Tag Archives: Photography

A Stop In Cozumel

Waterfront area near the cruise terminal in Cozumel, Mexico

We don’t usually get too excited about Cozumel, because we have been there a number of times and have done most of the touristy things. We don’t go to the beach, so that leaves out a lot of activities.

Sunrise in Cozumel, Mexico aboard Norwegian Prima

On this recent cruise, Cozumel ended up being our only stop, so we decided to at least get off the ship and have a drink or two. Thanks to The Google, I located a bar and restaurant called The Thirsty Cougar which was a short walk from the cruise dock.

The Thirsty Cougar Bar in Cozumel, Mexico
The Thirsty Cougar Bar in Cozumel, Mexico
The Thirsty Cougar Bar in Cozumel, Mexico

My usual Mexican libation is a Paloma instead of the traditional Margarita. A Paloma is made with tequila and grapefruit soda, and I like the combination. The Thirsty Cougar also does an awesome Margarita, as I was assured by our friends who sampled some. They also do a mean Nacho platter!

Guitar players entertaining at The Thirsty Cougar Bar in Cozumel, Mexico
Guitar players entertaining at The Thirsty Cougar Bar in Cozumel, Mexico
Guitar players entertaining at The Thirsty Cougar Bar in Cozumel, Mexico

When visiting Cozumel on a Norwegian ship, it docks in the downtown area where a lot of the restaurants are. Many of the other lines dock at a different terminal about 3 miles away. There are restaurants there, too. But in my mind The Thirsty Cougar might just be worth the taxi fare! πŸ™‚

Waterfront area near the cruise terminal in Cozumel, Mexico
Waterfront area near the cruise terminal in Cozumel, Mexico
Waterfront area near the cruise terminal in Cozumel, Mexico
Waterfront area near the cruise terminal in Cozumel, Mexico
Waterfront area near the cruise terminal in Cozumel, Mexico
Waterfront area near the cruise terminal in Cozumel, Mexico
My Friends Call Me Chip. Waterfront area near the cruise terminal in Cozumel, Mexico

Photos from this most recent trip are here.

Wandering St. Martin

Oasis of the Seas and Celebrity Beyond in Saint Martin

On the island of St. Martin, it had been a few years since we took the time to visit the capital of Philipsburg, so we took the water taxi from the cruise port and spent a few hours there. While the buildings show a hint of old Dutch architecture. we find that most of the businesses are bars, jewelry stores run by non-St. Martians, and hotels. Go to the beach or shop is about it. Or take pictures. πŸ™‚

Riding the ferry between the cruise port and downtown Phillipsburg, Saint Martin

St. Martin is best experienced on an island tour with an experienced guide, a trip to a nice beach or a lunch at a restaurant on the French side. We have done this many times in the past and it is a much better time! We just didn’t want to do it this time.

Riding the ferry between the cruise port and downtown Phillipsburg, Saint Martin
Hats. Phillipsburg, Saint Martin
Phillipsburg, Saint Martin
Phillipsburg, Saint Martin
Phillipsburg, Saint Martin
Phillipsburg, Saint Martin
Phillipsburg, Saint Martin
Phillipsburg, Saint Martin
Phillipsburg, Saint Martin
Phillipsburg, Saint Martin

A Little Bit of St. Kitts

Port Zante Marina. Basseterre, Saint Kitts

St. Kitts is another of those islands we’ve been to numerous times, and more often than not choose to stay on or close to the ship instead of trudging around the island with the rest of the tourists. This is another place where we got off the ship long enough to stretch our legs, visit a store we wanted to go to, and take a few photos. It’s easy to spend an hour or so then get back to the ship before all the pool chairs are claimed! πŸ˜‰

Holland America Rotterdam and Celebrity Constellation in Basseterre, Saint Kitts
Shades of Lieutenant Ilia (Star Trek reference)? Mannequins. Basseterre, Saint Kitts
Shades of Lieutenant Ilia (Star Trek reference)? Mannequins. Basseterre, Saint Kitts
Basseterre, Saint Kitts

Good Morning, San Juan!

Arriving in San Juan, Puerto Rico aboard Celebrity Constellation

San Juan, Puerto Rico is our favorite cruise ship destination, and for many reasons. We love walking around Old San Juan and have discovered a number of interesting nooks and crannies, some fun shops with local wares, as well as a few restaurants to get some local cuisine.

Passing Castillo San Felipe del Morro on approach to San Juan, Puerto Rico aboard Celebrity Constellation

But the highlight of any visit to San Juan is sailing past Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Also referred to simply as El Morro (The Promontory), it is a citadel (or fortress) built between 16th and 18th centuries at the entrance of San Juan harbor.

Arriving in San Juan, Puerto Rico aboard Celebrity Constellation

Most sailings from Florida arrive in San Juan in the late morning or early afternoon, as it is often the first port and it takes a couple of days to sail there. As it happened on this most recent visit, our 7am arrival coincided with sunrise, and I just happened to be up early enough to hit the outside decks in time. I was rewarded with a fabulous sunrise and wonderful early light on the buildings of the city.

