Caribbean Tales and Tips and Shopping

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I was armed and ready in preparation for our flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

 

My list was prepared well ahead of time with reminders of what not to forget to pack, particularly the medications. Besides the prescription meds, I had to remember to bring along some medication that is available off the shelf here in Canada but requires prescription in the U.S.

Being a frequent visitor to the U.S. and one with an unpredictable sore hip, I learned quickly on a past visit to Las Vegas that Robax – muscle and back pain pills, are not available in the U.S. and I wasn’t leaving home without those babies. Advil sinus tablets are also not available in the U.S. and come in handy if a cold strikes.

Another thing on my lengthy list was to make sure I got us some masks for us to wear on the airplane. I couldn’t chance either of us catching another cold or flu from the recycled air on the plane from the sickies who travel and spread their germs, knowing we had to stay healthy to come home and fly out again. I’d often threatened to wear a mask on the plane every time I came home and caught something else, but thought I’d look ridiculous and people would think I was the germ carrier. But this time I didn’t care what we looked like. I had already stockpiled quite a few masks from my husband’s hospital treatment visits.

The stewardess looked at us a few times, smiling, yet I could see she was wondering why the two of us were wearing masks. I replied to her silent questioning by telling her my husband had a compromised immune system, which wasn’t too far from the truth. Her smile broadened as though she found relief in that information.

Lauderdale bridge

A view from our room. The intercoastal allows boats through and the bridge on the road has to open to let them pass.

We spent 3 1/2 days in sunny Fort Lauderdale, did a bit of shopping in my favorite department store, Macy’s, and spent some time at the pool. One night we headed down to the beachfront restaurants to one of our favorite places, H2O Restaurant for dinner and a stroll down the boardwalk shops. I was surprised to find the area wasn’t too busy with tourists, and mentioned it to one of the store owners who confirmed the season was relatively quiet this year and he added that he thought a lot of Canadians didn’t come down due to our lousy dollar and perhaps because of politics.

Lynn and Deb dining in Fort Lauderdale

Lynn and me dining in Fort Lauderdale

As we were about to finish our meal while dining outside, I heard what sounded like Frank Sinatra singing loud and clear in a microphone. I had to investigate, so I got up from the table and walked about 1/2 a block to find a man singing in a microphone with a loud speaker plugged into something of which I have no idea. He was singing away to anyone who would listen. Naturally I pulled out my phone and taped a minute of his performance. (Unfortunately, I can’t load it here.)

 

Friday morning we boarded the Celebrity Equinox and set sail around 4pm for the Caribbean and were to arrive in St. Thomas Monday morning at 7am. We spent the weekend at sea moving through the Atlantic ocean, which was sometimes a rocky ride, until we got into the Caribbean, when the rocking settled down and the sun became much hotter.

At sea

 

The 4 island ports our cruise stopped at were: St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Barbados, and St. Martin. We’ve been to these islands several times throughout the years and St. Martin is my favorite island. We no longer take excursion trips as we’ve done those when we first began cruising. Our cruises now are all about fun, sun, relaxation, and oh ya , . . shopping. All the islands have many beautiful beaches, but hub and I prefer to lounge at the pool rather than the beach. But our British friends spent some time on a few of the beaches and came back lobsterized (my word).

Docked in St. Thomas

Monday morning we docked in St. Thomas and scooted off to do a little port shopping in the Havensight duty free mall. I was surprised to find that although duty free, the prices had risen considerably. I did buy a silver necklace for my sister there but still nothing for myself.

St. Thomas Facts:

It’s a beautiful island with magnificent beaches, namely, Megan’s Bay. St. Thomas is one of 3 sister islands that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands, the other two are St. Croix and St. John. It is also the commercial trade capital of the Caribbean. In the 18th century, the island was a bustling hub for pirates, particularly Blackbeard and Drake who used the island to trade stolen wares.

St. Kitts port

Tuesday morning we docked in St, Kitts at 7am. I found myself waking at 6:30am every morning on the ship as soon as the sun began to rise and peeked through my cabin window curtain through the tiny crack where the drapes failed to meet. But that morning it wasn’t the sun that woke me, but the sound of motorcycles revving their engines.

