Seabourn Quest Fort Lauderdale to Fort Lauderdale December 2012
December 14, 2012 We departed for Fort Lauderdale on Friday morning. The flight we were on had live TV coverage and we watched in horror as the event that occurred at the Elementary School in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown, CT unfolded. Suffice it to say we were heartbroken over this unimaginable tragedy and we could think of little else for the next week or so.
Our cruise did not depart from Fort Lauderdale until December 19th. We stayed at a Weston and Eleanor was a good sport as I enjoyed some bird photography at nearby reserves. I purchased a new camera just prior to our trip and was anxious to learn the ins and outs of the controls before we began our 90 day cruise experience - the first 18 days around the Caribbean on the Seabourn Quest, immediately followed by a 72 day cruise around South America on the Regent Mariner. Here is a LINK to an updated gallery of birds I have photographed in Florida over the past three years.
December 19, 2012 The Quest is the newest of Seabourn's ships and is for the most part identical to the Sojourn and Odyssey which we cruised on over the Holidays in 2010 and 2011. Our previous two Holiday Cruises were from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles via the Panama Canal, whereas this one was limited to the Caribbean.
Our primary objective for this cruise was to read, relax and enjoy the warm weather. We had previously vacationed on a number of the Caribbean Islands we would be visiting and we had just returned from a wonderful 5 week stay on St Barts.
We recognized several of the crew members, but not as many as on our prior Seabourn cruises. Our first three days were at sea before reaching Aruba on Sunday. We walked about the area and were pleased to find it very clean with lots of high end shopping, etc.
On Monday we were on the Island of Bonaire. We vacationed here a number of times about 25 years ago and it is still quiet and for the most part undeveloped. It is very clean. Eleanor walked about the town and I participated in two tours, the first to a butterfly garden which was just so-so and in the afternoon on a bus tour around the southern part of the island which offered a couple of photo opportunities including one of an osprey desperately trying to haul a large fish out of the surf. It finally had to give up.
We enjoyed the cruise but decided against going ashore at most of the islands on the itinerary which we had visited before. Exceptions were St Barts on New Year's Eve where we walked through Gustavia in the late afternoon and wished several restaurant and shop owners we know a Happy New Year; and Old San Juan which we found to be very clean and attractive. We really enjoy the ship when most of the other passengers are ashore and we pretty much have the pool area to ourselves.
This cruise was in preparation for an extensive 72 day cruise around South America which we will begin at the conclusion of this one on January 7th.