Tuesday, May 02, 2006

May 2006, Caribbean Princess Cruise -- Day 4

Tuesday, St. Thomas, USVI

"Land at last, land at last!" from Sail Away, a 1961 Broadway musical by Noel Coward

Distance sailed so far:
Fort Lauderdale to St. Thomas, 1131 nautical miles (that's 1302 statute miles)

There is a nautical chart on the wall on Lido Deck 15. That's the deck where the big pools are and the two buffets, Horizon Court and Cafe Caribe. The chart shows the route of the Caribbean Princess and it gets updated every day by somebody from the bridge. The published distance is actually only 981 nautical miles but because of the rough seas we went 150 n.m. out of our way on Saturday night for a smoother ride.

A big shipHere's a photo of the ship at the dock so you can see how big it really is.

We arrived at dawn in St. Thomas and at 7:00 A.M. we were slowly pulling into the dock. I expected the view to be ugly warehouses with oil tanks and typical rusting waterfront sheds. What we saw however were steep green hillsides with lovely houses. I guess you could call them villas. It looked like the French Riviera. And best of all -- a U.S. based cell phone works from the balcony!

Havensight Shopping Mall signDirectly across the street from the dock is a shopping mall just for us tourists. In the photo on the left you can see our ship behind the shopping mall sign. Those life boats are on the ship's Deck 7.

If you don't need to shop for jewelry you'll have time to buy liquor and cigarettes. Not only is the liquor cheap there is an extra bonus for U.S. citizens. Oh, the knowledge one picks up when traveling...

In several possessions of the United States there are special duty free regulations, and the U.S. Virgin Islands is one of them. You can buy and take home, completely tax and duty free, five liters of liquor as long as one liter is made locally. In this case made in the U.S. Virgin Islands -- and obviously this means rum. No, you cannot open it on the ship. They won't even give it to you until just before you disembark.

Balcony viewHere's the view from our balcony, looking down toward the mouth of Charlotte Amalie Harbor.

Click here to see the current view from the bridge of the Caribbean Princess.

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