Philipsburg Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
March 19th, 2007 – by: seventy6daytripper
It seemed to take us forever to get out of the airport and into that hot Caribbean sun. We were greeted outside by throngs of taxi servicemen. Not knowing a good price, we took one for $48 ($6 each) to the dock where our easyCruise was.
::Driving through downtown Philipsburg, I must say I was a little disappointed. Everything is way too American! English everywhere, driving on the right side of the road, American cars, people wayy too fluent in English.
When we arrived at the dock, our taxi driver had a tough time getting us cleared because he became offended that the security personnel were belittling him (he thought). A mini-tussle sent us off to the side for a few minutes in a steaming hot taxi van, only making us more and more anxious to see our jewel of a cruise ship. I would regret these last words....
...when we finally got cleared, she came into view. By she, I mean.
We checked in (they took our passports and gave us cool credit-type cards to act as passports and as a tab while on the ship) and went to our room. And what a room it was. 4-man (2 bunk beds), bathroom complete with sliding door and no dividers between sink, toilet, and shower, no window in the room, and orange...everywhere. Oh wow. Luxury took the 3pm flight back to Atlanta. We were all alone with Mr. Roughing It now. But it wasn't as bad as initially thought. For 4 guys, we had plenty of room, the beds were comfortable, and the subtle rocking of the ship was in such a way that it felt like you were being rocked to sleep as you lay on the bed.
When the sun finally set beneath the hills to the west, we had worked up an appetite. Airplane food only goes so far. We walked around to find some restaurants, but eventually came back to the place we beached next to. Owned by some Aussies, this burger joint was exactly what I envisioned a Caribbean 'restaurant' to be. Open air seating, beach right in front of you, bar and kitchen right behind you, this was great. I enjoyed a Presidente (best beer tasted thus far) and cheeseburger, while others tried exotic drinks and barbeque ribs. All in all, a great place to eat. And cheap. And they took US dollars....which I disapprove of. Another sign that we're not quite far enough away from America.
On the walk back to the ship, we stopped at a grocery store and bought peanut butter, a loaf of bread, a 2-liter of sprite, and some Bacardi rum. The city closed down pretty early that night (granted, it was a Monday), so we decided to enjoy some food and drink back in our rooms. Alas, we couldn't get back on the ship because of our food. Where's Manny?!?!? That didn't dampen our spirits. We headed back down the stairs to the dock, grabbed a few benches and hung out on the dock for a couple hours. I've never eaten so much peanut butter and bread (appetizing, I know) in my life! And washing it down with rum doesn't really do the trick. When all the supplies were consumed of, aka, we could get back on the ship, we did so and headed for the main deck.
**It's rather difficult to fit 8 people in a hot tub that small...and be comfortable. But we did...and people came and went. I met an interesting Scottish couple, a fierce South African cricket fanatic, and a man and woman from Ontario and San Francisco, respectively. What the island lacked in foreign influence, the ship easily made up for this in its guests. At the end of the night (I was the lone American on the deck at the end of the night), I left with pruny fingers and feet, a much greater knowledge and respect for cricket (ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies), and a revival in my love for traveling.
**5 hours later**
I, along with my 3 roommates woke up to the sound of our sliding bathroom door (brilliant) banging with a deafening boom against the wall. The ship was finally moving...pushing off and heading for our next destination. Half asleep, we tied the door handle to our room door handle, not having the sense to read the label that told us to lock the bathroom door as instructed. Oh well. Lesson learned. Goodnight....again.
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