Lesley takes a touristy excursion before heading home

Santo Domingo Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 12 › view all entries
The ship's friendship parade in the centrum. They put out the country flags of the passengers, even if there's only a few.

Getting off a cruise ship is my other least favorite part of the vacation.  You need to be out of your cabin and wait for your turn to leave the ship.  We had a good breakfast in the Windjammer buffet and said our last goodbyes to the Legend.

 

We were off the ship at 9:00 a.m. and our flight wasn’t until after 4:00 p.m.  We had 3 choices at this time.

1.      Go straight to the airport and wait for 7 hours (BLECH – okay, so that’s not really an option).

On ship "Butterfly Court". It took most the week to find it was an effect not a place. Standing just right, sculptures & lights look like butterflies landed all over. 6 decks down we could see butterflies. Here's one "landed" near glass elevators.

2.    Try really hard to find Segundo or another taxi driver to drive us around but have to worry about luggage, getting around, and 5 of us working on my limited Spanish speaking abilities and me translating to 4 others what I could understand about a place I’ve never been.

3.    Take the ship trip and learn about the city from a local guide who spoke excellent English, not worry about our luggage, and still arrive at the airport in plenty of time.

 

Option #3 was obviously the best choice for all of us.

This map is outside every staircase landing and elevator to let you know where you are and how to get around on the ship.
  Getting off the ship and onto the dreaded air-conditioned motor coach was an experience.  (more about that in my reflections) At first, I had a sinking feeling that we were in for nothing more than a ride, quick photo stop, and airport transfer.  Again, I was pleasantly wrong!

 

The tour took us to the cathedral, the National Panthon where many of the Dominican Republic’s most influential residents are laid to rest, and to the palace of Diego Columbus (Christopher Columbus’ son).  We learned a lot about the culture and history of the island. I heard many mumblings and grumblings from people around us about the heat, the walking, and wondering when we’d get to the duty-free shopping, but we stayed toward the front and had a wonderfully educational time.  We did meet another couple around our age that was annoyed with people talking while they were trying to learn, so we stood near each other and enjoyed learning! J We ended the trip with complimentary water and cheap beer at the amber museum where you can purchase exquisite fine jewelry or smaller pieces of amber and larimar (the Caribbean stone).

It was a bit hazy and this is extreme digital zoom, but it's Columbus' lighthouse.
  For about $20 USA, I bought a beautiful little pendant that has Amber on one side, and Larimar on the other.  We, again, found our usual nativities, ornaments, and other things.  The guide explained to us (well, those that were listening and not making a bee-line for the potty, which was exceptionally clean and so beautifully decorated I was inspired to take a picture) about Mamajuana (NOT marijuana – completely different… read on.) It’s a local cure for… well… everything.  It’s made from local plants, honey, and rum. (red wine as well if you’d like). We had a taste and it resembled… cough syrup.  However, it immediately took care of the nagging tickle in my throat that developed the night before.

 

After about a half an hour at the amber museum and shop, we loaded back on the bus and to the airport.  We arrived around 1:00, so we still had a wait.  I found a bottle of Mamajuana (without the liquid) and thanks to a WONDERFUL girl in the airport who help translate, we got instructions to make it at home.

All my flags are flying (with the moon in the middle)
  I started to develop clogged sinuses and a headache. I had no decongestant so was thinking that the plane ride was going to probably be painful as congestion gathers in my ears.  I couldn’t risk missing Monday at work, so I went to a souvenir stand and asked if they sold anything for (in my Spanish/Spanglish, it came out as) “a full head and hurt nose holes.”  *sigh* I’m learning. After the girl and I had a good giggle over my description, she handed me one of those single-dose packets of a decongestant and pointed me toward a small little children’s dictionary of English words for Spanish children (which worked for me as well as it had both English and Spanish with bright, colorful pictures!).  I’ll risk saying this knowing my brother (a pharmacist) will read it, but we don’t have anything ANYTHING at all even close to as good as this decongestant in the states. OH MY GOSH! My head cleared, sinuses drained, and I felt like my old self within 45 minutes with no side effects.  I would have went back to the stand and asked to buy about 100 boxes of it, but was sure US customs might frown on that. *sigh* Looks like I’ll have to run back to the Dominican Republic every time I develop a head cold! J WOOHOO!  Between that decongestant, mamajuana, and plenty of sunshine, I’m sure I’d never need to use health insurance again.
Looking over the ocean with a full moon. Although the picture turned out really cool, it doesn't come close to what it really looks like.

 

Our flight to Atlanta was very nice. The airplane was equipped with touch screens in the back of all the seats and all music, moves, and games were free.  I spent the 3.5 hour trip playing this fishbowl game.  Goodbye Caribbean. I hope it won’t be long before I see you again.
scubagirl76 says:
great blogs! I can't wait for my next cruise!
Posted on: Feb 04, 2008
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The ships friendship parade in th…
The ship's friendship parade in t…
On ship Butterfly Court. It took…
On ship "Butterfly Court". It too…
This map is outside every staircas…
This map is outside every stairca…
It was a bit hazy and this is extr…
It was a bit hazy and this is ext…
All my flags are flying (with the …
All my flags are flying (with the…
Looking over the ocean with a full…
Looking over the ocean with a ful…
Memorial
Memorial
Entrance
Entrance
Old Firetruck
Old Firetruck
Another fire station!
Another fire station!
Old fire truck on display.
Old fire truck on display.
Our kitchen and wait staff sing to…
Our kitchen and wait staff sing t…
People gather to watch the parade …
People gather to watch the parade…
Our table friends!
Our table friends!
The staff carries flags from their…
The staff carries flags from thei…
Balloons!
Balloons!
A sad sight. This means your cruis…
A sad sight. This means your crui…
The hall going to the shops on shi…
The hall going to the shops on sh…
Pool deck at night.
Pool deck at night.
Top deck at night.
Top deck at night.
Firetrucks
Firetrucks
You try to get a picture of a smal…
You try to get a picture of a sma…
Last views of the ship.
Last views of the ship.
Columbus Palace veranda
Columbus Palace veranda
I love this doorway. If I build a …
I love this doorway. If I build a…
Plaza outside Columbus Palace
Plaza outside Columbus' Palace
Beautiful bathroom at the amber mu…
Beautiful bathroom at the amber m…
Beautiful bathroom at the amber mu…
Beautiful bathroom at the amber m…
If I ever build a house, I want my…
If I ever build a house, I want m…
BEAUTIFUL
BEAUTIFUL
Old mahogany bed in Columbus pala…
Old mahogany bed in Columbus' pal…
The cathedral
The cathedral
Columbus statue that points to an …
Columbus statue that points to an…
National Panthon
National Panthon
Inside National Panthon
Inside National Panthon
Inside National Panthon
Inside National Panthon
Inside National Panthon
Inside National Panthon
I absolutely love this picture. Do…
I absolutely love this picture. D…
Really old clock (sundial)
Really old clock (sundial)
Diego Columbus Palace
Diego Columbus' Palace
Santo Domingo
photo by: drsbabyface01