|St Maarten Beach|
Before moving past the recent cruise identification process and discussing the trip activities, I wanted to post an observation and answer several of the questions I received.
First, let me encourage this type of escape and state how easy blending becomes. Many years ago in some of my initial escapes, I notice that if I was in somewhat of a large group of busy activity, it became very easy to be invisible. One of my early recollections of this was mall shipping in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Everyone around me was distracted with their own activities and not noticing me. A great confidence boost so I relaxed and enjoyed the moment.
On board the ship I was in sheer awe of its size, beauty, complexity, and details. The goal of the crew and cruise company is to keep everyone entertained and engaged. That they do! Thus it is easy to become centered in your experiences. There is a daily ship newsletter that has pages of activities and literally every minute has something going on. Think summer camp for adults.
Thus you are wrapped up in doing, seeing and experiencing every aspect of the ship, ports, and entertainment along with your other 6000 shipmates. Everyone is busy.
The bottom line - blending in is easy.
Rhonda Darling ask the following questions:
|Ship Pool Time|
Q: When you were at the pool, did you swim? If yes, how did you deal with your wig? (assuming that you wear one. If your hair is natural, oops!)
That is my natural hair and I did take full advantage of the adult pool area by getting in. I also enjoyed the beaches at St. Martin and Labadee, Haiti (Royal Caribbean’s private island). In all cases, it was to cool off and I did not get my hair totally wet, which could work for a wig as well. I did not want to go through the shampoo blow-dry process before dinner. It takes about an hour to wash, and blow dry my hair. Yes, finally mid week, I did my hair.
Q: Did you have any problems while ashore on the islands visited?
No problems at all. Puerto Rico had a two-tier re-entry. Port-side photo ID and then shipboard re-entry. There was no departing or reentry in St Martin other than the ships. I spent the day on St Martin, wondered, had a local cafe lunch and about two hours on the beach. In Puerto Rico, I walked around, did tourist stuff and took a cab back to the ship. Labadee is a small island and is like an extension of the ship. There is a tram provided that will take you to one of five beaches and a lunch (picnic style) is catered from the ship. There were excursions available (snorkeling, fishing, sailboat, zip-line, jet-ski), however I just enjoyed the beach with a lounge chair, umbrella and had lunch.
There are stories about less friendly islands like Jamaica, where there are places and individuals that may have problems with LGBT visitors. This island was not one of my ports. I would suggest doing research before and always explore tourist areas, shopping, and beaches that are suggested and safe. If you decide to skip a port, believe me, there is plenty to do on board the ship.
Q: Did you have any identity problems at all on the trip?
Never once did I have an identity problem on the ship or anywhere else. After receiving a new cruise card with my first initial, I did not use my full name again until I went through US Customs re-entry upon return in Ft. Lauderdale the last day.
A cruise vacation/trip creates lasting memories and fulfills fantasies. I highly recommend it as an escape adventure.