Bahamas Cruise

Bahamas Cruise

Day 1

After leaving the house around 9pm the night before (the 27th), we caught a red eye to Miami, arriving around 9:30am. A Royal Caribbean representative was right there at baggage claim to greet us (by name). She even retrieved our baggage for us! We hung out in the lounge for about 45 minutes before a bus took us to the cruise ship.

Checking onto the cruise ship, Majesty of the Seas, was pretty painless and only took about 15 minutes. Once on board, we headed to the Windjammer Cafe for lunch since we couldn’t go to our stateroom for another hour. The food in the Windjammer is ok…just. Being from Seattle, home of great restaurants, we have become food snobs and what is considered excellent food by mid-westerners and probably average Americans, we consider it just ok and in a class with Denny’s or Old Country Buffet.

After dropping our overnight bags in our stateroom, we headed to the 7th deck for the mandatory lifeboat drill. That done, our ship got underway and we proceeded to deck 12 to watch the sunset as we left Miami.

Our bags delivered to our stateroom, it was a quick shower and change of clothes before heading to dinner in our assigned dining room.

We were shown to our table, which sat 8 people, but it was just us and another couple with a one year old…nobody else joined us the entire trip.

Our waiter was Hamdi from Turkey and our assistant waiter was William, who called my husband “Sir William”. I chose the catch of the day, which was sea bass and William had steak. Because of my dairy allergy, I couldn’t have the sauce on the fish, so it didn’t have much flavor. In fact, it was pretty hard to avoid dairy the entire trip. William had better luck with gluten-free, but he wasn’t as careful about it as he should have been. I think I still got butter in my meal because I had terrible cramping later that evening.

Day 2

Since our snorkeling excursion wasn’t until 2pm, we slept in until around 9am. Our ship was already docked when we got up and went to eat breakfast.

Breakfast was in the Windjammer Cafe. There’s something about most restaurant bacon and sausage links that makes it taste awfu. The powdered scrambled eggs didn’t add anything to the experience! Luckily, I found the line for made-to-order omelets that used real eggs. I’m not supposed to eat eggs (allergy), but it’s not as bad on me if I don’t eat much or that often. Since my alternatives all involved dairy or cold fruit, I opted to forego the no-eggs rule on this trip. So, an omelet without cheese and corned beef hash (from a can) was my typical breakfast throughout the trip. That’s the only bad think about leaving Seattle…other places just don’t accommodate food allergies like Seattle does!

After breakfast, we hung out in our stateroom for a bit before changing into our swimming attire and going ashore. After a 30 minute wait, our tour company finally rounded up everyone and had us take a 10 minute walk to their boat. I found that I wasn’t the only one to bring along my own snorkel and mask…a few other women had done the same (I can’t stand the cheap snorkels these companies use!).

Donning my snorkel vest, my mask and snorkel, I jumped into the water. The first thing that happened was that I lost my water shoes. Luckily, they floated and I was able to throw them onboard. I didn’t need them anyway, since the water was well over my head and I was in no danger of touching the bottom with my feet. I opted not to wear flns like everyone else since I usually lose them, too. What I didn’t notice until someone told me was that my maks and snorkel had flown off and sunk to the bottom. I thought for sure that I had lost them forever (since I couldn’t dive down that deep), but a divign veteran came to my rescue and retrieved them for me.

Once I was situated again, I found that I had a moment of panic as I relived my panic attack while trying to snorkel in a wetsuit back home (another story). After inflating my snorkel vest and William by my side, I calmed down and started to enjoy the experience.

Back on our ship, we showered and dressed for dinner, which was formal night. William’s wore his normal work attire and I wore a simple black dress with a beautiful shawl he had brought back from Spain. We figured it was dressy enough. We splurged and paid extra to have lobster and steak for our meal.

 

Day 3

CocoCay is a private island in the Bahamas that is owned by Royal Caribbean. The cruise ship has to be tendered away from shore, so we were ferried to the island by a double-decker boat. The water was really choppy, so the boat did a lot of bobbing, making it important to hold on.

I found out that even though I had my own snorkel and mask, I had to rent a snorkel vest before they would let me snorkel in the water. So, I added fins, which did make life easier (and they stayed on my feet this time). We also had to attend a safety briefing, which was helpful since they pointed out where there was a sunken airplane and ship (with cannon).

