After an unexpected stay with Tru and Bobbie, we woke up the next morning to do something that Pam and I have never done: go on a cruise.  Overall, we enjoyed this cruise way more than the all-inclusive Sandals resort we did a few years back in Jamaica.  The food was better and the sites always changed to keep things interesting and adventurous.

Thursday consisted of exploring the boat to see what there was to do.  We found the gym at the top of the ship and made use of that.  One of the over-arching themes from the whole experience started in the gym… running on a treadmill with the floor rocking back and forth almost made me sick.  I only managed to squeeze out 2 miles before I couldn’t take it anymore; I hadn’t even had a beer yet and I felt like I was running with a 12-pack sitting in my belly.  Pam did a little better and didn’t call “uncle” until mile three.  I don’t how you guys in the Navy get used to this… maybe a carrier is a bigger ship so it doesn’t rock as much?  Or maybe being on one for 120 days allows you time to adjust to it (instead of the 3 measly days that we were on board).  They did have a track, but it was 150 meters long… I didn’t feel like running around it yelling “Big Ben, Parliament” every minute or so for 50 times.  I suspect my inner-ears would’ve gotten the same results from the rocking though.

The deck of the ship in the early morning...

After a shower and a formal dinner, Pam and I hit the bar for a few expensive drinks and caught some 80’s tribute show (which was actually pretty good), followed by a stand-up comedian.  Which brings me to the second over-arching theme of the cruise: “beverages.”  All over the ship they have these Duty-Free shops that sell tobacco and alcohol (no fire-arms though) for seriously 50% of what you’d see it for at a Convenient store.  It’s too bad I don’t like hard alcohol… we didn’t buy a thing from these stores (come to mention it, we didn’t buy one souvenir or consumable the whole entire time!).  So if you can get a handle of Jack for $12, why the hell is all the beer and wine at the bar $6 a glass or more?!?!  Well, I know why, but it’s just kinda ironic.  I guess maybe I’m the one to blame for refusing to drink the “discount” stuff.

Friday, we woke up to the ship docked in the Bahamas, where it would stay for about 24 hours.  Unlike most people, who signed up for excursions (like swimming with dolphins for $200/person or going on some stupid tour for $50/person), we decided that Carnival had taken enough of our money from the bar prices and decided to just go by the seat of our pants.  A $4 cab ride later, and we were at the best beach we’ve ever been to.  The waves were huge!  I got body slammed by them countless times.  Pam and I walked back to the boat from the beach (about a 5-mile walk) and took in the city of Nassau for a few hours.

Getting pummelled by waves...

The Bahama Beach Atantis Resort at Dusk Nassau at Dusk

That night, dinner brought lobster.  Since it was all “on the house,” I indulged myself in 5 plates of them.  I think our waiter was surprised initially, but after the third one he was almost encouraging me to order more and more (the people sitting at our table thought it was pretty humorous too).  After dinner, we decided to call it a night: the waves and walking everywhere had us worn out.  Even as I was going to bed, I was still picking sand out of my ears, and my nose was still dripping the saltwater that my sinuses decided to temporarily bottle up.

Pam and I got up early on Saturday to watch the sunrise as the ship was leaving the port.  We’ve never really taken the time to watch a sunrise together, and this was the perfect time (I know it sounds gay, but at least we didn’t stand on the bow yelling “I’m king of the world!”).

Sunrise aboard the ship...

The on-board casinoBesides, the pictures we got from it were worth it.  We spent the day on the sea at an art auction (where some lady actually bought a painting for $15k!!!)… I would skip out every once in a while to the next-door bar for a refill and a college football update.  After the auction, we still had about 3 hours before dinner, so what to do?  Hmmmm, well, there is a casino on board.  Pam and I hit the $5 Blackjack tables and gave up after 2 hours and $110 to the house.  At least it passed the time.  Dinner, though not lobster, brought me three plates of food.  A show later, and we were in bed, ready to wake up and head home the next morning.

So after a 5-hour drive back to Savannah and a 2-hour stop in Jacksonville to put some bets down at the Greyhound Track, here I am cranking out this post, grabbing onto the table every once in a while because I still feel like I’m rocking back and forth.  Aside from that and the premium drink prices, this was one of the more relaxing, enjoyable trips we’ve been on.  I highly recommend a cruise to anyone.

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