Sunday, February 19, 2017

Learning About Caribbean Marine Life

It’s hard to imagine, but I’m still reviewing pictures from our January cruise.  I took over 3000+ pictures of which half were taken underwater.  As I was blogging about our snorkeling adventure, I realized I could only identify half the fish we saw.  Hubby was able to help me with a few more.  I found the plastic fish identification cards to help somewhat, but the drawings were too small.  So, I found a helpful book called “Snorkeling Guide to Marine Life” and have been updating my previous blog entries with the correct fish name.  It is time consuming, but I am learning so much.  For example, many juvenile fish do not look the same when they become mature fish.  It’s mostly colors that change from juvenile to initial stage and then to mature stage.

Hubby and I are learning more about Caribbean marine life.  We are learning about fish anatomy, different groups, corals, sponges, and other marine life.  I am only learning the common names for now.  Genus and species might come later.  We’ll see.

Here’s a Queen Parrotfish (Initial Stage) with a broad, white mid-body stripe.  I do not have a picture of the mature fish, but it would be a blue/green color with dramatic blue to green markings around the mouth.

Bonaire GOPR0481
Here’s another picture of the Queen Parrotfish (initial stage) in the center.  There’s a Blue Parrotfish in the upper left and an Orangespotted Filefish towards the back:

Bonaire GOPR0467
If you look real close in the center of this picture, you’ll see the Orangespotted Filefish with it’s white spot on the upper tail base:

Bonaire GOPR0479
Here’s a Bluehead Wrasse and some Brown Chromis (I believe…be back to validate):

Bonaire GOPR0527
Another picture with the Bluehead Wrasse with Spotlight Parrotfish (initial stage) and Queen Parrotfish (initial stage) in the background:

Bonaire GOPR0476
 Schools of French Grunt (yellow striped) and Brown Chromis:

Bonaire GOPR0542

Bonaire GOPR0541
Still waiting to identify this Parrotfish….

Bonaire GOPR0550

Bonaire GOPR0551

Bonaire GOPR0552
And this Parrotfish as well...

Bonaire GOPR0546

Bonaire GOPR0562 1

Bonaire GOPR0564 1

The pictures in this post were taken with a GoPro Hero 3+ at the Plaza Resort Bonaire.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Princess @Sea (Southern & Western Caribbean)

This was the first time (another first) that I actually carried my iPhone around the ship.  Normally it sat in the cabin safe until we got back to Fort Lauderdale or when I used it in a US port of call like St Thomas.  Not this time.  I wanted to see how much information I could see with using the Princess @Sea.  I left my iPhone in Airplane Mode and turned on the WiFi and connected to the Caribbean-Princess SSID.  From there, I had access to the ship’s Intranet using my iPhone’s Safari web browser using the URL:  Once I connected to the site, I saved it as a shortcut on my iPhone and it created an icon called Princess @Sea.  

Here’s a snapshot of our Southern Caribbean itinerary (first week):  

IMG 1038

IMG 5773

Here’s our Western Caribbean itinerary (second week):

IMG 1039

IMG 5969

I can tap on any of the ports of call listed and get additional port information like the weather, arrival/departure times, dress code for the evening, and a PDF soft copy of the port guide that’s delivered with the Princess Patter in our cabin mailbox:

IMG 5970


IMG 5971


IMG 5972


IMG 5973


I can also see upcoming events for the day:   

IMG 5979

Besides the Princess events, I could add my own personal event like reminders to fill out an FCC form for future cruises or get change from the Passenger Service Desk (PSD).  

There’s a Messenger feature that allows me to send messages to other people I know on the ship.  I initially had to setup a contact list and know the person’s ID.  Once the contact is setup, I can send messages.  There is no notification, but I can check to see if I received a new message.

I also had access to our onboard account information and could check the latest charges to our cabin.  

I can also access the “Internet” which is additional $ and check my emails.  Once I was done with the Internet, I just typed “” in the browser.

The following are some screenshots I captured with my iPad.

