ABOARD THE NCL GETAWAY — We are more than half way through this week-long cruise. Weather has been in our favor and a lot of fellow passengers have passed through 50 shades of red and are already peeling. As I write this, folks are loading up their day bags and hitting the shops and beaches here in St. Thomas, USVI. One more sea day, then Nassau, then home.
Yesterday was our day in St. Maarten/St. Martin, the two-in-one Dutch/French island with great shopping and wonderful beaches. Four large ships discharged passengers headed for Diamonds International and fragrance stores. Beach-goers headed to some of the island’s wondrous white-sand beaches and magnificent turquoise waters. A shuttle from the ship to the city center is convenient and the AC Wathey Pier’s Harbour Point shopping area offers a great cross-section of island bargains.
Twenty-some years ago I spent a lot of time on the island, writing Caribbean guidebooks. I knew the French and Dutch sides well, had favorite restaurants in Grand Case and casinos in Phillipsburg. It was fun revisiting positive memories, although I wished I’d had time to re-visit Anguilla and St. Bart’s. It was good to return to my home-away-from-home, NCL Getaway. But when you have spent much of your life visiting Caribbean islands, learning their history, meeting their people and enjoying some of the finest beaches in the world it is always good to reconnect.
The Living Room
Getaway’s “living room” is the Deck 6 Atrium. It is where movies are shown, where kids greet Nickelodeon figures, where game shows take place and sing-alongs raise the rafters. Popcorn accompanies movies and the crowd sits on comfy coaches and chairs and watches together. It’s a family experience and I have enjoyed this togetherness in this vast room, the heart of the ship.
This show is a sizzler
“Burn the Floor” s NCL’s red-hot song-and-dance show. I saw it earlier this week and it is a mix of what we used to call adagio dance, has more than a dollop of Miley Cyrus “twerking” and elements of classical Latin dances such as samba, salsa, tango and bossa nova.
This is a spectacular dance troupe – its performers shimmy and shake, wiggle and leap with sensual grace and talent.
NCL has its own group of dance stars, and this company from such diverse parts of the globe as Chile, Poland and Mexico is superb. A true “don’t miss.”