Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Monarch Day 2 - Nassau

We didn’t arrive in Nassau until noon, so we spent the morning hanging out around the pool, watching the usual activities like ice carving, cocktail-making classes and the Sexiest Man competition. As the ship pulled into Nassau Harbor, Ron got a big smile on his face and said, “Honey, we’re home!” There were two ships already in port - Carnival Imagination and our honeymoon ship, Carnival Fantasy. Hard to believe it has been 21 years of marriage and cruising.

Monarch of the Seas pool deck
Morning on the ship

  deck chairs

promenade deck

Monarch of the Seas docked in Nassau
Monarch of the Seas in Nassau

Our plan was to spend the afternoon at the Sheraton on Cable Beach. For $25, they offered a day pass with full use of their pools, beach and water sports. We hopped on the #10 bus and were soon on our way. As we got close to Cable Beach, we were amazed by the changes since our last visit. The Wyndham/Sheraton/Crystal Palace complex had been bought out and was being replaced by a new resort called Baha Mar. It was going to be huge! The Wyndham and Crystal Palace were already closed and several new towers were going up. Sheraton was still open but would be closed later for remodeling. I wondered if the people in Nassau thought the new resort was a good thing or not. I knew from the Nassau cruise boards that they hated Atlantis because it had put so many smaller establishments out of business. But maybe now that the economy was so bad, it was different. The people we talked to said they were happy for the jobs the resort would provide.

Sheraton Nassau

Sheraton pool

Sheraton beach

Ron and I checked in at the front desk, then found lounge chairs on the beach and chilled. Ron took a nap but the water was calling me so I got a float from the water sports shack and floated around in the blue water. Ahhhh, now that’s what I call vacation! While I floated, I saw someone paddling around on a paddle board. I wanted to try that! Mary says it’s almost impossible to fall off the board so maybe even a klutz like me could do it. The water sports guy pulled a board down to the water for me and gave me minimal instructions. “Rotate your arms!” What? Oh, he meant switch the oar from hand to hand. Got it. Off I went. Probably a little more instruction would have been good but I managed not to run over any swimmers and finally figured out how to steer and turn. It was a lot of fun!

beach float



conch fritters
Conch fritters

We got back to the ship around 6, just in time to enjoy a mojito and to watch the sun set over Nassau. That night we had a table for two at dinner. The restaurant was pretty empty. There were probably a lot of people still in town since we didn’t set sail until midnight. It was formal night but not that many people were dressed formally. We did see some cocktail dresses and suits but also a lot of “nicer” dresses and Dockers. We’d opted for the second option and I wore the black and white dress I’d worn for Mama and Daddy’s anniversary dinner. It seemed silly to pack all that formal-wear for a weekend getaway. The dinner was pretty good but I was disappointed that they didn’t have escargot.  Apparently there’s been some kind of escargot shortage this year due to the flooding in Indonesia. The escargot had been temporarily replaced by scallops with garlic and butter served in the same escargot dish. I knew from reading Cruise Critic that the scallops were small so I ordered two plates.  They were pretty good but they weren’t escargot. :-( The bittersweet chocolate soufflé with espresso custard for dessert almost made up for it.

Nassau at sunset
Nassau at sunset

Nassau Harbor lighthouse

Back to the casino for a little more Black Jack. I quickly lost my daily gambling allowance but Ron once again walked away with a huge stack of chips. Then we joined the sail away party on the pool deck for a dance or two and went on to bed.

Day 3 - Coco Cay

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