Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 2 - Meeting the msy Wind Surf

So, Sunday in Bridgetown and thankfully we were only staying 5 minutes from the pier as there was an International Marathon underway across the island. Traffic was a bit tied up but nothing like being in Toronto during a marathon!

Once we arrived at the pier we were surprised to find that the msy Wind Surf and RCI Adventure of the Seas were the only ships in port and the cruise ship terminal was fairly quiet. The terminal has a small shopping area with duty-free shops and souvenirs. We decided to check-in with Windstar and then head back to the shops as we were going to be in port until midnight.

When we approached the check-in area the Windstar rep asked us if we knew our cabin number, gave us a tag for our luggage and sent us off to security. Wow! What a difference sailing with a small ship cruise line. No line ups. No paperwork. What a breeze. After going through security we stood in line waiting for the van to transfer us around the pier to the Wind Surf. Unfortunately we couldn't see the Wind Surf as security was right next to the pier where the RCI Adventure of the Seas was docked. We watched the steady stream of passengers returning from a day of shopping instead. And it was a steady stream. I think more passengers walked past us in just 10 minutes than there were all together on the Wind Surf!

After just a few minutes we had a van load of Windstar passengers and a van ready to take us around the pier. Upon arrival at the ship we were welcomed on board and sent up a deck to the Lounge, where the staff was waiting our arrival with a photographer and a cocktail!

We checked in without ever needing our tickets, so all the drama of electronic documents is really unnecessary. We NEVER showed our printed e-ticket, not once. After handing over our passports and posing for our ID photos we were shown to our cabin.

What a surprise. Glen and I had been kidding around about the expected size of our cabin after some very interesting experiences in New York City. But, to the contrary, the cabin was quite spacious - with room for everything we'd brought, and then some. It was beautifully appointed with a newly renovated bathroom, flat screen TV, iPod docking station and DVD player.

We unpacked and did a quick tour of the ship to get our bearings then headed back to the Terminal to do some shopping. I was on a hunt for a new sunhat and some new flip flops. I didn't expect to find much at the port other than some souvenirs for the kids, but I did manage to find the MOST comfortable pair of flip flops ever! It was like walking on pillows! With the happiness every woman gets from a brand new pair of shoes, we headed back to the ship for Teatime.

Every afternoon, the Compass Rose Bar served Tea. Very civilized. So, Glen and I sat out in the baking hot Barbados sun, reading our books, enjoying tea and sandwiches. What a lovely way to start our holiday!

At 5:30 pm we had the compulsory lifeboat drill and I couldn't resist taking a photo of Glen in his life jacket! After we were all accounted for and briefed on the safety protocols, it was back to the bar to watch the sunset and a cold beer.

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