Eastern Caribbean Cruise Holiday 2012 - Page 1

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Princess Cruise Lines Grand Princess under the command of Captain Anthony Herriott

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This year we decided to cruise the Caribbean. We have visited several locations in the Caribbean before but this was our first time to do a cruise there.

The route of the cruise took us from the port of departure at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico. From there, our next stop was St. Maarten (English:Saint Martin Dutch: Sint Maarten). After St. Maarten, to St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands. Then to Princess Cays in the Bahamas on our way back to Ft. Lauderdale to end our cruise.

Following our departure from Ft. Lauderdale Saturday afternoon, we spent a day and over a half of the next at sea. We arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico at about 4 o'clock PM. We would not stay overnight in port so that meant time ashore here was limited. Enough time to engage in one shore excursion.

We elected for the walking tour of the fort and Old San Juan. There were other attractive options as well but as we had time only for one, we elected to do the sightseeing tour.
The camera equipment used on this trip was the Canon 40D dSLR. Lenses consisted of a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 wide angle lens and for long distance shots, Canon 100-400mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM telephoto. Also used was a Canon PowerShot G12 camera. Sandy used this camera for above water shooting and I used it in the Canon WP-DC34 underwater housing for kayaking and snorkeling shots.
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Boarding Princess Cruises Grand Princess

From our stateroom verandah

As usual, prior to leaving port, we make the rounds of the ship's decks exlporing.  
 

 

Large screen showing movies at various times throughout the cruise. Obviously better viewed after dark.

 
       

Another Princess ship. This one will preceed us out to see in a couple of hours.

  When we depart the pier, we will make a turn to the right after the end of the pier.  
We're not the only ones putting out to sea this evening. I see three other ships in just this view. There are others in port as well.     The other Pricess cruise ship heads out ahead of us. We will follow her out in just a few minutes.
Harbor Police corraling pleasure craft which tend to stray into our path. Careless pleasure craft often manouver too close to moving ships and create hazards. Now we're headed out of the channel and out to sea passing Ft. Lauderdale on our port side. Beaches of Ft. Lauderdale. The other Princess cruise liner which was ahead of us leaving port. Not sure of her destination.
It does not take long for the on board swimming pools to start seeing use. First full day at sea. This cozy nook on just above Lido Deck, on the stern overlooking the swimming pool (next picture) became a favorite hangout spot for us. Comfortable to sit and read if we were not otherwise engaged in activities on board. Likewise, the deck chairs out in the sun fill up quickly. We are ok with a little sun but a shaded spot, which will tend to be just a little cooler is more to our liking. The view forward from our verandah.
Morning of the day we arrive at San Juan. It will not be until late this afternoon so we have another day at sea ahead of us. A morning walk around Promenade Deck. Promenade Deck (as is true on most cruise ships) continues all around the ship allowing for walking or even jogging laps. Three times around equals one mile on Grand Princess. We did a couple of miles one of our sea days. Promenade Deck. Promenade Deck.
Where are we going? I love this view. Shot from the tip of the bow looking out at open water straight ahead. The deck railing below and the uderside of the deck above forms a window. This is what I call a living room with a view. We spent some quite time in this relaxing place on the sea days. Coming into San Juan Puerto. We have been more than a day and a half at sea before arriving here. Castillo San Felipe del Morro also known as Fort San Felipe del Morro or Morro Castle, is a 16th-century citadel located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

All photos by Dan Dooley or Sandy Dooley

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