Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My Caribbean Vacation - Day 7 - Nassau Day

Click here for DAY 1, DAY 2, DAY 3 , DAY 4, 
DAY 5 and DAY 6

Also, HERE is my tour of the Carnival Victory

DAY 7 - NASSAU, BAHAMAS DAY - Friday Sept 6, 2013

I woke up early again, I could see it was still pretty dark out through the cracks in the curtain.

I thought I would go outside and check anyway, just to see if we were close to land at all.
Out on the balcony, I couldn't believe it! I could see the lighthouse at the port of Nassau, we were about to sail right past it.

I ran in to get my camera. It was right before sunrise and still pretty dark out. I took about 50 pictures of the lighthouse as we went past it.

After we passed the lighthouse, we turned around in the channel and backed into the dock. It was pretty cool, since we were at the back of the ship. We had front row seats to the whole thing.

It was a beautiful morning in the Bahamas! The sky was turning all kinds of bright colors.
We could see Atlantis Resort in the distance

Some men at the dock pulling in those huge ropes and hooking them on the big metal thing (no idea what thats called)

And when the sun finally showed itself, it was the best sunrise I had seen yet on my trip.
I think I took about 100 pics that morning of Atlantis with the sunrise behind it. It was gorgeous.

Lisa came out and took pictures with me. We must have stood out there for an hour or more.

I was a little sad, thinking this was the last day on the ship for Lisa and the kids. They would be getting off and heading home in 24 hours.

The other thing on my mind was that today was my best friend Christina's travel day. She would be getting on a plane and would land in Florida for her first time ever. Saturday would be her first time on a cruise ship, and I knew she was excited. I was excited for her and I wished I could talk to her!
I knew Christina's travel schedule for that day and I was with her in spirit the whole way. She was definitely on my mind all day and I kept track of where she was (supposed to be) throughout the day.

I have no idea how this idea came up, but Lisa and I decided to walk to the front of the ship and check out the "secret decks". They aren't really secret, but not many people know about them.
We went all the way forward, and then down one floor to deck 7. At the front of the ship are the doors that go outside onto the very front decks of the ship.

We weren't out there very long when I spotted another cruise ship coming into Nassau in the distance. We kept watching it and zooming in with my camera. Finally I could see it, and my heart skipped a beat. It was the Disney Dream!!! Have I mentioned I love Disney?! The Disney Dream is my favorite of their ships. I will go on that ship someday. I have no idea when, but someday. It's on my list.

And now it was coming HERE!!!

As it came into the channel, it stopped right in front of us and slowly turned around to back in like we did.
I was THRILLED! How many chances will I get to see my favorite Disney ship turn around right in front of me?
I was beyond happy, and I took a lot of pictures of the Dream that morning

Here she is, pulling into the channel:

And turning around right there!

And now backing in right next to us! On the same side our cabin was!
I was going to have a nice view of the Dream all day.

As it started backing in, Lisa and I walked back to our cabin,
W walked three football fields in just a few minutes. It was quite a hike.

Back on our balcony, we had a great view of the Dream.

Lisa and I got dressed and went up to get breakfast. We decided to go to the big buffet this morning. I'm not sure why. The lines were always longer at the big buffet, but they also had more to choose from there. I guess we decided we wanted more choices that day.

I missed Hector - my omelet maker. I settled for scrambled eggs that day and it wasn't the same.

When we were done eating, we went back down to our cabins to wake up the kids. They got up right away and Lisa and I waited on our balcony while they took showers and got ready for the day.

Lisa left her tip for Carlos with a note and we put our "Crusin" signs out.

I'm not sure what time we got off the ship, but it was probably around 10:00AM or so. We weren't in a hurry to do anything that day so it was a nice change.

We went down to Deck 0 and got off the ship. We walked down the long dock to the port building.

The dock at Nassau is HUGE!!

A closer view of the port building. There were booths and shops in there.

After we got onto the busy streets of Nassau, it was kind of a shock. We had 2 very quiet and peaceful island days and this was more like a hustling, bustling town.

Cody wanted to see the Straw Market, so we headed that way.

At the Straw Market, Cody and I each bought a "Bahamas" purse, Cody's is black and pink, and mine has blue.

Lisa found a Snoopy purse and we waited while the lady sewed "Nassau" on it for her.
We loved that everything we bought here was handmade.

After the Straw Market we walked around the stores near the port. We browsed and shopped.

I got a pic by the Pirate at the Tortuga Rum Cake place.
Lisa bought Rum Cakes, I bought hot sauce to take home to my Sweetie.

