Back to Life, back to reality

For the record, a 4 day cruise is not long enough.  And if J ever decides he wants to go on a cruise in January again, I’m choosing the destination and we’re going further south! 

We headed over to Port Canaveral Monday and made it there in pretty good time.  We were on board the ship by 12:45.  And we were made to wait the other 15 minutes before we could go to our cabin and dump our carry on stuff.  So we hung out in the elevator lobby.  By the time we got back to our floor and elevator lobby after finding bathrooms, we only had 5 minutes left.  And neither one of us wanted to go get lunch while carrying our bags. 

We found our cabin with no problems, and it was tiny!  Our inside cabin on Holland America’s Veendam was much bigger!  It even had room for a couch!  Not this cabin, there wasn’t room for much of anything.  We didn’t even have a bureau to put clothes in.  So we kept the clean in the suitcases and piled the dirty on the few shelves there were in the closet.  After finding our room, dropping off our stuff and learning there was not fridge as requested for my medication, we headed to the Windjammer Cafe for a buffet lunch.  Of the meals we ate at the Windjammer, I didn’t once get a clean napkin with the first set of silverware I grabbed.  Our last meal there it took me 3 tries before I found a clean one.  We also kept finding dirty plates and silverware.  Not good folks!

The food in the Windjammer was ok.  After all, it was a buffet.  The meals in the dinning room were much better!  I tried some things I would never have considered before and they were fabulous!  The desserts, they were eh.  I think that’s because I’m American and used to sweet chocolate items, not bitter sweet or semi-sweet.  But the appetizers and dinner itself were outstanding.  There were only a couple things we didn’t really like, one was a pumpkin apple soup and the other was a watermelon gazpacho. 

The Monarch of the Seas is an older ship.  It had its first sailing in 1991 and my parents sailed on it the year of their 20th anniversary in 1993.  Compared to a lot of the more recent ships, its also a smaller ship.  Which we liked.  Smaller equals less people!  I was impressed with the fact the ship is mostly non-smoking now.  Smoking is allowed in the casino, the Boleros lounge, the Viking Crown lounge and outside on the Starboard side of the ship. 

On Monday after touring the ship we went poolside and each had the daily drink special.  It came complete with an umbrella!  I forget what was in it, but it was a very tasty drink with an umbrella!  Sadly thbon-voyage-drink-with-umbrellasough I didn’t get to enjoy my fruit.  A gust of wind got under the umbrella and sent it flying. 








J and I also took part in the Bon Voyage party.  The activities staff had dancing going by the pool and we did the Electric Slide and then I did a couple other line dances they taught us.  The music wasn’t too bad and had people dancing where ever they happened to be 😀  Check out a short video of a lady enjoying the dance party!   

As we headed to our first stop, Coco Cay, we followed along the Florida coastline.  As it got dark all the lights turned on.  And we saw a beautiful view.  Sunset over FL

 sunset and star


And this.  It took some careful maneuvering to be able to get the star at the top and the sunset down below.  I JUST barely got the lights in, it’s a shame I couldn’t get them better. 






Tuesday was supposed to be our day at Coco Cay, Royal Caribbean’s private island.  J and I were really looking forward to it.  I picked up snorkel gear a few weeks ago so that we could go snorkeling while at Coco Cay, and hopefully while at Nassau.  Well, we didn’t make it there on Tuesday.  Oh, the ship was anchored off of the island.  But because of the wind and waves, which we heard were breaking at 7-8′!, the captain felt it wasn’t safe enough to tender everyone over to the island.  So we had an unexpected day at sea.  It was a shame we didn’t hear this announcement clearly earlier.  We would have spent more time in the gym.  But then again, we wouldn’t have gotten to meet our breakfast tablemates.  One was a lovely couple from the UK (they told us their names, I for the life of me could not remember pretty much as soon as they told us) that we kept seeing pretty much everywhere after meeting them. 

Because we had this sudden day at sea, I tried laying out and napping by the pool.  It didn’t work so well.  It was very very windy, I couldn’t lie on my back without my hair all over the place.  I even got a slight alcohol bath!  The couple next to me had ordered drinks and when the waiter brought them over a strong gust of wind sent everything on his tray tumbling.  J and I ended up in the Viking Crown lounge later that afternoon taking part in the Adult Crayola coloring.  Sadly the coloring was done with pastels and not Crayola’s.  It was fun to just sit and color while looking out at the beautiful water.   Here’s J coloring away. 

Our captain contacted the Nassau port authorities and we were able to get permission to dock early in Nassau.  So early afternoon the ship slowly started in that direction.  We arrived around 5pm and by about 5:30 we were cleared to leave the ship.  We were in port from 5pm Tuesday to 11:30pm on Wednesday.  Our ship was guided by tugboat into port and we joined the 4 other ships already there.  arriving at nassau                                           

Here we are heading towards the docks.  The pink buildings in the background are Atlantis.







home at Nassau

Check out this home on Nassau!  In the picture above, it’s the big chunk of white that you can see. 








