Sunday, January 21, 2024

December 24, 2023 – Nassau, Bahamas – Mostly Cloudy – 70s

Here’s no surprise – didn’t sleep all that well although the ride was smooth as silk.

I went to the Windjammer for breakfast a little after opening time at 7 AM. It took me a while to get a table but then I got lucky and found a table along the windows about half way around the restaurant.  I didn’t know where anything was so I had to ask servers.  Eventually, I found waffles, cottage cheese, jams, and scrambled eggs.  Put them all together and you have my standard breakfast.  They serve Lavazza Coffee here so that’s a bonus.  The breakfast was really good and I was able to watch the Independence of the Seas come into port 

pull alongside while getting some nice shots of Nassau.  I saw a couple of cruise ships, including an old friend, NCL Pearl, out in the waters off Nassau – wasn’t sure if they were on their way to docking or they were anchoring.

I went back to the room and suggested that we go to the Dining Room for breakfast.  They were just about to close Dining Room 5 when we arrived.  Ellen had French Toast and eggs and I had a bowl of cereal (Corn Flakes and Special K) with strawberries.  Probably the last of the double breakfasts for me.  The food in the Dining Room was also very good.

When we got back to the room, the music that we heard in our cabin when we embarked was fixed – it turned out that the dial that turns off the announcements in the room was broken and when it said “off” it really wasn’t.  Our room steward turned the dial way past that and the music stopped. 

We planned to get off the ship in Nassau and check out the Downtown / Pier area.  There are a lot of ships here today and some of them are mega-ships.  

Along with our 4400 passengers, there is the Allure of the Seas (about 6000 passengers), the MSC Sea Scape (5200 passengers), Carnival Elation (2000 passengers), Carnival Liberty (2000 passengers), and Norwegian Pearl (2500 passengers).  We scanned out and immediately merged into a freeway of humanity.  I got another view of the big ships here todays once on the walkway, including our own ship that looked huge.

It was a long walk to the Port Exit and the crowded conditions continued on the sidewalk.  To complicate things and make walking more dangerous, the city was setting up for some kind of parade – sidewalks were blocked by stands.  We wove our way around the oncoming traffic and ducked into an alley covered with shops.  We found a spa but the prices were otherworldly – a 45-minute massage was $130 (what?).  I wanted a picture of the Bahamas Sign but trying to get one was impossible with all of the people jumping in to get there shot.  The best I could do was get a quick pic during the changing of the guard.

We had enough of these crowds and headed back to the ship dreading the long walk.  The Port had a free shuttle and for a two dollar tip, we saved hundreds of steps (to be used later on the ship).  I’m not sure that, even in Philipsburg, have we encountered so many people at one time.  I looked at the upcoming port schedule and another wave of ships is due tomorrow, as well.

Since we had a late breakfast, lunch was simple – two slices of pizza from Sorrento’s and a mini tuna sandwich from Espresso. The pizza place also has punch and lemonade.

Ellen took a picture of me with a Morgan Automobile on display in the Promenade.  The car, which looked vintage, is actually new and still being produced in the UK.  List price starts at $70,000.  I saw a kid break off one of the flasher lenses.  Lucky thing no one caught him.

The rest of the day was spent in the Solarium, which has comfortable couches with a view.  We were on the non-city side so we had the water view. You can still hear the music from the party band at the pool but it is at a tolerable volume.  We walked over to the Fish and Ships food stand at the Pool.  

We got their fish and chips (I asked and got two pieces of fish).  It’s hard to believe but this was the best fish and chips I have had in quite a while and I am looking for this all the time. One of the interesting things about the pool is the presence of red clad lifeguards complete with red floats.  There are several of them keeping everyone – especially kids – safe.

Dinner was at 5:30 PM in Dining Room 3 – we just walked right over to our table.  The people next to us are still not talking (yay).  Ellen had the Cesar Salad and the Herb Crusted Salmon and I had the waiter make me a green salad (lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes) with Ranch and Thousand Island Dressing along with my main course of Chestnut Cream Risotto.  The entire dinner was delicious and a second glass of iced tea appeared without my asking for it. The Dining Room, even though it is huge, is relatively quiet so you can enjoy a relaxing dinner.

After dinner, we went to the Royal Theater to see “Invitation to Dance” with the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers.  It is a huge theater and we sat up on the second balcony.  There are a lot of teenagers on board and they like to giggle and chat during performances – fortunately, they stopped a few minutes into the show. There were no annoying talking adults also in the third balcony but we do have representatives of all of humanity on this ship so no surprise there. 

There are four featured singers (two guys and two girls) and six gender split dancers and two specialty dancers.  The show was terrific – everyone can dance and the singers are all top notch.  The showstopper was “Man of La Mancha” sung by one of the female singers – not quite Linda Eder quality but a very good rendition.

We spent a few minutes watching the two "Summer Breeze Singers" perform on one of the bridges spanning the Royal Promenade – they were good, as well, despite the noise in the background.


Our next stop was the Ale and Anchor pub to hear guitarist, Jack Flint. We got seats in the pub and were just waiting for Jack – decked out in tee shirt and baseball cap (uh oh) – to start his set.  Then, for some reason, someone turned on all the ceiling fans in the place, chilling down the air.  It was too cold for me, the amped guitar was never going to work for us, and the background noise from the Promenade would be too much.  So we left. We did, however, discover the Library, where we hung out for a while before going to our cabin.

When we got to the room, we were greeted by a new noise – a whine/roaring noise that sounded like something to do with the HVAC.  More than likely it was a result of the ships machinery or movement through the water.  It was there all night changing in intensity.  Earplugs were needed to deal with this noise.  It seems that most cruise ships have their own noise signature.  We were just discovering the one on the Independence of the Seas.

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