the piÃ±a colada where hoped to eat, but we did still find a nice place dinner — and it was out of the rain.
- One of the most popular souvenir themes in San Juan is the “topless woman” theme — it’s on towels, T-shirts, everything! And no, Neil didn’tÂ buy any of these…
- The passage of time is loosely recognized on Caribbean islands…as exemplified by our Grand Turk tour guide, who figured it might be a good idea to get us all on his bus for the trip back to the ship around the time that we were supposed be on board the ship. Luckily, the ship won’t leave you behind if a tour you organized through the ship isn’t back yet — but if you’re late on your own, they’ll bail!
- Sunscreen. Sunscreen. And sunscreen.
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