2010 Family Cruise
Bahamas Cruise July 2010Click thumbnail to view full-size
2010 Family Cruise
Well, well, well, my family was blessed to enjoy our best type of vacation - a cruise - to the Bahamas in July of this year. Although we did not officially plan the cruise we enjoyed the ride and even brought some additional company with us.
One year ago, my wife’s best friend who resides in Florida told her about organizing a family reunion in the form of a cruise to the Bahamas for July 2010. The itinerary included a beach stop at Royal Caribbean’s private island, Coco Cay and an all-day stopover in Nassau. At first we did not think of going because of two major reasons: 1. after all this was the Simpsons’ family, not the Grants’ and, 2. we had just returned from a 7-day Norwegian Cruise to the Western Caribbean (stops included Samana, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, USVI; Tortola, BVI; and Nassau, Bahamas). Anyway, after realizing that my wife would be thrilled to join her friend on vacation, I suggested that we go.
One of the best things about going on vacation with my wife’s best friend and her family is the fact that the family is a really nice set of people. We both know or know of most of them. Additionally, two of the sisters are our sons’ godmothers; I am godfather to one of the nieces; I taught two of the nieces in Sunday School; and some of us attended the same church when we lived in New York. Finally, the Simpsons’ family is a group of achievers, but yet they are humble and gracious people to deal with. I enjoy being among such people.
So off we went to hot-hot Bahamas.
We were fortunate to have mostly overcast days and some rain, which cooled the temperatures a bit. Our first stop was in Coco Cay – Royal Caribbean’s own. This is largely a beach stop and most people had a good time. One lady had a “surprise” visit and could not get into the water. Such a pity! The water was indeed fun. Some time during the early afternoon we broke for lunch and what a delight that was. There was food everywhere and not enough mouths to eat.
To talk about food, this is one hallmark of any cruise. There is so much food at different times, and if one is careless one could easily have gained unwanted pounds (not Sterling).
From Coco Cay we went to Nassau. There were 32 people in the group and so we decided to do a tour of the island including the Atlantis. We found two operators who were bargained into accepting $20 per adult, $15 for children 6-12 and $0 for those under 6. The tour gave us a look into Bahamian history and a feel for how the people live. Interestingly, houses that cost US$¼ million or more appeared to be far smaller than something of a similar price in the United States. However, one important aspect of Bahamian life is the fact that their currency is very strong and trades 1-1 with the US Dollar. Our tour included a stop at old fort showing replicas of cannons used in colonial times. Except that this old fort saw no action.
The final stop was the Atlantis, always so grand and magnificent. We learned that one night can cost as much as $25,000 or more. WOW! You may wonder if the visitors are fed out of golden wares. Probably not, but the architecture is amazing and the service is superb. Some members of our group sneaked a peak upstairs and were dumbfounded. The rest of us hung out downstairs and viewed a tease of the world- renowned aquarium. It was a refreshing stop, but a short one. Off we went back to the harbor.
NassauHarbor is always a beautiful sight – for the four times I have been there. On all four occasions there were several ships docked in the port and made for a photographer’s dream (at least for me). I simply enjoy seeing all those enormous vessels sitting simultaneously in the harbor and always stare admiringly at the size and design of each ship. On this occasion there were five ships – 2 by Royal Caribbean boats; 2 by Norwegian and 1 by Carnival. Such amazing babies!
Back to the ship and to even more fun!