Bahama-Rama III

August 7, 2010

Location: Nassau, The Bahamas
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~ DAY THREE ~

Day three sneaks up on us quicker than we would have liked. After only a few hours of sleep we wake to Mike’s cell phone alarm and take turns getting ready; I’m first. Every one after me seems to take their time so I head up to Deck 11 alone and tell the others to meet me there. Throughout the night, the Monarch of the Seas had cruised its way toward Nassau and docked there a few hours before we awoke. The view from our breakfast table this morning in phenomenal; a Norwegian cruise liner is docked beside us in some of the most amazing ocean water I’ve ever experienced before in all my travels, and in the distance, Atlantis can be seen. Views like this aren’t to be taken for granted.

After consuming a hearty breakfast of sausage, piles and piles of bacon, cured ham, scrambled eggs, toast, hash browns and fruit we make our way down to Deck 1 to exit the Monarch of the Seas. It is ridiculously hot outside. I mean, it is so hot that it reminds me of that one time I fell asleep with my laptop sitting on my lap and it burned an attractive red patch onto my upper thigh multiplied by about eight hundred. Taking a shower this morning was absolutely pointless as I’m already swimming in a pool of my own sweat. Right now I am about as attractive as a baboon running around in distress from a torrential down pour; hello boys!

We make our way through this one building that gives us access to Downtown Nassau. We are greeted by a big, colourful Welcome to Nassau and The Bahamas sign before we start getting pestered by the locals to buy from them or to use their services. One lady offers us a ferry ride from Downtown Nassau to Paradise Island for $6 each round trip. We take her up on her offer and board the ferry. As the ferry pulls away from the dock, a guide starts narrating the history of Nassau to us which I find extremely educating and enjoyable to listen to. The 360° views that we have from the ferry are breathtaking; especially once we’ve cleared the port and look back to see the four cruise liners docked there. Amazing.

The ferry docks at Paradise Island and we are told to return no later than 6pm for the final trip back to the mainland. Awesome, this gives us plenty of time to explore Atlantis. Without further ado, we make our way over to the resort. It’s a good thing Mike has been here on previous cruise trips because he knows exactly which way to lead us.

As we approach Atlantis, I am overcome with jealousy as to the size of some of the yachts docked there. There is one yacht that has it’s own speed boat and jet ski’s on deck as well as a 60″ flat screen LCD TV swiveled over a marble outdoor bar. Not to mention the yacht parked next to it which I’m pretty sure is bigger than the size of my house. It must be so tough being rich. Buggers. Maybe a high roller will see me in the casino and be turned on by my pool of sweat and whisk me away on his yacht where we will make yacht babies while sailing away into the Bahamian sunset.

The Atlantis casino is rather large and to my surprise, it is the first casino I’ve ever seen that has natural light shining in through windows. To my knowledge, casino’s are known to not have any windows so that the people in there playing have no track of whether it is still daylight or not. Strange. We sit down for a while and play some slots. I decide to play $5. I’m such a bad ass high roller. The beauty of playing even the cheapest of machines is that, as long as you’re donating, all the drinks you order, alcoholic or non, are free. I order myself a Malibu with pineapple juice. I’ve been drinking beer lately so I am eagerly excited to sip on my drink of choice while pressing the buttons on this slot machine. I take my first sip. Gahhhh. It is three quarters Malibu and one quarter juice. It’s excruciatingly strong. I’d never have imagined in a million years that my drink of choice could taste so hideously gross. I try so hard to drink it, and believe me, I do, but I just can’t handle it. What a sad, sad moment in my life.

We leave the casino and make our way outside to discover the grounds of Atlantis. The resort is huge and there is no way we will be able to cover a vast majority of it in the time we have here but we do our best. We find a path that takes us around the outskirts of the main building and decide that it’s our best option. The grounds are gorgeous and so well maintained and the detail given to everything is incredible. I love that they have so many different breeds of fish swimming around in the ponds as well as sting rays and sharks. We walk out to an open area that gives a breathtaking view of the man-made beach with a view of the real beach in the distance. Spectacular. This place is like heaven on earth and I’m more than sure that a vacation here is in my future.

We make our way back inside to escape the heat for a few minutes. Oh air conditioning, how I love you. While inside, we purchase tickets that will give us access to. the Atlantis aquariums.. This turns out to be

a rather fun experience. We see all kinds of sea creatures; star fish, electric jelly fish, sharks and guess what, we even found Nemo! Well, not just Nemo, but Nemo’s entire family and then some. It’s not even pushing 6pm but we’re hot, bothered & hungry. We leave Atlantis and get the ferry back to the ship to get our grub on.

