Day 18 – A day spent in bed

Well, todays post will be short (and not so sweet). In the early hours of the morning I was up vomitting. I was also in a lot of pain so found it impossible to sleep.

In the morning, while the vomiting had ceased, I still felt nauseous with a lot of body pain. Thankfully I was able to sleep so spent the day in bed sleeping on and off for most it. By late afternoon I was able to read so the helped keep my mind off the pain.

We were docked in Caracao today and had to cancel our tour. I did say Kevin could go on his own but he chose to stay with me. I didn’t eat all but a few dry cookies all day, and sipped on some water or Sierra Mist (lemonade as it’s known in Australia).

We face-timed Athena in the afternoon. She has been accepted into the University of Canberra so is now starting to look at apartments to rent. We also texted with Christy – she is doing okay and still getting over the cold she picked up in Iowa.

Though I still wasn’t hungry, Kevin wanted me to try eating some dinner so he bought me a selection of foods he thought I might enjoy. I managed to eat some mashed potatoes, some baked potato and few bits of cheese and crackers.

I have been feeling better few gradually throughout the day so hopefully when I wake up in the morning I will be free of pain.

Day 17 – Sailing & Snorkelling in Aruba

No alarm needed today as we were both awake before it. Kevin was a sweetie and went and got me milk for my tea again. And I took my time waking up.

Luckily I had showered last night because I misjudged the time to leave again this morning!! But since I only had to put on swimmers and finish packing for the day I didn’t need a lot of time. However, it turns out not only did I forget the tickets (though I think Kevin could also be blamed for this since he put in the safe), I also forgot the SD card for the go-pro – which means no underwater/fish photos or video – though of course you might be glad about that :-).

After the usual breakfast at Windjammers (today Kevin had fruit) we went assure for our cruise excursion. Of course the usual waiting around ensured but eventually we were onto the huge sailing cat – which was docked right across from Serenade.

It was a big yacht and pretty full. They did put the sails up, but continued to fun the motors. It all made Kevin a little bit sleepy.

Our first stop was to snorkel with some fish. I enjoyed it, thought there was lots of fish. But Kevin, who has scuba dived, wasn’t too impressed. And we have been spoiled with other locations that we have snorkelled. Still it was lovely to be back in the warm water of the Caribbean.

One thing we didn’t like was that one of the crew was feeding bread to attract fish, then scooping out one of the fish to feed to a pelican. I understand that’s what pelicans eat but it seemed wrong having a human collect the fish for them. We had actually been admiring the pelicans who were dive bombing for fish earlier.

From here were moved to the Antilla Wreck but Kevin & I just decided to stay onboard since the wreck was quite deep and the water choppy.

Next was our lunch stop at the Pelican Pier. Our boat pull up right alongside and we just right onto the pier.

The food (BBQ meat) was all pre-plated so I had to request a vegetarian plate. I gave Kevin my plantain since he loves it so much, and I ate the salad and polenta. It was nice but not especially filling. Kevin wished he also opted for the vegetarian plate.

We also had a bit of free time on the beach – barely 40mins – could have easily enjoyed another 30-60mins here. As it was we just had time for a short swim and lie on the sunlounges.

Then it was back on the cat for the trip back to the cruise port. So although we enjoyed our day (we both loved being out on the water) it definitely could have been a lot better. I feel I made a poor choice of tour. Anyway, lesson learned – unless there is no other option we should not book a cruise excursion ever again !!!

Back in our cabin we both showered and then headed to Windjammers for another feed – since lunch had been so light. I had another veggie burger and some fries (something I rarely feel like – maybe it was the fresh air and salt water) and Kevin also got a burger. We took them back to our room to enjoy.

Then Kevin had a little nap and I edited a vlog. We watched sailaway/sunset out on the balcony, which was nice.

Then I wrote up this very quick blog post before we went back to a late dinner at Windjammers.

Day 16 – Late arrival into Aruba

No alarm this morning but I still woke about 6am (which was now 7am since our time zone had changed again but we didn’t realize this until 12pm

Kevin kindly went and got some soy milk so I could make a tea & a coffee for himself. about 9am (which was 10am) we went to have breakfast at Windjammers. We sat out the back in the open which was nice and cool due to the sea breeze.

My typical breakfast on this cruise

After breakfast we went for a little exploration of the ship. We checked out the Diamond Club (for Diamond level cruisers). Would be a lovely area to use if we didn’t have our own balcony. We sat and enjoyed the view over the pool area for a little bit…

then checked out some of the bar areas….

And other areas around the ship.

and then around some of the outdoor decks. It was pretty windy out there today, but still very warm.

Back in the room for a bit where, after sitting outside in the sun for about 10mins, I worked on catching up on my blog posts. Kevin had a little nap. About 2pm there was a knock on our cabin door with a special delivery (for being diamond club members. And I confess I had half of the strawberry and half of the chocolate cup. Both were delicious. But it meant we had dessert before lunch !!

