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Linda Coffman


Cruise Diva's CRUISE DIARY
~ Eastern Caribbean Enchantment ~

Enchantment of the Seas—Docked in St. Maarten

Enchantment of the Seas—Docked in St. Maarten

St. Maarten 

Docking in St. Maarten was a unique experience for those of us who hadn't arrived by ship for some years. When compared to tendering ashore in the past, the new pier is a welcome convenience. We walked ashore and faced transportation choices — either the water taxi ($5 per person round trip) or a taxi/van ($3 per person each way). We opted for the air conditioned taxi, which dropped us off downtown.

We're typical women so shopping was naturally a top priority, but first some of us made our way to "Everyt'ings Cool" for refreshments and access to the beach, while others set out on a ship's tour. After meeting up with the excursioner-goers, our shopping frenzy began—St. Maarten had the best bargains on our itinerary for alcohol and jewelry. A stop for refreshments at the Guavaberry Hut was a must on our way back to the ship.

A late lunch in the Solarium (pizza, juicy burgers, and hot, crispy fries) kept Miriam and I going until it was time to dress for the Crown and Anchor Society "Welcome Back" party in the Carousel Lounge. Captain Kjonso was a spirited host and had us in stitches with his humorous description of how, as a stockholder, he now "owns" a toilet and hopes to acquire an entire bathroom by the time he retires.

After another satisfying dinner, we once again adjourned to the Champagne Bar to meet friends. By this time, the Champagne Bar was our special meeting place and Jimmie and Maria treated us like the most special guests on board, greeting us by name and preparing our favorite beverages to perfection.

St. Thomas

Enchantment of the Seas' Library

For quiet relaxation... the Enchantment of the Seas' serene library

The plan was to take the ferry to St. John for snorkeling. Most of our group met at the gangway after all passengers presented identification and the Enchantment of the Seas was cleared by Immigration officials.

Unfortunately, I had twisted my sprained ankle again and couldn't join the gang. Fortunately, the spa offered a "port day special" and I enjoyed a fantastic morning of pampering. I chose an Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap and wasn't disappointed—in fact, it was the best hour and a half I've ever spent in any ship's spa and it was discounted—what a treat! I left relaxed and in a revitalized mood that lasted throughout the rest of the cruise. Feeling good, I made my way ashore after a light lunch to browse a bit through the shops at Havensight.

With heightened security, lines were rather long for re-boarding the ship in late afternoon. We four roomies shared another special sailaway and sunset, followed by dinner with more members of our group. It was hard to believe we hadn't known one another all our lives—we were so comfortable together. Tomorrow we'll share a special "Enchanted Tiara" photo op before our second formal night.

Next -> A Day at Sea & a Port Call in Nassau

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Illustrations Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International & Author's Collection