We spent a few hours walking in and out of the shops and stores. 
We all found some good Bahamas souvenirs.

I got this hand painted 5X7 picture on a piece of wood for $5.00 from a lady sitting on the sidewalk. 
I love it. It's hanging in our living room now.

Then I spotted this, and I had to have it for my husband
 It was only $15.00 for this hand made motorcycle. There is so much detail I couldn't believe it was so cheap. SOLD!

We were getting hungry but we couldn't decide on a place to eat.
Also, Chris was absolutely miserable. He had such a bad sunburn. We all felt bad for him, and we decided we would walk him back to the ship so he could take a nap if he wanted to. 

We all headed back to the ship. We considered going over to Atlantis later that afternoon.

We stopped to look in some of the little shops inside the port building. I found something else I HAD TO HAVE. It was a small bag of Nassau sand..........something I hadn't been able to get on my last stop to Nassau or on this stop either. I paid $3.00 for it, but it was so worth it to me to have the sand. 
I have been collecting sand from all of the beaches I have traveled to. It's amazing how different the sand looks from the different beaches. At home, I put it in cute little jars that I get from Hobby Lobby or Michael's Arts & Crafts, and I use stickers to put the name of where it came from on the jars.

My store bought Nassau sand:

As we left the port building to walk down the long dock back to the ship, there were security guards asking to see our Sail & Sign cards and I.D.
I had my S & S card, but I hadn't brought any ID. I was using cash that day and I really didn't think to bring my drivers license off the ship with me. Cody didn't have her ID either, and she was worried.
I assured her we were getting back on the ship, even if Lisa and Chris had to go to the ship to retrieve our ID's. I wasn't really worried. 
 The guard let us go through, but not without a lecture about bringing ID with us the next time we got off the ship.

By the time we walked down the long dock, got back to the ship and dropped our new souvenirs off in our cabins, we were all starving. 
We walked down to the lunch buffet on the Lido Deck to see if anything looked good.

Oh my, YES! Today was the "American" buffet lunch. Each day they had a theme for the kind of food they served at the buffet. One day it was "French", and another day it was "Caribbean" - we had the Caribbean when we were on Half Moon Cay the day before.
I loved the American buffet. The briscuit (or was it pot roast? Doesn't matter, beef is beef) was delicious. Tender and so good!

They also had the Chocolate buffet set up with the lunch buffet that day.

We walked back down to our floor and of course we saw Ari
We stopped to talk to him for a minute or two, and this is when he told us the morgue story. I have no idea how we got on this subject, but we did. Ari told us using his broken English and charades, about a time he had to clean the morgue on one of the ships he worked on. He said he hated it, and he put on gloves, a mask, and a hat. He said he cleaned the morgue, which could hold 3 bodies, although none were there at the time. He said when he was finished cleaning it, he went back to his cabin and took off all his clothes in the hallway and left them on the floor out there. Then he went into his cabin and took a hot shower and scrubbed himself all over. 
That was quite a story! 

Chris and Cody both went to their cabin and took a nap after lunch. Lisa and I relaxed in our cabin and on our balcony. We talked about getting back off the ship for the afternoon to go visit Atlantis, but we never did. We were comfortable on the balcony and we didn't really have the energy to do all that walking.

So, we just relaxed for the afternoon. Lisa started packing her things (SO SAD!) and I decided this might be a good day to do laundry. I was going to run out of  clean clothes soon. 

I walked around the hallways on our deck until I found the nearest laundry room. Then I went back and got my dirty clothes, soap and quarters. 
It was $3.00 to wash and $3.00 to dry each load and I did 2 loads.

Lisa and I walked down to check our Sail & Sign balances, and we also chatted for a while with our 2 neighbor ladies over the railing. It was a very nice afternoon.

Around 5:00PM, Chris and Cody woke up and came out on our balcony to watch sailaway. 

Sailaway from Nassau is awesome! 
You have to watch for pier runners. These are people who are late getting back to the ship, and you will see them running down that looooong dock trying to make it in time before the ship sails away. 
(Yes, the ship will sail without you!) 
Make sure you set your watch to SHIP TIME.

Here are 2 short  - and not very good - videos I got of pier runners at Nassau:
The first one , it's the lady in the orange/red/dress. She isn't running very fast though

And in this second one there are a few people running pretty fast to catch the ship

As we sailed away from Nassau, we all waved, yelled and woohoo'd at the people next to us on the Disney Dream, and they all waved, yelled and woohoo'd back at us. I was still losing my voice, and yelling at the Disney Dream didn't help at all. 

Pulling out of our spot in Nassau. It's like a parking lot for cruise ships.

