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Grandeur of the Seas – 9 Day Bahamas Cruise December 13-22, 2018

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Day 5-Freeport, Grand Bahamas

I couldn’t find anything to interest me in Freeport so this was going to be another sea day except maybe get off and walk around the port area.  I was up on deck to watch our sailing into Freeport, so after coffee and breakfast we walked off to peruse the port area.  Not a lot in port but did manage to pick up a few t-shirts for the grandkids and snap a few pictures.  Back on board, went up to enjoy the hot tubs, it seems that a lot of people stayed on the ship.  After dinner in the MDR, we went to the Headliner Show with magician Bill Cook with two of our tablemates from dinner.  Bill Cook was entertaining and amazing; he entertained us with his skills as a magician and his wit.  After the show it was back to the Schooner bar where we drank, chatted and listened to the piano player for the rest of the evening. 

Here are a few pictures of our sailing into Freeport.

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2 hours ago, JLMoran said:

I love this pic! It almost looks like the sky is on fire (in a non-scary, it's not the end of the world as we know it way).

Thanks I Love the sunrises and sunsets at sea.  They can be so dramatic.

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Day 6-Coco Cay

We had rented a “Beach Lounger” for the day and had planned to just have a relaxing beach day.  After the short tender ride to shore we strolled toward the beach loungers, by the time we had gotten there all the sore front property had been claimed so we picked one on the back row where we had a lovely view of the backs of several loungers and glimpses of the sea.  It wasn’t bad quite relaxing to not have anything to do but sip on the CoCo Loco we had picked up on our walk.  It was starting to get warm so off we went to wade into the water to the floating bar.  Initially the water was a bit chilly but it quickly warmed up and was very refreshing,

The floating bar was never very crowded; several people came and went as we sat at the bar.  Heeding the sign that you may have to swim back to shore and not wanting to swim with my camera we left and headed to the BBQ area.  Tide was coming in but had only raised the water level a half foot or so.  The BBQ was typical of what you find at any BBQ, no complaints with the food or the service.

With our bellies full it was time to walk back to the loungers, for some more lounging, reading and napping.  I did notice a few more people in the loungers in front of us and heard a beach attendant ask for their tickets.  They quickly gathered their belongings and left.  I had heard the day before on the ship that they had loungers available so I gathered they didn’t rent them all.  Soon it was time to walk back and get on the tenders to head back to the ship.

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The construction of the new enhancements at Coco Cay are coming along with some buildings and such visible over the fence or coming in on the tenders.  It does appear that once the amusement park opens there will still be room for a quiet beach day.  Since I didn’t have any beach time on our visit to Labadee it’s kind of hard to compare the two.  When we boarded the ship it sounded like the weather was going to keep us from tendering, thankfully that didn’t happen and we had an enjoyable beach day in the middle of December.

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Back on ship, it was dinner and off to see the Headliner Show featuring GOS singers and dancers with “Rhythm and Rhyme”.  I’m not a big Broadway musical guy and didn’t recognize most of the songs, but the singers and dancers are very talented.  Next off to the Schooner bar, I really enjoyed sitting here listening to music and having a cocktail. 

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Day 7-Nassau

I love sunrise and sunset at sea, so again I was up on deck to watch us sail into Nassau.  I had signed up for a tour through Cheryl’s Bahamas Taxi and Tours for a 3 hour Forts and Queen Staircase Tour.  She had told us where to meet our tour guide and the time.  Once off the ship we made our way through the port, after wandering around in circles for a few minutes, I finally asked for directions and we made it out of the port area and to our meeting place.  For those who have never been to Nassau the first challenge was finding how to get out of the port area.  I saw a closed man gate that was guarded and finally the second time around it was open and people were going thru.  The meeting spot was the water fountain; it’s to the left when you get out of the port gated area.  This spot is where several people picked up their tours.  Our guide was on time although he did have to make three loops around before he could pull over and stop long enough for us to get in.