The ship doesn’t leave port until 11:30pm tonight. Our schedule is quite hectic; dinner at 8:30pm, pool-deck party and late night pool-side buffet at 11:30pm, drinking and partying until ??

Dinner tonight is a succulent cutlet of roast beef with seasonal veggies and of course, a baked potato. The beef is cooked to perfection and if I didn’t know there was a late night pool-side buffet in three hours, I may very well have asked for seconds. Dessert was a mouth watering double chocolate cake with black cherry sauce. It was delicious but extremely rich, too rich to finish eating. What a shame. After dinner we decide to take a nice stroll around the ship. We are still docked at Nassau. The view of the city and the other ships all lit up at night is pretty. Mike and Jessica decide to take some cute boyfriend girlfriend photos. Lauren and I decide to give them a run for their money. I kneel down and place my arms around Lauren’s back and legs while swiftly whisking her off her feet into a cute honeymoon pose. So romantic… for a whole 10 seconds before I drop her back down to the ground. Good times.

After dinner we head to The Sound of Music Theater to attend one of the ship activities for the night. Everyone must gather in groups of eight and sit with their group. The MC explains the rules; he will call out an item, and what ever item he calls out, we must present to him with our group number to keep track of points. It starts off simple enough; shoelaces, a boy wearing girls shoes etc… but then it gets messy. He asks for four bras so of course, Lauren, Jessica, myself and another female member of our group start undoing our bra straps and trying to wiggle them off under our shirts. I get mine half out until Lauren decides to tug extremely hard on the right cup that is hanging out from under my shirt. A loud rip can be heard. Much to everyone’s amusement, she is holding the right cup of my bra while the left cup is still snuggled securely around my left boob. Oh dear. I pull it out and Lauren runs all four bras up to the MC. Success, only now I have to hold my boobs for the remainder of the game! Half way through, our friend, Mike, stumbles in completely drunk, ‘I’m so glad I found you guys!’ Unfortunately for Mike, just as he approaches us, the MC calls for a male wearing nothing more than their underwear. ‘Mike, get your pants off’, I scream while Lauren is trying desperately to unbuckle his belt and pull his pants down. Mike has no clue what is happening but thinks he has walked into the best night of his life. Once his pants are off, we hand him our team number and tell him to run up to the MC. Double success. It only gets better when he has to put on a bra and do a sexy, seductive walk to gain us an extra point. Utter hilarity. The MC calls for a thong. Needless to say women are running up to him and pulling up their dresses to reveal the thong they are wearing. Most of these females are American so they have no idea that in Australia, our flip flops are called thongs. I send Lauren up with my right flip flop and we score a point while still maintaining our dignity. We don’t win the game but regardless, we have too much fun taking part in it.

People have already started making their way to the pool deck for tonight’s pool-side buffet and deck party. We’d only just gone done with dinner a few hours prior, but alas, food was calling our names.

We take a plate and line up. There is so much food to be eaten but my semi-full belly can only fit so much. I only grab a few things. If I over do it I know I will regret it later when I’m suffering from indigestion at 5am. There are cute little fruit carvings at each table. These things are absolutely bloody phenomenal. Kudos to who ever carved these designs; they’d have to have the patience of champions. We find a spot to sit and eat. The DJ starts laying some tunes on the main pool deck. He’s picked a great array of dance songs and it’s making me just want to get up and let loose. Lauren appears with two Bud Lights; one for me and one for her. Beer; one of life’s simple pleasures. We get our butts onto the dance floor and start burning it up. Mike, the friend we made on day one joins us. Lauren is an amazing dancer and goes off to Soulja Boy’s Crank That while others take photos of her dancing. I hear one lady yell, ‘Daaayyumm, white girl can dance!’.

Tonight is yet another night of one too many beers. Our favourite bar tender is mixing drinks on the pool deck tonight. He sees us dancing under the stars and calls us over. Hooray, free shots for us. We continue burning up the dance floor. It’s become quite intense with about five boys having a dance off competition which is rather impressive. After seven Bud Lights and one shot, the dance party comes to an end at around 3am. We make our way to Sorreno’s Pizza Cafe to wind down and some how get to our cabin at maybe 5am? Another amazing night on board Monarch of the Seas.

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~ To be continued ~


Bahama-Rama II

August 4, 2010

Location: CocoCay, The Bahamas
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~ DAY TWO ~

I was feeling quite energized considering I’d only scored myself five hours of sleep. I can’t figure out if the incredible sleep was due to the fact that we have no windows in our Stateroom and therefore no light came creeping in or because my bed was just so damn comfortable. Waking up hang-over free was just an added bonus; kinda like the cherry on top of a sundae. Either way, I wasn’t going to complain.

