Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: Cruising to the Bahamas, Part 1

Monday, February 27, 2012

OLA: Cruising to the Bahamas, Part 1

Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas docked at Nassau, Bahamas

cruise ship terminals at the Port of Miami
Last Christmas my children gifted us with a special cruise to the Bahamas called ‘The Husker’ Cruise 2012’, organized for the Corn Huskers, University of Nebraska’s football t’s fascination with football comes from his high school days when he was a certified jock, captain of his HS’s  football team in Pittsburg, Kansas. On his first job at Caterpillar, he was moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where all of his children were born. While he was there, the Huskers were the national champions. As a first time cruise, it was special for Bill! As for me, I am trying to find out how cruises fit into our cruising lifestyle! 
checking in at Terminal G
Day 1, Friday, February 24, Departure from Miami
Bill and I got up at 5:30 AM to move the RV to the Orlando Thousand Trails storage area. Then we drove to the Port of Miami (4 hours).  Embarkation was efficient and a huge luncheon buffet was waiting for us at the Windjammer of the Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas. As soon as we set sail at 4:30 PM, a Muster Drill (we were muster 11) was held to instruct everyone on how to proceed as soon as we hear the loud horn that signals an imminent sea mishap.

Sail Away Party at poolside and VIP Crown lounge
The Sail Away Party for the Huskers group was at the VIP Crown Lounge above the pool deck where the general party was being held. We were next treated to good laughs at the Comedy Show of Steve Bruner at the Chorus Line Theater.  An excellent formal dinner was served at the Starlight Dining Room but we were too tired for Disco with the Seas Macho Men (a la Village People). Unfortunately, we were also too late for the Open Mic Karaoke. So off we went to bed, our day had been long, and we dock at 8 am.

Majesty from the tender Bill rode to go party at CocoCay
Day 2, Saturday, February 25, Arrival at CocoCay, Bahamas
the Majesty, her island, and her passengers
CocoCay is the beach island of the Royal Caribbean. Too bad  I woke up to a terrible flare-up of hives so I spent the morning in our ocean view stateroom, hoping that they will be gone the next day when we go shopping and sight-seeing at Nassau, capital of the Bahamas. Bill brought me lots of fruits from the breakfast buffet and then he took off for the autograph signing session of the Huskers’ greats. After that, he rode a tender to take pictures at the island for this post. There he was rewarded with lots of barbecue and grills for a picnic lunch.

International Belly Flop Contest
Back at the Majesty, I finally mustered the energy to go to Windjammer for the great buffet of afternoon snacks. Then we witnessed an International Belly Flop Competition at the pool, won by a Husker great after which we proceeded to the Husker Talk at Spectrum Lounge, thinking that it would be the Football 101 class I had so wanted to attend so I can better appreciate the game. It turned out to be Nostalgia talk. They all had a good time though, and so did Bill. So I spent my time at the $10 Sale at the Shops and found a silver party bracelet!
Captain's Welcome Reception
At 8 PM was the traditional Welcome Reception by the Captain at the Chorus Line. Many women and some men dressed up for the occasion. But since I had to wear loose clothes so the hives don’t get aggravated, I was unusually underdressed! The Norwegian captain informed us that the Majesty is Ship of the Year in the Royal Caribbean suite of 22. There were 2,216 passengers from 46 countries (1,800+ Americans, 60+ Canadians and the rest, South Americans topped by Ecuadorians) and 852 crew members (his Executive Housekeeper and 253 others are Filipinos). Another formal dinner at 9 and the thoroughly entertaining Randy Cabral Juggling and Comedy Show at 11 PM capped our night.

downtown Nassau as seen from Majesty's Deck
Carol and the Constable in front of the Straw Market on Bay St. 
Day 3, Feb 26, Arrival at Nassau
The third day began with a full breakfast buffet at 8. By 10 we were strolling down Bay Street, main thoroughfare of downtown Nassau. We shopped at the Straw Market, famous for affordable crafts of the Bahamians where I found a loose but stylish dress, Bill found a magnet for our collection and a visor and ball cap for us. It was also thrilling to find Little Philippines Restaurant (there are about 400 Filipinos in Nassau)where we shared a much-missed pancit bijon. Then we visited the oldest church, Church Cathedral, nearby and the oldest of three forts, Fort Charlotte. 
Christ Church Cathedral
Fort Charlotte be continued next week.....