This is our first stop - the island of Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. The water is crystal-clear. You can see the bottom even at big depths. We all liked to dabble in this paradise.
Our second stop was on the island of Grand Turk - another paradise with clear water.
Grand Turk even has a whole Cruise Center with several pools and bars.
For 8 days on the ship, we had two captain's dinner. And now I'd like to show you the evening performance!
The next day was a day at sea. Everyone is having a good time in the way he wishes. We were sunbathing, swimming.
Here's our Olympian!
This was a haute cuisine evening:
On December 30, we came to the first South-Caribbean island - Curacao, the Netherlands Antilles. At a latitude of 12 degrees north, in 70 kilometers from Venezuela. The weather was amazing!
I have to say: we didn't like Curaçao as a vacation spot: it's very expensive, unsettled. We left the children in the mini-club on the ship and took a 2-hour long sightseeing tour of the central part of the island with a visit to a factory producing the world's famous Curaçao liqueur.
This is a floating market of fruits and vegetables from Venezuela. This island is situated within a stone's throw from the South American country, and there is a total chaos and mess (however, this is not the piece of news). So Venezuelans come to the colony of a European country to make their living by selling self-grown vegetables and fruits.
By the way, in Curacao we saw several refineries. When we asked how the oil had got there, our guide, the taxi driver, said that oil was imported from Venezuela. Oil refining there is badly developed, so here, in Curacao, people make money (and they do that quite good) with the help of the oil of their undeveloped neighbor.
And so we reached the factory producing Curacao liqueur. It is made from the dried peels of citrus fruit resembling the orange (its local variety). Fruit itself is quite bitter, and it's impossible to eat it, but the drink of peels is pretty good, and it is used mainly for cocktails.
In total, there are several different colors of Curacao liqueur. Their taste is almost the same, except for the coffee one.
We bought a bottle - will make cocktails.
After the tour we had a short walk around the center of the island's capital, tasted local cocktails. It can be really felt that this is the Dutch colony)))):
There's an original street architecture:
We returned on the ship in an hour and a half before the departure from Curacao.
We spent the day before the New Year in Aruba - another Dutch Caribbean colony.
Aruba met us with sun and wind.
This time we took children with us and went on the ordinary bus to the Butterfly Park located in 10 km from the island's capital.
Entrance to the Butterfly Park costs $ 15 for an adult, and, if I'm not mistaken, half price for children.
The park itself is not very large. It's all enclosed with a net - so butterflies won't fly away. You can find here dozens of species of butterflies from around the world. We had a tour, where we were told about the life cycle of butterflies from larvae through larva and cocoon until the butterfly. This cycle often lasts for two months.
After the park, we went to the closest beach, which appeared to be one of the best beaches in Aruba:
However, we were not lucky: there was a strong wind from the sea, the sand on the beach was rising and literally piercing us, and that was not the most pleasant experience. Although, when swimming in the water, it is not felt.
After swimming and sunbathing for some time, we went back to the ship. And there was the next amusement: people were inflating toy balloons with wishes for the new year written on small pieces of paper. We put balloons with notes into a huge net, stretched at the 9th deck. At 23:00 the net will be removed and balloons will fly down on the third deck, where occasional passengers will catch them.
We are departing from Aruba. Our next and last stop of this cruise will be already in the New Year - in Fort Lauderdale in Florida. But there will be two days at sea before reaching it.
On New Year's Eve, Carnival prepared for us a festive menu and New Year accessories.
Lobster was beyond praise. I immediately ordered two - it's a pure protein! )))
At 11 pm the net at the 9th deck was taken away and balloons flew down.
There was a real fun on the upper 9-11 decks! Champagne was given for free to all comers (by the way, a glass of champagne on Carnival cost at least $ 8)...
On the big screen, we could watch the direct connection with Times Square in New York City, where at that moment, thousands of people were waiting for the traditional fall of the ball. Judging by the picture, it was not hot there...
Here's a countdown to the New Year and its first minute:
January 1 was laid back. We got up late - about 10 o'clock in the morning, so we missed our breakfast. But that's OK, because it was a day at sea. Children wanted to stay in the cabin, so we left them and went to the main restaurant for brunch. And only after that, we crawled all together on the upper deck to feed the children and to sunbathe.
In the evening the fun continued at dinner...
...and after that together with children, we watched "Minions" in the outdoor theater on the upper deck.
A day later, we arrived in Florida in Fort Lauderdale. We left our hospitable ship, moved to another port terminal and found ourselves on another cruise with the Holland America company.