The last week of my contract was busy, but fun. The whole cast worked hard and played hard. We spent more time together on the ship than we had the rest of the contract, and really gave all that we had for our final performances. To top it all off, we had some great final ports.
We docked in St. Thomas on a show day, so I kept things simple. I ran into some friends on the gangway and ended up joining them for sushi. Beni Iguana Sushi is walking distance from the cruise port, and has some truly fantastic sushi! I ordered a spicy tuna roll and a rainbow roll for myself, and was surprised by how large the rolls were. They have a special sauce used on their mussels that is also set on every table (and available for purchase). I ended up adding a bit of it to my rolls to mix things up. It all tasted so good, I cleaned my plate!
For Thanksgiving a few days later we were in Aruba. I set out once again with my dance captain and her boyfriend and took a city bus (AruBus) to Palm Beach. It was surprising how nice it felt to be on a public bus instead of a ship, shuttle, or coach. I felt so “normal”.
The beach was crowded but beautiful. There were tents where you could sign up for parasailing or rent jet skis. I opted not to participate in water activities, but did rent a mat. One of my friends described it as a floating yoga mat! It was brilliant.
The water was a beautiful shade of blue, and the warm yellow sand felt great beneath my feet. There was a restaurant/bar on the beach, so we were able to get food and drinks. Unfortunately, I ordered a bucket of beers for the group, not knowing the price. They charged $36 for 6 beers, plus a $10 deposit for the bucket! Compared to $12 buckets in St. Maarten, this seemed ridiculous. Since it was otherwise a pretty perfect day, I chose not to let the rip-off bar get me down!
While I was waiting for my food, I met two guests from the ship. They were from Colorado and Texas, but now live in San Juan. It was interesting hearing the guests’ perspective of my “home”.
I spent the rest of the day enjoying the warm water. My mat quickly drifted away from the shore, but I was so content, I didn’t worry about it. It was certainly a Thanksgiving to be thankful for!
My last port was Curacao. I left the ship with a random but nice group, including my roommate and her boyfriend, a Croatian bartender, and an Albanian waiter. Since three of us were about to return to cold weather, we decided a beach was necessary. We took a cab to Mambo Beach, not knowing if it would be nice or not. It ended up being one of my favorites!
There was a boardwalk with shops, restaurants, and wi-fi in front of the actual beach. The beach itself had powdery white sand, crystal blue water, and lounge chairs and beds available for rent. The chairs were only $3 for the day, so we all got one! In the ocean, there was a diving platform, and farther out there was a barrier of rocks. I swam out to the rocks, but didn’t stay there as long as I intended to. I was walking along the top to see some crabs on the other side, and wiped out on some algae. I was laughing so hard when my feet flew over my head, that I was disappointed none of my friends were out there to witness my fall!
The water was chilly, but felt great after sitting in the hot sun. We spent a lot of time jumping off the diving platform, and watched a group of three pelicans swimming nearby. They would periodically take flight and clumsily dive back into the water for fish. I didn’t want to get too close, because I didn’t want to be swimming with fish! My time on the beach was full of laughter, and I was also able to get a delicious sandwich and mojito from a waitress walking through the chairs. Everything was so convenient, and everyone working around the beach was very friendly. Considering how picturesque the beach was and how many amenities it offered, I was surprised it wasn’t more crowded!
By the end of the day, I was full, happy, and sun-kissed. It was the perfect day to end my time on the Adventure of the Seas.