And you can read about all of the wedding planning here!
All caught up? Great, we're ready to continue on with Day 3 of our awesome honeymoon cruise:
MAY 4, 2011 - GRAND TURK DAY
Tim and I were both up at 5:00 AM......our room service breakfast showed up at 5:30. WOW! I like this!!
We ate, showered, dressed, and made sure we had everything we needed for the day packed in our tote bag.
I want to mention here that on this morning I took a very cold shower! I assumed the hot water was being used up by other passengers, and I really needed my morning shower. I can't start my day without a shower so I braved the cold and suffered through it.
After my COLD shower, I put on the nice white robe that carnival had in the room for us. (one for each of us!) I loved this robe! I found it very convenient to wear while I was digging for clothes to wear, and I wore it every day after I took a shower.
I got dressed and we watched the sunrise from our balcony, and we also watched our approach to Grand Turk. Our first island!!
Here are some pics we took that morning as we pulled into Grand Turk.
The island of Grand Turk is only 7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. It's located just south of the bahamas. Tim and I planned to rent a golf cart and check out the island, then we wanted to find a beach.
As we got off the ship, we saw Brian on his balcony taking pics of Grand Turk, and us!
We walked down the long dock, and into the Port area.
We walked through the port shops and stores, and out towards the main road. We saw the golf carts parked ahead, and we walked over to them. After filling out some paperwork (name, address, etc..) we were given our golf cart and a map. Now we were on our own!!
We headed down the street, and I was really nervous since we not only had to navagate a strange place, but we had to drive on the wrong side of the road!
Very strange indeed, but Tim did just fine, and before long we were heading toward the lighthouse at the far end of the island. Along the way, since it was still early in the morning, we saw schoolchildren wearing uniforms and walking to school. Most of them waved to us, and we waved back.
Grand Turk looked like this:
We also saw animals walking along the road. We saw goats, chickens, dogs, and horses.
When we got to the lighthouse area, we parked the golf cart in the little parking lot, and walked into the little park. We took pics of the lighthouse and the displays, and walked to the edge of the cliff.
Tim and I were on a mission at the lighthouse, we wanted to find a geocache on Grand Turk!
In case you don't know, a geocache is a small treasure that is hidden (usually in a park) for people to find. Tim and I look for geocaches near our house, and we thought it would be fun to try to find one or two while we were on the islands.
You can go to geocaching.com to find our more about how to play this totally FREE treasure hunting game. Its a cheezy game, but Tim and I have a lot of fun looking for these.
We had printed our paper with clues so we could look for the geocache near the lighthouse, and we had a good idea where it was going to be, because we had looked at the map earlier. We walked over to the area where we thought it would be, and using the clues, we found the geocache hanging inside of some bushes.
Here I am looking for the geocache:
And this is what the geocache looked like:
This was a small geocache, with only a rolled up logbook inside for us to sign. Many times, the geocache is a larger container with trade items inside. The items you will find inside are small toys, keychains, coins, and other odds and ends that people leave in there. The rule is that you can take an item from the cache, but you have to replace it with another item (small toy, coin, etc...). Since there were no trade items in this cache, Tim signed the logbook with our names and the date we were there.
After we replaced the cache, Tim and I walked back through the lighthouse park, and I took the opportunity to pose with this pirate:
I just LOVE pirates!!
We got back in our golf cart and drove off to explore more of the island.
We drove past the replica of the John Glenn space capsule, THE FRIENDSHIP 7, which landed in the waters near Grand Turk:
and we found a place called Conch World (Pronounced "Conk"). This was a series of colored buildings, and a little museum, where they raised baby conch shells into bigger conch shells.
We decided to stop at a public beach called Governor's beach, and wade in the water for a few minutes. After reading the signs to make sure this was a free beach, Tim and I walked toward the water.
We dropped our tote bag and our towels down on a couple of lounge chairs near the water. Soon, a man came up to us and wanted $10.00 each for the use of the chairs. Since Tim and I were only planning to stay for a few minutes, we took our stuff off the chairs and put them on the sand a few feet away from the chairs.
Governor's beach turned out to be a good idea. As I waded in the water, I found quite a few seashells and a lot of sea glass.
We were always in view of our ship, since the island is so small.
There I am, wading in the water looking for seashells.
I had heard about seaglass, but had never seen it before. I noticed little colored pieces of glass, and as I began to collect them I realized they were very smooth and didn't have any sharp edges.
Later, after we got home, we googled "seaglass" and found these are broken bottles, plates, cups, and even old medicine bottles that have been tumbling in the sea for 40-50 years until it becomes smooth. At some point, it washes toward the shore.
I spent about 20 minutes collecting seaglass and seashells, and little pieces of coral that came rolling in with the waves.