Here’s another picture of Atlantis.  J and I decided to avoid going over there.  We figured that’s where the majority of the people would head to.  So we skipped it.  If you’re curious though, Google it and check out their prices.  If I’m gonna pay that much, I better be staying at an all inclusive.  Atlantis isn’t one.





tugboat at Nassau port


Here you can see the tugboat coming out to meet us.  There’s also three of the four other ships in port. 







Nassau port


The far right ship is the Norweigan Majesty.  Later that evening the Norweigan Sky came into port after the Majesty left.  






ships in port

The Regal Empress and the Disney Wonder.  Mom and Dad were on the Regal Empress once upon a time.  They don’t recommend it.  They had a futon for a bed and left with flea bites all over their bodies.  And yes, the Regal Empress really is that much smaller than the Disney Wonder.





  Disney Wonder being cleaned

All ships need to be cleaned.  Looks like the Disney Wonder crew is getting some help from Donald Duck.  His nephew is goofing around and is holding a pair of scissors to Donald’s rope.







J and I got off the ship for a little bit Tuesday night.  We meandered around downtown Nassau (which really isn’t that big) and ended up at Senor Frog’s for a drink.  While we were there someone was celebrating a birthday.  So the staff not only sang happy birthday to this woman, but they also got her up in front of everyone and had her sing “I Will Survive”.  Poor lady was beet red.  We also got to watch RCCL’s Majesty of the Seas leave port  

Tuesday night was formal night.  I didn’t make my goal of fitting into my black ball gown.  And I didn’t really feel like wearing either of my blue formals.  So instead we went a little more casual.  formal pic










Wednesday was our official day in Nassau.  J and I got off the ship and rented a scooter.  Folks, unless you’re both a beanpole, I DO NOT recommend a double seater scooter.  My butt has finally stopped being tender from the back seat and the package rack.  We did some shopping in the morning and I added to my jewelry pile.   Alexandrite earrings


Isn’t it pretty?  For some reason all pictures I took show this as purple.  The stone inside is more green (see below the necklace).  This is Alexandrite.  It’s a stone that’s a very pretty green and in the sun is supposed to change to red/purple.  We went to Diamonds International – both stores, Columbian Emeralds International, the Jewelry Warehouse (if you ever go there, watch out for their diamonds.  They were very cloudy looking), and a small handful of other stores before I found this Alexandrite necklaceset in Tanzanite International.  I saw beautiful pieces on other stores.  Pieces I was considering.  But this set is just what I was looking for, it was the set that jumped at me. 














This is close to the shade of green that the stones actually appear when inside.







While in Nassau we also saw a taste of home in the form of Sabarro, McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway.  The Sabarro smelled nasty inside.  Not only do they serve pizza and pasta items, but also chicken and fish.  And the fish smell was just gross.  Even J, who likes fish, thought it was nasty.  After jewelry shopping we hopped on the scooter and tried to head to Cable Beach.  Instead we ended up on the south side of the island.  Thankfully it’s only about 7 miles wide 😀  We did eventually make our way to Cable Beach.  But it was too cold out to consider going in the water.  The cold front that everyone here got Tuesday night/Wednesday morning?  Yeah, it hit Nassau too.  It wasn’t so bad as long as there wasn’t wind.  But it was windy and the wind had a bite too it.  I spent the day in jeans and a sweater and seriously considered buying a sweatshirt!

Thursday we finally made it to Coco Cay!  The water there was unbelievably gorgeous in color!  J and I were on the first tender over and immediately headed into the water with our snorkel gear.  The water was a little cool at first, but once we got used to it, it was great.  We saw beautiful fish, barracudas and Spotted Eagle Rays.  They were huge and soooo beautiful!  We hopefully have wonderful pictures of those and all the fish on the underwater cameras, which haven’t been developed yet.  Here’s the pictures I do have of Coco Cay.  arriving at Coco Cay

Coco Cay

Coco Cay

Water at Coco Cay

70s dance party

Tuesday night we had a 70’s Dance Party.  The staff really got into it and made sure they were dressed appropriately. 








J just relaxing


J’s just taking it easy here!









Balancing forks

We had a talented wine steward.  He balanced some forks on top of a toothpick stuck into a wine bottle.








And of course we had towel animals.




sculpture at Sound of Music Theater

This sculpture was right outside the Sound of Music Theater.









And some final videos.  First is a tour of our cabin.

This is a top ten.  These are the top ten questions the cruise director has received by first time cruisers.  Some of them I haven’t even heard before. 


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