Family Members: Pappy-me, Grammy-my wife, Claire-my oldest daughter 28, Phil-Claire’s husband 28, Ella-my middle daughter 25, and Amy-my youngest daughter 16 .
About a week or so ago we went to the Bahamas aboard a popular cruise ship with the whole family less my grand daughters. Grammy and I took full advantage of the wonderful food, housekeeping and activities that the ship and shore excursions offered. We did almost everything but relax. Don’t get me wrong we had a great time and so did the kids, but, there only a few moments of actual relaxation during the entire 8 days and 7 nights.
Grammy and I are not strangers to cruise vacations and know about the perils of cruising. First of all you have to get a balcony room or a suite to feel comfortable in your room. When Grammy and I took our first cruise to the Southern Caribbean, St. Marten, St. Johns, etc we had a small cabin in the lower part of the ship with a single round porthole. The cabin was no wider than the width of the bed which tended to toss all night while we tried to sleep. (The seas were a bit rough back then.) I awakened queasy and became sicker as the day went on. Our dining table faced the sea view and I watched the ship rise and fall, rise and fall.
Since that time we never go without a balcony cabin up higher in the ship decks and try for a table that doesn’t face the sea view. This year was the first cruise ever for my son-in-law, “Phil”. He had more fun than any 3 of us as he was either a contestant on a game show aboard or attending the Comedy Shows at night. He never slept, so he enjoyed all the ship had to offer. “Claire”, his wife, my oldest daughter tried her best to keep up with Phil but by the end of the cruise, fell prey to the Lido Deck’s allure. The Lido Deck offers a huge pool, water slides, kewl music, games and tanning. They waiters bring you things when you ask for them, ala beverages of choice and more.
My youngest daughter, “Amy”, spent her time in the evenings hanging with the kids club aboard the ship. They would play pool, video games and just chill together. Some nights they went out on the Lido Deck for the parties. They would dance till they dropped and then play miniature golf or join Pappy and Nana for a late night snack via room service.
Amy’s order is always the same, two peanut butter sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies and milk. We could eat sitting on our balconies late at night or watch the Lido Deck’s ongoing parties on our room TV. “Ella”, my middle daughter, liked the games like bingo, and slot machines. She loved the art auctions and shore excursions the most.
Our first port of call was Key West Florida. While Amy and Grammy went parasailing, Ella and I did the trolley and shopped. We ate Key Lime Pie at Kermit’s and enjoyed the Hemingway Home and the aquariums together. Finally, we wound up on the streets wandering in and out of little shops, buying souvenirs for the family.
Claire and Phil went out on their own and toured the areas bars. They took them to about every bar on the island. By the end of the day the kids were pretty soused. They made it back to their room and still were able to make it to dinner. (I was very impressed!)
The next port was Free-port, the Bahamas. Phil and Claire stayed aboard to recover from the bar tour while Grammy, Ella, Amy, and I took a combination beach/jeep trip. We first ate the local cuisine at the beach club, our first stop, then, had Ella’s hair braided island style. It began to rain and turned our jeep trip into a mud-ding trip which suited Amy just fine. They allowed Pappy to drive one of the jeeps leaving Grammy and the girls hanging on for dear life. After 2-3 hours of back road mud-ding and touring the posh homes of the island we barely made it back to the boat in time. They were waiting for Pappy’s party, and as we climbed aboard they pushed off within minutes.
Our last excursion was a whole family tour to Nassau, Atlantis. After reading all the complaints about the long lines and crowding at the Atlantis Water-park, I was pleasantly surprised. Since it was raining, no one was at the park allowing us to be first on the water-slide rides. We enjoyed downhill speed water tunnels again and again without so much as a five minute wait.
One thing I learned from Atlantis that I had forgotten from my childhood, is that if you don’t cross your legs while going down a speed ride, you get a major wedgie. For those of you who have not had one, it involves your swimming trunks winding up around your shoulders when you hit the water going way to fast.
Atalantis was great fun and Pappy palatial inside the hotel lobby. On the way back, the bus driver gave us a tour fo the city of Nassau complete with home remedies from the surrounding foilage they would cook up for medicines when he was a boy. (I like to hear local stories.)
What I enjoyed the most about our sea cruise were the wonderful meals and entertainment every single night that our family enjoyed in the dining hall. There was a fabulous singer that would sing most nights as we ate dessert. Some nights we all would get up and dance. It was just real nice. We still miss our fantastic servers “Nelson” and “Jesse”. Grammy still wakes up some nights calling their names!
If you haven’t ever cruised before, please give it a try. Pappy highly reccommends the experience for too many reason to even name especially for kids. For those of you going on a cruise to relax, “Good Luck”! Go instead for fun fun fun. To all of you that have already booked, have safe travels, and Bon Voyage!