Ho Ho Ho – Merry Christmas from Charlotte Amalie on the Island of St Thomas USVI
This is a photo as we entered the harbour.
The Celebrity Mercury docked at 8am and at 8:30am there was a visit onboard by Santa Claus. All of the children onboard were excited to see Santa.
The ship was cleared by Customs and it was announced at 9am that we could go ashore. Karen and I had a late breakfast after most of the passengers had gone ashore. Our shore excursion did not start till 10:30am so there was no rush.
We took some photos of the harbour and town.
We opened our Christmas Gifts. Santa was very good to both of us this year.
At 10:30am we got off the ship and found our group for our shore excursion to Coral World. This is a two part excursion, the first part is to learn about and see the many different corals and fish of The Caribbean, the second part is a semi-submersible boat ride out to a coral reef.
The tour begins with a 15 minute taxi ride to Coral World. The taxi’s are unique in that they are pickup trucks that have been converted to hold about 20 passengers. Here is a photo.
We arrived at Coral World where we were given a map and began our self guided walk through the many exhibits.
We enjoyed the interactions with the Rainbow Lorikeets. I was a little concerned about getting pooped on so I did not encourage the Lorikeets to land on me, it was fun to watch as the birds landed on the other members of our tour.
We watched the sharks and the sting rays in the shallow water tank.
Then watched the Green Sea Turtles in the turtle pool.
Next we went out to the Under Sea Observatory Tower, which as you can see in this photo is a structure that is out in the ocean and you can go down to the bottom and observe the fish and corals.
After the Observatory Tower, we came back to dry land and found this Iguana wandering on the sidewalk.
We then went into another building called Caribbean Reef Encounter.
There was a Touch Tank where you can actually touch the starfish.
Next it was time for us to walk a short distance and to board the Semi-Sub. The Semi-Sub has a deep hull with seating and windows for underwater viewing.
We saw many different fish, but the most prevalent were the Sergeant Majors. Named after the military stripes on their bodies.
And this odd fish, I can’t remember the name of this but will look it up when we get back home and have unlimited internet access. The top of its head is very odd.
One of the divers, dressed in a Santa suit, brought a Sea urchin to the window for us to look at.
On the ride back to the ship, we saw a fleet of school buses. Karen and I thought we might just stay here on the Island and apply for work driving one of the buses.
We were dropped off back at the ship, but before getting back onboard, we took a walk along the main street and did some shopping and went for a ride on the cable car. The St Thomas Sky Ride takes you up to the top of the peak overlooking the harbour.
The views are spectacular from the top.
As we were walking towards the ship I took this photo.
We took some photos as dusk fell on the port city of Charlotte Amalie.
For dinner we dined in the Palm Springs Cafe. There were several interesting fruit and butter carvings.
We untied and left the dock at 6pm and are now heading for St Croix another Island in the group of US Virgin Islands.
I took lots of photos today, if you would like to see all of them, please click on my FLICKR site.