I jumped out of bed wondering if I was dreaming of hearing motorcycles. Upon opening the patio door and stepping out onto my balcony, I saw a fleet of motorcycles and riders lined up on the cement pier, waiting to drive off onto the island.

Bikers on St. Kitts

Later, when I got into port, I noticed a Harley Davidson duty free store there. I also later discovered after meeting 2 of the lady bikers, they were from Toronto and had paid dearly to have their bikes stored on the ship just to ride through St. Kitts.

St. Kitts Facts:

Basseterre, St. Kitts is the capital of the Federation  of St. Kitts and Nevis, West Indies. It hosts gorgeous green hills, pink beaches, and dormant volcanoes. The island is relatively quiet and only a few years ago did they build a huge duty free port to attract cruise ships to generate tourist revenue.

Barbados

Wednesday we docked in Barbados. The photo above was taken from my cabin balcony facing the shipyard where they load imported cargo.

 

A shuttle bus pulls up to the ships at this port and takes passengers to the terminal where people can shop, grab a taxi into town, or meet up for their shore excursions. I haven’t gone into town for the last 2 visits here, and I find the island is more expensive than other places I’ve been. But my friend Lynn and I got on the shuttle bus just to visit one store we favor in the terminal where we always find interesting beach cover-ups. And of course I did find something I liked, And that was the only thing I’d purchased for myself yet on the cruise.

Barbados Facts:

Broad St. is the main drag in downtown Barbados. There are beautiful beaches as well, namely, Turtle beach, which my British friends love to spend the day at. There are also sugar cane plantations you can visit.

St. Martin port

 

And then we docked into beautiful Phillipsburg, St. Martin. St. Martin is an island split by 2 countries, France, and the Netherlands, Dutch Antilles. Depending on what side of the island you’re on it will be called Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French).

 

Our ship was docking at 3pm and staying overnight till 5pm Friday. I was thrilled for the extended stay on my favorite island. I’d been to that island many times by cruise ship and for land holidays. The weather was gorgeous and the water is always many shades of turquoise. The people are friendly, and the food is delicious on the French side in Grand Case. And of course, the shopping is the best! The best duty free island of all. The Dutch side in particular is known for it’s spectacular array of jewelry stores at real wholesale prices.The main street is called Front St. (the Dutch side where the ships dock . . .naturally!). There you will find various shops of duty free stores among the rows of jewelry stores. It’s truly jewelry heaven for those who adore jewelry like me, and the dreaded island for many husbands, lol.

A short clip of what it sounds like when passengers get off a ship in the ports.

 

The shopkeepers know how to entertain as they try to keep you in their stores, knowing well that there is competition all around them. They serve you beer or virtually anything you want to drink, and even allow people to have a smoke in their store as they are deciding on their purchases.

 

Most of the jewelers are reputable. and some have sister stores on other islands. The trick to finding a good deal is to be savvy about the stores you’re buying in and be well versed in price values. You should have lots of patience and good bargaining skills, and NEVER take the first price you are given. I’ve had lots of practice through the years, and after my first few times of store hopping and doing price comparisons, I found my stores where I became loyal to, so I no longer had to store hop, combing the streets for comparison shopping.

 

I mention stores because through the years, I have changed jewelers a few times. One store we used to buy from got a new manager and didn’t recognize our business, which is usually stored in their computer. We felt like brand new customers who had to start over with negotiations and weren’t getting same good value. We also send many friends to these jewelers, which helps our own discounts considerably.

 

Another store we became clients for didn’t give us the same service because we hadn’t been there for two years, so we moved again. Then a few cruises ago, hub and I were strolling down Front St. where I spotted a fantastic ring in their window. We went in to have a look and wound up spending over an hour in there as my husband and I chatted with the shop owner and negotiated what I thought was an excellent price. But I wound up leaving it behind because I was afraid to take it home through customs. I never stopped kicking myself for leaving that beauty behind.

 

Fast forward to 2 years ago when we visited the island again, this time with zero intentions of buying anything. We were walking by that same store and I couldn’t believe that ring, or almost the same ring, was once again in the window. I took it as a sign. We went inside and 2 hours later, that ring was on my finger. I was basking in the glory of owning such a stunning ring, yet frightened about bringing it home. But I did.  And as always, I took it to my own jeweler for appraisal upon my return home and found that the ring was valued at 4 1/2 times more than I had paid for it. I knew we’d found our new store to shop in and send our friends to visit.

