Nassau. Many regular cruisers seem to take issue with this place. I suppose because its frequently on itineraries. To be honest I could visit Nassau 10 times and still be happy. The place has a lot going on and I could find a new place to hang out every time I visit. If you have yet to visit Nassau, I hope you visit it with an open mind because it can be great place.
I woke up about 6:30. We’d be making port probably a little before our scheduled time of 8. I headed upstairs to get some breakfast on lido and had some coffee to make me a little less groggy. After breakfast, I grabbed my camera and headed out to the secret deck on deck 9. On Victory and Triumph, this is the secret deck where you can go out over the bridge wings. I watched as we pulled into port (we were first there), and couldn’t help but notice we had company. There were a couple red funnels on the horizon.
As we tied our mooring lines to the pier I watched as Carnival Fantasy and then Carnival Sensation made their way into port. Disney Magic soon followed as well. I had no set times to be anywhere so I took my time watching them arrive. I stepped off Victory as Disney Magic was still being secured.
Looking back on Victory. The spot next to us would be taken later by Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas.
In Nassau, I had planned to break my day up into two parts. First I’d go see the Queen’s Staircase/Fort Fincastle. Then later, I’d spend some time soaking up sun and booze at the beach. As I got off the ship, I took note of where to get my passport stamped. There is a government building on the east end of the port that has military guards. If you approach them with your passport, another ID, and answer a couple simple questions, they’ll let you into the building where pretty friendly staff will stamp your passport.
After passing the government building, I made my way up Bay Street, then up Elisabeth Avenue. Note that in some cases only one side of the street has a sidewalk and you MUST yield to traffic. Its not the worst I’ve experienced, but its very busy and they drive fairly briskly. Also, you will be walking uphill in some parts. Once I passed the hospital, the entrance to the Queen’s Staircase was directly in front of me. It was quite a sight. People had dug and carved into the side of this massive limestone hill to form this awesome and unique staircase. It was pretty impressive. On the way up the steep staircase (it is steep and the stairs are a little on the short side), I ran into Nicole and Brianna. We had a little conversation then went on going to what we were doing. As I reached the top of the staircase, some locals were offering to take photos and give information on the staircase. I skipped both and made my way to the fort (which is behind you to the right when you come up the stairs). When you get to the fort, there is a guard station where you must pay $1 to get inside. Give them a $1 because the view from the top of it is pretty nice.
NOTE, the structure to the left of the staircase. In the past there was a waterfall here. NOTE, If you have trouble with stairs and would like to use the staircase, there are handrails (seen below). There are a couple landings as well.
After walking around the fort and staircase for a while, I made my way back to the ship. I stopped to get my passport stamped and proceeded down the dock. I had to stop for a second to get a picture of this awesome yacht. Anyone know who it belongs to?
After admiring the trophy boat, I made my way back onto Victory to change into my trunks and grab my towels.
I put on my trunks and stepped back off the boat, this time opting for the photo. The great thing about the time in Nassau was I could have been on and off the ship all day. Its an easy port for those with a short attention span, haha. I was headed for the popular Junkanoo Beach. After reading a walkthrough with directions, I had a pretty good idea where it was/how to get there. Also, this awesome person I know, said I hit up this one bar on the beach while I was there for a certain drink called the “Kick My Ass”. I made my way up the sidewalks and past a lot of people trying to have me rent a scooter. “For real dude, I’m good! No Thanks!” Once I made it past the straw market and hotel I literally saw a familiar sign.
I want this sign for my place!
Walking a little further, I made it to the beach. It was actually pretty decent, though some parts were a little crowed. There wasn’t much in terms of waves because the beach is actually inside the harbor. I walked to the far end of the beach and found a nice spot under a tree where I hung out for a while. I enjoyed the quiet end of the beach before going up a little while later to the bar.
After relaxing for a while, I realized (and felt) that I forgot my sunscreen. After cursing myself, I had to watch how much time I spent at the beach. After a while I figured that I should probably go have a drink or 2 in the shade of the bar. The bar in question is called the Tiki Bikini Hut. They have food, good drinks, and free wifi (so long as you buy a drink or food). While there I opted to pass up the Kick My Ass drink in favor of trying a new (to me) beer, Kalik. It was actually pretty good. One beer turned into 2, 2 turned into a few, and a few turned into some. I was feeling pretty good and joked around with some of the other patrons and staff at the place (really friendly). There was a small group of teachers there during their schools spring break. The came from the Carnival Fantasy (I think) and were taking shots (I think, lol). The food was pretty good too. Some nicely seasoned chicken. Because they had wifi, I was texting some people back and forth. I was asked if I could find a Bahamian flag lapel pin while around. I paid my tab, and slowly made my way back towards to main shopping area. I won’t deny, there might have been some wobbling.
