Friday, January 30, 2015

Badmington duo and home to Cyprus

We spent the day in Crawley doing a bit of last minute shopping and around 3.00pm it started to snow so we popped into a local pub  to warm up and have a glass of wine. 

We were sitting quietly next to a couple when the gentlemen asked us if we knew where a local store was, we told him that we were not from the area so we could not help them. We got chatting and they turned out to  be a very interesting couple, Elliot was from the North East of England and Ava was from Sweden and in their younger days they were both badminton champions.

  Mandy and Ava were soon chatting away in Swedish and they told us that they had now retired and lived on the Algarve in Portugal. Eva's career can be found at  Eva Twedberg. ........and then after 18 days on the road we flew home to Cyprus

Day 17 - Returning to London

Our Thomson flight from Montego bay to London was delayed some two hours but with a tailwind of over 100 mph we soon made up the time and the flight lasted just over 7 hours and we got back to London Gatwick around 7.00am local time. 

The first thing  we noticed was how cold it was,  hovering around 8 degrees , a huge 20 degree difference from Jamacia. We then took the short taxi ride to our hotel where we crashed out both dog tired. In the evening we popped over to the local pub, The  Gatwick Manor for a drink and a bite to eat.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day 16- The long trip home

We left Negril and drove along the coast to Montego Bay airport, we checked in our luggage and treated ourselves to the comforts of the executive lounge before the 10 hour flight to London. 

We are looking at the departures board and noting that the flights to New York are all cancelled due to the snowstorm. We know that feeling from last years vacation.

Day 15 -Negril - A fond farewell









Our final day in Negril began will a trip out to sea on a Hobycat, Kevon, our guide took  just the two of for a trip to the local reef and Booby Cay Island.

 We managed to see one last wonderful sunset from the beach.  In the evening we went for our final meal at "The Feathers restaurant" and we both agreed it was  exceptional and as a bonus they made a mean Irish coffee. ....We have had a wonderful time at Couples swept away and the staff have been outstanding.



Sunday, January 25, 2015

Day 14 - One Love bar bus

The day started with Rob going to the gym and Mandy doing her lengths in the impressive swimming pool.

 In the afternoon we joined the "One Love " bar bus that visit 7 local bars. Our fellow passengers were 36 Americans and Canadians and it was standing room only on the bus. The final bar that we visited was set on a cliff over and gave superb views of a breath taking sunset.  As we pulled back into our hotel, our driver, Lambert, announced "Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the British Embassy "













Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day 13- Negril- Beach day

Another beautiful day here in Jamacia and we started it off with a lovely breakfast of fresh fruit in the "Patios". 

We then took a stroll down the beach and met some interesting local  characters, most of them wanted to sell you trinkets or something to smoke but they were all very pleasant and we exchanged some light hearted banter.

After  tasty  lunch of Red Snapper we settled down for a relaxing day on the beach and watched a glorious sunset...In the evening we were joined by eight American guests from Ohio for a buffet dinner poolside.












 We then watched the evening's show which included a limbo dancer, contortionist an a dance troupe telling the history of Jamaican music.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Day 12- Negril- A long day


We started the day off with a visit to the gym/pool to work off some of our recent indulgences. We then took a boat out to a local reef for an afternoon of snorekeling , followed by a long, slow walk down 7 mile beach.In the evening we went to the Thai restaurant called "Lemongrass"  for a nice meal in a lovely setting. We then watched the staff put on an entertaining  and finally we ended up in the piano bar for a sing song.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day 11 -Negril - Couples Swept away











We started the day off with an orientation tour of the Couples swept away complex with local guy Huit. First up was the very impressive sports complex which is huge. 










We then visited the six restaurants that are available on site. After a spot of lunch of sushi we bumped into 6 Americans in the sea, they ordered us some drinks and we all had a good old natter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 10- Montego bay to Negril - Jamacia









We left the ship at noon and took the 70 minute drive to Negril where we Checked into The Couples Swept away resort. We had a bite to eat, unpacked and hit the gorgeous beach with its powder soft sand. 







Of course we had to have a dip in the clear warm waters In the evening we watched the beautiful sunset over the Caribbean and had a quiet evening meal in the Patios restaurant.

Day 9 - Georgetown - Grand Caymen








We arrived in Georgetown early and transferred boat which took us out to sandbank called Stingray City, snorkelled and fed squid to rays. This was a unique experience having so many Rays around at the same time.




 







We then popped over to Tikki beach, had sandwich and conch fritters.We had swim and then returned to Georgetown and Went for "Hurricane force 4" cocktails at "Breezes bar" overlooking dock. 










Back on board the Thomson Dream we went to see a Michael Jackson themed show.






Day 8 - at sea












After 3 busy days it was time to kick back, relax and to try to take all we had seen and experienced in the last three days. The ship's bartenders held a demonstration of their skills at making cocktails on the pool deck. In the evening we went down to the Orion restaurant for a meal followed by the waiters and kitchen staff parade complete with Alaska bake.


 










We then made our way up to the show lounge to watch the ships take on popular musicals and we thought it was a superb show.



Day 7 - Havana -Cuba










Several months ago we made contact with a personal tour guide in Cuba and after Several e-mails we booked a tour with him and at 9.00 we met Radik outside the Cruise terminal and we were so happy that we chose this particular guide. First of all there was his car, a Red 1951 Lincoln Lido convertible and secondly Radek who turned out to be a super host and guide with a tremendous knowledge of Havana. 










Our first stop of the day was the home of the famous writer, Ernest Hemingway. The house stands in beautifully lush grounds with spectacular views of the Havana Skyline. The house itself is set in a time capsule and looks just like the day Hemmingway left, even his clothes can be seen hanging in the closet. We then moved on to see the impressive marble statue "Christo" that overlooks the harbour.












 Next stop was the huge fort of San phillipe with its huge walls and double moat, this fort was never attacked, just its size put off any intended raiders. We then took a break for lunch at EL Canonaz restaurant where we enjoyed a superb Fish meal and the local rum based drink, Mojito. Back on the road we headed down the famous sea drive of the Malecon and its famous old hotels. We also visited Revolution Square, the impressive main train station and stopped off at a tobacco shop to buy a few of Cuba's famous cigars. All to soon it was time to bid farewell to Radek after a six hour tour of the city and thank him for such a wonderful day in his beautiful classic car. 












We returned to the ship, went up on deck and slipped out of Havana as the sunset. We both agreed that it had been one of the most enjoyable cities we had ever visited.










 At night we went to see the hugely talented entertainer, Fogwell Flax.

Day 6 - Havana - Cuba


















We arrived in the capital city of Cuba, Havana, after clearing immigration and customs, We began exploring this fascinating city. The streets were bustling with all the old classic cars that the city is so famous for. Directly opposite the terminal building was an exhibition of bears representing the countries of the World. 













We then began walking the streets of old Havana and our first stop was the impressive old capital building which houses a museum to the cuban revolution and an old tank stands outside as a reminder of those historical days. There we so many impressive building and street characters to take in and photograph.The local people were very friendly and helpful and we never felt harassed. We then wandered over to the square where the crumbling Cathedral stands and once again a number of colorful characters were on show.



















 We then went for a lovely meal at Dona Eutimia restaurant, which is just around the corner from the Cathedral and we sat outside as trio of wandering troubadours played relaxing background music as we ate our meal of shredded lamb and refried beans washed down with a couple of glasses of red wine. We took one last look at the old cathedral, now lit up for the evening before taking the short stroll back to the ship.