 

The store is named Zhaveri Jewelers and this family owned business has the nicest staff and gorgeous, unique jewlery. Shawn, Dee, Henna, Naaz, and Tony are all a pleasure to work with.

 

When we docked that afternoon, my friend Lynn had already visualized the ring she wanted to buy, she couldn’t wait till we took her to Zhaveri’s. We arrived at the store around 5pm, fully expecting the stores to stay opened till 8 or 9pm since we were the only overnight ship in town with 3000 passengers ready to shop, but found out the stores were closing at 6pm. I wasn’t planning on buying anything that trip, but we took Lynn, and within minutes she’d found her dream ring and my husband (known as the negotiator, terminator) went to work with Shawn, and within half an hour Lynn had her ring.

 

Of course, while Lynn was shopping, I, out of instinct perused the jewelry cases and cast my eye on the perfect ring for my index finger. Shawn gave me a quick, good price but I wasn’t about to make a purchase in half an hour on a ring I really didn’t need. I told him I’d sleep on it and come back in the morning. And I did both, and headed back to the ship with my new purchase the next day.

ring

 

As a seasoned shopper, I’d highly recommend anyone stopping by the island looking for a sparkly souvenir to drop in to Zhaveri Jewelers, and feel free to tell them I sent you, to make sure you get a good deal! And you will also get a free Tshirt and beach bag. Lol, this Tshirt came in handy when hubby ran out of clean Tshirts.

 

 

Tshirt

So back to the ship Lynn and I went. And just before we were approaching the ship’s pier, while walking through the duty free port, Lynn wipes out, landing on all fours. Her flip flop must have tripped up on an uneven slab of cement. It was nice to see around 6 tourists rush to her aid to see if she was okay and help pick her up as I collected her things. We sat on a bench for a bit so she could collect her composure, then we linked arms as she hobbled back to ship. Her arm was already beginning to swell as it took the brunt of her fall.

 

Later, Lynn went to the ship’s doctor. They gave her x-rays and told her it was sprained. She couldn’t move her arm for the duration of the next few days at sea on our return to Fort Lauderdale, but she had a beautiful ring.

 

The day after we returned home, Lynn went to the hospital with her ever swelling forearm and hand. She found out her elbow was indeed broken! She had a 4 hour surgery Thursday and now is the bionic woman with 2 pins and a plate, which were put in. She’ll be in a cast for a few weeks then who knows how long she’ll need therapy for. I might have heard the words ‘lawsuit’ whispered. But that, I’m sure will be another story.

 

 

Zhaveri team

Zhaveri team. Naaz and Shawn with Lynn and me.

 

St. Martin Facts:

The island is a total of 37 square miles. It’s the smallest land mass in the world shared by 2 nations, France and the Netherlands, Dutch Antilles by a treaty signed over 350 years ago. Residents and visitors can travel to either side without red tape or borders. Both sides host some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. I’ve stayed on the French side and the food along with the beaches in Grand Case are spectacular with equally beautiful views. The marina in Marigold, French side, is a beautiful place to visit and have a meal outdoors while watching the yachts pass by and dock, as well as having some beautiful European stores to visit.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed the highlights of our beautiful Caribbean getaway. Thanks for taking the tour.

 

 

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89 Comments

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  1. Oh, such a brilliant post of your adventures, Debby. But your poor friend! makes me want to plan a holiday somewhere warm, especially in the cold damp weather here. Love the ring.x

    1. Hi Judith! Glad I could give you a little taste of the Caribbean. Yes, I just spoke to my poor friend yesterday. She’s been out of surgery for 2 days and home, sporting 2 pins and a plate in her elbow now. I told her at least she’ll be the bionic woman now – making lemonade! 🙂 <3

  2. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed exploring the land of turquoise water. I also hope you continue having a fine time with great health. In various parts of Asia, it’s common to see people with facemasks. I saw two in the grocery store yesterday. I think it’s the kindest idea when people are sick and a terrific idea if you’re prone to catching viruses while traveling. Travel on, Deb.

