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Deaf New Year's Cruise

December 30, 2012 - January 7, 2013



Royal Promenade, Independence of the Seas
Royal Promenade, Independence of the Seas

Our sailing into the New Year started in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on December 30th. We embarked the Independence of the Seas, one of Royal Caribbean's bigger ships. It has many interesting venues and public areas like the Royal Promenade. Strolling along the Royal Promenade allows you to stop at several shops and restaurants and is sometimes filled with lively entertainment.

The first day at sea provided a chance to become familiar with the ship and to participate in different activities during the day. Later, the preparation for New Year's Eve started. At the first formal dinner, we had a lot of fun to wear our hats and tiaras and to get into a festive mood. At midnight, hundreds of balloons dropped from the ceiling and delivered a fireworks-like spectacle. Here it is: The New Year 2013.

New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve

Deaf Game Night
Deaf Game Night

The second day at sea was a good opportunity to relax, play Scrabble, enjoy the pool or to participate in the onboard activities. At night, we had a lot of fun at our Deaf Game Night. Some of the games required talent, some luck and some physical flexibility.

Our first port was Basseterre on the island of St. Kitts. Most of us joined a bus tour in order to explore the island. The first stop was the beautiful Fairview Great House. Visiting the property was like stepping back in time. The rooms are furnished in authentic colonial style. The guide showed us around and told interesting stories that reflected the 300 years of history of the mansion. The meticulously landscaped tropical garden impressed with its colors and varieties of plants and flowers. The second stop on the tour was at Romney Manor, a 12-acre botanical paradise. Inside one of the buildings we followed the process of Batik, a method to dye textiles by first applying wax patterns. The final products are beautiful designed clothes, bags, shawls and a variety of different accessories.


Fairview Great House, St. Kitts
Fairview Great House, St. Kitts
St. Maarten/St. Martin
St. Maarten/St. Martin

When we arrived at the port of Philipsburg, we arrived at the island that is called St. Maarten on the Dutch side and St. Martin on the French side. We embarked the tour bus on the Dutch side. During the narrated tour, we passed the Great Salt Pond and Orient Bay. We embarked the double-decker boat "Explorer" and traveled to the French capital of Marigot. There we had free time to browse and shop before we were picked up by our coach that took us back to Philipsburg.

San Juan is an old, charming colonial city. Our ship docked next to the Old Town district that provided an easy access to the shopping area. Some of us embarked a tour bus to see a bit more of San Juan. First the tour took us through new San Juan, Condado, Isla Verde, and some residential areas. Then we returned to Old San Juan where we saw the Capitol Building and the Art Deco style houses. The bus stopped at the Fortress San Cristobal where we had the opportunity to walk around. The fortress, built in the 18th century, is the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World.
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Paradise Cove, Labadee
Paradise Cove, Labadee
Labadee is located on the northern coast of Haiti. It is a private resort leased to Royal Caribbean International. A Haitian flea market, nice beaches, watersports, a water-oriented playground, and a zip-line can be found there. Some of us joined the Haitian Cultural Tour. We were transferred by boat to Paradise Cove, a private location with an idyllic beach. After relaxing at the beach, we followed our guide to discover the rich cultural history of Haiti. We saw a typical rural Haitian home, some cooking techniques, and handmade hats. We watched a Haitian lady make peanut butter and process coffee in the traditional way. We learned a bit about the history of the religion of voodoo and how it has played such an important role in Haiti.

The last day at sea was another fun day with many activities on board the ship. And there was always something to celebrate, a birthday, an anniversary, ... Celebrating a wedding anniversary
Celebrating a wedding anniversary



Group Picture
Group Picture


Thank you note from our clients
Thank you note from our clients
Thank you note from our clients
Thank you note from our clients


Thank you note from our clients
Thank you note from our clients
A gift basket from Peter & Nancy Kensicki
A gift basket that we received from
Peter & Nancy Kensicki


Donation for Deaf Schools in Jamaica

Fundraising Poster

We would like to thank the following people for their donation:
  • Terry & Cyndi Siska
  • Larry & Marylyn Doan
  • David & Julia Bosworth

Contact Kerstin's Deaf Travel to book your next cruise by sending an e-mail to kerstin@kerstinstravel.com



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