Passing the US Coast Guard Station while arriving in San Juan, Puerto Rico aboard Celebrity Constellation

We spent some time off the ship and walking around, and I’ll highlight those photos in another post or two.

Passing Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Regional Airport during our arrival in San Juan, Puerto Rico aboard Celebrity Constellation
Arriving in San Juan, Puerto Rico aboard Celebrity Constellation

What Are You Taking Pictures Of?

Dining Room ceiling, Celebrity Constellation

We were sitting at breakfast one morning, waiting for our food. I was looking up at the dining room ceiling and decided to take a few pictures. A really nice man at the table next to me turned and asked, “could I see what you were taking pictures of?” I showed him the screen on my camera, and I can’t remember exactly what he said, but it was something like “fascinating” or “interesting” or “excuse me I need to go now.” Just kidding about the last one. πŸ˜‰

Dining Room ceiling, Celebrity Constellation
Dining Room ceiling, Celebrity Constellation
Dining Room ceiling, Celebrity Constellation

Chasing Shadows

Interior hallway of Biltmore House

Like most of us, I’m always on the lookout for interesting shadows. Here are a few from our recent visit to Biltmore.

Connected or disconnected? Biltmore House

One of the things that fascinates me about photography is that often the best photographs are the ones that require the least “work.” In terms of both effort and of processing.

Exterior lamp. Biltmore House
Lamp. Biltmore House
Grain cradle shadows on the wall of the Village Hotel at Biltmore
Ceiling light fixture in the hallway of the Village Hotel at Biltmore House and Gardens
Trails around Bass Lake on the Biltmore Estate.

A Few More Fuzzy Photos

Morning on the beach. Carolina Beach, North Carolina

Monte enjoyed my motion blur photo from a couple of days ago so I thought I would serve up a few more. Sometimes the camera moves, sometimes the subject moves.

Lots of motion blur here today as we await Ian’s arrival. It’s been rainy, breezy and chilly – a good day to work on photos and watch Formula 1 practice! Ian keeps angling further east of us, which is good for us but unfortunately not so good for someone else. Should be by us by morning, hopefully!

Morning on the beach. Carolina Beach, North Carolina
Morning on the beach. Carolina Beach, North Carolina

A Special Treat: Sail Away From the Helipad

On the day we left Bermuda, we along with “several hundred of our closest friends” were invited to experience Sail Away from the helipad. It is the second time we got to do this, the previous time was on a cruise sailing from Barbados.

On most cruise ships, the helipad is off-limits to everyone but crew. A few of the larger ships do allow passengers on the helipad when conditions are safe. Someone always has to do the “Titanic” thing on the bow.

Generally though, sail away is by invitation only. I asked the Captain’s Club hostess how people were chosen, and she kinda answered that there was no magic formula and that the number was determined by the captain. But I do know that our past-passenger status with Celebrity – high but nowhere near the highest! – had to have helped. It was a fun time, I got a few photos and we had some free champagne-like wine. It is always a treat, and we enjoyed the experience!

The National Museum of Bermuda

The National Museum of Bermuda explores the maritime and island history of Bermuda. The maritime museum is located within the grounds of the fortress keep of the former Royal Naval Dockyard.

The Commissioner’s House is used to display a number of exhibitions. The basement shows Bermuda’s Defence Heritage, a display about Bermuda’s defenses and fortifications since 1612, and the role of local forces in World War I and World War II (this is devoted only to the British aspect of Bermuda’s naval and military history, although there is a separate exhibit devoted to the United States bases). The pillared hall is site of a two-story History of Bermuda mural by the Bermudian artist Graham Foster. The main floor has a number of themes related to Bermuda’s history including slavery, immigration, and tourism. One room is dedicated to the history of the Bermuda Race. The upper floor contains collections of maps, books, coins, maritime art, and exhibits concerning activities of the Royal Navy and the US Forces, specifically during World War II. Other buildings show shipwreck artifacts, local watercraft, or are under renovation.

Other outbuildings house various exhibits. The Queen’s Exhibition Hall/1850 Ordnance House contained a display pertaining to underwater archeology. The building known as the Boat Loft contains historic local watercraft, a collection of vintage outboard motors, and a fascinating two-story clock mechanism.

Royal Naval Dockyard

Most cruise ships that visit Bermuda dock or tender at Royal Naval Dockyard, which sits at the very northwestern tip of the island. Originally established as a base for Britain’s Royal Navy, the Dockyard occupies a strategic location in the Atlantic and has played a role in many naval operations, including a key role in the War of 1812, when the British blockade of American ports was orchestrated from Bermuda.

Today the Dockyard is primarily a marina and shipping port, complete with a requisite shopping areas and restaurants, including the ubiquitous Diamonds International. The “shopping mall” was a disappointing collection of t-shirt shops and souvenir stands, a far cry from the high end shops on Front Street in Hamilton. We wasted too much time there, missing out on visiting the Bermuda Transport Museum as well as a potential lunch at a restaurant that one of our guides recommended. Next time!

Adjacent to the Dockyard is the National Museum of Bermuda, including the former Commissioner’s House which sits atop a hill overlooking the bay. I’ll detail that in another post as it is a destination unto itself.

Wikipedia article about the Dockyard