My Experience aboard Royal Caribbean Bahamas Cruise 2016!

    Let's gooooo to an island!

My sister Janet and I were due for our annual trip. Since our first trip together to Puerto Rico in 2013(post coming soon), its kind of been tradition for us to travel together. This time she was in charge planning it, including figuring out where we were going to go, and getting everything booked. This was our first trip together since I had moved to Texas in 2014.

    So where did Janet choose? The Bahamas! And we'd be visiting by way of a cruise line! Janet chose to use the expertise of a travel agent to help organize our trip. We were both on a budget and didn't want to spend more than $700 flight included. The Cruise line port was in Orlando Florida, so both Janet and I had to fly into Orlando International Airport.

    This airport was one of the largest I've seen. With a Hyatt Regency Hotel located right inside the main terminal of the airport. Thanks to our travel agent we were able to easily book a shuttle to the cruise port w looking through the which was about a 40 minute drive.

    Checking in was a breeze, and boarding was an adventure looking through the glass of the enclosed walking ramp ,we could see the grand size of all the cruise ships gearing to set sail. Through the hall there were some tables set up with folks selling things. I breezed past them with haste to begin my journey ASAP!

    Once we entered the vessel our first instinct was to find our room, then explore. Since were were on a budget we booked a simple stateroom with no view, but it did have a large bed to fit the both of us as well as a small love seat, a TV that included the cruise schedule, a vanity with storage, a safe to lock in valuables, a closet and a bathroom with a shower. The room had everything we needed to be comfortable to sleep and bathe, we had every intention to stay out of our room anyway, and the ship had everything else, food entertainment, more food, more entertainment.

  Before we could do a full exploration of the ship the Captain made an announcement for everyone to report to a specific deck on the ship. Here we went over various safety precautions before we set sail.

    Next we began our search for food, since our journey left us famished. So in the midst of exploring we came upon one of the ships many dining areas. The Windjammer is a buffet styled dining experience with plenty of options. from salads to pasta, soups, and burgers. They also offered international cuisine including Asian and Caribbean dishes. There was a cafe and bar where you could get sandwiches, soups and other light snacks and drinks. Between the bar and cafe was a medium sized swimming pool and hot tub. beyond that on the left was the entrance to the full service spa. There was also a larger swimming pool on one of the upper decks with bars. They also hosted fun events including a belly flop competition!

    There were also formal dining options available that served three course meals including Chefs Table and Chops. There was an auditorium that hosted shows and various events for our entertainment. There was a casino, yes there were slots and tables, they even had a blackjack tournament! There was another bar that hosted Karaoke and games. A couple night clubs, a Starbucks with a lovely dessert bar was on an upper level, along with the photo store, where you could retrieve photos that were taken by staff on board the ship. There was a merchandise/ souvenir shop, and Art auction. The main foyer  situated in the center of the vessel also had plenty of entertainment options including dances and crew competitions, and a bar. There were lots of bar ok! Its safe to say the ship had loads of things to do and plenty of drinks to ward off any boredom.

    After exploring Janet and I made our way to the excursions desk. Here you can plan daily excursions for when the ship makes port at your destination. Our first destination was the beautiful Island of Nassau! So Janet and I decided to book a beach day at the Blue Lagoon. Once we made port the morning after ou full day at sea, we disembarked and were given instructions to wait in a specific area near the ship to meet our host. Once everyone who chose the same excursion arrived, we were led on foot to a separate boating dock where we boarded a small vessel. It was somewhat of a water taxe, but used soley for the purpose of shuttling passengers to and fro the lagoon.

    The ride offered some pleasant sights.We were whisked pass so many large and beautiful Caribbean homes and apartments from grand mansions to small run down shacks. There was character everywhere we looked, including in the people who called Nassau home. On our boat was a lively and amazingly friendly crew that will make you smile from ear to ear.

    The water was a beautiful and blue and so clear I could see straight to the bottom. Once we arrived to our lagoon for the day, we were greeted acrobatic Dolphins. The Blue Lagoon had a special to get up close and personal with the dolphins as well. Aside from just relaxing in this beautiful oasis there were plenty of amenities around. Including a bar, hammocks, a souvenirs shop/info center, a Segway tour. There was a huge blowup bouncy house type contraption floating atop the crystal clear water. There were also paddle boats for rent.

