Another fabulous weather day on the Freedom. As the final day of cruising it was a wind down day with many events:
music at the pool
a towel folding demonstration
A multitude of cruise shop sales
Bean Bag tosses
Debarkation Presentation – this is probably the most important information given on the cruise. Here you learn how to obtain any liquor purchased, get your bags off the ship, documentation needed to depart, etc.. etc.. This was especially important for me as it reminded me of the need to update my charge card information due to the recent scamming. No charges are placed on a closed card and all passengers need to be cleared before debarkation can occur. Didn’t want to hear my name called over the PA system with 3200 passengers on board.
“Old lady forgot to pay her bill!”
And from here have an afternoon Orlando flight to LaGuardia. Will need to ensure ship departure is prompt to catch the flight. Packed two suitcases – one summer and one winter for this trip. Will be going from a bathing suit to snow boots.
Tell me I’m crazy but looking forward to the snow.
Took a tender from the ship to this beautiful beach front property known as Princess Cays. What a stellar place, and am told it is owned by Carnival. Quite a difference from my June 2022 tender trip in Iceland where rough waves and 30 degree temperatures were the norm.
On the island, known as Eleuthera, there are shops owned by locals who sell varied trinkets with much of the gifts hand crafted and unique.
This doll is one doll two sides. Another unique addition to my doll collection from round the world.
Other Shops etc..
At the end of the shops was a bar with various rum drinks as well as reasonable Cuban cigars. Tried mango rum. Yum…
Road less traveled..
An isolated beach can be found on the road after the shops. Recommend this spot for those wanting a more peaceful visit ..
There are also excursions available on the island. Some folks explored the stringray area, others selected motorized water vehicles, but I selected the snorkel excursion. The $70 cost included a boat ride to the reef, all necessary snorkel equipment, and an hour exploring. Unforgettable. The sea holds such colorful creatures of beauty and the coral sculptures no words can describe. Wish I had an underwater camera to maintain those memories and share this experience with you.
And of course,,, a barbeque buffet
While on the island a barbeque buffet was served with hot dogs, hamburgers, jerk chicken, an assorted of salads, drinks (non-alcoholic), and cookies. Delicious and eaten beach front on picnic tables added to this experince.
Nassau is a mix of hotels, souvenir shops, high end jewelry shops, and splashed with a straw market. Was a fun, short stop.
There are many unique restaurants, bars with original Bahamian food and drink.
Note the bar on the right with its wall of dollar bills – what a hoot..
While not a drinker did break down and purchase a local, low cal beer. Give this one a try if in the area.
While visiting Nassau was enjoyable, many passengers elect to stay on the ship and enjoy the less populated and quieter ship. During this time the ship offers movies, scavenger hunts, deck music, and trivia fun/sport games for those who remain..
And for us seniors there was also a free Puffy Eye Seminar at the spa. HA! HA!
Then the fun begins again at 5:30 as the ship departs. Karaoke, music, the famous/infamous Love and Marriage Show, comedy, Bingo, 40 plus Mixer as well as a mixer for LGBTQ + folks, and movies return.
While not a fan of APs am learning to love them as they are an on board necessity. One asset is staff are helpful and able to assist with navigating this creature. As an oldie I still love paper and some cruises still reluctantly give paper itineraries if requested. Downloading the AP is easy, and runs on Airplane mode so no WIFI is required. Cruise WIFI is available on the ship but expensive, and unpredictable as relayed to me by those who’ve purchased it.
APs afford information on the following items:
all dining reservations are made through the AP
ship maps – while ship maps are helpful am hopeful a GPS is included in future upgrades. This would assist save passengers and steps.
After settling in to the cabin room and finding various points of interest began the festivities.
Room was spacious and received a window perk! What a surprise.
Decided to eat dinner early and went to the dining room. Was seated next to a couple who ignored me, and being an elbow away from these folks it made for an uncomfortable dining experience. Left and went to the buffet on the ship upper level.
While being a solo is not always easy most cruisers are friendly.
Post dinner checked the AP and found free liquor tasting. Attended and while not a fan of watermelon liqeur, was something to do. From here explored the hot tubs meeting friendly folks who brought their families of 12 on the cruise. Many families enjoy bringing their tribes with them. Was a fun soak.
On to the comedy and Carnival has 2 shows a nite. Passengers of all persuasions can enjoy these comedians as they come from all cultures and walks of life. There were two shows with one comedian from Mexico and the following comedian from NYC. All enjoyed this humor. The early comedy shows are PG 13 later shows are adult and a bit raunchy.
There are also single cruiser meet ups however had no success with connections but always worth a shot. On to the movies at pool side which featured 2 movies – Elvis and The Batman. These were a treat for all ages and many teenagers attended this event. All were practicing good behavior and appeared to be having fun.
My day concluded – time to return to the room… and a little surprise.
Received a great deal on this cruise, (as I have the last 2 years), in the form of an August birthday card. For $400. this card claimed a 5-day solo cruise to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral. While too good to be true, it was, and who could go wrong for that?
Was a bit concerned about the cruise as the day before departure heard of an overboard passenger luckily found in the Mississippi delta. If you’ve ever traveled Carnival one is aware of the unruly passengers.
As a bargain cruise line many crazies, first time cruisers, young folks, and pre-bridal parties, have their festivities on this line. While the December 2021 cruise was quiet, (probably due to vaccination mandates), am keeping fingers crossed for this 2022 cruise.
This year Carnival has implemented a $500 fine for the unrulies, with an email was sent to all passengers. However, with a $300 alcohol package affording the possibility of 15 drinks per day, (unsure if I got this totally right as info relayed from a passenger partaking in the plan), think the unrulies may continue. Yet to be seen. Maybe they’ll just pass out and not be unruly??
Onward to the Outing…
Trip to Port Canaveral was clear sailing, pardon the pun, with Florida roads clean, and parking lot availability. Hats off to Parkway Parking, $10 a day, including tax. Great job by friendly staff…
The cruise was off to a great start.
Once in the terminal registration was easy and quick. Need the passport and boarding pass available for this café like process. Processing was completed in a half hour inclusive of TSA search.
Great change Carnival has implemented, hope other cruise lines catch on.
Once on the ship..
While cabin rooms were unavailable till 1:30, the 90 minute wait went quickly. Great food was available on the top deck at the buffet. This is also a good time to explore the ship locating formal dining rooms, bars, hot tubs, and other sites. And since there is no longer a paper trail, download and familiarize yourself with the cruise AP to learn of ship activities and adventures.
Places to find on the ship…
For the kids – cruises are the ideal places for families as they have many programs for children as well as teens. One couple relayed to me they had their 7 month old babysat by cruise personnel while they slipped away for a romantic evening. Nice.
And as they say – let the fun begin!
*Receive no financial renumeration for these endorsements, but perhaps I should look into this??
Decided to get together with daughter and beau between the holidays.
In reviewing the weather predictions believe our decision was correct.
Climate change will continue to plague travel, and while Pete B. is on it, little he can do to control weather. However, in his defense much has been done to change airlines regulations, and create computerized tools to assist with travel notifications.
Travelers need to plan ahead with scheduled events like a cruise. Arrive a day or two early, and explore the area. While on my England cruise in June 2022, heard many folks speak of enjoying the Southampton area. They arrived 2 days early pre-cruise. This was wise as some missed flights and found themselves dockside with the ship departed. And cruise lines don’t allow passengers to join at the next dock, thus loosing the entire cruise.
All that said let’s start next blog with the first leg of this holiday excursion — a Carnival cruise to the Bahamas.