    1. HI Elaine. Thanks so much for dropping by. Yes, it’s lovely when people use common courtesy instead of spreading germs. Those airplanes are always full of them. Thanks for the kudos. Next post will be coming from the west coast, Ariozona. 🙂 <3

  3. Sounds like you had an amazing holiday, Debby. Glad to hear you got some great jewellery deals. I never wear jewellery and always laugh because my Mother-in-law loves jewellery. As a result, I have a whole lot that sits in the safe box because I never wear it. Aren’t men funny!

    1. I used to be real bad Robbie. I now too have most stored away in a safe. Lifestyles change and when you no longer have an active social life there becomes nowhere to where so much. Now I look at things I’d wear on a daily basis, not just for special occasions. 🙂 Yes, men are hilarious! 🙂

  4. What a full vacation. I can imagine you had a great time shopping, Debby 🙂 I giggled at the stewardess’s worried looks about your masks on the plane as if you were going to infect everyone, but it was worth it if you avoided getting sick. Sorry to hear there was a real injury to your friend. I haven’t been to the Caribbean in years. A great place to visit.

    1. Lol, thanks Diana. Yes, better safe than sorry, whatever works! If you get a chance to get back to the Caribbean, St. Martin and St. Thomas are so beautiful. 🙂

      1. I’ve spent time in both back in my scuba days. St. Martin is a favorite 🙂 Now that we live on the west coast, Hawaii is a lot closer. Poor us. Ha ha.

        1. Lol. Now that’s on my bucket list too! 🙂

  5. Wow, Deb, I felt as if I were with you every step of the way! Even the spasm in my back relaxed while I read this. I loved the video of passengers disembarking; or rather, I loved the music 🙂 And the photos are beautiful (regardless that a few are upside down and sideways, lol. Thank you, WeirdPress!). So glad you had such a fantastic time. And now, it’s on to Arizona 🙂 ?

    1. Hey T. Thanks! Glad to take you away with a a little ‘Calgon’ moment, lol. And grrrr, about the photos. Are you kidding me again???????????? When I posted them RIGHT SIDE UP and in my draft, they were all great. Then when I went to read the published post, 3 were upside down. I went back to edit in draft and they weren’t upside down there, so I made them upside down to look right side up for readers and now you tell me they’re upside down LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL I can’t win with Weirdpress!!!! 🙂 <3

      1. Welcome, Deb. Now all the photos are right-side up! When I commented last night, 2 were upside down and 2 were sideways. Leave it to WeirdPress to be upside down and backwards 🙂

        1. Thanks for letting me know T. Much appreciated! I hope I have it solved now for future posts when I load from my phone’s camera, that’s when things go awry. 🙂 xo

  6. Looks like it was fabulous time! I’m sure it had to beat Canada in February!

    1. Thanks Gary. It was fab! And yes, February is usually the worst of winter, but it seems it hasn’t been too brutal here this year. The weather has gone backwards, the west coast got cold and the east coast has been mild. But can’t help but wonder if it’s a lull before a storm. At any rate, I’m outta here in 2 days for March, lol. Arizona here I come! And it’s warming up nicely. 🙂

  7. Your vacation looks amazing! I’ve never been on any kind of cruise, but one of these days. I like your idea of wearing masks on the airplane. I WILL do this next time I fly, who cares how I look! Great post, Debby, and loved your fun facts and pretty new ring 🙂

    1. HI Terri, thanks for visiting. I hope you do get to go on a cruise, it’s an exciting experience. And yes, wear a mask, who cares. After catching influenza from the airplane last year, I don’t care what people are thinking when they look at me wearing a mask. Whatever works! 🙂

  8. Thanks for sharing your travel adventures with is. Sounds like you had a great time. Jealous much here. lol Much love <3

    1. Lol, thanks Christoph. It was fabulous. Hopefully you will get to do a cruise someday. Lots of Brits on cruises. 🙂 <3

  9. Found this a lovely nostalgic walk down old Caribbean memories. My dad worked in various Caribbean islands: St Martin was his absolute favourite! I visited him in Tortola when I was a teenager. Also my hubby and I have holidayed in Barbados and St Lucia – before we had the kids! Sadly haven’t been back for a very long time.

