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Gallaudet Class of 1971 - 45th anniversary reunion cruise
Southern Caribbean Cruise

February 19-29, 2016



Oosterdam

Our ship, the Oosterdam


The cruise started in the port of Ft. Lauderdale in Florida. There, we embarked Holland America's Oosterdam.

The next day, we arrived in Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. It is a private island, owned by Carnival Corporation. Since the island does not have deep water docking, we had to use tenders to get to the island. Many activities are offered on the island include swimming, scuba diving, jet-skiing, cycling and snorkeling. Our group split up into smaller groups and participated in different tours like the Calypso Island Tram tour, the Historic Nature Walk, Stingray Advenure, Eco-Bike & Hike and the Eco Lagoon Kayak Adventure tour.
Prior to dinner, the group got together for a Cocktail Party.


Calypso Island Tram tour

Getting ready for the Calypso Island Tram tour














Formal Dining


Grand Turk tour

Tour start for the Coast to Coast Grand Turk Safari


Grand Turk was our next port of call. It is the largest island in the Turks Islands. It was first colonized in 1681 by Bermudians. The salt industry provided some income. Grand Turk became the capital of the country in 1766.
Most guests in our group joined the Coast to Coast Grand Turk Safari. Others signed up for The Best of Grand Turk tour, Cockburn Town, Lighthouse Park & National Museum, snorkeling, segway or a catamaran tour.
After dinner, the group enjoyed a deaf game night.

The port of Samana in the Dominican Republic was our next stop. Christopher Columbus landed on the island in 1492. The island become the first permanent European settlement in the Caribbean. The island was ruled by the Spanish, French and Haitians before it became independent in 1821. Mining and agriculture dominated for a long time. Today, the main income derives from tourism and the service industry.

Many guests in our group joined the Open Air Truck Safari. We boarded a specially equipped, open-air safari truck. Then, we left the town and traveled through small, colorful villages. The first stop was at a Dominican farm where native fruits, coconut, coffee and chocolate are cultivated. Then, we continued to Playa El Valle known for its white-sand beach. Here we had some time to enjoy the beach. It was just a short drive to La Cascada El Valle where we stopped at a beautiful cascading waterfall. Afterwards, we took the Loma de la Pina Trail to return to the Samana Pier.
Samana

Open Air Truck Safari


Samana

Samana, Dominican Republic



Birthday and anniversary celebrations

Kralendijk, Bonaire

Kralendijk, Bonaire


Kralendijk, Bonaire

On a stroll in Kralendijk
After a day at sea, we arrived in Kralendijk, the capital of Bonaire. Bonaire is part of the ABC islands. The island is located outside of the hurricane belt and is a popular destination for scuba divers. The island is also well known for its flamingo population.


Our guests participated in several tours: Unimog, Cultural Adventure, Trolley Train, Snorkling and the Bonaire Highlights tour. The Bonaire Highlights tour was a relaxed drive including the scenic and historic highlights of the island. The drive followed the Northern coast, passing Lake Goto, a land-locked salt-water lagoon and a place where flamingos can be seen. We continued our drive and passed the fresh water well "Dos Pos" and drove through the village of Rincon, the oldest settlement in Bonaire. We stopped at the Cadushy Liqueur Distillery. It is the world's only distillery where cactus liqueur is produced. On our way back to the port we stopped a view times to enjoy the great views.


At night, our group was invited to attend a private Captain's Cocktail Party.



Birthday and anniversary celebrations

We stayed in the ABC island territory and docked in Willemstad, Curacao the next day. Curacao is famous for its beaches and the coral reef that can be accessed without getting on a boat. Willemstad is the capital city of Curacao. Punda is one part of the historic center of the city. It was founded by the Dutch in 1634. The other area of the historic city area is Otrobanda. It was founded in 1707 and is considered to be the cultural center of Williamstad. The historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Most guests joined the tour Discover Curacao. The first stop of the tour was the Curacao Museum in Otrobanda that was founded in 1946. The museum is in a colonial-style building and showcases contemporary and traditional art. A permanent collection displays antique furniture, maps, pre-Columbian Indian artifacts and much more. The tour continued through the island's northern countryside. We saw small traditional villages and salt marshes. Then, we arrived at Hato Caves where we joined a walking tour through the underground grottos. On our drive to Chobolobo, we crossed the Queen Juliana Bridge one of the highest bridges in the Caribbean. Chobolobo is a Dutch colonial country estate. Here we visited the famous Curacao liqueur distillery. When the Spanish discovered Curacao, they planted Valencia oranges. The Blue Curacao has been distilled here since 1946 using the peel from the Valencia oranges. After a guided tour, we had an opportunity to sample the liqueur. Afterwards, we returned to the pier.

At night, most guests in our group joined the Pool Party.

Williamstad

The striking colors of Williamstad


Williamstad

Charming Williamstad


Williamstad

Pool Party


Oranjestad, Aruba

Oranjestad, Aruba



Our last port of call was Oranjestad, Aruba the third country of the ABC islands. The native inhabitants of Aruba were the Arawaks who where connected with the locals in the mainland of South America. The Spanish arrived in 1499 and the island became a colony. The Dutch took possession in 1636. Today, four languages are spoken on the island: Dutch, English, Spanish and the native Papiamento. The main source of income is tourism starting with the first cruise ship coming in in the late 50ies.
Several guests in our group joined the tour Aruba Town and Countryside. The tour stopped at the California Lighthouse, the Alto Vista Chapel, the ruins of the landmark natural bridge, and the Casibari Rock Formations. Other guests went snorkling, shopping or on the Atlantis Submarine Underwater tour.













Formal Dining




Group Picture

Group Picture


Thank you note



Thank you note



Thank you note



Thank you note




Fundraising Poster

We would like to thank the following people for their donation:
  • Michael & Lynette Cardinale
  • Michael & Karyl Hummel
  • Lance & Kitty Fischer
  • Leslie Zinza & Karen Olson
  • Helena Schmitt
  • Linda Tom
  • James & Holly Macfadden
  • Jane Kuzoian
  • Laura Sweeney
  • Barbara Richardson
  • Wendy Bachman
  • Rober & Barbara Morrison
  • John & Rose Bradley
  • Jim & Janice Dermon
  • Martin & Barbara Willigan
  • Wayne & Helen Berke
  • Maureen Simmons
  • Lillian Mittauer
  • Jay Shopshire
  • Millie Russo
  • MaryLynn Lally
  • Marcia Zisman
  • Linda Revander
  • Margherita Bella
  • David Fontana
  • Paul Stefurak
  • Elaine Aiello
  • Andrea Panella
  • Brent & Marcia Nowak
  • Michael & Angela Kessler
  • Thomas & Beverly Ahern
  • Gerald & Rita Ahrens
  • Frank Steven & Edward Knight
  • Thomas & Harriet Fields
  • Mark & Donna McCrory
  • John Keeshan
  • Roy & Donna Lopaty
  • Howard & Mary Sultan
  • George & Nancy Westenberger
  • Edward McGann & Lois Herberger
  • Judith DeSalvio
  • Toni Falsetta
  • Anthony Giordano

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



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