Up bright and early again today as we have a tour booked with R&R cruising for a day on a catamaran soaking up the rays and snorkeling, this one I'd heard about from "Lakeguy" on Cruise Critic, Lou and his wife Nancy had done this tour last year and were doing it again, that's a good recommendation! Once again we went to the main dining room for breakfast instead of mixing it with the masses at the buffet, this is always a great option as they have yummy things like Eggs Benedict ( no ham for me please ) and the tea comes served in a china teapot.. also you get served at the table instead of having to use your elbows!! This morning our server was Stevie.. he had taken a "shine" to Rodd the other night at Moderno and had asked especially for a koala. Rodd always has a pocket full of little koalas and vegemite when we travel and passes them out to people that take his fancy, at Moderno he had given one to our server and Stevie, although he wasn't our server, had noticed it and made a point of coming over to talk to us.... anyway.... Rodd had caught up with him the next day and given him a koala, some vegemite and also an Australian cap so he's our new best friend! He took good care of us at breakfast and we were most impressed when he started speaking Dutch to the table next to us!
Breakfast finished we collected our snorkeling gear and headed out to the assigned meeting place, I had the email with directions printed out and followed them all the way out past the small roundabout, out past the port gates to the roundabout outside on the main road. We arrived at the meeting place around 20 to 9 so we had 20 minutes to wait, the roundabout was chock-a-block full of tour guides with signs and passengers milling around looking for their tours. We weren't the only ship in Port, there was also a Carnival ship, so over 4000 people swarming out those gates!! Rodd and I decided to sit on the wall to the right of the roundabout in the shade and we waited and waited and waited.. past 9 now and I went over to the centre of the roundabout 2 or 3 times to look around at the signs and asked around if anyone had seen R&R but no luck. We were sitting next to a whole lot of taxi drivers and finally at 9.30 one of them asked us if we were waiting for a tour, after a bit of conversation I ended up giving him my printed instructions and he rang them to find out why they hadn't picked us up. Turns out someone was there at 9am and had picked up the other 10 people on the tour but somehow, even though we were sitting there watching the whole time we had missed seeing them and they us, although if their sign had turned our way even once I know we would have seen it .. I felt so bad but Rebecca (one of the R's) told the taxi driver to take us to the marina, a 30 minute drive away, and when we arrived she paid him $80 (which we think is $40US).. once again I felt terrible and apologized profusely, as did she, but here we are climbing aboard this beautiful catamaran. All the other people didn't seem to mind having to wait for us as they were being handed rum punches, wine, softdrink or whatever they desired!! Off we set with Ryan (the other R) at the helm, we were kept well "watered" and given little cups of fresh fruit as we skimmed over the waves .... and there followed the most wonderful day. We had a couple of stops for snorkeling, one of the crew jumping in and guiding us to the best spots... he was a gorgeous (I want to say) local guy with long dreds, a stunning smile and a happy cheeky personality. After I'd swam out to see the turtle everyone else was still snorkeling and I decided to swim back to the boat... I swam and swam and kept looking up but the boat seemed to be getting further and further away, at one point I had a little panic that they were leaving me but after turning to look back from where I came noticed everyone else was still in the water so I kept swimming... phew this is hard work, I stopped to rest and Rodd was standing on the back of the boat peering out at me so I waved at him but unfortunately he thought I was signalling I was in trouble so he told them onboard I needed help!! I think they backed the boat up to come meet me. At the other stop I was sitting on the back with another girl getting fins and goggles on and she pulls out a tube that says "SPIT"... I couldn't help myself I had to say something so she sprayed some in my goggles... wow what a difference that made, for the first time I didn't fog up... who knew you could buy spit in a bottle!! Once we were done with snorkeling we were served a fantastic meal, where I was well catered for as I'd told Rebecca via email that I'm a vegetarian. During the course of the meal I was saying how awesome the spit was and the next thing I know I'm being presented with a bottle of spit... Rodd had also given them some vegemite and a koala so that helped I'm sure! Before we knew it we were heading back to the dock. I would absolutely recommend doing this, it was $115pp but so nice to only have such a small group.. at one stage we saw a couple of big barge type boats that our guys called "cattlemarans" or the "refugee boats" and these are the ones that those that booked through the ships go on... they put 95 people on those!! We didn't have a lot of time back at port before we had to board but I did manage to pick up a shot glass and magnet and we bought Rodd a few T-shirts. Showered and dressed for the night we headed up to the pool deck where we found Heather and Tim so we sat and had a few drinks with them and they told us they had gone to a beach and hired surfboards for the day, I think they had fun! after about an hour they headed off for showers but we planned to meet so we could go to Las Ramblas for tapas (this is one of the free food options onboard). After here we all headed off to the casino where Heather, Tim and I settled in to the blackjack table for a fun hour or so and Rodd kept bringing Heather and I glasses of water to go with the bottle of wine (or 2) we had! Heather and Tim headed off to the show at Stardust and Rodd and I ended up at the sports bar where Rodd proceeded to down 8 B52 shots, it would have been 9 but I had one! ... I say ended up because I'm sure we went other places but I don't really remember where ... We ordered some food and I ate mine and excused myself.. I've had enough for one day! Rodd partied on with the bartender for awhile but wasn't too far behind me.... Heather and Tim however?? I had continually told them all night that they had to be up and ready to go in the morning.. no hangovers or excuses allowed ... Tomorrow we have Guadeloupe!!