    1. Wow Marje. Sounds like those were exciting times. I like St. Lucia too, very lush island and quiet. Hopefully, you will go back someday and visit those islands. 🙂

  10. Thank you, Debby for a wonderful post about your holiday. So sorry to hear that your friend ended up with a broken elbow. The jewels sound fantastic and I love your ring. I went on holiday to Jamaica with two friends and oh my god it was paradise. The sea really is that colour and the people are fantastic. xx

    1. HI Adele. Thanks so much. Yes, isn’t that water magnificent? It’s multiple shades of turquoise. The Caribbean is just like being in paradise. <3 :)

  11. Lots of details. Maybe we will have to put the Caribbean on our vacation to do lit with all the rest. 🙂

    1. Come meet us next year!!! 🙂

  12. Ha ha. Sounds a fun time and usually is when there’s music playing. Nice ring. Great video. Fabulous tour. Shoot, those ships are huge. How long does it take to disembark?
    Sorry to hear about your friend’s fall. She must have been in a lot of pain with a break instead of a sprain. Ouch! <3 <3 🙂

    1. HI Tess! Thanks for stopping by. Disembarking is a breeze at the ports. The trick is to wait 1/2 hour after docked till all the anxious people that lined up have got off, then the elevators a free and I just walk off. Lots of experience, lol. For disembarking after the cruise, it’s well organized. They assign you numbers and times to disembark. We always have priority embarking and disembarking for the level of captain’s points we have from many sailings. We get off when we want, lol. 🙂 <3. And thanks for your sympathy for Lynn. She's still in a lot of pain after the surgery. She'll always remember that visit to St. Martin, for more than just her ring, lol. :) xo

  13. Great updates my friend. So much fun!… Loved learning facts about the countries too. So many Caribbean countries are still colonies somehow, Which is ood given how many years have passed since they were “discovered” By the “conquerors” (Colonizer Language in these words I have used, is certainly strong, did you notice?). Anyway, love these adventure and the ring is dreamy. Love it 😀
    Best to you & happy week. 😉

    1. Thanks so much Aq. Yes, you are so right, there is so much history behind all of the islands, some conquered and taken over a few times by different countries too. We don’t always tend to focus on the history when we are there as tourists. 🙂 <3 Happy week to you too.

  14. A beautiful post, Deb, and your smiles…they say it all.

    1. Thanks so much Van. Everything goes better with smiles. 🙂

  15. Thank you for allowing me to share in your Caribbean cruise and shopping expeditions. I love your ring. You are obviously a fantastic shopper. I wish I could take advantage of your advice. Nevermind, I’m sure others will. I’m sorry to hear about poor Lyn and her broken arm. I hope that it doesn’t prevent her wearing her new ring, and that it heals quickly!

    1. Thanks Norah. I’m glad I could share a little slice of the beautiful Caribbean. And Lynn has happy to know her battered hand and arm weren’t the one for the finger her new ring went on, lol. 🙂

  16. I’ve been to the Caribbean several times but never to the islands you describe in detail – thanks! I’m thrilled for the exquisite ring you purchased but so sorry to hear about Lynn’s mishap. It was also enlightening to hear about the differences in availability of medications in Canada and the USA. A seasoned traveler, you seem to know all the tips and tricks. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Marian. Glad you enjoyed the fun facts. And as far as the medications go, I unfortunately learned by trial and error when I forgot to pack such items in the past and thought I could just pick some up at CVS or Walgreens. I didn’t make the same mistake twice. 🙂

  17. Ohh Debby, how lovely to share your adventures and the blue of the sea!! Hugs and more hugs for you, your hubby and Lynn…happy holidaying my buddy. <3 xXx

    1. Thank you so much lovely Jane. Glad you enjoyed, and thanks for the well wishes. xoxo <3 :)

  18. You look great and rested. And, I love the ring, plenty of bling. ☺☺☺

    1. Thanks a lot Patricia. Yes, I finally learned how to succumb to ‘relax’ mode. Now I’ll have to start over again tomorrow, lol, although I’ll be a lot busier this time. 🙂

  19. What a great way to tour the islands of the Caribbean without leaving my house! Your descriptions were great and I’m so sorry Lynn was hurt. Glad you had such a wonderful trip, though.

