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MS Focus at Sea Notebook - Part 2

Natalie Blake’s Log
Thursday, April 12


We had a great turnout in the conference center on board the Celebrity Equinox today for another full day of educational programs. The seas were calm and the sky was blue as we gathered to hear Cherie Binns, an MS-certified nurse, talk about “Making Better Days with MS.” Cherie’s presentation provided tips for living well with MS. She has MS and shared her first-hand experience on issues including how prepare for an appointment with the neurologist, where to access information regarding various MS therapies, and provided resources such as MS Focus for finding the help someone may need. 

Dr. Randall Schapiro, who established the first comprehensive MS Center in the U.S. in Minnesota, talked about the “Changing Face of MS,” and how there are so many more treatment options now than there were just a few short years ago. 

Gail Gibson, a professor of geology who is joining the MS Focus Cruise for the 14th time, treated us to a presentation on the formation of the islands we are visiting this week in the Southern Caribbean. Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire are land masses originally formed by volcanic activity. We can’t wait to visit these ports of call.


We arrived in Aruba, also known in this part of the world as “One Happy Place.” It didn’t disappoint. The Island has beautiful beaches and friendly people. Many in our group opted to venture into a shopping area just outside the ship to search for bargains and souvenirs. Others took shore excursions including city tours, snorkeling adventures, and a beach break. It was a late night in Aruba, we didn’t leave until 11:30 p.m. Many of us gathered in the Ocean Café onboard the ship before we set sail to share our experiences on the Island. We arrive in Curacao tomorrow.


Curacao, like Aruba, is an Island colonized by the Netherlands. It has a lovely Dutch ambience. Right near the port there are colorful buildings with Dutch architecture. A floating pedestrian bridge provides access to a downtown shopping area. Many of our MS Focus at Sea participants disembarked early this morning to discover the 38-mile-long volcanic isle. There are many UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Curacao including the historic city center. On our tour we learned that everyone in Curacao has free medical care and education. We visited the Chobolobo Plantation House, where Curacao liquor is made, and we stopped at Mambo Beach to take a dip in the turquoise ocean. After a long day of sightseeing several people are going to rest up for tomorrow when we arrive in Bonaire.