A last look at Atlantis as we pulled out

As we rounded the corner by the lighthouse, I was able to get a few more pictures. This time it was lighter outside so I could actually see it as we went past it.

After sailaway, we were all hungry again so we got dressed and went down to our dining room.
We met up with Amy and her group on the way down. We all decided to eat together again since it was the last night.

It was this night that I discovered Donovan and Joyce............the most excellent wait service team EVER in the history of wait service teams.

Meet Donovan:

And this adorable little thing is Joyce:

I had been waiting ALL WEEK to find a good wait service team in the MDR (Main Dining Room) and I had almost given up. For one thing, we had eaten almost every night in a group of 8, and I think it's hard for the wait staff to try to keep up with large tables like that.
But finally, on the last night of the first cruise, I FOUND THEM!

Donovan and Joyce

 They were both very friendly and their service was excellent!

During dinner Donovan told us he was from Jamaica and he has a wife and a 6 year old daughter there. He was saying he was very happy that he would see them in 3 days when the ship docked there for the day.

The wait staff sang "Leaving On A Cruise Ship", and it was sad thinking this was our last dinner together on the ship.

After dinner, we went up to the cabin so Lisa and the kids could get more of their packing done.

It wasn't fun watching them pack up to go home. The only happy part about that was that I didn't have to pack quite yet. I was going to start on another part of my awesome vacation.........a whole new cruise with my BFF!
At this point, Christina had just landed in Ft Lauderdale.  She should be in the great care of John's Car service. I had arranged for John to pick her up and take her to the Intercontinental, just like he did with us 6 days ago.
I had no way to know, but I hoped her journey was going smoothly that day and that she had made it to Florida. I couldn't wait to talk to her in the morning.

We wanted to go to the 9:00PM VROOM show in the Caribbean theater, so we needed to get there around 8:30 if we wanted our favorite seats.

We went into the gift shop so Cody could get some last minute ship gifts.
I bought another carton of cigarettes and sent them home with Chris. Each person can take 1 carton of cigarettes back to the US, and I wanted to be able to carry another carton back with me when I got off next week. 

Lisa and Cody went to Guest services and "cashed out" their S&S cards. If you put cash on your S&S account, you can get your cash back the last night of the cruise. If you don't cash out at Guest Services, Carnival will mail you a check with your balance.

Chris and I went into the theater to get our seats. We were lucky, and we got "our" seats.
I know you aren't allowed to save seats in the theater, so we didn't. We just sat there and hoped Lisa and Cody would hurry up and come in there before another passenger wanted to sit next to us.
We did fine, and Lisa and Cody made it.
The theater fills up fast, especially the balcony seats where you don't have a pole in your view of the stage.

Also, VROOM is supposed to be Carnival's best show in their entire fleet. I hadn't seen it before, but I had read reviews about it.

The show was very good! We all loved it. I would agree it was the best show I had seen yet.
It was singing and dancing, very high energy and fast paced.
The dancers were very good.

When we got back to our cabin after the show, Carlos had left us another cute towel animal. I'm not sure what this one was either, but it was adorable.

One thing I expected to find in the cabin, but didn't, was my info for my Back-2-Back turnaround the next day.
I thought this info would be on my bed, telling me where and when to meet the next morning to get checked in for the next cruise.
I called Guest Services and asked about my Back-2-Back info. The guy on the phone checked my account and told me he didn't see anything there about me doing a B2B, but he would contact the right person and get me my info.
He also told me, if I didn't get any info, I should report to the Lobby area at the guest services desk at 9:30 the next morning and someone would be there to help me.
Sounded good to me.

I happened to go out in the hallway for something, and I saw Carlos. I told him Lisa and the kids were leaving the next day, but I would be on the ship with my friend Christina for another cruise. He said he didn't have that info either, and he thanked me for telling him.

That night, I spent some time with the kids in their cabin while they packed. At some point, we decided to walk around the ship. It's really cool to go on the top decks at night. It's a little spooky out there when the ocean is all dark.
We stopped to get ice cream on the way back.
We went back to the kids cabin and we ordered sandwiches from room service. It was nice spending time alone with them before they had to leave.
I also helped them fill out their customs forms for the next day.

Back in my cabin, I got my cell phone out of the safe and plugged it in so it could charge up while we slept.
I was going to be able to talk to my Sweetheart the next morning!

Also, I hoped Christina was safe and sound in her hotel room at the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami. I hoped she had a good flight into Miami that day. I felt bad for her that she had to start her vacation all by herself..........I was excited to see her tomorrow, and we would start our girlfriend cruise!  

Day 8 is HERE!!

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