Day 4 – Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas
Norwegian Cruise Line’s own private island! We’d been here twice before in 2010 at the beginning of 2012. The one and a half year difference was enough to see the vast changes and improvements that had been made to the island. So we we are definitely looking forward to see what’s in store tomorrow when we get there.
Tomorrow came quickly, we woke late dressed and took the tender boat ride which lasted about 5 minutes and arrived on the island and head straight to the beach. We didn’t see any available chairs in the first section, there was another area with plenty, but I’d brought a few huge blue beach towels from my Epic trip in April and figured we could just use these. After all, we’re on the beach!
Hubby went snorkeling while I did some reading. I’d considered going on one of the huge blue floats, but the Mr. wanted to eat and so off we went to find a spot in the shade and head over to the buffet.
The buffet on the island carried tons of things to eat for vegetarians, lots of salad, couscous, corn and my favorite island/southern style rice and beans. I was so happy to see that choice that I went back for seconds. I saw Felix Esprit the restaurant manager the second time I came from the area and pointed out that I had my second helping of rice and beans. Considering that I was doing a lot of second helping eating on this trip what I decided to do next was an interesting choice.
From not far away I could hear the sound of music, so I looked at the Mr. and said “I’m going to take a little walk that way. I’ll be right back.” When I got over to the area with the bandstand there were playing the cupid shuffle, so I jumped in and as I was about to go back over and sit down it was Limbo time. How could I resist! Mind you I’d just had two helpings of lunch so in retrospect this was probably a silly idea, but when have I let a silly idea deter me from anything! So I danced to the limbo, stretched, leaned back and made my way under. For one practice run and two passes underneath before all of that food took over and try as I might I fell to my knees in the sand. Ah well!
I’d not realized that my “I’ll be right back” had turned into about a half an hour, so before I knew it, my husband had walked over and said “where’ve you been?” He decided to take a walk around the island and I figured it was time for me to go back to the ship. The plan was to go to the gym. Sometimes, I’m so funny 🙂 I walked over to the tender boat and wound up sitting next to Ignacio the Food and Beverage Director (whose last name unfortunately I do not have) and had a nice chat with him.
By the time the Mr. came back to the room I was laying down playing a game on my iPad, he laughed and said “the gym eh”. Yes well I did a few leg lifts while I was there. No need to run to the gym just yet, After all it’s not as if I was eating 2 meals at one sitting and drinking to my hearts content…okay, okay, I should have went to the gym. I usually go the gym on cruises but for some reason the only thing that I wanted to do was sleep, walk around, eat, walk around some more, eat again and then sleep. Apparently this “tough” year of constant cruising has caught up with me 😉
Later that evening we decided to go to Le Bistro for dinner. As a Latitudes Platinum member I’m offered dinner for two with Sparkling wine at this restaurant (nice perk) and this seemed a good evening to take advantage of that. It’s my husband’s favorite restaurant on the ship so he was happy to be going that evening. We had a lovely server named Michelle from St. Lucia who brought out our tasty fare. I can’t quite remember what the Mr. at, but I had Scallops as an appetizer, Napoleon legumes for an entree and Crème brûleé for dessert. What chocolate cake is for some people Crème brûleé is to me. Simply scrumptious.
After changing out of our dinner wear, because we do semi-dress for dinner. I wear a dress and my dear husband will wear a dress shirt and slacks (I’ve been encouraging the use of a tie). So after I put on some general “all about” clothing, we went to listen to the talented group Next Stage do a Beatles tribute in the Atrium.
I really don’t think that it matters what decade you were born in, there’s something about many of the Beatles songs that are emotionally touching and you don’t even have to be on LSD to feel that way. 😉
Night number three and this time I was more than ready to hit the dance floor, bot the mister was tired and while I don’t mind spending time and dancing by myself, it seemed to be kinder to stay with him, so I did, and of course had another really long sleep. Notice the eating, sleeping theme of this trip, you’d think we were infants or puppies.
Day 5 – Nassau, Bahamas
The only thing that we knew that we wanted to do when we reach Nassau was to get some rum cakes from the Tortuga rum shop. So we donned our sunscreen and sunglasses got off the ship and started walking. We aimlessly strolled in the warmth of the Bahamian sun until we came upon the Bahamas Cultural Center. We went inside and were greeting by a Bahamas scholar named Tony who told us about the area from the Lucayan Indians through the time of colonialism and slavery until present day.
