We arrived without any travel drama then found ourselves in a snail’s paced line at immigration… oh, well… time to relax and get on Island time! Our taxi drive from the airport to Prince George Wharf where our ship, the MV Explorer, was docked took about 20 minutes through lots of winding roads and round-a-abouts. I hadn’t realized that Bahamians drive on the “wrong” side of the road… so happy I wasn’t the one driving!
Our ship is pretty amazing (not that I have much to compare it to) The staff is very friendly and seem to be relatively happy to be here… I think that many of them have worked on cruise lines of various types for many years. The ship, which is completely outfitted to be an educational vessel has a library, computer lab, 9 classrooms plus a formal dining room as well as an informal serve-yourself type of facility. There’s a spa which I plan on checking out tomorrow and exercise equipment outside on one of the decks… and lots more I haven’t even discovered yet.
As I write Lois has gone down to find out where the Health Clinic is so that we’ll know where to get the motion sickness meds if we need them… in about 30 minutes we are supposed to have a safety drill where we take our life vests and go out on deck next to the Life Boat we are assigned to so that we can learn what to do in the event of an emergency. Should be interesting.
Today Lois and I walked around Nassau on our own… the area nearest the ships is extremely commercial… kind of like the strip at Virginia Beach only with a bit of Bahama flair. Tons of diamond and other jewelry shops… lots of rum, designer shops and brand names. Bob Marley is a big deal here… we even passed a shop devoted exclusively to him. We did see a few artisans here and there but they are far outnumbered by the high-end commercial shops (well, at least that is the case near the wharf). It’s fun feeling the warm air and seeing palm trees and tropical flowers (hibiscus, bougainvillea, etc.) Most of the buildings are painted brightly… yellows, pinks and greens. Can’t say that I’m too sad that we only have 1 day here… I’m ready to head out!
We leave Nassau for San Juan at 5 PM today and will be at sea all day tomorrow. Tomorrow the lectures and classes begin, I can’t wait to see what will be offered. There are approximately 700 passengers on the trip representing maybe 10 (?)different groups… all ages from all over the country. I hope that you enjoy these few pics. Internet access and data transfer limits are super tight and expensive so I am experimenting with what I can do. I am writing my posts off line and then cutting and pasting.
Oh, I almost forgot… today is my birthday… a really different way to spend it! Lois gave me a cute book mark and the ship folks gave me a couple of cards… nice! Oh, and I did buy a really amazing turquoise-colored sea shell in town today… for myself 🙂 … my one and only purchase so far.
Well, wish us luck on our emergency drill which should start in about 5 minutes.