The ship sailed all night and arrived in Newport. We dropped anchor off-shore and they lowered the tenders to shuttle everyone to shore. We used the gangplank to transfer between the ship and shuttle. Once aboard half of us went inside while the rest went topsides. The trip was only about ten minutes each way but what a view!

We passed by boats of every description from dingies to ocean sailing yachts. Newport is the boating capital of America and hosts many sailing events every year.

From the dock we took a harbor tour that took us past yachts that were more expensive then my house. According to our guide this was where a lot of the owners moored their boats most of the summer. This was because New Jersey was as far south their insurance companies would allow them to sail during hurricane season, so they stayed here.

We passed an island with a single house atop it. It was a survivor of the 1938 hurricane that devastated Newport. The inhabitants were so shaken when it was over they left the island and never returned. In the 60's a relative bought the property for $638 in back taxes.

Along the shore were some quaint mansions built by the upper class. Summer parties and dances have always been expected in the society. We heard a story about a woman who gave her guests silver shovels with pails, then took them outside where they were shown a sandbox to play in that was sprinkled with gems and coins.

Part of the tour was a stop at Rose Island ighthouse. You can wander the grounds and climb up to the walkway around the light, which hasn't been illuminated since 1970. That's when the Pell (Newport) bridge was finished. The lights on the bridge are visible for miles. When I heard about this, I planned to photograph the bridge at dusk.

We returned to the Enchantment and after supper I raced up to the top deck with camera gear in hand. It was about 7:00, and we were due to pull anchor. I secured the camera to the rail and took about six time exposures before we started to move, capturing the brilliant sky behind the bridge.

Thursday the 30th we sailed all day. The captain was featured in a cake decorating contest. He's the one with the overstated hat. Naturally he won by producing a liquor soaked black forest cake.

These two smiley faces are our waiter's assistant Arturo and waiter Murat. Their job was to pamper us at every meal, to which they excelled.

After a scrumptious dinner we sat in the Orphium theatre for the final show featuring the performers of the cruise. Afterwards we retired to the Centrum for a 70's disco party, with some of the performers donning Village People costumes. We partied until nearly midnight before heading for our room.

The next morning we docked at Baltimore and had to return to reality. Once again Royal Caribbean had treated us like royalty. Now lets check the schedule for next year....

Bermuda and New England

Cruise 2012

Newport

Newport harbor

tender

yachts

island house

mansion

Rose lighthouse

Newport bridge

Captain Gus

waiters

70s show

island