Caribbean Diary, Day 3
Posted by Lissa on June 10, 2008
Tuesday, today, was the trip to Labadee, a peninsula off Haiti. The weather was just gorgeous, luckily; I checked the weather forecast before we left and all four destinations had partly cloudy or chance of thunderstorms, so a beautiful sunny day was a welcome sight. We pulled into Labadee around 8 AM; I’d put out the brochure for room service to guarantee coffee before 7:30 AM. The first tender boat left at 8:30; we went down around 8:45 and found no line or crowds. Labadee’s a pretty narrow peninsula; we walked about and checked out ruins (I think they’re fake!) and the flea market (I didn’t know we were supposed to haggle, but the guy I bought sunglasses from was kind enough to inform me) and a few of the different beaches. Although there were lockers at the more popular beaches, we didn’t know that J So when we were finished with the photography (BEAUTIFUL mountains, beautiful water, beautiful everything) we went back to the ship, dumped my camera, got rehydrated, stopped at guest relations to get small bills for tipping, and headed back to the island. This time the line extended up at least three levels of stairs, likely more; I suppose normal people slept in and took longer to get going. (Oh, I forgot to mention, but in Labadee and, I think, Grand Cayman, the water is too shallow for our monster of a boat, so the boat is anchored offshore and tender boats ferry the tourists to land. It therefore takes longer to get off and reboard the ship, but it was a minor annoyance, not a big deal.)
We picked a happy beach and grabbed chairs to lounge in Delicious Sun. Of course, when I say “we grabbed,” I mean, “we let the guy following us around fetch us two and tipped him.” A couple down in front of us had a guy set them up chairs and then proceeded to completely ignore him while he stood there for a few minutes, after which he gave up and left, shaking his head. Mike thinks he saw the Beach Patrol guy go over and give them a talking-to later, but I can’t say I noticed. We pretty much threw our stuff at the chairs and sprinted to the water, knocking over a few small children and elderly hobblers along the way. (No, not really.) The water was a beautiful aquamarine color and yet not as warm as I expected; I thought it was going to be bathtub temperature, but instead it was cool, though not cold. We paddled about for a while and I relished the fact that 1) the water is SO SO CLEAR you can see all the way down to the bottom, 2) because of that, you can stop worrying that a shark is about to bite off your toes, 3) turns out, I float in salt water, hooray! (I don’t float in pool water; I almost drowned Jenny once or twice when we were kids, using her as a springboard to get to the side when I panicked and thought I was too tired to keep treading water. See Jenny, wasn’t my fault, was just that the water wasn’t salty enough. *Ahem.*) (Second parenthetical – I *know* sharks aren’t actually likely to bite off my toes, and that the Caribbean is too warm for most sharks and not known for them, but dude, I saw Jaws 2 or 3 or whatever it was. These things can happen. And any moment that spaceship IS going to land and I AM going to see it.)
We played on the beach for a little over an hour, alternating Happy Sun Consumption with Happy Ocean Paddling Without Fear of Unseen Menaces, then headed over for the lunch Royal Caribbean set up on the beach. Mom, if you’re reading this, do take comfort in the fact that your jerk chicken is WAY better than theirs. No comparison at all. We came back around two and showered off the sand and chugged water and settled in for a quiet afternoon. (They SAY several times that if you miss the last tender at 4:15 you will get a lovely picture of the boat as it pulls away, because it is NOT waiting for you. I think that’s slight exaggeration, but we’ve no desire to test their sincerity.)
All in all, a lovely, relaxing, sun-drenched, water-filled, happy day! VERY EXCITED to do Jamaica tomorrow!!!
P.S. In the elevators here, there’s a panel right by the entrance with the day of the week. Thank goodness. Because I’ve already mixed it up three times today.