    1. Thanks a bunch Amy. I’m glad I could bring you a slice of the Caribbean . 🙂 Now, off to Arizona! 🙂

  20. I did, Debby. Even if it contained a broken elbow and lots of shopping (which I’m not a big fan of unless it’s on the internet) it was great to read your post and enjoy the fantastic time you had. Love that fish dress in the last photo and hearing that welcoming music in the video. Now, have George and you booked for next year? ?

    1. Thanks Hugh. I got the fish cover up in Barbados, lol. Yes, we left a deposit, tentatively for another cruise, and have till November this year to decide if we will take it or move it to another one. 🙂

      1. I’m glad you’ll be going again, Debby, even if on a different one. Something to look forward to and I can certainly see how you love cruising so much. I’ve been twice and enjoyed both occasions.
        xx

        1. Thanks Hugh. Glad to know you enjoy cruising too. I know some people who don’t enjoy spending nights on a cruiseliner in the deep, dark ocean, lol. 🙂 Now, that just may be a story idea for you! 🙂 <3

  21. I’m envious! I’ve offered to pay for my niece, nephew and sister-in-law to have a holiday this year as they all have big birthdays coming up. My niece wants to go to the Caribbean but I’ve had to rule that out on account of cost!

    1. Hi Sarah. Well yes, I know for a fact, booking a land holiday to some of these islands can be quite pricey. That’s why we prefer visiting them from a cruise ship. We always book our cruises well in advance and get great discounts and wonderful service aboard. Then we can island hop at each stop. A cruise is cheaper than a stay on the island, particularly St. Martin. 🙂

  22. Thanks for sharing the details dg…that picture with your friends is lovely! What a wonderful holiday! Great fun! So sad that your friend had to undergo so much of pain. Hope she is feeling better.

    1. Thanks so much Balroop. It was a lot of fun, unfortunately my friend will always remember what happened in St. Martin. 🙂

  23. Oh, it sounds like you had a fantastic time, Debby. I am sorry your friend broke her elbow though, that must have been pretty awful for her.
    On a lighter note, I love your ring! 🙂

    1. Thanks a bunch Judy. It was like a fantasy get away. And yes, certainly a memory my friend Lynn will never forget. 🙂

  24. Oh so jealous! It all sounds divine, and that you’ve done it lots of times already adds to the local colour you give in such a delightfully visual way.
    It’s gone onto my bucket list…

    1. So glad to entice you Deb. Thanks for dropping by. Now I’m getting ready to take off to Arizona. I’ll be back buzzin’ around reporting in from the West coast 🙂

  25. It sounds like you had an amazing time in the islands. So unfortunate about your friend, though. The sidewalks are uneven and often a challenge in the Caribbean. I kicked my flip flopped toes many times. Your post brought back memories from when my husband and I (and our dogs) sailed throughout the Eastern Caribbean for three years. St. Martin has, indeed, much to offer and it is also where we had our wedding party. 🙂

    1. Hi Liesbet. Wow, how nice you have wonderful wedding memories of St Martin. I love eastern Caribbean too. And you know well about the the uneven ground in many of those places. Two years ago when I was in Antigua, I wiped out myself on terrible uneven cement slabs. I could barely get up and cut up my knees terribly. I was alone because I was only getting off to pick up something in particular and going back to ship. Not one person offered to help me up. Amazing I didn’t break any bones. Not good memories there. 🙂

      1. That’s terrible, that nobody offered to help you. Antigua is overrun by tourists and I wonder whether the locals are getting sick of it. Speaking of bad memories in Antigua, though, we once skipped the island all together when sailing south, because the government officials were trying to rip us off with vet fees and pet fees in 2009, when we tried to visit legally with our dog. “There are plenty of other nice islands around that are happy to take us all in,” we thought and we said goodbye after a lot of hassle and trying! 🙂

        1. That’s awful. And ironically, I don’t usually get off at the island anymore, I just had to pick something up there I’d found before at port. I also don’t like the pushy people all over you trying to make you take their tour. Definitely the pushiest island I’d ever been to. 🙂

  26. Wonderful to read about your holiday – lovey to see such bright warm colours and the sun!! I do love jewelllry and would love to visit the shop, I mean with a free T-shirt what’s not to like! I feel so sorry for your friend and her poor arm…she must have been in real pain but I hope the surgery has made it all well. Have fun in Arizona!??

