Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Chase Away the Winter Blues with the Bahamas

Here are some pictures of our cruise to and from Florida via the Bahamas. They are not that great because we didn't take the bulky digital:

First stop--Coco Cay
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

See our ship anchored offshore? We were ferried by small boat from the ship to the island. This is a private island owned by the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Dave snorkeled a little but since he has snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef off of Australia, nothing compares. I didn't snorkel because I would have attracted sharks if you get my drift.

Our trip started out a little cloudy and people were complaining. I just kept saying the skies looked perfectly normal to me. Then while sitting on this beach, I felt probably three drops of rain. I was amazed at the panic. People started packing up their beach bags, ran for cover, and then lined up for the little boat back to the ship. I couldn't believe it. It was warm and we all had on swimming suits which are designed to get wet! Some of us are used to being outside in the rain and to me it was a treat because it was so warm.

Second stop--Nassau, Bahamas
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

We had a room with a balcony. For claustraphobia reasons, I would not go on a cruise without the sliding door onto a balcony. It was wonderful. The rooms are small compared to normal hotel rooms so having the access to outside was so nice. This particular morning was so fun. We felt the ship shudder and it woke us. We opened the drapes and we were docking in Nassau and we were able to watch it all from our room.

Two mornings, rather than eating at the breakfast buffet, we had croissants, coffee, and fruit delivered to our room. This way, we were able to sit on our balcony and drink coffee with leisure and relaxation. Ah, yes!

Protesters at the Immigration Building
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Cruise ships offer all of these excursions. Frankly, I think they are overpriced. We took off on foot to explore Nassau on our own and were able to see many of the same sights that other passengers paid to be taken to. Anyway, we noticed the protestors asking for the Immigration Minister's head for being in photos with Anna Nicole Smith.

Queen Victoria's Steps
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

The Bahamas belonged to Britain. In fact, they have only been independent since 1973 though they still belong to the Commonwealth. Slaves built these steps and each step represents a year of the 64 year reign of Queen Victoria. Interestingly, emancipation happened in the Bahamas in the 1830's--years and years before our Civil War.

Paradise Island
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

An exclusive area of Nassau is being developed called Paradise Island. A huge resort called the Atlantis (behind me in the photo) has been built here. We walked in the lobby so I could use the bathroom. I love to do that--use the bathrooms in the fancy resorts to see what they are like. They have a huge casino so we looked in there and what did I see? Yes, I was certain it was Seattle's own Dale Chihuly glass sculpture chandelier. I found an information person and asked. Sure enough, his work is so distinct I knew immediately I was correct.

Cocoa Beach, Florida--Last Stop
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

This is the view of the beach from Dave's sister's condo. She has been hit twice by hurricanes in four years. As a result, she has redone her kitchen twice and of course, has replaced floors and carpets. Supposedly, historically this area is protected from hurricanes. This is why NASA built its facilities at nearby Cape Canaveral. But, you know, we've got this climate thing going on which has changed things in a dramatic way----even if I did freeze to death on her deck!