Monthly Musings: June

Before you know it, the flowers are blooming, the sun’s out to stay, and the boots in the shoe closet are being traded for sandals and flip-flops again. I feel as if the arrival of June surprised everybody, mostly because of the weird weather we’ve been having. It’s hard to believe it’s already June considering there was an ice storm in Toronto about a month back. But obviously, nobody is complaining about this change we’re seeing. June is always an exciting time of year. It’s when the weather is nice and warm, but still not scorching hot to the point where you’re afraid to leave the comfort of your air conditioner at home. There’s all this energy in the air – anticipation for the summer ahead, a longing for weekends spent at the cottage. I view June as a transition period. The precursor to the summer months. The precursor to…

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Ahh-Ruba

Ahhhhh-ruba. The perfect name for the perfect place. This was one of the best ways to finish off the trip. It was the star on the tree, the shiny crisp bow on the present. Aruba, one of the ABC islands, is 20 miles long and has a population of about 103,000. It became its own country in 1986 after many, many years of colonial rule, but still remains to be a Dutch protectorate. What was so great about Aruba was that there was a lot to see on land, a lot to do on the beaches (all the beaches in Aruba are public beaches – there are no such thing as private beaches), and a lot to do underwater. The best of 3 worlds for travellers, you could say. For this island, we chose to do yet another tour because we wanted to hit a lot of the attractions and…

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Colourful Curacao

Curacao, Curacao, oh Curacao. What a gem. Seriously. Whether you know the island from the famous liquor Blue Curacao or you’ve heard of the ABC Islands mentioned by travel agents, this island is definitely worth paying a visit to. In 1634, the island was occupied by the Dutch. Today, it is an independent country but the Dutch influences do not go unnoticed. Dutch is Curacao’s official language and the currency is the Netherlands Antillean guilder, also commonly known as the florin. Even through the architecture can you see the Dutch influences. I was excited for this one because not only was there a lot to see and do but there was a lot of TIME to do all the “seeing” and “doing”, which isn’t something you have a lot of during port days. The all-aboard time wasn’t until 9:30 pm later that night so we decided that after the ship…

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O Holy Trinidad

Trinidad was one of the ports that I was looking forward to, mostly because I’ve heard lots about its exotic culture and its renowned steel pan melodies. I’ve seen the local cultural dress, heard the music, and seen the colourful Carnival celebrations. A little bit about Trinidad before we dive into the day’s activities first. Trinidad was founded by Columbus in 1498 and it remained under Spanish rule until 1797 when it then fell under British rule. In 1889, both Trinidad and Tobago became a single two-island crown colony. Trinidad was the earliest-settled island of the Caribbean and since it was first inhabited, its long history is the reasons behind its many different cultural infusions from Spain, France, Britain, India, China and Africa. Today, the island has a population of about 1.2 million. Trinidad and Tobago are two separate islands, but they’re treated and seen as one single country. Interesting…

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Beach Bum in Barbados

Barbados was really the land of sun if you were to ask me. The king of Caribbean vacation destinations. The sunniest of suns. It’s where you were to go if all you wanted was a drink and a tan. So with this in mind, we knew the beaches would be good, and after a bit of research, we realized there wasn’t too much to tour on land. So for this one, we skipped the Princess tour and decided we were just going to spend a day at the beach by ourselves. That’s all we really wanted for this port. Before docking, we talked to the shore excursion officers for a bit and they did mention that there was a pink sand beach on the island – Crane Beach. The sand was pink because of the small grains of crushed red shells mixed in with the powdery white sand, which gave…

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