Weâ€™ve made some great acquaintances on board. Specifically an adorable family of Claudia, Luis, Isabella and Mateo. They are from Houston and have been so sweet to spend time with. They sit at the table next to us at dinner, and at this point, weâ€™ve run into them so often that weâ€™ve had nice discussions. Today we landed at our first port of call, Grand Cayman. It was really pretty in the night when you could look out and see land ahead, and I couldnâ€™t help but think of what it was like hundreds of years ago when after sailing for so long, the sight of land happens, and the feelings that people must have felt. Itâ€™s hard to imagine the amount of exploration by ship that went on, and how difficult those journeys must have been.
Because of some rough waters on the other side of the island, we had to dock at a smaller more inconvenient dock which made us take tendering boats back and forth to the ship. It was interesting, yet so well organized. Iâ€™ve been really impressed with the organized way the ship and passengers have been handled, though we are a bit under capacity, lines and things have never been long, nor noticeable.
The hardest thing about the excitement about this port was that I scheduled a city tour which had an on board meetup at 11:15, so despite being able to leave the ship, I had to stay on board until 11:15 for our tour to assemble. As we made our way off the ship, we got our tour bus driver, and headed on our way for what seemed to be a drive through his neighborhood. What I mean, is that the city isnâ€™t much, and you simply drive by the local grocery store, the local post office, the local beach, the local bank etc, winding our way to the end of the island. We stopped at a place called â€˜Hellâ€™ due to the rock formations that created a hellish looking death land.. it was like a miniature Bryce canyon, yet black and swamp looking. After a little look at â€˜Hellâ€™, we continued on where we found ourselves at the turtle farm. Apparently, turtle meat is eaten quite a bit, so they have these farms that raise turtles for butcher. They were huge! There were different silos of turtles based on their age groups, and the oldest one whoâ€™s been retired was 67 years old and could possibly live to 150.
There was an area of the smaller turtles that you could pull out of the pools and take pictures with them. They were funny looking, and soft but scaley. After the turtle farm, I headed over to take a look at the ocean and see some views before our bus took us back to downtown for shopping. Once in Georgetown, I found a cafÃ© to have a sandwich and a quick checkin on the internet with my phone. I had a good turkey sandwich and was on my way to find any interesting souvenirs.
As Iâ€™ve collected some masks over the years, I found a really great one here that I thought would look good with my collection, so I picked it up after a tiny bit of bargaining, which made me realize how poor our dollar has gotten. Gone are the days were you could haggle and barter for amazingly cheap prices because of the strength of our dollar (thanks Clinton!) and now, people would rather not carry US currency because of what a deteriment our economy has become—even the Canadian dollar and Aussie dollars are worth so much more now! (Thanks Bush!)
Anyhow, after a bit of shopping, I headed to the terminal to pick up our shuttles to bring us back to the ship, and there was Luis, Claudia, Isabella, and Matteo. We rode home together and talked about our days.
We then had our dinner and checked out a couple shows including a Karaoke contest for the adults. I was pretty exhausted so turned in for a good nightâ€™s rest as Iâ€™ve planned dolphin swimming the next day!