Here is some of the coral and seashells I found on Governors Beach:
And some of the seaglass I found
We collected sand in a baggie, and stashed our seashells, seaglass and coral in another baggie. (I brought plenty of baggies).
We dried off, and got back into our golf cart. Now we were headed to Jack's Shack. This is a restaurant/bar type place on the beach, and we had plans to meet some of our new friends there around lunchtime.
When we got to Jack's Shack, we realized this was a wonderful little place! Gift shop, clean restrooms, bar, food, beach, music.......And we were on a tiny little island in the middle of nowhere, without a care in the world. What more could we ask for??
Tim and I decided to rent chairs, and we found 2 chairs and an umbrella in a perfect spot on the beach. The chairs were $5.00 each, and the umbrella was $10.00. We decided Tim needed the umbrella, as he was going to burn if he sat in the sun too long. He was still pretty white from our long Kansas winter. I had spent some time fake-baking before we left, but Tim refused.
AHHH.......what a nice day this is!
While we were on the beach, Tim decided he wanted to return the golf cart so we wouldnt have to do it later.
I stayed with our chairs and our stuff, while Tim went off to return the cart. It was a short drive, maybe a half mile. Remember, Grand Turk is only 7 miles long, so everything is close!
Soon I saw my husband walking down the beach toward me, and I went to meet him and walk the rest of the way back with him.
We hung out and enjoyed the water and the beach at Jack's Shack, and when we got hungry, we went up to the deck, found a table and ordered some food.
The view from my chair as I ate lunch. What a lov-e-ly little place! You can see our blue beach chairs and umbrella on the beach by the water on the other side of the volleyball net.
It was yummy, and the first time I have ever had REAL jerk chicken! I loved it, and Tim especially loved the spicy dipping sauce that came with it.
Jack's Shack Jerk Chicken - with NO silverware! We just dug in!!
As we were finishing our lunch, another couple walked past our table and I overheard them talking about finding shade. The place was getting crowded and most of the tables were full by then, so we offered the couple our table, and told them we were just leaving. They were a very nice couple, and although I don't remember their names, I do remember they were from Oklahoma. We chatted with them for a few minutes, and I gave them a coupon for a free shot of rum at the bar. I had printed two before we left for the cruise. After we said goodbye, Tim and I went into the gift shop.
I found a magnet that said Grand Turk, and a Keychain that says TC (for Turks & Caicos Islands) and Tim paid for them for me.
Here is our magnet:
Tim and I collect the magnets from everywhere we go together,.......the keychain I threw in at the last minute....I couldn't help it!!
While we were in the gift shop, Norma and Brian came in, and we all looked around for a few minutes.
Back out in the sunshine, Norma and I pulled out our coupons we had brought for our free shot of rum at the bar. We handed them to "Jack" the very nice bartender. I talked to him for a minute, and I told him I recognized him from his Jacks Shack facebook page. I had recently friended his page, and he had replied with a nice message.
I handed him my free rum coupon, and he gave me TWO shots of rum. TWO!! Now, I don't drink much at all (maybe twice a year) but I was in the caribbean, and I was in a great mood. I grabbed both shots and walked back to our beach chairs. In the end I only drank one of the shots, and it was so strong I could only sip it slowly.
The 4 of us stayed at the beach for awhile longer. I couldn't believe how clear and blue the water was, and I couldn't believe how nice the day was. I was absolutely in heaven in Grand Turk. It was a beautiful little island. The atmosphere was GREAT! The music coming from Jack's Shack was reggae, and beachy music. I was loving life that day!
Norma and I in the water
And Tim and I in the water
Around 2:00 the 4 of us started our walk down the beach toward the pier. We all had to be back on the ship by 2:30, and we wanted to stop at Margaritaville first. Obviously we were not boarding that ship until the last possible minute!
We walked a short way down the beach, and walked into the Margaritaville area. They had a very nice swimming pool, swim-up bar, bar and restaurant.
This seemed to be a very nice place, and it was much more crowded and loud than Jacks Shack. There were a lot of people, and a lot going on in Margaritaville! We rinsed the sand off our feet in the little showers near the pool, and jumped in the pool. It felt just as good as the ocean!
We only stayed at Margaritaville for about 15-20 minutes before we had to head back to to the ship. The lines to get back on the ship weren't too long, and Tim and I headed back to our room as soon as we boarded.
Walking back down the long pier to the ship. Our ship, the DESTINY, is the one on the right:
I was soaking wet from the pool, so I went out on the balcony in our room to watch our sailaway from Grand Turk. We took a few pictures of our beloved Jacks Shack, we loved it there and we were so sad to go.........
