Caribbean Islands Adventure 2022 – Part 10: Onboard the Viking Sea

January 12 – 23, 2022

For twelve amazing days in January our home was the beautiful Viking Sea.

Our stateroom was spacious and comfortable. The private veranda was my favorite place to sit.

There were many different areas of the ship where we could sit and relax, take a swim, enjoy a cocktail, listen to music, or just stand at the railing and enjoy the view. There is also a Nordic Spa, Fitness area, hair and nail salon, a theater with live shows, two cinemas, and a promenade deck. The attention to detail was evident all around the ship.

We never went hungry or thirsty. The food and cocktails were all delicious and there was a very good selection of wines. There are three fine dining restaurants, several lounges, a buffet restaurant where in the morning we could order an omelet made just the way we like it and at lunch and dinner ask for a chef salad made to order. The gelato bar had a variety of flavors each day which went well with the fresh baked cookies. There are also a couple of restaurants for quick meals at breakfast and lunch.

We were spoiled the entire cruise. If we needed anything in our stateroom all we had to do was ask our room steward and he took care of it. The cruise ship staff were all friendly and attentive.

We are counting the days until our next cruise adventure.

Caribbean Islands Adventure 2022 – Part 9: Tortola

January 23, 2022

Our last port – Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

The final excursion of our trip was a Catamaran Cruise on the Soul Rebel through Francis Drake Channel to Norman Island for snorkeling and beach time. The catamaran was docked in the harbor just a short walk from our cruise ship and was the only excursion of the trip that didn’t involve a ride in a bus or 4×4.

We couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather as we sailed through the turquoise waters of the British Virgin Islands. Our destination of Norman Island is one of the islands that is said to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stephenson’s novel “Treasure Island”. Our guides kept us entertained with stories about the island and pirates.

After dropping anchor near the rocky shore of Norman Island we entered the chilly water for snorkeling. Schools of colorful fish swam around the huge coral covered boulders. Huge sea urchins were scattered around on the boulders.

The bar was open with with drinks and delicious snacks when we returned to the boat. The small hand pies filled with spicy fillings called Patties were my favorite. I was too busy eating and drinking to take a picture.

Our next stop was Pirate’s Bight on Nelson Island where we got our toes in the beautiful white sand.

Back at the dock I did a little shopping before returning to the ship for our last night on board. We celebrated with some bubbly in the Explorer’s Lounge.

Earlier in the week we asked the guitarist Michael if he could play “Georgia on my Mind”. He told us he was in the process of learning it. Before performing it for the first time he said it took him 18 hours to get it right. He did a wonderful job and the highlight of the night was hearing him play it.

After watching the sunset we sailed overnight to San Juan, Puerto Rico where we disembarked early in the morning and said goodbye to the beautiful Caribbean.

Coming up – a wrap up and tour of the gorgeous Viking Sea.

Caribbean Islands Adventure 2022 – Part 8: Philipsburg, St. Maarten

January 21-22, 2022

Our ship was docked in Philipsburg, St. Maarten for two nights. The first day in port we had another fun 4×4 adventure.

This time Henry got to drive a 4×4 Honda Talon from one side of St. Martin to the airport on the other side of the island. There were 6 couples from our ship and each couple had their own Talon. We lined up with a guide in the front and a guide in the back of the line. We had to all stay together as we followed our guide through the city of Philipsburg and around mountain roads with spectacular views of the island.

There were quite a few round-a-bouts and at each one the guide stopped traffic so we wouldn’t get separated. Henry loved driving the Talon!

We stopped at Sunset Beach by the Princess Juliana International Airport to watch the planes land and enjoy some beach time. There were lots of tourists enjoying the beautiful day.

The next day we enjoyed a leisurely day aboard the ship. I started the day with a cinnamon roll and ended the day watching another gorgeous sunset.

Stay tuned to see where our last Caribbean adventure takes us.

Caribbean Islands Adventure 2022 – Part 7: Antigua

January 20, 2022

Welcome to Antigua! Our ship docked in St. John’s, Antigua early in the morning. Our excursion was scheduled for the afternoon so we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and relaxing morning on the ship.

Morning rainbow over Antigua

Our transportation for the day was a small bus driven by DoeDoe with our tour guide Christina. The tour stopped at several historic and scenic overlooks.

Our tour bus in Antigua with driver Doedoe and tour guide Christine
Old ruins with local goats grazing in Antigua

The views from Shirley Heights lookout were spectacular. This location was a principal British fortification in the 18th century and is part of Antigua and Barbuda National Park. We explored around the Royal Artillery Guard House while there but spent most of the time enjoying the amazing view of English Harbor.

View of English Harbor, Antigua from Shirley Heights Lookout

The rain started coming down on our way to Nelson’s Dockyard, another part of Antigua and Barbuda National Park. It was pouring as we walked through the dockyard so we weren’t able to do much exploring or take many photos. We made our way along the waterfront and found cover in a crowded bar where we watched the rain come down.

Yachts at Nelson’s Dockyard
Shells placed beside a walkway at Nelson’s Dockyard
Pillars Restaurant at Nelson’s Dockyard
It was pouring when we took cover at this waterfront bar

There are still more adventures to come! Where will the next one be?

Caribbean Islands Adventure 2022 – Part 6: Dominica

January 19, 2022

Welcome to Dominica!

We had booked a morning snorkeling excursion and had just finished getting ready when our phone rang. The snorkeling trip was cancelled because of rough seas. I had just been looking at the description of the Rain Forest and Waterfall by 4×4 excursion and thinking how fun that would be. I asked if there was room for us and there was! I already had on my bathing suit and asked if there was swimming available and he said yes. That was even better!

We met our guide and followed him to our fun ride for the day – the cool 4×4 shown below. We climbed up a ladder, found our seats and off we went for our wild ride into the rain forest with the Wacky Rollers.

Our ride in Dominica

The drive to our first stop was on narrow, steep, winding roads. We stopped for a look down at the capital city of Roseau. When I saw the rainbow I was a happy camper. How could it get better than that? Well, it did.

We stopped at the Botanical Gardens for a look around at some of the beautiful vegetation and an unusual moth caterpillar.

The road was like a roller coaster as we got farther into the rain forest. It started raining which added to the adventure. The driver stopped on a bridge for a view of some hot springs.

Hot Springs in the Rain Forest of Dominica

At Morne Trois Pitions National Park we hiked up wet, slippery stone steps to view the Trafalger Waterfalls. It rained off and on the entire hike but the view at the top was our reward.

After returning to the bottom of the stairs we had a chance to read about the park at the Visitor’s Center and gazed out a window to see the rain coming down.

Rain in the Dominican Rain Forest

We continued the tour on more roller coaster roads until stopping at Ti Tou Gorge with an opportunity to swim into the gorge. Out of about a dozen people on the tour, only four women took the plunge. The water was cold as we swam against the current into the gorge to a circular pool where we could look up to see the sky. We continued a little farther for a peek at a waterfall before turning around to go back.

Swimming back to where we started was easy with the current pushing us along. It was a challenge getting out of the water onto the slippery rocks but I did it with the help of one of our guides.

The roller coaster ride continued down the mountain on the way back to the ship. Back on board we had a nice view of the colorful city of Roseau, watched another gorgeous sunset and enjoyed another fabulous dinner.

The adventure continues. Where will we be next?