Warm Beaches and Carribbean Islands

Bahamas Travel Blog

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Green Waters.. Blue Skies..
I always wanted to travel on a ship. Thanks to all the movies I had seen and books I had read, I had a very nice, albeit biased, picture of the experience of a cruise. I even went so far as to inquire about ships sailing from Chennai to the Andaman Islands!
Of course, that trip never materialized. But having come to the US, I was determined to log this experience.

And so, when Chicago got too cold and unbearable in the month of February, I decided to drag the Hubby on a cruise to the Bahamas. Luring him with images of sunny beaches and cool tropical drinks, I convinced him to accompany me on this much planned trip.

Our cruise departed from Miami. So we set off on a Friday morning on a flight bound for Florida . Reached there by noon and realized that the bus system wasn’t as simple as we had expected it to be! Finally, got to the port and got onto the ship.
The ships interiors..
(Yes, we always use the public transportation system as much as we can. Although it is most inconvenient in the US suburbs)

First off, we were amazed at the sheer size of the vessel! It was massive!!! Beyond words! We didn’t think we could feel anything while that ship was at sea. But we were so mistaken. I shudder to imagine the fury of the sea that could make that gigantic vessel sway in a perceptible manner!

Anyway, so we boarded the ship and went to our designated stateroom. It was small, adequate, and lovely! 
We had a nice firm bed, a TV, an attached bathroom and even some cupboards to hang our clothes in! To us, it was most satisfactory!

We soon went exploring the gigantic vessel we were going to be stranded in for a couple of days.
The sunny streets of the Bahamas
. We found a lot of shops, restaurants, lounges, pubs… verandah-like places.. swimming pools.. and even a casino!! All geared to having the on-board captive audience enjoy the cruise to the max. There were shows organized throughout the day… games …quizzes… competitions.. all kinds of stuff. For the Hubby, it was the all day unlimited food that worked the charm! He couldn’t have possibly asked for anything more!

The first day, we were pretty tired from the flight and all, and so we hit the bed early. The next morning, after breakfast, we reached the Bahamas (Nassau). We were to spend the whole day at the island. There were some tours and on-shore excursions organized by the cruise. But we decided to go solo, especially because all the conducted tours were so expensive!!

So off we went, armed with a map of the island… we took a ferry… went around the island.
Atlantis - up close!
. Visited the famed Atlantis…and then just generally walked around for a while. Then I decided that having come so far, I want to try out snorkeling! So we went and found out where and how we could go. Neither the Hubby nor I knew exactly how its done and all… but we decided to find out! Everyone told us that if we could swim, then snorkeling would come easy. A water sports operator took us in his speed boat right into the ocean… and then, gave us a mask and a pair of fins, and asked us to jump into the ocean!!! There was a tube which we could cling onto…and we had to lower ourselves into the water with the mask and fins on. The mask essentially had a long tube.. one end of which went into the mouth, and the other end would remain above the water. And we were supposed to breathe through our mouths while our faces were under water.
Senor Frogs - the local "get sloshed" joint!

And in this manner we were to observe the underwater life… the fishes and the coral!

Now, unfortunately, that particular day was somewhat cold even in the Bahamas . Cold as in, maybe a little colder than a rainy day in Chennai. By no means was it anywhere close to how Chicago gets. But by Bahamas standards, it was on the cold side. And so, everyone told us the water will be cold when we go snorkeling. To deal with this, the Hubby decided to prepare his body. And so, on the boat ride into the ocean, he stripped down to his swim shorts. I was still in my shorts and sweater. He felt that his body would be able to better deal with the cold water if he acclimatized it on the way.

So after all this drama, we got into the water. I don’t know whether it was out of excitement or whether my body dealt with it better, but I didn’t feel very cold when I stripped down to my swimsuit and got into the water.
Pristine beaches..
After the initial coolness, I didn’t feel a thing. But the Hubby almost went into hypothermia! His body started shaking all over. He tried speaking but his lips were moving beyond his control… his knees went up to his chest and he just couldn’t move! So the person who had brought us there insisted that he get out of the water.

That was a pity because it really was a lovely experience. After the Hubby got out, I tried the whole �" breathe through the tube technique �" and managed to get a hang of it. And then I was underwater ….watching the fish swim by.. and corals in all possible colors and shapes!! And then the boat person asked me to swim further away and explore. I was afraid at first, thinking that I may not be able to swim back to the boat.
Elegant evening!
But I found that the water was quite calm and I had no difficulty swimming. So I went some distance and kept finding more and more life forms underwater. I don’t think I saw anything really fascinating to a seasoned explorer. But to me, it was so exciting!

Anyways, after that, with the Hubby warmed up, we went back to the island and decided to check out the jewellery stores that the place was famous for. Every store we visited gave us a little gem because they had collaboration with our ship. So I picked up �" as souvenirs - a little diamond, amethyst, sapphire, and something called Tanzanite!

And then we decided to have a little tropical drink. I don’t even know what it was called. It was pink… fruity….. and definitely had some alcohol in it! And we loved it! The hubby who shies away from regular alcohol, was gulping it down with great delight!

Then as evening fell, we returned to the ship.
The lounge
That evening was themed “elegant evening” at the ship. So we had to dress up nicely and the captain threw a cocktail party and all. There again, we found some nice unique drinks that we thoroughly enjoyed.

The next day was spent entirely on the ship as we set back towards Miami . There were different shows organized throughout the day… dances.. game shows… and of course, the casino was open all day. The hubby and I gambled a bit. Won some… lost some… 
Then there was a lounge bar where Karaoke was going on.. That was good fun too. And there was a love and marriage game show where they had 3 couples �" one newly wed, one into 8 yrs or so of marriage.. and one wed for 45 years! And they asked all men questions about their wives, and their marriage… And asked them to write it down.
South Beach - Miami
Then they asked the women the same questions and matched the answers to see how well the couple knew each other! That was really nice too! The old couple won hands down!! It was as if they could read each others minds! All answers matched right down to the dot!

With that day, the cruise came to an end and we were back in Miami . Since we had a couple of hours to kill before our flight, we decided to explore the beaches of Miami as well. So we headed over to one of the popular beaches and then just lazed there… The sun shining bright above us… the sands soft and clean…. And waters clear and green… It was so pretty.

And then, it was time to head home.

Surprisingly, a heat wave hit Chicago over the weekend. And so when we got back, all the ice and snow was gone.. the green grass had sprung out as if spring had arrived! And it was warm!! That was fabulous to come back to!

Although it is temporary, its nice to have a few days of extended warmth!

And although we may never go on a cruise again, it was an experience we had to have! I only wish the Hubby could’ve come into the waters too. It was a pleasure swimming there!

Oh well… maybe some other place.. some other time… some other ocean!
anupa_rk says:
definitely must! :)
Posted on: Aug 28, 2009
vulindlela says:
Wow, another great blog!
I'd love to do a cruise someday...
Posted on: Aug 28, 2009
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Green Waters.. Blue Skies..
Green Waters.. Blue Skies..
The ships interiors..
The ships interiors..
The sunny streets of the Bahamas
The sunny streets of the Bahamas
Atlantis - up close!
Atlantis - up close!
Senor Frogs - the local get slosh…
Senor Frogs - the local "get slos…
Pristine beaches..
Pristine beaches..
Elegant evening!
Elegant evening!
The lounge
The lounge
South Beach - Miami
South Beach - Miami