Communications and Stateroom Services: 

IMG 1069

Activities and Entertainment:

IMG 1070

Safety, Security and Environment:

IMG 1071

Shipboard Services and Shopping:

IMG 1072


IMG 1074

Entertainment and Bars:

IMG 1075


IMG 1076

Food and Dining:

IMG 1077

Gifts and Memories:

IMG 1078

Other Services onboard:

IMG 1079

Pools, Sports & Spa:

IMG 1081

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Caribbean Princess - The Sea Days and Beaufort Force Scale

I’ve been meaning to do a post in regards to what our sea days looked like on a cruise ship.  During this cruise adventure, we felt a lot of motion on the ship and experienced a range of motion not felt before.  We were able to see a glass or mirror-like flat surface on the water to the extreme where we could see large waves/swells.

Princess provides us with a “log of the cruise” for each leg of our cruising adventure.  Each day the Captain reports distance traveled, speed, sky, temperature, and wind.  I was more interested in the wind and decided to do some research on what’s called the Beaufort Wind Force Scale.  The scale is based on a scale of 0 to 12 and relates wind to observed conditions at sea or on land.  In our case, we are interested in sea conditions.

Here’s a summary of our sea days and what the log captured based on the Beaufort scale.  Now remember we were on a 14-day cruise (B2B) and came back into FLL on Day 9 of our adventure.  Here what the log captured:


Day 2 Sea Day:  North Easterly Beaufort Force 5
They describe this as a “fresh” breeze with winds at 17-21 knots or 19-24 mph.  Wave heights 6-9 ft.  Moderate waves of some length and many white caps.  Small amounts of spray.

Day 3 Sea Day:  North Easterly Beaufort Force 5
Another “fresh” breeze day.

Day 7 Sea Day:  North Easterly Beaufort Force 6
This is described as a “strong” breeze with winds at 22-27 knots or 25-31 mph.  Wave heights of 9-13 ft.  Long waves begin to form.  White foam crests are very frequent.  Some airborne spray is present.

Day 8 Sea Day:  Northerly Beaufort Force 5
Another “fresh” breeze day.


Day 10 Sea Day:  West North Westerly Beaufort Force 9
Do you see the number 9?  That is considered to be “strong/severe gale” with winds at 41-47 knots or 47-54 mph.  Wave heights of 23-32 ft.  High waves whose crests sometimes roll over.  Dense foam is blown along wind direction.  Large amounts of airborne spray may begin to reduce visibility.

Sea 5 F2355

Sea 5 F2356
Day 14 Sea Day:  South Easterly Beaufort Force 2
Considered to be “light” breeze with winds 4-6 knots or 4-7 mph.  Wave heights 1-2 ft.  Small wavelets.  Crests have a glassy appearance and do not break.

I know on this day the Beaufort scale was much lower as the sea was like a mirror and sometimes I saw ripples that had an “appearance of scales” in the water.

Sea 6 F2536

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Caribbean Princess - Indoor Venues (part 6)

You’ve heard me talk about Skywalker’s Lounge.  It’s the “shopping bag handle” on the back of the Caribbean Princess and the highest venue on the back of the ship:

FLL3 F2718

Here’s a view while I was on the upper deck looking to the left and you can see the hot tub under the walkway:  

CB F2168

A view to the right with the splash/dunk pool directly under the walkway and the outdoor kiddie pool to the right of it: 

CB F2172

Unfortunately, I do not have any Skywalker Lounge pictures. That was one of the few places we did not have time to visit.  Also the Platinum & Elite Lounge happy hour which used to be in Skywalker’s (our last CB cruise) was held in Club Fusion.   

Here are a few shots around the Piazza, the central indoor gathering place.  Great place for people watching.

Here’s the fruit and vegetable carving show:  

CB F1171


CB F1173

Other forms of entertainment were held here in the Piazza throughout the day.  The following pictures were taken during “in-transit” and you can see folks with their luggage: 

CB F2027


CB F2028


CB F2032


CB F2033

The Calypso Cove gift shop:  

FLL2 ta F2019

Facets by Effy jewelry store:

FLL2 ta F2015

The Essence shop has makeup and perfumes:  

FLL2 ta F2020

FLL2 ta F2024

Look across at Crooner’s Lounge and Bar:  

CB F2035

 The International Cafe coffee bar is a hopping place during the morning hours:  

CB IC 5483

Here’s more fruit carvings at the Platinum & Elite Lounge happy hour:  

CB pel F1164