With William by my side, we made our way to one of the floating docks about 200 yards from shore. The fins really were invaluable since the current was fairly strong. I took a breather on the dock and lent William my snorkel so he could give it a try. It’s an ultra-dry and prevents any water from going down the tube, which always happens to me with the cheap snorkels. He checked out the sunken ship/cannons and convinced me to check it out. I was glad I did…there were a lot of fish hanging out (hiding) by the cannons. After spending 20 or so minutes in this spot, I couldn’t locate William. The water was too choppy for me to see if he had gone to the airplane location and I felt a bit panicked by myself, so I started to swim to shore. I was a bit nervous because there were treacherous rocks and was afraid the current would push me into them. When I was about 10 yards from shore, I turned around and saw William a few yards behind me. Apparently he never lost sight of me and was behind me the entire time.

Lunch was a beach barbecue hosted by Royal Caribbean….hamburgers, hotdogs, spareribs, corn, mac & cheese (which I couldn’t have, but William said tasted aweful), and lettuce/tomato, etc. for the burgers. Again, the food was “just” ok.

We opted to head back to the ship to beat the rush for the tender boats. A quick shower to rinse off the salt water, then nap time. We started getting accustomed to taking two hour naps before dinner on this trip.

Dinner in the dining room was seafood that night. I had tiger shrimp and scrapped off the garlic butter. I can’t remember what William ate. I must have eaten too many carbs/sweets, because I got a really bad headache and went into one of my diabetic sleeps right after we got back to our room. I slept a good two hours (on top of the two hour nap) and felt fine when I woke up.

The ship held a dance party on the pool deck close to midnight. Lots of food/fruit to snack on, drinks served in whole pineapples, and good music. I was actually in a dancing mood, but William wasn’t feeling it, so I only got to dance to half a song. Bummer.

 

Day 4

While I was eating breakfast, and William was still finding his way out of bed, the front desk called and told him that our Snuba tour was canceled due to choppy water and poor visibility (underwater). We were really looking forward to this experience and were hoping it would be a good introduction to scruba. None of the other tours sounded appealing.

Before going ashore, all passengers had to go through immigrations at a designated spot onboard. I accidently got in the nonresident line, which was extremely long. William didn’t want to wait that long and said he would do it later. By the time I found out my correct location and spent less than a minute going through immigrations, I lost William and ended up going ashore by myself. I did a little shopping, visited the aquarium (which has nothing on Seattle’s aquarium!) and a shipwreck museum. Key West was once one of the weathiest places in America because the original inhabitants salvaged wrecks along the Keys (and there were hundreds of them).

My knees hurting like hell from the walking, I headed back to the ship and still couldn’t find William. So, I ate a late lunch at Johnny Rockets and took a nap. William showed up an hour later. It turns out that he also did a bit of shopping in Key West.

I decided to soak my knees in the hot tub while William took his nap. Unlucky for me, one was too crowded and the one I did get in had an old man in it that talked my ear off about trying to find a wife on a cruise (he went once a month). After saying “my husband…” haf a dozen times, I left in a hurry and went back to the room.

Dinner was Italian Night. Since I couldn’t have the butter or the cheese, I opted for a New York strip even though I shouldn’t eat red meat (unless it’s organic, grass-fed beef or wild game). William got a lamb shank AND splurged and bough another lobster!

That night, after our shop left Key West and headed back to Miami, the wind really picked up, blowing chairs about on the upper decks. It also caused rough seas and our ship did so much rolling that I felt slightly dizzy and like I was on an amusement ride. I’m sure some passengers got sea sick!

Day 5

Our alarm went off at 7am, jarring us awake. While William showered, I finished packing, then we both went off to a final breakfast aboard the ship.

We had opted to keep our baggage with us and do the self-assit checkout at 9:30am. It appeared that a lot of others did the same bacause the customs line was quite long. It did move fairly fast, though, and before long we were on a bus and headed back to the airport.

Originally, I had hoped that we could take an Everglades tour to fill time before our 7pm flight home, but all tours were canceled for lack of participation. We didn’t relish spending seven hours sitting around an airport and made the decision to try for an earlier flight in spite of having to pay $50 each to change our tickets. We were in luck and got a 1pm flight to St. Paul, MN, with a short layover before flying home to Seattle. The only catch was that we couldn’t sit together. No problem….while I love my husband dearly, between my butt and his wide shoulders, sitting together on an airplane isn’t exactly comfortable, so sitting apart…next to skinnier people…didn’t break my heart. As luck would have it, though, I ended up sitting next to a chatty Kathy, whoc talked loudly across the aisle to his co-worker the entire flight home to Seattle! I tried to sleep, but his jarring voice kept waking me up.

Once back in Seattle, we decided to spring for a town car to take us to our house since it was cheaper than even Shuttle Express (who charges by the person instead of the trip). It was nice arriving home in comfort.

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