We pack a day bag and make out way over to the Windjammer Café for breakfast. As I step foot into the café and take a peak out the window, I notice the ship has docked in the middle of the ocean. In the distance lays a small island which, without my glasses on, doesn’t look like anything too impressive. I wonder if this is Coco Cay, Royal Caribbean’s private island that we are due to visit today. I am hastily side-tracked by the grumbling of my tummy. Well, excuse me! The smell of breakfast aromas fill the air and my taste buds are quickly tickled. I grab a plate and am overcome by the wide offerings. Where do I begin? I head to the hot section and grab me some scrambled eggs, bacon galore, toast, sausage links, cured ham and a selection of fresh fruits and pastries; delicious. I think I have died and gone to food heaven.

After breakfast we decide to make our way down to Deck 1 which is the departure point for Coco Cay. Unfortunately, because the Monarch of the Seas is too big to dock at the island, we must take a ferry from the ship there. We are bummed when we realise the line is backed all the way up to Deck 3 but our disappointment is quickly overturned when one of the crew tell us we’ll be on the next ferry. Turns out they can seat a couple of hundred people at a time and turns out, he’s correct. As we board, I can feel the ferry wobble about while staying afloat in the ocean. I feel a sense of uneasiness and queasiness and my breakfast jiggles around in my belly. We sit there for a good fifteen minutes before the ferry pulls away from the ship and we are off to Coco Cay. We head towards the same island I was eying off over breakfast; I quietly pray it looks prettier up close than it does from afar.

The ferry docks at Coco Cay Island. Within minutes my earlier concerns are put to rest and my heart is at ease. Coco Cay is absolutely stunning. The waters are a gorgeous sparkling teal colour and the sand is so white and pure; the island is like a tiny slice of heaven on earth. The Market Place is an array of bright colours which compliment the dazzling green palm trees, adding to the tropical island feel.

Mike and Jessica head out to do their jet-skiing activity while Lauren and I walk around and explore the market stalls.  The sun is beating down on us; we haven’t even been on the island for twenty minutes and already I am dripping with sweat. It has to be 95, maybe 100 degrees Fahrenheit out and it can’t be much after midday. Phew; what a scorcher! After walking around for a while we decide to find two sun chairs, dump our stuff and without any hesitation, I throw myself into the semi-cold ocean.

Pure bliss. Life really doesn’t get any better than this. The water is lukewarm but still a welcoming cool off from the wicked heat. I doggy-paddle around for a while in the shallow waters. There is a fair bit of seaweed floating about. While paddling I can see it getting nearer so I try to blow it away. Stay away, sea weed, or you shall die a terrible, terrible death! I can’t stand the feeling of seaweed clinging to my bare skin while I’m at the beach; it freaks me out! I clear a path in the water for myself and swim down it to reach deeper waters but alas, seaweed touches my mouth. I panic. This is horrible. Terrible. I throw my arms around in a desperate plea for help. Get it away. Gross! I break free from the seaweed (a single strand, no more than 10cm in length) and I swim back to shore and lay face-down on my beach chair and close my eyes. I can feel the heat of the sun evaporate the water droplets on my back as island music is playing in the background. I open my eyes and sit up. The sky is such a crisp shade of blue; the sand so white,  the water, a sparkling light shade of teal and the palm trees gently whistle in the almost non-existent breeze. I am so relaxed. It’s a tough job, but hey, somebody has to do it. May as well be me.

After a short while, we meet back up with Mike and Jessica and grab a bite to eat. There is a massive BBQ buffet lunch on the island and, despite having our bellies showing, we do not hesitate when piling up our plates with food. I’m rather self-conscious, but after seeing a rather voluptuous lady in her late 70’s in a leopard-print string bikini, I feel a little more comfortable with myself. Lunch is great; we have BBQ ribs, chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit, cakes… I’ve quickly come to realise that cruising really is the way of life.

We spend some more time swimming, sunbathing and shopping at the Market Place before we succumb to the heat and make out way back to the ship, not before a super touristy Coco Cay group photo though.

Tonight is formal dining night aboard Monarch of the Seas; yes, that’s right, it means we must get gussied up and not look like washed up trash. We spend a good few hours in our cabin showering, shaving, straightening hair, curling hair, dressing, doing make up, you know, all the pre-requisites for making ourselves look all pretty and cute. The end result is nothing short of amazing if I may say so myself.

