The following is an excerpt from the eBook Three Disney Cruises:
We were awakened in the morning by the alarm on my phone, calling us from our pleasant slumber of the night. By the way, if you were wondering about cell phone usage on the cruise, we just turned our iPhones to Airplane Mode for the entire time. We weren’t expecting any calls, and the only way anyone would call us would be if there were a great emergency back home. Also, I didn’t want to run the risk of having any unwanted calls or voice mails come through that I would have to pay extra for. I did, however, want to take a few photos with my phone, so I never did turn it off. But with Airplane Mode, I was able to take photos without having to worry about calls. And really, it was nice to have a complete vacation from calls, emails, text messages, and the internet. We really did get away from everything for a while. But anyway, back to our story.
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Sunrise at sea[/caption]
I got up and went out on the verandah to see that we hadn’t reached Nassau yet. And the sun was just starting to come up over the water, which was a cool sight to see. After a bit, we could see Nassau and Paradise Island off in the distance, and the land gradually grew larger as we sailed closer to it. The Riedels joined us on the verandah to watch the sights as well, as we got ready to go out for the morning.
For breakfast, we went to Cabanas on Deck 11 for the breakfast buffet. They had some of everything imaginable, it seemed, so none of us had any trouble finding something that we wanted to eat. And it must have been a popular place, because all of the tables inside appeared to be full. So we went outside and ate on the pool deck. But although it was outside, there was still another deck above us, so we weren’t exactly out in the open or anything. But we weren’t complaining, because the temperature outside felt much better than the cold air inside had felt.
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] On the verandah in the morning[/caption]
Through the glass, we watched Nassau grow even closer as the ship pulled into the dock while we ate. And I realized that somewhere along the way, we had turned around and were backing into the dock. It must have been a very gradual turn, because none of us had felt it. While we were still eating, they made the announcement that the all clear had been given for everyone to go on shore. We would be able to come and go as we wanted, as long as we were back on the ship by 6:00 PM. Not a problem, because I wouldn’t want to be left behind. That would be an unhappy phone call to make back home. “I’m stuck in Nassau because the ship left me behind!” “Well it’s your own fault. Start walking.”
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] The Riedels at breakfast[/caption]
After getting our fill of all that breakfasty goodness, we went up a deck to get an overview of Nassau. It really is amazing just how high up you are on the upper decks of the ship, and you can see for quite a good distance. On one side of the ship is the town of Nassau with its colorful buildings gradually going up a hill. We could even see a sports stadium of some kind off in the distance. On the other side of the ship is a small strip of land with some really nice houses on it. I always say that is where I am going to retire, but it is probably so far out of my price range that it doesn’t even register on the price range scale. Oh well, it is nice to dream. And then back behind the ship is the Atlantis hotel and casino, where I would guess that several of the cruise passengers go to spend the day. But not us.
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Looking out at Nassau from the ship[/caption]
While some of us enjoyed the view, others in our group (mainly the younger ones) enjoyed the lack of people at the basketball court and the foosball table. While they were playing, I walked around to get a few more photos of the surroundings. Because you just can’t have too many photos, can you? I also noticed that it would have been a good time to go on the Aquaduck, because apparently everyone was eating breakfast or going ashore. Oh well, maybe later.
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Karen and Laura in front of Nassau[/caption]
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Laura and me squinting in the sunlight[/caption]
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] A sunny morning on the Disney Dream[/caption]
We stopped by our room on the way down the stairs to Deck 1, which was where we had to go to exit the ship. We had to have our room card scanned, and then we were off to see Nassau. Of course, we had to stop for group photos with the ship as well as with the “Welcome to the Bahamas” sign. Just to prove that we were actually there, of course.
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Leaving the Disney Dream behind[/caption]
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Group photo with the ship[/caption]
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] The Riedels in the Bahamas[/caption]
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] The Burnses in the Bahamas[/caption]
We made our way through Festival Place, the building that all cruise passengers must pass through on their way into Nassau. There are several booths for shops in the building, but there weren’t many people in there selling anything. And on our previous cruises, Laura and I had enjoyed a steel drum band that played in there, but they were nowhere to be seen, either. Once we got out onto the street, we were accosted by the usual people offering taxi rides to Atlantis or the beach, or horse-drawn carriage rides to wherever. We politely declined all of them, of course. After we went past one man, he turned to his neighbor and said, “Man, this ship is dead! No one is going anywhere!” That’s us. Cruise passengers on the dead ship. Just like zombies. Except that zombies would probably just grunt and groan instead of politely saying, “No thank you.”
