Wednesday, March 20, 2013

NCL Epic Day 5

Finally our St. Thomas day had arrived. We woke up early again, packed our beach bag, had breakfast in the buffet and were some of the first ones off the ship. I had the right island this time and after a twenty minute taxi ride in the passenger vans they have there, we arrived at the Red Hook marina. We were early and so we grabbed a cup of tea at the coffee shop and waited at the pier for our Captain.
He came along shortly and we all boarded the Rumbaba, a 37.5 foot racing sailboat. It had great reviews online and it was even better than expected. The crew was fabulous and kind, the boat sleek and stable and the food superb. We originally had planned to sail and snorkel around St. John, but the bad weather in the NE had caused huge swells in the caribbean that had killed people earlier in the week so instead, we went to Christmas Cove and snorkeled there. This was the first time the kids had snorkeled and we were excited for them. The weather was cool and overcast, though and so the water was cold and the colors muted. Davis was freezing and done in a few minutes and Sam kept losing his flippers. Still, we made them swim to the cove and we were rewarded with a fabulous view of an eagle ray. The fish were gorgeous and the coral was really pretty too.
After our snorkel we had some delicious appetizers on the boat followed by an amazing piece of grilled tuna with salad, pasta and grilled bread. Yum. They had a full bar down below and I continued with my weeklong love affair with rum. The kids had mango juice.
When we were sated, we sailed over to another snorkel spot with much bigger fish. Michael and I went for a second snorkel while the captain took the kids in a dingy over to the beach to look for turtles and shells. Sam found an amazing conch shell still rosy pink inside. They loved their little dingy ride.
It was an amazing adventure and I am so glad we booked with them. We took the long sail home and they showed us lots of private islands and told stories along the way. We took a taxi back to the Epic and showered and cleaned up and rested.
We had dinner at Shanghai restaurant again and then the kids went straight to the kids club. They loved it so much! Michael and I shopped a bit and tried on cologne and perfume and then went to the ice bar. It was a bar totally made of ice. The whole room didn't get above 17 degree F. They gave us gloves and coats and I even put gloves on my feet since I was wearing flip flops. I was miserably cold the whole time, but Michael enjoyed it and it was definitely an experience we can talk about in years to come. We ended our evening in the Bliss lounge with a martini while we watched some other cruises play a game show. It was a wonderful day.

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