Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5
The day started out like most of our Courageous Travels trips. The interns, Kristin and LinsiAn, travel companion, Carolyn and myself set out to pick up our group. The difference was this trip would be taking us to the warm sunny weather of the Bahamas, so the excitement was higher than usual. Our first stop was Dubuque where we were greeted with hugs from Katie. We then traveled on to Davenport where we picked up Cindy, Annette, and Marla. Everyone was on time and ready to go. We moved on to Coralville where we picked up the very excited Austin. Our last stop was Marion where we met up with the rest of our group, Eric, Stephan, Tanda and Suzanne. We headed to Camp to get a good nights rest.
Everyone woke ready to head to warmer weather. Our Camp nurse Diane joined the group. Rolo arrived and greeted everyone and prepared the bus to take the group to Chicago Midway Airport for our flight to Fort Lauderdale. We met up with traveler Abigail at the airport. Check in went smooth and we had time for a little lunch before we boarded. The flight was good and everyone visited with their neighbors about past trips and what the week would be like. Once we landed safely in Florida we hopped on our shuttle to the hotel in Miami. We ordered pizza and watched the last half of the Superbowl in the lobby. Everyone was ready for a good night sleep after the long 2 days of travel. Stop back tomorrow and see what adventure on our Royal Caribbean cruise awaits.
The hotel shuttle did not leave for the cruise terminal until 12:00pm so everyone had a chance to sleep in and rest up from the full day of travel. The group had breakfast, packed up and was leaving for the boat by noon. We checked into the boat and found our state rooms. The group met at Windjammers for the buffet. The variety was so diverse everyone found something they liked. Austin loved the shrimp gumbo, he went back for 3 helpings. The group then returned to their room and everyone who wanted, changed to swim suits. We went to the Lets Get Loud, Sail Away party at the pool deck. Everyone got some frozen yogurt and listened to the DJ. Austin, Dustin, Tanda, Cindy, Eric, and Stephan all danced to the exciting “welcome aboard” music. Annette, Suzanne, Marla and Abby all sat and watched as we sailed through the open sea. Katie ordered a big virgin strawberry daiquiri and shared the 6 cherries with her friends. The group headed back to Windjammers for dinner with a whole new variety of delicious food….a food pattern is forming already. Lots and lots of great food! After dinner we headed to the ice skating arena, YES, our boat to the Bahamas has an ICE ARENA! Here the group watched an amazing performance called Ice Under the Big Top. It was all circus themed. The travelers sat in the first row and got to see the ice dancing up close! When a group of clowns came to the ice they fished out hugs and high fives to our group, Dustin even got his hat taken and the clown pretended to keep it. During the lion tamer part of the show, a cheetah skated up to Marla and scared her by pretending to scratch her. After the show the group returned to their rooms and tucked into bed ready for our fun day in Nassau tomorrow.
Our first morning on the Merinar of the Seas and we woke to the Port of Nassau, Bahamas in the window. We started the morning with an amazing breakfast buffet of anything and everything you could imagine. The travelers filled their bellies for the energy for the upcoming day. We left the boat for a walking adventure to see a few sights. On our way to town we happened across a nice man who had a tour company and gave the group an incredible rate for a tour. The group unanimously agreed to take the tour. Our guide was named Hudson and his employee was named Brown. They were knowledgeable about the Island history. Stephan had a lot of questions for the guide. Our first stop was Fort Fincastle where we saw the Queen’s Staircase and the old fort. Several of the group purchased a fresh raw coconut to drink the juice. Abby, Austin, Eric, Dusty and Stephan all tried the coconut water.
Our next stop was the Rum Factory where we got to sample original rum cake and Pina Colada flavor. Several travelers bought rum cakes to bring home, if they make it home, they were that delicious. We went to another fort that was next to a pier that Stephan, Eric and Annette all went all the way out on. They enjoyed watching a small group learning to sail. We then went on the rich and fancy 5 star hotel, the Atlantis. Here we met an amazing lady, Mary, who gave us an amazing tour of the hotel. As we parted ways Mary took a hug from everyone and said a prayer for our safe travels. At the end of the tour our great drivers dropped us at Senor Frog for a light late lunch. The travelers loved the large frog statues. Tanda got her picture taken with each one. Dusty was wearing his captain hat and the waitress asked if he was the captain. He said, laughing, “yeah”, pointing to the ship he said, “that’s my boat”. After we ate, some of the travelers did some Senor Frog gift shopping. Our next stop was the Pirates of Nassau museum. The group got to see how pirates lived in the area. Abby and Stephan read almost every informational plaque about the pirates. The group decided to do some more shopping. We found a jewelry shop named EBDY who was giving charm necklaces to cruise members so everyone got a necklace with a butterfly charm on it. We went to an area called the Straw Market. Here we found craftsman who carved things out of wood and coconuts. After everyone finished shopping we returned to the ship. The group ate at Wind Jammers buffet. Everyone was tired after the great day and knew they had another late day so everyone retired to sleep. Tomorrow is our day on the private island.
The day started with breakfast buffet at Wind Jammers. There is so much to choose from, no one leaves hungry and some need to be rolled out. We boarded the tender (smaller boat/ferry taking us to the island) and headed to Coco Cay. We found a spot on the beach and Cindy, Stephan, Eric, Annette, Tanda, Austin and Dusty all found the water. They said it felt cold but they got used to it quickly. We played in this area until lunch. After lunch we went to the other side of the island to another beach. Abby, Katie, Marla and Annette all took a nice afternoon nap in the sun. Dusty and Marla looked for shells. They found some interesting ones. I found a nice size shell but the animal was still inside. I showed everyone and they all thought it was cool. Eric and Dusty played bocce ball. Austin chose to have fun on some floating obstacles course. We returned to the boat and everyone cleaned up and dressed up for a nice dinner in the main dining room. We all met at the dining room and feasted like kings. The travelers enjoyed dressing up and all sitting together visiting about the day. After dinner, the group attended a show of a group called Impact. They were featured on America’s got Talent. They sang, danced and did other stunts. Annette, Suzanne, Katie, Tanda and Cindy really enjoyed the show. I heard so many “Wow”s and “oh my”s behind me. After the show everyone returned to their room for some much needed rest. More tomorrow, stay tuned.