I started my pin quest while also looking for a magnet and/or t-shirt for for myself. I found a magnet for my tool box, but finding the pin was tough. It became a little bit of a quest. Thankfully, one person in the corner of the straw market had it. I walked around a little bit more to try and burn off some of the beer I consumed, but it was no use. A beer nap was almost upon me. I made my way back to the ship and crashed for about a little while.
Afterwards, I slowly woke myself up a little bit. I felt I should get something to eat. What goes best with beer? PIZZA! I went up to Pizza Pirate near the aft pool for a couple slices. There was a little line, which was ok at first, but then it got frustrating because the guys only made the same 2 types of pizza. 4 cheese and pepperoni. A lot of us wanted the margarita, fungi, or prosciutto pizzas and had to wait around for others to get theirs first. While waiting for my pizza, I watched Explorer of the Seas come into port. It came in, spun around, then backed into port. I grabbed my pizza, then made my way to check it out.
It’s hard to tell from the photo, but let me tell you. I wasn’t impressed with the paint on some of Carnival’s ships, but Explorer of the Seas looked pretty rough. Lots of areas with missing/faded paint. pretty dirty surfaces. I had just seen this ship on my last cruise and I didn’t remember it being that bad! Sailing in and out of the Northeast during winter must really be hard on a ship!
After eating my pizza and sitting out on the deck for a little while, I made my way to the secret decks for sail away. While standing out there waiting & watching for people running to catch the ship, company arrived. I didn’t see them at first, but I sure smelled them. It was an obvious smell of somebody smoking pot. I’m not one to care too much about smoking weed, but I can’t deny, I was a little put-off by them doing it. especially when an adolescent they were traveling with arrived. I’m pretty sure the kid didn’t smoke it, but I know he was around it. These guys didn’t look like the kind who needed it for “medical purposes.” Even if that was the case, Carnival has banned any possesion/smoking of marijuana for any reason. They got it on some way though. Thankfully, they quit and went back inside.
When we started leaving, it was really neat. We backed out and then turned around. While backing out. I couldn’t help but notice all the people on the aft decks of the Fantasy Class ships. The ships really look pretty fun to cruise. Maybe next time.
After Nassau, and all the beer with pizza, I was feeling pretty good. I took another nap, then headed down to shore excursions to find something to do for my time in Half Moon Cay. I had nothing planned and thought staying on the beach all day was nice, but possibly a waste. Working there that afternoon was Anna, a beautiful Russian girl. We talked back and forth about some cool things to do and I settled on an Aqua Trax tour (jet-skis) at 9:30 am. It would be my first time on a jet-ski. I was pretty excited.
I wanted to see what kind of craziness people were up to on elegant night. I got dressed nice and made my way to the dining room around 8. I told Brianna and Nicole it was lobster night and that I’d probably be there. At exactly 8:15, they opened the doors and I sat down for dinner. A short time later, I was joined by the girls and we were given menus. Tonight I was not graced by the woman with the mostly-see-through shirt and her friend. Both Brianna and Nicole ordered the lobster. Both had never had it and I wasn’t sure if they enjoyed it. It probably didn’t help though, that I referred to it as an insect under the sea, and then played with the tail. I ordered a glass of wine, that eventually turned into a bottle. After a nice wine buzz, it was time for dessert and we all ordered the bitter & blanc (bread pudding). It was excellent, but really hard to finish. As much as I liked it though, I was a little sad realizing that Carnival was phasing it out in favor of Nutella cake. As we were leaving the dining room staff started dancing (some on tables, see video at bottom). I had seen it before, but this time they seemed to really be into it.
After eating we took some ridiculous photos that were pretty embarrassing (didn’t bring them home). We also went to the nightclub and hung out at the bar. NOBODY was on the dance floor. The music was a little weak. We ordered the disco ball cups/drinks and headed out. We made our way out to the secret decks again and watched shooting stars while drinking from our disco ball cups. I remembered how nasty the drink they put in those was. They agreed, it was nasty. We stood out there for a while just enjoying how peaceful it was. We were on deck 7 which was right below and in front of the ship’s bridge. A crew member had seen us and we waved back and forth. After staying out there for a little while, I felt like I should probably get to bed. The next day was going to be an early one.