    At the other end of the Lagoon it was a bit more relaxed and quiet. Down the main path lined by coconut trees was a small bridge where you could look out at the ocean. Try not to venture out that way though due to cautionary shark signs. After dining on our BBQ style meal that was included in our excursion package, Janet and I relaxed on the quieter end of the Lagoon.

    When we first arrived there was a slight overcast and felt almost too cool to hang out in the water. I forgot to mention that we chose to go to the Bahamas the third week of February so we expected the weather to be a little iffy. Luckily once we settled in the sun came out to warm things up.
Blue Lagoon (Salt Cay) 

    After a few hours at the Lagoon we headed back to the mainland to explore the rest of Nassau. We had until 11 p.m. to board the ship, and Janet was on a mission to find a specific type of Rum. To enter the city we had to check in through a sort of visitors gate. Once through there were at least 20 tiny table and boothes set up selling all types of souvenirs, food, herbs and spices, handmade bags, apparel you name it. Beyond that were streets lined with shops, colorful buildings and lively people. After taking in the sights we asked around for the best place to eat, and of course a near by liquor store.

   For food we were advised to go to the local "Fish Fry". I know you're thinking "Fish Fry" must be the name of a restaurant, but it's actually one name for multiple seafood spots in close proximity to each other. So After we finished buying the booze, we began our journey for our island dinner. We were directed down a shoreline path riddled with various water sport rental shacks and coconut huts. Of course by then it was nighttime and all those places were closed. While walking we came across a security guard whom we asked to reassure us that we were going the right way. He said "yes" and decided to chaperone us the rest of the way. Once we reached the area we noticed the difference from one end of the beach to the other was like night and day.

    It was lively at the "Fish Fry" with lots of people hanging about. There were plenty of restaurants/bars, but our chaperone suggested that we go to "Oh Andros". He said that place was his personal favorite. So Janet and I went in and enjoyed heaping plates with fish rice and beans. Janet had grilled red snapper, and I had deep fried snapper with plantains, I think. I'm not sure what I had, but it was delicious and they give you hefty portions so you get what you pay for and then some! If you want something light and fresh be sure to try out the conch ceviche. Conch was real popular there, "Oh Andros" had a special window for conch ceviche sales right before you walk in.

    Following our grand feast, and chats with the locals, we promptly made our way back to the cruise ship. When we got back on the ship, whatever was purchased on the island needed to be checked in. Janet's rum had to be locked away until the trip was over.

    After we got back to our State room we decided to got to one of the ships nightclubs, and dance the rest of the night away. The music was decent, the dj played all the current hits plus so old favorites! Twas an eventful day.

    The next day Janet and I were gearing up for our next excursion which was on Royal Caribbeans own island. We planned a snorkeling excursion, but unfortunately our visit to the island was cancelled due to inclement weather. I have to say it was very disappointing hearing that, but better safe than sorry....or dead. So I'm sure the Cap'N' made a sound choice for the safety of his passengers. Whomever purchased an excursion for that day were reimbursed including Janet who really wanted to go snorkeling. Overall, this was my biggest disappointment about our cruise. I thought "why doesn't the Cap'N' just turn around and take us back to Nassau?". I realized though that doing so would potentially put us beyond or four day voyage. Hey I was up for that!

    Janet and I made due with our extra time on the ship by eating, lounging, and exploring. To entertain us and to make up for our "lost voyage" to the island,the cruises crew (:P) put on a few shows in the auditorium, including a farewell musical. Somehow I lost Janet and we both wound up sitting alone for the shows, but that's OK because we spent quite enough time together for the past four days. There was also a blackjack competition , an art auction, and a dance party! So there was plenty to do.

    The next day we arrived back at port. We checked, out Janet got her liquor back, and we were given customs papers to fill out. I have to say that apart from having an extra day just floating around at sea I enjoyed our first cruise. Next time we will step our game up and wont be as cheap, but hey I think our budgeted trip turned out a good experience for sure. We got to experience the beautiful clear waters of Nassau, Dolphins, helpful native islanders, food lots and lots of food, and non stop entertainment aboard the Royal Caribbean. I have to say I was a little wary of being aboard a huge ship in the middle of the ocean, but I really did enjoy it. Next cruise we have to step our game up, preferably an all adult cruise haha! Thanks for reading stay tuned for my next post!
    Below you'll find a couple photos and a few very unprofessional shaky videos. Enjoy!
 














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