TRAVELSCRIBBLES is a blog featuring travel reports, advice, and idea sharing for those interested in both domestic and international exploration.

Roger Sauer and his wife Donna have spent years traveling the world but have many places yet to see. You can follow their past and current travels here as well as post comments and questions about places they have visited.

Roger and Donna travelled to New Zealand and Australia in September, 2013. They will be in Paris in September 2015 with a train trip to Nice and Barcelona. They will then be aboard the Disney Magic (again) for a transatlantic cruise to Miami. Follow their travels on Twitter @rsauer3473.

Donna and Roger own Disney Vacation Club memberships at Old Key West and Beach Cub resorts in Walt Disney World. They also have other timeshare interests in Maui, Cancun, Orlando, and Palm Springs.
Feel free to contact them at 503-585-3473 if you would like rent one of these properties.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

European Trip and Transatlantic Cruise Part 9

ST. MAARTEN- September 28, 2010
We arrived in St. Maarten at about 7 AM and were berthed next to the Norwegian Epic. No, not the story of Eric the Red and his search for the lost ice jewels of Ayafjotlajokutl. This was a huge ship that towered over the Magic and resembled a big apartment building from the vantage point of our veranda. It did not even look like a cruise ship but rather a barge onto which were piled more and more boxes until the end result seemed likely to tip over into the harbor of this Dutch/French island.

After breakfast we walked around deck 10 to get our bearings and look at the port and our fellow cruise vessel. It was hot and humid but we left the ship with the intent to taking a water taxi to go downtown. As there was a small shopping area near the dock, we never left sight of the ship given the oppressive heat. After about an hour we walked back to our ship and its air conditioning. Within ten minutes we had on our suits and were next to the pool which was nearly empty of cruisers as most had left for the St. Maarten hinterlands.

Lunch options included the Topsider which we visited and ate with Mary and Larry our dinner time table mates. They had been on a tour of the island that we had gone on with Colin and Caitlin nine years ago.

As I had gotten up early again in the morning, I took a nap for a while and was later joined by Donna who had been reading. The big Pirates in the Caribbean dinner and party was to be held that evening with a concert by Jodi Benson, voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid.

During our stay at St. Maarten our ship was being refueled. After nap time we sat on the deck near the Cove Cafe and watched the process. The fueling is done through a large barge brought next to the ship. No smoking was allowed on the ship during the process. When it had finished, the barge was pulled away by two tugboats.

But the big news of the day, of the week, is that by the time we returned to our stateroom we had CNN.

After our Pirate dinner in Parrot Cay we attended the Jodi Benson concert in the Walt Disney Theater. She sang for an hour and talked some about her career. Later near the shop area she signed autographs. Up topside the Pirates in the Caribbean Party was going on with lots of dancing and music. And the finale was a brief but impressive fireworks show of which we had a great view from the starboard side of deck 10. There was a late night buffet that we passed on, but it featured barbecue and turkey legs!

TORTOLA - September 29, 2010
We arrived at this island about 7 AM. The port is much smaller than those previously visited on this trip; the "pier" extends as a relatively narrow concrete strip on our side of the ship. We had been told there was not much in Road Town, the capitol of the British Virgin Islands. Others we had spoken to planned on taking a tour, but after breakfast we just walked into town, previous home to Captain Kidd and Blackbeard.

The town is small and on the way into the center of the village we were accosted by many taxi drivers seeking our use of their cabs for a drive around the island. We just ventured into a couple of grocery stores and a jewelry store where Donna looked around and I got a good wifi signal and was able to call Deirdre before she went to work.

Back on the ship we stayed out by the pool as there were few people around. As there was some cloud cover, the temperature was not as high as in St. Maarten, but still humid. Lunch was in Topsiders and was a Mexican buffet.

After lunch we tried the "find the photo" contest and looked all around the ship for a decorative detail that looked like a carved pirate with a big hat holding something. No luck again though we looked everywhere. (Later we found out it was on a bottle behind the bar in Rockin' Bar D.)

The ship left port at about 4 PM so we went to the top deck to see the ship back up, turn a 360 degree circle and head out to sea. We have a day at sea tomorrow and we arrive at Castaway Cay on Friday mid-morning.

During the evening announcements we found out that Donna had won yesterday's hidden picture drawing. she won a $10 card for the arcade. Whoopie-Doo!

After dinner at Lumiere's there was pin trading with officers in the atrium. Donna got a couple and was also given two parts of a Disney Cruise Ship by a salesclerk in one of the shops.

ON THE WAY TO CASTAWAY CAY- September 30, 2010
Up at 6 AM we watched television for a while then had breakfast at Topsiders. Despite our being lumped into the same category, many people here have had a few too many cruises and are still carrying them around in their bulk. In short, many fat people.

As this is our last sea day, we went up to the adult pool. It was very humid and the captain indicated there are storms in the area with some heavy rain. Later we wandered around the ship and its shops where guests are picking up last minute souvenirs. There was a seafood buffet with all the sushi you can eat. Donna tried the sushi, I did not.

By the time we got to our room after luck the skies were very cloudy and the humidity was high. Later it was raining during the art auction where we did not win anything. I did, however, bid on and bought a print- a lithograph of the Luxo Jr. Lamp featured at the start of the Pixar cartoons. It was drawn and signed by John Lasseter, the head of Pixar, and director of Toy Story. There are only 86 of them since Pixar was started in 1986.
Cool. I had been eyeing the piece all during the cruise since it was first offered at last week's auction. No one bid on it then and I was the only bidder today. It should look cool in the den.

After the auction we went down to deck 4 and sat outside on the adirondack lounge chairs (where I am writing this paragraph).

Dinner tonight is in Animator's Palette. We have filled out our tip envelopes for our service staff; tips for a 14 night voyage run a little over $300.

After dinner we went to a comedy show where a guy entertained with balloons. Kids in the audience loved it.

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