OUR CRUISE VACATION 2007 Isla Margarita Page 7

Wednesday, April 5, 2007

Isla Margarita is called the “Island of Pearls” because of the large oyster beds in the area. It is REALLY flat ...it looks like a good-sized wave could wipe the island perfectly clean.

There wasn't a lot to do on the isle, so we decided to make it a "beach day" and also visited the little group of booths lined up on the "higher" ground. The booths all had pearl necklaces, earrings and anything you could think of made of pearls plus the usual assortment of tee shirts. I needed a pearl necklace and found a nice set for $15.00….after wading through all the other sales people who "has the best deal, lady".

Jenny bought an ankle bracelet and Austin found a really nice miniature domino set with pearl inlays. Both were pleased with their purchases, mainly because both Jenny and Austin were able to haggle with the shop keeper and get the price down to about half of what she was asking.

Jenny and John were really in their element….bargaining!! They would haggle with the store owners and end up paying a lot less than the asking price….which I’m sure was set high enough to make a profit either way. I think the salespeople enjoyed the experience....Jenny and Austin are really nice kids and were very polite in dealing with them. I, on the other hand, have never learned the art of bargaining or haggling. I just hand them the money and take my purchase. Yep, I'm the gullible tourist that they love to see coming.

We didn’t have a tour booked in Isla Margarita, so stayed on the beach, a short walk from where the ship was docked. Actually, it was one of the nicest days we spent on the cruise….there was ample shopping, food and drink, lounge chairs with palm shade and nice gentle waves.

We walked along the shoreline picking up shells and coral. Austin found a big blue crab in the water while he was swimming and he and I “herded” it back to land where he could pick it up to show to Ken and the other people on the beach. It was not happy about being picked up and grabbed Austin’s snorkel mask with its big claw…that made it easier for him to carry it to the beach and show off his prize. He then took it back to the water and released it.

John also found a sea creature to chase ….a manta or sting ray, we aren’t sure exactly what it was. It was about 18” across the top with a long tail. It swam next to the bottom in the shallow water and John and a couple of other guys were determined to catch it…no luck.
First it went one way, then the other, scooting out of reach….John did grab the tail but it slithered out of his grasp and got away.
We all got nice and tan at Isla Margarita and left quite a bit of money in the little booths. When the cruise ship left the dock, the trades people stood on the dock holding flags and waving good-bye. Not many cruise ships visit this particular port, and we probably increased their monthly income by a bunch!
One of the favorite things that we liked to do in the evening was to visit the piano bars.....great pianists and fun people. Liquor and soft drinks are not included in the "all inclusive" cruise .... for drinks, you use your identification card (which you are issued when you board....you charge everything and pay the bill at the end of the cruise) and can buy a soft drink card for the kids. Or not.
There are lots of shops aboard ship and if you wait until the last day or so of the cruise, you can get some real deals.....they have only a limited amount of space and are happy to sell the tee-shirts, jewelry, watches, hats, etc. at a reduced price knowing that they will receive a whole batch of new stuff once they get back to home port. Some of the ships may not be going to the same places they went on this one, and who would want to buy a Grenada tee shirt if the ship was going to Alaska!

(to be continued


Kay said...

Just about to go on a cruise and your review was very informative and helpful. Think chilling out on the beach and a bit of shopping will do me nicely.
Kay (from Cornwall, England)

Jeanie Bee said...

Hi Kay, which ship will you be on and what islands will you be visiting? Be sure to go online to the Cruise Critic and get in touch with others who will be on the same cruise.

I wish we were going with you. its about 10 degrees here and I could use some nice sunshine plus maybe a Margarita or two!