November 2, 2015 (By Angela)
Our first port was Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas), U. S. Virgin Islands (USVI). One of the first things I learned about this port-of-call is that some many years ago, someone made a clerical error and mistakenly copied the name of this port city with an “e” at the end of Amalie; it should have been an “a.” Despite this spelling error, pronounce the name Charlotte Amalie as if spelled Charlotte Amalia. “The official (and original) pronunciation is Charlotte ‘Amalya.'”
Though he was perfectly well when we boarded on Saturday, my sweet hubby managed to somehow come down with a head cold just two days into our voyage, which means he got sick on the second sea day, so he was not “up to snuff” when we arrived at Charlotte Amalie on Tuesday. Realizing that he was not going to be up to doing a lot of walking and yet wanting to see this beautiful island, I purchased on-board tickets for the Skyride up to Paradise Point. I’m so glad that I did; it was $40 well spent. Jim did not make it even 45 minutes walking around town. It had rained slightly just as we disembarked from the ship, and that only made the heat steamy. Wet, hot, and not feeling well, he was not having fun.
We found a taxi to take us to office of the Skyride, stood in line to board, and then enjoy the amazing views during a quiet and relatively cool ride up to the highest point on the island: Paradise Point. The service, food, and WiFi at the top were not so good, but there were killer views!
Back down and on board again, Jim went to rest while I enjoyed the views from one of the decks. There is the West Indies Company, and back behind it is the Skyride from which we have just returned.
Long before Jim and I sailed away on the Getaway, we chose one main excursion that we wanted to do on our trip. After considering the three ports, the options in terms of events, activity levels, and cost, he and I decided a low-key outing that included time on a catamaran suited us for this cruise (Jim has visions in his head of owning a boat and roaming in that way at some point). The option that appealed to us the most was the 5.5 hour excursion that would give us a total of about an hour and a half cruising the Virgin Islands in a catamaran with the rest of the time spent lazing on a beach and playing in bright, blue waters. This was the Jost Van Dyke Island excursion from our port in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We boarded Rebel Yell only a stone’s throw from our ship and motored out into the waters of the Carribbean surrounding the Virgin Islands, both BVI and USVI, as Jost Van Dyke Island is very near the islands that make up the USVI. Luckily, on Wednesday Jim was feeling better, and I was still feeling pretty well as I was just beginning to take the cold my dear husband so loving shared with me (I did not have it as badly as he did though).
Bright and early (7:30ish), Jim and I boarded the catamaran Rebel Yell, captained by a competent young woman, and left the port of Tortola, BVI, and the NCL Getaway in our wake.
Jim and I enjoyed the ride and the sights as we traveled through the Virgin Islands on our way to Jost Van Dyke (see GPS map at top of post).
The time went so quickly; before we knew it, we had arrived at White Bay, Jost Van Dyke Island, BVI. The captain pulled the boat right up to the beach; we may have stepped in inches of water going ashore. It was time for fun in the sand, sun, and sea for him and me!
All morning long and into the afternoon, we relaxed and enjoyed our time together in an island paradise. This was our favorite day of the trip!
After getting a “Pain Killer,” the drink supposedly made famous by Soggy Dollar Bar, it was time to prepare to board Rebel Yell for another awesome ride back to Tortola.
Our final port of the trip was Nassau, Bahamas, but we chose not to get off the ship in Nassau as “we’d been there, done that.” It became like another sea day for us, but it was an exciting day with a special and unexpected activity on board. That is another post for another day.