Welcome to The Internet Voice of Donald Delozier
you probably can't afford them.
Those that would limit just one part of our Constitution
will next destroy all of our Constitution.
I retired from Great Lakes Steel in 1995. I joined the Progressive Tool Company or 'Pico' within 2 weeks. The company built automotive assembly lines. My initial responsibilities were to test the wiring, load the PLC software then refine the logic. After buy off on our plant floor we traveled to the customer's plant and merged it into their operation.
My new career required me to do field service in customer plants during the summer change-over months. In a few years, our boating activities took a big hit. Fortunately we found another way to get on the water.
Just before Christmas during my first year with Pico, I had an opportunity to vacation during Christmas week. That first year I averaged over 65 hours a week and I was ready for a vacation. We found a 7-day Caribbean cruise out of Miami with Carnival. We jumped on it and started a new fun activity. Since then we've been on about a dozen cruises with a half dozen companies. My favorite cruise line is Princess.
Most of our cruises have been to the Windward Islands in the eastern Caribbean. I am leery of western Caribbean cruises that visit the very unstable Mexico. The Caribbean cruise season starts about November 1st after the hurricane season ends.
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For eastern Caribbean cruises, fly to San Juan and board your ship there. You will get more bang for the buck doing this. Nearly all ships stop at St.Thomas U.S.V.I. While there, you must shop in the alleys in town. Been there many times, don't miss it.
Note, you will have at least one day of rough seas. In a 7-day cruise, your ship will do a nightly island hop to your 4 or 5 destinations. You will spend the day ashore until about 4 or 5pm. At the limit of your travel, your ship will turn home to San Juan for the 'Day at Sea'. The ship will travel very fast, so fast that the ship will pitch and roll as the ship outruns the stabilizers. Have fun.
Aruba is the only port where ships allow people ashore after dark. That rule may have modified lately. We've been there 3 times, once my daughter took me to Carlos & Charlies and we got blasted. On another trip my son and I went scuba diving on a sunken ship. As we walked to the tender, I slipped and fell with 120lbs of gear on, broke a rib and skinned my knee. I stayed ashore, to not be shark bait. My son continued the dive but at 30 feet down, he ran out of air. WOW!
I reported to the ships medical facility for aid. And did I get aid. They checked me every day as we had about 5 or 6 days remaining. We went through the Panama Canal and a 24 hour stop in Jamaica. As we were packing to leave the ship my wife found a bag with a few 'balloons' and a sweet note from the nurse. Darn, why didn't I find it earlier?
Our last cruise was a 12 day with Norwegian Cruise Line around the Hawaiian Islands. We stopped at many islands, my favorite was Maui where we spent two nice days. The worse part was the trip to Kingman Reef. It was a two day sail there, five hours ashore then two days back. Boring. No casinos in Hawaiian waters. Somehow my son had a Sprint Internet connection all the way and I took my laptop with a case full of DVDs.
The day we flew home I found time to visit the Arizona Memorial again. The tour included a trip aboard the Battleship Missouri anchored nearby. This time I toured below decks where I found the crew's mess and had a nice Navy lunch. The smell of cosmoline brought back good memories of the time I spent flying Navy and working on Navy gear in my twenties.
My favorite tour is the plantation garden tour. Most have the very beautiful Japanese type gardens. They can be found in both the Caribbean and the Hawaiian Islands. I would like to find one in my backyard some day.