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Saturday, March 4, 2017

15 Shades of Blue

Think of the Caribbean and you think blue, right? In fact, there are many “shades” of blue when you cruise the Caribbean Sea. 

Blue is the color of:
  1. Your passport—Don’t leave home without it! And be sure it doesn’t expire within six months of your trip.
  2. The sky above your balcony—With no powerlines to obstruct your view, the sky seems bluer, bigger, bolder. And if you’re headed for the ABCs (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao), you’ll see more of that blue sky than anywhere else. Aruba gets only 16 inches a year of rain; compare that to 46 for New York.
    The sky seems bluer, bigger and bolder from your balcony
  3. The water below your boat—If you’ve never cruised the Caribbean, know this: those photos you’ve seen are real. The waters of Bonaire, St. Maarten, and the U.S. Virgin Island gems of St. Croix and St. John are just that blue, just that clear, just that calm.
    Blue as far as you can "sea" in Bonaire 
  4. The resorts the lines call their own—Carnival’s private resorts of Princess Cays (Bahamas) and Mahogany Bay (Roatan), and Royal Caribbean’s Labadee (Haiti) boast blue hue water that’s tranquil and see-through, perfect for swimming, sunning and snorkeling. And when your ship comes in, you (and your 2,000-6,000 fellow travelers) get the resort all to yourself.
    Calm and comfortably cool is the blue water at Princess Cays
  5. The pools of port—Three neat port pools that come immediately to mind are at Grand Turk, Costa Maya and Carnival’s newest resort in the Dominican Republic, Amber Cove. These three pools are big, with plenty of room for making a splash.
    A part of the vast winding pool of Amber Cove
  6.  The flags of Barbados and Curaçao—Barbados in the Eastern Caribbean and Curaçao in the South—both great ports to visit—use blue as the primary color of their national flags, to reflect the sea and the sky.
  7.  The iguana of Grand Cayman—This blue lizard, according to Wikipedia, is a special variety found in Grand Cayman and is on the endangered list. In fact, the only one we saw on our visit was this guy below:
  8. The cobblestones of old San Juan—Pull into port in San Juan and you’re just a few steps away from cobblestones made from adoquine, a blue stone cast originally brought over on Spanish ships.
  9. The logos of the lines—Not surprisingly, the mermaid, ship, anchor and X logos of Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity are all blue.
  10. Curaçao’s namesake liquid—Made from local oranges, with a little help from food coloring, curaçao liqueur is unmistakable in its color and squat round bottles.

  11. The delft and faux delft trinkets of the ABCs—Browse the tourist shops of the Dutch isles of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao to find some of the real hand-painted stuff, but more of the mass-produced kind. These are inexpensive, and make great Christmas tree ornaments, magnets and collectibles.
    Mass-produced delft, but that everyone can afford
  12. LarimarThe lovely baby blue stone is from the Dominican Republic, but sold on many of the islands at a very reasonable price (note that they vary in quality). We picked up good quality earrings in St. Thomas’ Charlotte Amalie for about $40.
  13. The female cruiserWhat cruising woman can resist a shirt with blue-and-white stripes in classic nautical style (or “nausical” as one retailer calls it). Navy blue, says Wikipedia, got its name from the dark blue uniforms traditionally worn by many navies around the world.
  14. That sign that it will come to an end—Alas, blue is also the color of the Customs card that appears on your bed—sometimes as early as the second day of the trip.
  15. My mood…when it’s all over.