    1. Hi Annika. Thanks for the warm wishes. I’m here now in sunny Arizona, just having my morning coffee and looking at the mountains. 🙂 🙂

  27. Wonderful pictures and description of your travels. Your ring is gorgeous. I went to Zahveri’s website, but when you click on the stores links, the links are empty. I hope Lynn’s arm is doing better. Poor girl, what a sad way to end a beautiful vacay.

    1. Hi Michelle. I just tested the links on their site, and most of the links worked. I happen to know that their original website is under construction, which is, Zhaverijewelers.com. But if you go to Zhaveri.com, you can still click on any category of jewelry or type of stones you’re interested in perusing and it will take you there. ‘Contact’ us also works. I hope that helped. 🙂

      1. Yes. Thanks, Debby.

  28. I took this same cruise, years ago. You got a lot more out of it than I did. I’m glad to hear of a cruise without problems.

    1. Oooh, it sounds like you aren’t a great fan of cruising? I know it’s not for everyone’s preference, but it sure is for me. 🙂

  29. Happy, happy cruising, Debby, mishaps and all! Looks as if you have enough material for another book!! 🙂

    1. Lol, thanks a lot Lorna. Definitely, some material to consider for future. 🙂

  30. What a fantastic time Deb, I did enjoy reading about your Caribbean cruise very much, but so sorry to hear about your friend Lynn’s nasty fall. Hope she recovers soon. Love your ring and you look great in your pics, as you do on FB, and I love your blue dress with all those fish on – very Caribbean! When hubby and I took our cruise, we flew out to Barbados and started off there, driving through Georgetown on a Friday night which was amazing! And oh those steel drums make me want to go back there right now! We visited Dominica, Grenada, Tortola, and Antigua, and then sailed back to Southampton (but it was early April and sailing around the Bay of Biscay in heavy storms is one of the reasons I’m hesitant to cruise again – next time, staying in the Caribbean the whole time!) Your shopping skills amaze me. I’m useless at shopping. But I am good at chair positioning lol! If I promise to get your chair in the right position next time, will you promise to take me shopping to find me the perfect ring?! LOL!!! I know you’re in Arizona, and sorry to leave this so late in visiting, but wanted you to read this when you next check in! Have a wonderful part two of your vacation my friend! 🙂 <3 xoxo

    1. Lmao Sher! I would love to go shopping with you. And of course it helps that you are a fellow chair positioner! LOLLLLLLLLLLL I’m laughing my head off at your comment!!!! And, yes I have a few British friends and some of them have taken the Southampton one and mentioned the unstable weather on it. The cruises we go on have loads of Brits on them. The best is to fly to Florida, stay a night or two, relax and unwind after the traveling, do a little shopping and get on the ship in Fort Lauderdale or Miami refreshed for the cruise. That’s what you can do when you join me next year on our next winter cruise LOL.!
      Just recovering tonight on day 2 after a long travel day here yesterday. I took in a bit of desert sun with my chair well positioned! LOLLLLLLLLLL 🙂 🙂 xoxo <3 <3

      1. Oooooh….don’t tempt me Deb! To top it off, I have a good friend who lives in Florida, she was my neighbour for a few years when I lived in CA, her kids and mine were close friends. In fact, she moved to Italy before I moved back to the UK in 2003, and I took my two youngest kids out to visit her in 2004. I got to see Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius at long last, as well as Sorrento. But…still haven’t been to Capri, although I did get a sneak peak at the island from across the bay. Oh you have me thinking of sun and travels and chair positioning and shopping and all kinds of things now LOL!!! Yes…Brits seem to like cruising so I’m not surprised. The ones we met on our so far one and only cruise seemed to go all the time, at least once a year, I say at least lol!!! Lord knows how they afforded it! We felt like babies, wading into the unknown!! Yet..we were the only ones who didn’t get seasick crossing that awful Bay of Biscay…thanks to a pint of Stellar and a greasy hamburger LOL! You might remember my post about that…goodness knows how that helped, but it did, although the thought of it now makes me more than queasy! Did you think of me when you carefully positioned your chair Deb? LOLLLLLLLLL 😀 Enjoy my friend, have a super time and look forward to catching up on FB!! I’m laughing and smiling and feel great now after chatting to you!!! Love it, love you and Happy Vacay!!! 🙂 <3 <3 <3 xoxoxoxo

