Early this summer, my husband Paul and I took a cruise to the Bahamas. It was a venture of glamour and romance. It was everything we thought it would be. We loved the cruise and would go again. Our destination was Coco Cay and Nassau. We sailed from and back to Miami. The weather, sunrises, and sunsets were just spectacular. This particular cruise came highly recommended by two people, each of whom had taken it multiple times as a long weekend getaway. We sailed Friday and returned Monday.
Still there were surprises, not necessarily unpleasant, for us. We were inexperienced cruisers. First, the ship is really big. I mean, we knew it held twenty-six hundred passengers and a crew of over eight hundred, but we were awed at the enormity of it as it anchored at its berth at the Port of Miami. This vessel was not only a block plus long, but the tiered decks and flying bridge were stacked very high—a total of nine, a least. On the top there was even a rockclimbing wall.
We were fully aware of all the facts and figures, by actually seeing it is another matter entirely. All of these things contribute to a great deal of walking from customs coming and going. The hall to our suite seemed interminable. Yes there were elevators, and we used them; there were times, however when we were required to use the stairs. For example, marine law states that one has to stand muster on deck in proximity to his or her assigned lifeboat. This nautical operation occurs at an hour at sea. The afternoon sun was hot and the ship’s officer droned on about safety procedures—lifeboats, jackets, orderly conduct in response to an emergency. All of us were packed on deck like sardines. The children on deck, though I must say were very well behaved or in total awe. Incidentally, all the bars were closed during the drill and no alcohol was permitted on deck.
Okay, remember the ship sails. Yes, this is obvious! You still feel the boat moving especially if there are rough sea conditions like wind, ran, thunder and lightning. A devout cruise passenger may even be able to eat while the motion is occurring.
Dinner, although breakfast and lunch are not, is set according to assigned seats. The dining rooms which are many are marvelous. Not all the people there, however, speak English. This situation is a fact.
The sight seeing in ports was first-rate, but again, there is a lot of walking even if you have hired transportation to show you the high spots. We enjoyed our pampered vacation, and returned safely. This venture was unlike the cruise my brother and his wife experienced. They were kept at sea for a few extended days in order to evade a hurricane which had quickly intruded on their original course. Cruising is an adventure not for the faint of heart or body! You will always remember this time at sea.