Before dinner we are all invited to the Captain’s Formal Welcoming aboard Monarch of the Seas in The Sound of Music Theater. This takes a while to kick off but we are showered with champagne which is alright by me.  The Captain introduces himself, tells us some interesting facts about the ship and then introduces us to the Managers on board who then each introduce themselves. It turns out to be a rather enjoyable event and we are glad we took the time to attend. After this we head straight to dinner. My choice for tonight’s formal dinner is the beef which is delicious and tender. I’m not a fan of mashed potato so Jonathan, our Assistant Waiter brought me a baked potato which I sliced in half and enjoyed with a dollop of butter. Dinner was followed by an incredible dessert for the sweet tooth. I’m not entirely sure of the name of this one, but it was similar to that of chocolate pudding, only our Waitress, Ning, grabbed my spoon, put a hole in the pudding and then poured a Kahlua-like custard into the middle. Regardless of what it’s name is, it was an absolute treat on the taste buds; yum!

After dinner another visit was paid to Casino Royale and alas, another few dollars were kindly donated to Royal Caribbean. Damn slots, get me every time! It’s a good thing we have plans tonight because I can see all four of us easily losing more money than we have to that place.

Before heading out for the night, we make a quick detour back to our cabin. Much to our delight, our room has been made up and there is a towel creature sitting on my bed wearing Mike’s glasses. It’s so cute. Pretty shoes come off, flip flops go on and off we go to the Sound of Music Theater for a night of entertainment. Tonight’s show is called You Can’t Stop The Beat and is a dance and musical number performed to us by the Royal Caribbean Entertainers. We get there early and secure ourselves front row seats so that I don’t have to wear my glasses. The lights dim, the curtain draws and the show begins. Lauren and I are quick to spot our favourite dancer from 70’s night the night prior. His moves are amazing and his body just seems to stay in sync with the beat; he’s incredible… that is until we are introduced to the three main singers. Their voices are phenomenal and the female singer has a voice that could raise the nine decks above us off the ship. Wow; what a gift to be blessed with.

The show let’s out and Lauren and I make our way to Circuit Nightclub. Upon walking in, we are rather surprised that our favourite bar tender already has our two drinks waiting for us on the bar. After only one night he knows us so well; shucks. Tonight is another night of one too many beers, singing, dancing, a late night pizza rendezvous at Sorreno’s and drunken conversations with the friends we made last night. Who knows what time or how we got back to our beds? Good times.
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~ To be continued ~


Bermuda, Bahama, Come On Pretty Mamma..

October 5, 2009

I wanna cruise my butt over to the Bahamas… but I seem to have my knickers in a bit of a knot! Brain hurts from over-thinking. Brain going on vacation. Brain requests you do it a favour by reading through the +ads and -disads below and reaching a conclusion on its behalf. Brain thanks you in advance…

DISNEY ADVANTAGES:

+ Disney Cruise Lines = Cast Member discounts.
+ Positive word-of-mouth from past Disney Cruise Line guests.
+ Disney own their own private Island on the Bahamas that no other cruise line can visit…

Castaway Cay

Disney's own private Island, Castaway Cay

+ The Flying Dutchman pirate ship from the movie ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean‘ is docked at Castaway Cay and I think that would be pretty awesome to snap some shots of!

The Flying Dutchman from Pirates Of The Caribbean

The Flying Dutchman from Pirates Of The Caribbean

DISNEY DISADVANTAGES:

Aimed at a much younger audience… and we all know how I feel about children; right 😐 … *Slaps face* Woops, did I just type that?!? Who am I kidding? I love children!

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ROYAL CARIBBEAN ADVANTAGES:

+ The regular cruising prices work out the same as the Disney Cruise Line prices with our Cast Member discount included.
+ Heard through my uncles, sisters, brothers, neighbours, god-fathers, sister-in-laws son that the food on-board is amazing!
+ “Hi, I’m Lynda and I’m a Disney-holic…” It will be like AA for Disney… Disney free for four days straight!
+ Aimed at a not-so-young age group. Not saying that I’m old or anything but… *cough* less kids *cough*

ROYAL CARIBBEAN DISADVANTAGES:

No Castaway Cay… Now, Lynda, do you really need your own private island on the Bahamas… like, honestly… just stop being so high maintenance already. Gheez!

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CARNIVAL ADVANTAGES:

+ Super cheap.
+ Aimed more towards my age group.

CARNIVAL DISADVANTAGES:

Heard it through the grapevine that they are a scummy, dirty cruise line. Honey, honey, heyyyy!
My brothers, mates, neighbours, uncles, mother-in-law says the food is pretty crappy.
No Castaway Cay… Lynda, we’ve already been through this once before, don’t make me repeat myself. You’ve been warned!

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Brain is on vacation, please select your preference...

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