Today’s late morning excursion, Palm Beach Reef Snorkel, was only a short drive from the ship. As we arrived at a “resort beach” in Bonaire National Marine Park, the small size and large crowd of snorkelers and scuba divers took us aback. After unloading from the old school bus, a pair of lounges was selected, and a mandatory safety and equipment briefing was presented. Each person was issued a snorkeling vest, mask, and snorkel, and fins for those few of us choosing to use them. The protected reef teemed with colorful fish and coral. After approximately an hour, we rested and drank a complimentary Amstel beer (made in the Dutch Antilles with distilled water). I went back in the water for another half hour of photography, before exiting and drying. (Photos were taken with an almost ten-year old Pentax camera.) For me this was the best excursion of the cruise.
The Norwegian Gem departed Bonaire mid-afternoon, heading north northwest toward New York City with no stops in between. The next three sea days precede our arrival in New York City Friday morning. Consequently, we will be using our three days of “executive time” to doing a whole bunch of nothing.