        1. Lol, you make me laugh too. Of course I thought of you in my chair! I love your funny stories. And one thing great about living in the UK is that you’re a skip and a jump to another beautiful country in Europe. I love Italy too, but I’m not surprised at our similar tastes anymore, lol. 🙂 xoxo Love you too my friend. <3

          1. Italy it is then, after our cruise, LOL! Yes, it is great being able to travel to Europe so easily I admit. Ahh…I’m not surprised either Deb! Have a super time and have a cocktail – or two! – on me 🙂 <3 <3 <3

          2. Cocktails after 5 my friend! LOl. xoxo <3 :)

          3. Great Deb – I’ll be waiting in the bar LOL 😀 xoxox <3 🙂

          4. Lmaooooooooooooooo 🙂 🙂 xo

          5. 😀 😀 😀 xoxoxoxoxo

          6. 😀 😀 😀 xoxoxoxoxo

  31. We were on the Celebrity Equinox last week! We had a great time apart from the ride of death in Georgetown, which I blogged about today. Lovely clean ship, great food, friendly crew, and a great way to experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans and get away from the British winter. We Brits only made up a small amount of the ship’s population, and I made sure not to get too lobsterized!

    1. Omg, lol. I read your blog and was mortified at your tendering adventure! I didn’t know you were going to Mardi Gras cruise. We were thinking of staying on it and going back to back LOL. So glad I didn’t after reading your scary story!!!!
      But otherwise, yes, we cruise with celebrity over a decade now. We love everything about that cruise line. We’re booked for next January 12 days on the Reflection. 🙂

  32. Wonderful to see you had so much fun exploring, and also pleased to know no bones broken on your friends Lynn’s fall.. Falling shakes us up.. Loved the ring you slept on and purchased 🙂
    And I hope you are having a relaxing time on your second half of your vacation.
    🙂 Enjoy my lovely friend xxx

    1. Thanks so much Sue. It is relaxing time now and I’m grateful for this wonderful time out. 🙂 xoxo

      1. Keep enjoying.. I am taking my time to fully come back into blog land.. I spent two days painting.. The modem off.. And I am pacing myself.. Sending Big hugs xxx

  33. How wonderful to be able to tag along and share the fun (without the sun – lol – heat defensive as I am) – and good to see that you did, in fact, vacation during your vacation. I loved all the photos (beautiful ring!) – but you know me and words, so my favorite part was the way you shared the details.

    I felt SO sorry for your friend Lynn, having spent time in a cast relatively recently myself when muggers crushed my dominant hand (no pins, thankfully). No fun at all!

    The weather here has been miserable – is it okay to be jealous?
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    1. So glad I could bring you some of the Caribbean Madelyn, lol. Of course it’s okay to be jealous, I’ve been there many times myself, it’s okay for us all to wish we were someone else at times. And ouchee, I’m sorry about your hand and the damn mugging. I was mugged years ago, so I can certainly empathize with you on that front! Unfortunately, there are some nasty people in this world we all co-habitate in. <3 :)

      1. Thanks – I would certainly liked to have walked this past mile in your shoes anyway.

        Even though your memoir has not made it to the top of my list yet for lack of free time, reading the reviews has let me know that you are no stranger to struggles of a great many types. Somehow it seems so much worse when the nastiness is closer to home. I was fortunate in that regard. My dad was beyond strict, and not always fair, but he was consistently loving – and my mom was my champion.
        xx,
        mgh

        1. Thanks so much Madelyn. It is lovely to learn that some of us did in fact have nurturing parents. You were blessed. 🙂 <3

          1. Yes, in that manner I was – and I’m so sorry you were not.
            xx, mgh

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