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Cruising to Barcelona

May 3, 2016 1 comment

Our cruise left the Houston Cruise  Port Terminal on April 16.  It was the last cruise from this port, which is going to be converted to a container terminal. Our ship was the Norwegian Cruise Lines “Jade”, which was repositioning to Europe.  A seperate blog post details our extensive dining experience.

We made a quick stop in Miami to pick up more passengers.   Our first real port of call was St. Thomas,  VI where we got off for a walk before 6 days at sea.  A ride up the cable car gave some good views of the surroundings,  and our ship.

We joined with the cruisecritics.com crew and had a great time.   There were over 100 of us,  from around the world.   We even celebrated joint birthdays with Romola and Jennifer.   Special thanks to Viet for including us!

Our next stop was Funchal, Madeira where we had a nice excursion.   Our first stop was at the market,  with the usual collection of plants,  veggies, meat and seafood.   Always interesting to see what’s local!  Then, a short stop to taste the local Madeira wine. We even took a ride on their famous toboggan!

Then on to Barcelona.   I managed to get a picture of the Rock of Gibraltar,  even though it was late and I only had my small camera.   Then on to Barcelona,  where I’m sure new adventures await us.

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Serial in St Thomas

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Not all people that live here are poor

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Or ship on the left

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Or new friends Dan and Veronica

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Cliffs at Funchal

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Fishing village colors

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In the fish market

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Flower merchant in traditional clothes

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In the Madeira winery

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Living on the side of a hill

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Hang on!

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Vietnam and his new wife, who had a birthday

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Jennifer's birthday on the same day as romola

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Gibraltar at dusk

Caribbean cruise on the Jade

December 25, 2015 Leave a comment

We do a lot of cruising,  but never on Norwegian.  So when we saw a very low price on a cruise from Houston,  we decided to give “freestyle cruising” a try.   Especially since they offered upgraded dining.

The ship was the Jade, and we had an inside cabin.  It was small, but for our purpose just fine.   The room attendant was attentive and did a nice job.   The wood finish looked quite rich and attractive.  Our only complaint was location, right above one of the night clubs, made for noisy evenings.

The food was very good, especially the upgraded dining.  No problems there,  although the open dining can get quite busy.  The one problem we did have was that the Asian restaurant used MSG, which Romola is allergic to.   So we skipped that restaurant.

Overall though,  we enjoyed the ship and her crew.  So much, we’re going from Houston to Barcelona on her in April.

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The NFL Jade

 

 

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Categories: Traveling Tags: , , , ,

A tour of our pad site

For a lot of reasons, we signed up for an annual RV pad site.  It is located near Lake Conroe, just north of Houston.  Conroe itself has a full complement of stores, restaurants, medical facilities and so on and the Woodlands is just down the road.  So we have pretty well everything we could need and want here.

The park itself (Thousand Trails, in Wllis, TX) has undergone some extensive renovations.  New sporting areas, new pool area, new docks, and new sites have really given this place a new look.  And the hot tub is only a few hundred yards from our site….  So we have a pleasant place to live that is not too far from Dallas (4 hour drive), has all facilities nearby, and close to Houston IAH Airport and cruise ship terminals.  And we can safely leave our RV home here when we go on trips, like our upcoming Europe cruise.

Our pad is located in the back, amongst a row of trees so we get some shade.  Important during these summer months!  So far, we have not done any site improvements, that will happen later.  We have a one year lease, and can extend it if we find we like it.  Here is a quick tour of some park highlights.

Boat docks

Boat docks, has about 20 boat slips

Boat launching area

Boat launching area, fish cleaning station on right

Swimming pool cabanas, each with a fridge!

Swimming pool cabanas, each with a fridge!

Pool side shade

Pool side shade

Pool area

Pool area

Miniature golf course

Miniature golf course

Tennis and pickelball courts

Tennis and pickelball courts

Basketball courts

Basketball courts

No RV? Fear not, there are cabins

No RV? Fear not, there are cabins

A different angle of our site

A different angle of our site, our car parked in front