'Free' Cruise to the Bahamas, 2014
Ron and Carol have done several cruises with Carnival, so they decided to give them a free cabin on an upcoming cruise. They only had to pay taxes. Ron splurged and got a balcony, but the total for the 6 night cruise less than $400! From Baltimore the stops were Port Canaveral, Nassau and Freeport. Here is a link to Carol's blog relating to the trip: http://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/29594.html
The first morning and this is what Ron and Carol felt and saw when they got up. 50mph winds off NC, the “graveyard of ships.” Fortunately the winds were from the north, behind the ship.
Pretty girl alert! The next day was much nicer. Still a bit cool so sitting in the sun was actually nice.
Somewhere off SC. Ron and Carol with Executive Chef ‘Panda’ Nirada. Ron and Carol decided to do the “Chef’s Table” which included a tour of the galley and a 7-course meal prepared and served(!) by the ship’s head chef, a really likable person. What a treat.
Lone Cabbage, a turn-of-the-century fish camp outpost on the banks of the St. John River, east of Port Canaveral.
Lone Cabbage – Carol and a new friend. There was an animal rescue group there raising funds for the many animals they could not return to the wild. For a donation you got to hold some of the animals. Carol also got to hold a baby alligator.
Lone Cabbage – An airboat that went out on the St. John River and the Central Florida Everglades.
St. John River – Large alligators waiting for someone to jump out of the boat. No one did.
Nassau - The harbor entrance with Paradise Island behind.
Nassau. The cruise ship port and city behind. Ron and Carol walked east from here all the way down Bay Street and over and across a tall bridge to Paradise Island and to a beach, over 2 miles. Shopping and eating along the way. They took the ferry back to the ship.
Nassau - Mary L’s Kreative Krafts. Possibly the best Bahaman craft store in Nassau. A shop in the front and a large open workshop in the back with ladies making the crafts. Really nice people also.
Nassau, still on Bay Street. Zombie alert! A graveyard with a broken tomb. Ron and Carol made sure they were back on the ship before dark.
Nassau - Ron on the high bridge going over to Paradise Island. The beach turned out to be full of people. There are much better on the island, and closer to the cruise ships. From 2010: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1315840876007&l=69ac620232
Nassau – The Carnival Pride as seen from the Paradise Island ferry. (88,500 ton, 2124 guests)
Freeport – Ron and Carol did a bus tour of the island. Here are the Bahamian Pines that covered the island in earlier times, and was the crop that brought the first Europeans here.
Freeport, Taino Beach – The bus stopped at this really wonderful and empty beach. Carol found some nice shells and beach glass.
Freeport, Port Lucaya Marketplace – Big modern shopping area with some local crafts. (Nothing as good as Mary L’s.) The Arawak and Lucaya Tribes were the native inhabitants of the island.
Atlantic, heading north – Another ‘Shroud of Carol’, as Carol cleans up after a formal dinner.
Baltimore – Carnival kicked everyone out of their cabins early. (Another departure that afternoon.) Ron and Carol were able to snatch a nice cabana to spend their last hours on the ship.
Baltimore – Ron and Carol enjoyed the cabana so much they were slow to get off the ship and were near the end of the line, leaving their bags all along.