Finally we realized the correct time and about 2.30pm we went back to Windjammers (again) for a late lunch. We had planned to go the dining room but it was closed by the time we were ready for lunch. We ate outside again but this time at the back of the boat.

I spent the rest of afternoon desperately trying to catch up on the last few days blog posts before I forget all the details. We arrived in Aruba about 4pm (not that we can see much as we are facing the ocean) and after I finally finished off yesterdays blog, we headed ashore.

Dinner tonight was a surprise Kevin – The Dutch Pancake House. It was about 10 min walk and was in a really lovely place – all lit up for Christmas and there even a band/singing performance going on nearby. So we finally got to listen to some Caribbean music (sadly this ship doesn’t have a Caribbean band onboard.

Kevin and I both had pancakes. I had fruit delight and Kevin had bananas with a pina colada sauce (turns out it was our waiters invention). Both were delicious and they were the thin pancakes which I really prefer.

After dinner we strolled through the complex (mainly restaurants but some shops) and back to the ship.

We were hot and sweaty when we got back (still 28C outside) so I decided to have a cool shower to freshen up (not much point having one in the morning since we’ll be going swimming). Kevin and I then did face masks (it’s not Kevin’s normal thing but he was happy to join me). I then wrote up this post (yes, I’m all up to date and current) – just need to add in photos when I get the chance.

Going to read for a bit then go to sleep.

Day 15 – Private tour in Cartagena, Columbia

Another alarm start to the day (which I am definitely not used to). Again we watched our arrival in Cartagena, Columbia from our balcony.

Then headed to breakfast, once again in Windjammers. It was busy today so we ended up sharing a table with a nice couple, before having to race off to meet todays private tour guide – John from Tours By Locals. His daughter met us on the pier and walked us through the cruise terminal area to his car. Turns out his wife was our driver for the day. We didn’t really understand why until we saw the crazy drivers. There don’t seem to be any lanes – people just go wherever they want. And there are lots of motorbikes as well. Makes Panama drivers seem not so bad (except for he red racer buses which fly along with people hanging out the doors).

Anyway, first stop was to visit La Popa Hill for a panaramic view over to the old city and a visit to the Monastery. I very beautiful place. There are so many beautiful flowers everywhere in Cartagena. John told us the history and myths of the Monastery and we had a good look around (stopping in the shade where possible because it was SO HOT !!

From here we drove to the fortress of San Felipe to take some photos of the exterior and try to avoid the very determined sellers that were everywhere.

It was always nice to get back into the air conditioned car after being out in the heat. Next stop was the old Walled City for a walking tour. We started by heading up onto the walls – where I promptly tripped over the same thing on the ground – TWICE !!!!

This part of the city was lovely – beautiful old colourful colonial buildings with verandahs covered in flowers. Narrow street built for horse carriages and many plazas. But the pretty town was ruled by the Spanish who branded and sold slaves in those lovely plazas and expelled anyone who wasn’t Catholic.

We looked through some market shops, though we didn’t buy anything (being a minimalist means I’m super picky with what I do buy). We did buy some chocolate from a chocolate shop (after seeing it was fair trade) and I got some beautiful earrings with an emerald in them (I mean we are in Columbia).

We had a lunch stop at a cute little restaurant that only had about 6 tables. There was nothing vegan on the menu but John talked to the waitress and the chef offered to make me a vegetable fried rice. It was quite nice, but the flavour was a little smokey for me. Kevin had mushrooms in a cheese sauce which he really enjoyed.

We enjoyed our tour (despite the heat) and took loads of photos and video.

There was a stop on the way back to the cruise ship for a panoramic view around the peninsula.

And then one last stop at a restaurant on the harbour (where could have to chosen to have a drink and relax – but we opted skip this.

After getting dropped off we walked though the Port eco park to see the animals we hadn’t been able to visit on the way through this morning. The parrots were stunning (and noisy). They are free and able to fly – which was nice to see.

Couldn’t believe this Giant Ant Eater – didn’t even know such a creature existed.

And of course, I loved seeing the flamingoes. I got all excited when I saw them on our way through to meet wit John.

Back on board we were VERY happy to be in the air-conditioning again and just cooled down in our room for quite some time. Once again we did sail away from our balcony and got to enjoy another lovely sunset.

Dinner at 5.30pm seems to be a little too early for us and we debated getting room service, but instead Kevin went to Windjammers to get dinner for us to eat in our room. I had a very delicious Veggie Burgers. As we ate we watched the Love & Marriage Game Show which was repeated on the ships TV channel. Was a good laugh. Then we watched a Disneyworld Vlog on youtube before reading and going to sleep. Looking forward to NOT having the alarm wake us up in the morning.