 

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Our guide was friendly, polite and knowledgeable and his vehicle was clean.  We had booked the Forts and Queen’s Staircase tour; specifically I wanted to see Fort Montagu, Fort Fincastle, Fort Charlotte and also the Queen’s Staircase.  Our guide assured us we had plenty of time to see the forts and he wanted to show us a few other things also.  First stop was a rum cake bakery where we sampled rum cake and I did purchase one cake; next was “The Cloisters” our guide told us the story behind it and how it was maintained.  Many of the parks and such are sponsored by businesses on the island who maintain them.  

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Next up was Fort Montagu; as a retired Marine I was interested in seeing this fort as it’s the first amphibious landing by the newly formed Continental Marines in 1776.  Captain Samuel Nicholas led 200 Marines to take the fort; while the landing was successful the munitions that they sought had been moved to Fort Nassau and spirited away during the night.  In the park adjacent to the fort. they had a stand offering drinks, one of which was called sky juice.  A mixture of gin, coconut milk and condensed milk; according to our tour operator so named because after a few you find your self flat on your back looking up at the sky.

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The Queen’s Staircase was next, the stairs were carved from the limestone by slaves to allow easy access between Fort Fincastle and Nassau.  We opted to drive around the Fort Fincastle in lieu of walking up the staircase.  This was a mistake because when we got up by the water tower our driver didn’t want to get rapped up there by the buses.

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Leaving the Fort Fincastle area we made our way to a where wine was offered and a chocolate store.  Not one to pass up chocolate the wife purchased a small batch to take home.  Off we went to John Watlings Distillery; it was an interesting history filled tour of rum making in Nassau.  As our three hours was nearly up, we had our guide drop us off at the Pirates Museum.

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Went into the Pirates Museum, it was fun and interesting; I love the lore of the pirates.  Whether what we saw was true or not is anyone’s guess.  So much of what we know of the pirates is woven with truth, legend, lies and myth; never the less I found it interesting.  We also checked out the Anglican Church across the street from the Pirates Museum.

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Leaving the Pirates Museum we went to the Pompeii Museum.  The Pompeii Museum tells the story of slavery in the Bahamas and throughout the world from ancient times to today.  We started walking back to the ship in search of conch fritters.  Only place that I saw was a Greek restaurant offering conch fritters.  Didn’t seem like an authentic place to try them.  Unfortunately we found our self at the port area and decided to just get lunch on the ship.  I know many dislike Nassau but I did find quite a bit of interesting things to see and do; next time I go I’ll just walk around to see what I want to see without the detours.  I will say that traffic is horrible and the few people I engaged were friendly and hospitable.  We did get the travel advisory in our cabin the night before that caused a ruckus with the tourism board; I didn’t see it as more than a heads up to use precautions and be aware of your surrounding when out in town. 

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Thank you for the refreshing look at Nassau.  I am one of the recent Nassau-bashers and I thank you for reminding me that there ARE a lot of interesting and worthwhile things there.  I particularly liked the Pirate Museum.  That looks like fun.  ...and I had forgotten how really beautiful Atlantis is.  It has been many years since we visited Atlantis and I enjoyed your visit there.  

Semper Fi !

 

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On 1/6/2019 at 4:52 PM, FlowBro Ty said:

Hey If Any One Is Going To Freeport In The Next Month You Can Go Take  Photos Of The Navigator OTS. 

I'll be there in February, when is Navigator supposed to be there?

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28 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Thank you for the refreshing look at Nassau.  I am one of the recent Nassau-bashers and I thank you for reminding me that there ARE a lot of interesting and worthwhile things there.  I particularly liked the Pirate Museum.  That looks like fun.  ...and I had forgotten how really beautiful Atlantis is.  It has been many years since we visited Atlantis and I enjoyed your visit there.  

Semper Fi !

 

Thank you, I can see how port fatigue can set in after you've been to the same port over and over.  While this is only my second cruise I have been to many other countries and most of the states in the US.  All have their ups and downs and if you travel with the buddy system and maintain situational awareness most of the time you will be fine.  Semper Fi

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