Looking at Jacks Shack from our balcony on the ship:
I tried to wait for the ship to pull out of the port before I got into the shower, but it was taking too long and I was anxious to get out of my wet clothes. I thought I could shower quickly before we left the port, so I grabbed my carnival bathrobe and headed for the shower.
The water was cold again!!! Oh no!! I was really looking forward to a HOT shower, and not a repeat of the cold one I had that morning.
I yelled in to Tim that I only had COLD water AGAIN.
He yelled back that I should turn the knob the other way.
What other way?? I yelled back
Then I turned the knob THE OTHER WAY and there was instant HOT water!!!
Oh! That other way!!! Nice to know that, Thanks Tim!!
I honestly have no idea why I had trouble with the shower that day, because I did just fine the day before. Strange!
I honestly have no idea why I had trouble with the shower that day, because I did just fine the day before. Strange!
I was cold and so glad to have warm water, so I took a very long shower and the ship pulled away from Grand Turk while I was in there. I was a little sad we had to leave this beautiful little island.
After my nice, HOT, long shower, Tim had a shower and we decided we were hungry.
We went up to the Lido deck in search of food. I ended up eating at the grill, where I got a hotdog, french fries, and some chicken nuggets. I hate to say it, but I wasn't impressed with my meal. The fries were pretty good, but the nuggets were hard, and they didn't even taste good when I dipped them in the ranch dressing. The hotdog wasn't beef, and the bun was hard. Call me a food snob, I can take it..........
Tim got pizza, and he thought it was OK. Not good and not bad.
OK, so we were still a little hungry. We went back up to our room and looked at the room service menu.
We ordered sandwiches: I had a BLT and Tim got a Reubin. The food came within 15 minutes, and Tim tipped the person that brought it a few dollars (we always tipped for room service on the ship, although the food itself was free). We loved the sandwiches! Both were very good, and we were full.
At some point that afternoon, we heard an anouncement over the loud speaker. "Operation Bright Star" was called 3 times, but neither Tim or I had any idea what that meant. I asked a crew member later, and he told me "it was just a drill". Tim and I didn't believe him, but when we got home and I looked "operation brightstar" up, I see that it was either a medical emergency, or a drill. So the crew member may have been telling the truth after all.
It was almost 5:00PM and we knew we would not be hungry enough to go to dinner in the dining room at 6:00. We decided we would hang out in the room for the night, although we did look through our FUN TIMES for a show we might want to see. We didn't see anything really interesting, so we were happy to lay around and relax. After all, we were going to Half Moon Cay in the morning!!!
We did leave the room a few times that night. We went to the picture gallery and looked for our formal night pictures from the night before. We found our pictures, but we didn't buy them. We didn't LOVE them and we knew we had another formal night coming up to try again for good pictures.
I went to the gift shop and bought a few things: candy, sinus meds for Tim, and a cute pink and black "Carnival" t-shirt I just had to have!
At some point that evening I did 2 loads of laundry in the laundry room. I did a load of whites and a load of darks. It was $3.00 to wash and $3.00 to dry each load. YIKES, that was a little expensive. At least we had all clean clothes though.
Around 10:PM we were hungry again. We walked up to the lido deck and ran into Cassandra and her mom, Mary up on the deck. We talked for a few minutes and then Tim and I were back to our search for food. We found the dinner buffet was still open so we loaded trays with food, and carried the trays back to our room. We stopped at the drink station on the way to fill up our cups for the night.
When we got back to the room, there was a note from Norma and Brian. They would meet us on the Island tomorrow, and we didn't need to wait for them before we left the ship.
About Half Moon Cay (our next port stop in the morning), it's a very small island in the bahamas owned by Holland America and Carnival Cruise Lines. There are only about 50 people who live on Half Moon Cay, and they are caretakers. There is a small portion of the island that is used by the cruise lines, and the rest is wildlife.
We had heard that Half Moon Cay was supposed to be BEAUTIFUL (and it was!), and Tim and I had rented a cabana for the day so we could hang out all day on the beach and still be out of the sun if we wanted. After all of the cabanas were spoken for, Tim and I decided we would offer to share ours with our new friends if they wanted to join us for the day. We all agreed, and so we had plans to meet at the cabana the next morning.
Tim and I still needed to repack our beachbag for the next day, and I downloaded all of our pictures from our fun day in Grand Turk.
Y brought us fresh beach towels for the next day, and since we never left the room for very long that evening, he didn't turn down our bed or leave a towel animal that night. He did leave us our FUN TIMES newsletter for the next day.
Before I went to sleep that night, I went down to the internet cafe to use the computer again to message my best friend Christina. The internet was painfully slow, but I was back in the cabin and comfortably in bed within 30 minutes.
We decided not to fill out a room service card for breakfast, and we were both asleep by 11:00. It had been a very good and very long day!
Read about Day 4 HERE!!