Rain Day in Santiago de Cuba
January 16, 2014
When I awoke just after 6 a.m., sun was peeking through the drapes of my stateroom on Louis Cristal. In fact, when I emerged out on deck via the doorway at the stern of the Deck 7 passenger corridor, the view from the aft end of the ship revealed a gorgeous morning.
The view from the bow, however, was different.
Once I’d ascended to Deck 10, I could see an immense wall of black clouds lying directly in our path. Avoiding the oncoming storm seemed unavoidable, and the few of us who were on the upper decks began to head inside as the wind picked up considerably and the Louis Cristal began to heel into the developing swells.
So began the first and only day of bad weather on our entire trip. When we sailed past the imposing El Morro Castle that guards the entrance to the harbour of Santiago de Cuba, it was cloaked in a thick veil of heavy rain, with large white swells pounding the breakwater at its base. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the El Morro Castle is one of six protected areas that guests aboard Cuba Cruise can visit on their trips, and I was fortunate to get an up-close look at the fortress later on in the day.
I was booked on the full-day Santiago Special tour today, and met up in the Metropolitan Lounge at 9:45 a.m. as scheduled, within sight of the rain that continued streaming down the windows like a waterfall. But then something interesting happened: Yhe shore excursion manager took to the stage and apologized for the weather. She also stated that the tour would go ahead as planned; however, due to the inclement weather, those who no longer wished to participate could cancel and receive a full refund.