Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bahamas Cruise, Day 2

We are officially at the Bahamas (specifically Nassau)!  This was the first time I actually felt the ship rocking.  It was around 7 AM and I think that's because it was docking.  After breakfast, Page, Meg, Robyn, and I booked our shore excursion, which was the "Nassau Sightseeing and Ardastra Gardens - NS49" one.  Here's the description from the Royal Caribbean site:
OVERVIEW: Enjoy the highlights of Nassau on a tour that allows you time for a second tour or independent exploration of the city.  
HIGHLIGHTS: Visit the highlights of Nassau including Bay Street, the Queen's Staircase, Fort Fincastle, and enjoy an exterior view of Fort Charlotte. You'll also have time to explore Ardastra Gardens and Conservation Centre, home to the marching flamingos.
I wanted to get a taste of the island without walking too much since there wasn't a ton of time, and the words "gardens" and "flamingos" jumped out at me.  The lady at the excursion desk said to meet someone named Adam outside the ship where all the people for this tour were meeting up.  He'd be wearing the blue and white Royal Caribbean uniform so he'd be easy to spot.  Mmmnope.  We never found Adam.  However, we found the other people that were going to be on the tour too.  We weren't really sure if we needed to check in or turn in our tickets because it wasn't really clear what the procedure was or who was the leader since this Adam person was no where in site.  Instead, one of the other people on the tour said that the trip leader was looking for us and he seemed grumpy and recommended that we go see him to check in.  Yes, he was kinda grumpy.   "Why didn't you check in?"  Well, we didn't know we had to and we didn't know who you were since you weren't wearing blue and white.  His name wasn't even Adam!  Anyway, we walked across a bridge and hopped in vans that carried about 9 people each and off we went!  The forts weren't that interesting because a) we didn't stay a long time and b) you had to pay an entrance fee of $1 to go inside.  Meh, I let Meg and Page do that while Robyn and I walked around its exterior.  The Queen's Staircase was also meh because we were at the top of it.  I think it would have been fun to walk up it (I think it was like 60+ stone carved stairs), but I don't think that activity would have been fun for everyone. 
Fort Fincastle
At the top of the Queen's Staircase
The trip to the Ardastra Gardens totally made the tour worth it.  Seeing all the animals (I especially liked the servals and jaguar) and especially the marching flamingos was great!  The area that we had to go to to see the flamingos was this circular arena- grass in the middle and seats surrounding it in a circle.  The host announced the flamingos and the keeping nudge them along in a parade until they were in the grassy area.  The host then asked if there were any visitors that would want to go in to the grassy pen with the flamingos.  Robyn and Meg shot their hands up.  Page and I sat back to be the photographer and videographer.  The flamingos were so pretty!  I don't think I've been that close to a zoo animal like that before.
Pose like a flamingo!

After the flamingo show, we went towards the exit, but since we were early, I thought it'd be a good idea to hang out with the parrots.  A guy had a macaw on a hat and a cockatoo that would give you a kiss on the cheek.  Of course, we each took a turn with the birds.  The macaw was surprisingly heavy on my head!

To celebrate Meg's birthday, we decided to go to dinner dressed up in 80s gear, i.e. neon, fishnet gloves, leggings, etc.  For dinner, I had a scallop appetizer with fried seafood/peas/mashed potatoes.  I had the key lime mousse (it was sugar free), but then complemented that with some lemon meringue pie that the waiter brought over as extra desserts.
Page (she had hot pink leggings and leg warmers on...totally awesome!), me (I rocked my jelly bracelets all trip long!), and Meg (check out her Koosh ball hair tie)
Extra caprese appetizer
"Seafood mash"
Before going on this trip, there was a running joke that I'd be getting a tattoo on this trip.  Coincidentally, there were airbrushing tattoos on the ship.  I got my panther tattoo after dinner (I totally felt bad ass!).  Page got a sea horse and Robyn a T-Rex.  Pain free, yay!
The stateroom attendants left us folded towel animals in our room.  I think ours was a monkey.  Page/Meg got an elephant.

Kristin had the idea of getting a shirt for Meg and write "How to Celebrate a 30th Birthday" and then get people from the ship to sign or write something on it.  Meg got a couple takers before we sat back to watch the Boogie Wonderland dancing/musical show and then the Newlywed Game afterwards.  The show was alright, but the Newlywed Game was super funny.  There was a couple that had only been married for 4 days (they were on their honeymoon), a couple that had been married for 20+ years, and a couple that had been married for 45+ years.  The married for 20+ years couple ended up winning.  After the game was done, it was just in time for a midnight buffet.  Page came with me to get something to eat while the other girls went to where all the dancing was taking place.  I had my eye on the cake, fruit and cheese.  I definitely had entertainment while I was snacking.
Meg getting autographs


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