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] The streets of Nassau[/caption]
In the past, Laura and I never have scheduled any excursions of any kind in Nassau. We have just chosen to walk around and look in a few shops, and maybe explore a little bit of the town. That is what we decided to do this time as well, and everyone else seemed okay with that idea, too. It took us some time to find the main shop that we wanted to see, Del Sol, because we had forgotten to bring a shopping map with us, but we did eventually find it. And almost all in our group enjoyed seeing how everything in the store changed colors with the sun. As usual, we didn’t walk out of there empty-handed. But I didn’t mind the time it took us to find the store, because that gave us more time to see the different streets of Nassau. Or at least of its shopping area. We did stop in a few other shops, too, just to see what they had. And of course, there were a few shirts that made the adults giggle while trying to direct the kids’ eyes in another direction. And then, just for fun, we went in the pirate store adjacent to the pirate museum. Jaylin in particular liked that one.
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] An interesting door in Nassau[/caption]
After shopping for a bit, we went walking on the streets of Nassau. The Personal Navigator (the newsletter/guide for each day of your Disney cruise) had warned that crime against tourists is on the rise in Nassau, but I figured that we had a large enough group to ensure our safety, so I wasn’t really worried that anything would happen. And besides that, we didn’t stray too far from the main shopping area, just to be safe.
We saw some interesting buildings as we wandered the streets, including a large coral colored building (or was it pink?) with a statue of Christopher Columbus out front. But that one was surrounded by a large fence, so we didn’t get close to it. We also took a group photo on the steps of the tourism office building, because it looked interesting.
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Christopher Columbus stands guard at this building.[/caption]
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Posing like tourists at the tourism office.[/caption]
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Pirates! And they have their own museum.[/caption]
But perhaps the most fascinating building we saw was an old church building, the Christ Church Cathedral. It looked really fascinating from the outside, in an old church building sort of way. But then someone in our group noticed the sign that said, “Visitors Welcome,” and that the door was open, so we went inside. It was a pretty amazing church building with several large stained glass windows, and even a large pipe organ, which Jaylin was fascinated with. Unfortunately, no one was around to play it for us. There were fresh flowers all around, and there were plaques on the wall in memory of people from several different eras. It was quite a cool place to see.
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Outside of Christ Church Cathedral[/caption]
On our way out of the church building, we saw a plaque indicating that the building was dedicated to the memory of someone who died in World War II. And then I saw the sign saying that the congregation was established in 1679. Pretty cool! Also cool was a grave in the courtyard next to the church building. We couldn’t make out the name or the date of birth, but we could tell that the date of death was 1802, over 200 years ago. How cool is that? We were all glad to have been able to walk through that building. Who needs to pay for expensive shore excursions, anyway?
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] Heading back toward the Disney Dream[/caption]
After a good bit of walking, we decided that we were starting to get hot and tired. And hungry, too. Although the temperature wasn’t all that high, the humidity was way up there, even for those of us from Memphis who think we are accustomed to high humidity. So lunch and a nice cold soft drink sounded pretty good to everyone. We made our way back to Festival Place and wandered back onto the Disney Dream.
[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“600”] At Festival Place, about to board the ship.[/caption]
Once back onboard, lunch was the first order of business. We made our way to Flo’s Café on Deck 11. While it is called a café, it is actually a series of food counters near the seating area covered overhead by Deck 12. They had pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches, and salads, so we were all able to find something to eat there. And it was delicious, too. Maybe that was just because we had worked up a good appetite, but I was quite pleased with my burger and fries. I had forgotten how sweet the ketchup is on the cruises, too. Not radically different from what we have at home, but enough of a difference to make us take notice. It was good.
Our hunger cravings were satisfied, but our sweet tooth cravings were still there. We wandered into Cabanas to see what sort of dessert offerings they might have. I was delighted to find some large, delicious chocolate chip cookies. I got enough on a plate to share, but then most everyone else got something of their own, which meant more cookies for me. No complaints at all.
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