We bought a book on the history of the Bahamas, made a small donation and I started preliminary plans in my mind to hear to Eluthera one day. A place that I’d heard of but knew nothing about. It happened to be Tony’s ancestral home and after hearing a lot more about it, it’s definitely on the agenda of places to go in the future.
We continued out walk about 2 blocks to the Queen’s Staircase area. There we happened to meet a courtesy guide named Antonio who gave us a very comprehensive overview of the canyon area, Queen’s Staircase and water tower. Over 5000 slaves died digging out the canyon area in order for the Governor of the area at the time to make his way to safety if the island was ever raided. That day never happened while he was there. A sad and poignant reminder to us in the modern day never to accept inhumanity of this sort and a reminder about the preciousness and worth of all human beings no matter where we are from or what we look like.
We head up the Queen’s Staircase, each of which represents a year that she ruled on the thrown of England.
From there we made a right and walked over to take photos of the water tower and Fort Fincastle on Bennett’s Hill. Fort Entrance is only $1 and it’s a good to have a panoramic view of the cruise ships as well as take photos of yourself next to the canons. The fort this day was a little less military and prettier than usual as they were decorating in preparation for a wedding taking place that evening.
After we head on over to a small restaurant next to water tower in order to have a bite. I had tasty conch fritters ($4) hubby had a beer and I had a coconut something or other, which while good didn’t have an alcoholic punch. Total $13.50. They serve about 8 nice sized conch fritters which is definitely enough for 2 people.
Making our way back down we walked around, bought some Bahamian rum and rum cake from a small shop and then went over to the Tortuga shop and stocked up on Rum cake. Being pretty weighed down with bags after our last stop we decided to go back to the Jewel and drop them off.
Next stop was Senor Frog. I’d been there about eight and a half years ago on my very first cruise on the Carnival Miracle, which also happened to be docked in Nassau this time as well. The Mr. had never been there so it seemed like a good way to end an afternoon. Somehow I managed to forget that eight years ago I was eight years younger and what was amusing to me then isn’t necessarily amusing to me now. So after a drink and watching drunk frat boys dance we decided not to get a table walked down the street and around the corner across the street from the British Colonial Hilton to a take out place named ‘Imperial’.
Very well cooked and fresh but too much money for what it included. I had a small piece of corn on the cob, 6 fried shrimp and french fries which came to $8.50
Walking past the pirate museum and gift shops we took a few photos in front of the cartoon caricatures of the female pirate Anne Bonny (of whom Bonnie of Bonnie and Clyde fame took her name) and then moseyed along to the Straw market to buy a couple of gifts, from there it was time to head back to the terminal where I bought some island spices. There’s free wifi in the area next to the large Junkanoo costume, at the cross :streets” of Queen’s Highway and Settler’s Way.
Waiting on the long but fast moving line through customs we took a few more photos with the Jewel in the background of the setting sun and danced up the gangway going back inside of our floating hotel.
When we reached our stateroom we went onto the balcony to take video of people dancing while boarding and well as watching those on the Disney Dream watching all of the merriment below for those entering the Jewel. It was a cute scene to take in, I was dancing on my balcony watching people on the Disney Dream dancing on theirs all to the beat of the Wobble, Danza Kuduro and Gangnam Style while getting ready for dinner.
Teppanyaki was on the menu for dinner. We had a chef that like all of them really seemed to enjoy his job and made it an enjoyable experience. I asked for a mix of scallops with Tofu instead of Scallops and Shrimp for my Hibachi which was a good combination. We shared a Japanese Martini finished up with Green tea cake and ice cream.
Jean-Pierre Parent had two performances at 7:30 and 9:30pm, we caught the second show which was impressive and funny as usual. JP puts a lot connecting with the audience and making sure that they’re having fun. If you’re interested in learning more about magic tricks on the second sea day (the day after his full performance) he gives a workshop, which on this sailing takes place at 1:00pm in the Stardust theater.
Once again the best laid plans…the goal was to go dancing but once I got to the room and sat down for a few minutes my body began to relax and that was that. 🙂
Notes: Courtesy guides work for tips, so if you accept their services it’s nice to leave them with a few dollars. — You need a valid form of photo ID and your ship card in order to get past customs in the terminal. Your state drivers license will do, there is no need to bring your passport. — You can use USD in the Bahamas and for the most part will get back U.S. Dollars in change. If your chance is only a dollar or two there are times that a vendor will let you know that they only have Bahamian dollars for your change (1:1 currency exchange). They do make a nice souvenir of your day in Nassau.
All photos and written material copyright @TravelXena.com 2012