We awoke day 3, our 25th Anniversary day, just as we pulled in to the port at St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Below is our arrival on shore.
The first thing on our agenda was visiting "BOB" which stands for Breathing Observation Bubble You can find out more about this by visting their website Click here to learn about "BOB"
I "borrowed" this photo from their website.
As you can see, this is basically a little underwater electric scooter with a scuba tank, and a large air filled helmet. Gina and I highly recommend it!
To get to the area where the "bobbing" is done you take a short ride on the boat below.
They have around 12 units on board and they go out in groups of 36. Each group gets plenty of training and actual time under water with the Bob. While one group is using the Bobs the other two are left with time to snorkle in the clear and warm ocean near "Turtle Island" Below are a couple of pictures of us snorkling, which was a big step for Gina, after her first attempt at snorkeling in Hawaii. The first picture Gina took of me, and a passing sand shark offered to take the 2nd one of both of us.
Bob took up the morning so after changing back at the ship, we went into St. Thomas to shop. Besides lots of shirts we bought Gina an anniversary ring. Jewelry is pretty reasonable in St. Thomas and tax free! I'll try to add a picture of that as well. The last thing we did in St. Thomas before boarding the ship was sampling bananna rum! (I brought home two bottles) We finished a great anniversary dining on the ship. Prime Rib, if I remember right. Just before going to dinner we posed for this photo.
On Royal Caribbean's website they promote Labadee as being on the Island of Hispanola. For those of you not that good in geography, Hispanola is the old name for the entire island. Today, the eastern half of the island is The Dominican Republic, while the western half is Haiti. Labadee is a privately owned peninsula in Haiti. I don't know about you, but when I think of Haiti I think of civil war and people escaping on boats to Miami. So I guess I understand why the cruise line promotes it as Hispanola.
Anyway, it is a beautiful place with great beaches and fun things to do.
We signed up for a Waverunner excursion early in the morning. Both of us had used waverunners before and I was really looking forward to it. Below is a picture of the dock where the waverunners start from. There was also a water park there and you could also parasail.
Below are the photos of Gina and I as we boarded our own Waverunner. These were taken by the ship's photographer. (They had lots of those as you will see if we bring our personal album along) For some reason, as you will see, every where we went they tried to give me the extra small life jackets. I guess they knew I am a good swimmer.
We had both rented Waverunners before at the Deleware State Park (North of Columbus, Ohio) and thought we knew what to expect. However, we were wrong. Riding these fast machines on the ocean is a lot harder than you might think. We were both totally exhausted after our 45 minute ride.
After riding the waverunners we spent a few hours on the beach and Royal Caribbean served us a huge BBQ lunch featuring great burgers, hot dogs, ribs, and lots of fruit and desserts. Did I mention I gained 13 pounds?.
The lunch was cooked at served behind the Columbus Cafe. Since we were the only one on board from Columbus, we were honored to eat first.
After lunch we walked to a local "artisan shop/flea market" where the locals could sell their wares. If you ever go, I suggest you take a cattle prod as they will grab you and try to pull you inside their booth. It was very uncomfortable. Below is a couple of pictures of walking from the beach to the market.
Below is a picture looking back at the ship from the walkway in Labadee.
Finally, is a picture, from our balcony, of the Labadee Peninsula as the ship was pulling away.