Cruising The Bahama’s
Since this is my first post I suppose Ill talk about my recent cruise to the Bahamas. This was actually my 3rd cruise and my wife and I have already booked our 4th, departing from Miami to Key West, Nassau and Cococay. Our very first cruise was on the Carnival Fantasy to Nassau. That was way back in November of 2000. We were married on that cruise and had a party of 45 or so with us ! I enjoyed most of the cruise as it was our first, but when you have that many people with you, time flys ! I remember the dinners to be pretty decent but the buffet was so so, as I have had the same experience on each of our cruises. This was my first trip to the Bahamas and thought that the mainland was rather dirty and taking a cab ride felt like you were risking your life. Paradise Island was nice though and Atlantis Resort was awesome ! I also remember the seas were rather rough on our way back and the ship was rocking back and forth quite a bit. Not a real comfortable feeling. But, all in all, it was a nice but short trip and I had decided I would do it again.
Which leads to our 2nd cruise. This one was on the Carnival Fascination. I believe that trip was in March of 2005 or 2006, not sure which. It was a 4 night cruise. We left port from Miami and traveled to Key West and Playa del Carmen. I loved Key West. I liked the old historic look, the location and it was nice and clean. The atmosphere was easy going and you didnt feel like you were going to be run over by a taxi or robbed by locals, like you might feel if you leave the beaten path in Nassau or in Mexico. Id live in Key West if I had the chance ! Once again the food at dinner was decent, and I suppose the buffets were ok. Ive heard this from numerous people but I guess you can expect some of the service or food to be less than stellar when your only paying $ 300 to $ 400 per person for a 4 night cruise. Ive had many people tell me the food was much better on a higher class newer cruise ship. Anyway, our next stop was in Playa Del Carmen and because a recent hurricane had damaged the docks we had to stop at another port south of there, with no town. It had the port and thats it. So we had to rent a jeep and drive north about 20 minutes to Playa. Looking back, that was extremely foolish. Especially given whats going on now in Mexico, but even then there were plenty of problems. We drove through some areas that looked like Iraq or something ! Very poor, and probably not very safe. If you are taking a cruise to anywhere outside this country be very careful about where you decide to go and how you decide to get there. Once in Playa Del Carmen though it seemed pretty nice and you could tell they were putting money into the area to boost the tourism. My buddy had a massage while my wife and his girlfriend shopped and I had a few coronas and some tacos by the beach. It was nice for a few hours, at least til the drive back. I remember passing by Cuba on the way back to Miami and thought that was pretty interesting. All in all it was a very nice trip and of course the entire staff of the ship were great as they almost always are. You cant beat the service for the price when it comes to a cruise.
Our last trip was just three weeks ago. We had a free cruise to use and we booked another three night trip to the Bahamas again. It was on the Carnival Imagination over Halloween 2010. We pretty much knew what to expect this time around as this was our third trip. I did want to mention that it appeared to me that Nassau had been cleaned up a bit from the last time I was there. This had been brought to my attention by someone else so I didnt know what to expect, it had been ten years since we last were there. The cab drivers are still nuts. And anyone who rents a moped to drive around the island the way people drive there, might have a screw or two loose also ! : ) Just kidding, although I wouldnt do it. Everything about Nassau was pretty much ho hum though, having been there before. We did have about 10 or 15 friends with us on this trip, so that was a great time ! They threw a Halloween party and since I dont do the whole dress up thing I watched and laughed at everyone else. The food was of course still average, Im really holding out all my praise for some really good food ! I did have barbecued ribs one night and they were really good.
Lastly, as I stated, we just booked another cruise for April 2011. This one is on the Royal Caribbean, Majesty of the Seas. Ive heard that its pretty much on par with all the Carnival cruises weve taken but itll be nice to experience a different line and slightly larger ship. Well be going back to Nassau which I could care less, but also to Key West, which I love and Cococay which is owned by RCCL. I already know they charge for just about everything on the island, so if youre going there educate yourself first. Nonetheless, Im looking forward to another vacation.