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Cruising the Bahamas

Since I setup my cruise while still at the gate in Fort Stockton, I had booked a flight out of Midland, Texas so I had to drive there from New Mexico. It wasn’t too terribly far but it was an adventure with lots of construction and traffic blocking my way as I tried to go down the 285 to catch the I20 east. Huge mistake I will never repeat. I ended up turning east as soon as possible and luckily managed to make my flight on time. Since this would be a longer trip than normal as the vacation to beat all vacations, I parked in the more expensive covered area near the terminal. The flight on Southwest was fine though I quickly discovered my packing experiment was a huge failure. I should have taken both my wheeled suitcases and tied them together as usual in a luggage train rather than trying to substitute a non-wheeled duffel for one of them. Duffels are fine for local travel but suck for flying.

I got into Fort Lauderdale very late at night and waited for the hotel shuttle. When it came, there was my girlfriend Bernie on it to greet me. She flew in earlier in the day and checked us into the hotel. She made my night! We got to the hotel too late for me to get dinner so Bernie shared her leftover sandwich with me before we went to bed.

The next day the local shuttle I arranged came and picked us up to get us down to the ship in Miami. Check-in and boarding were pretty fast. The ship was the Carnival Sensation. We dropped off our luggage in our stateroom and hit up the buffet for lunch while we waited to set sail. We walked around the ship and explored every nook and cranny as usual. It isn’t one of the huge ships but I liked it. I booked a porthole room so Bernie would have the light she liked in the room and could try the different type of stateroom. I like porthole rooms as the best balance between having some sort of view with light and price. The area under the porthole is also great for putting your stuff.

Carnival SensationHalloween cruisingBernie loves to cruise

This was only a 5 day cruise with three ports. We usually do 7 day cruises but as I said, this was to be the vacation to beat all vacations so stay tuned. Our first stop was Nassau where we went to Atlantis hotel and waterpark. I was so fed up with salivating over their commercials that I just had to see it. Busses picked us up at the dock. The walk through the hotel to the waterpark was much longer than I cared for though the area is very beautiful. We did enjoy the waterpark. Bernie relaxed in the pool while I climbed the pyramid several times to ride down the chutes. The one that goes through the lagoon full of sharks was great! We finally found the hidden hot tub though it was more like a warm tub. Lunch was good. We had a good time but I have to say that it just isn’t as good as Schlitterbahn. All hail the king of waterparks, Schlitterbahn!

Atlantis waterpark temple slidesFun in the beautiful poolTubing through the shark pool!

Our next stop we both agree was the best. We stopped at Half Moon Cay, a private island owned by Carnival. We took the Eco Tour in a glass bottom boat around the small island and learned a lot. Lunch was served by the ship in a huge pavilion surrounded by smaller pavilions with picnic tables and it was wonderful! It tasted more like a normal American picnic lunch and not like the fancy food you get onboard. Plain is good sometimes. After lunch, we went swimming with schools of fishes swimming by, music playing, and a sand castle contest going on. The water was warm and oh so relaxing. I got to use my full face snorkel mask. We both want to go back.

Swimming with the fishesLunch served on the island

The last port was Grand Turk where we signed up for a rope climbing/zipline excursion. The part we thought would be easiest turned out to be the hardest. Those rope nets to get up the towers were pretty steep to climb. We watched the others struggle to get across the dual logs then easily maneuvered over them ourselves by using what we learned during the waterfall hike in Hawaii. The obstacles were easier to get over than the course I did in Canyon Lake, Texas but still challenging. Loved ziplining out over the cliff and back and then the next to final one where you have to leap off one tower to zip straight over to another with no down angle to help you. We survived the course and had fun though Bernie says once was enough. LOL.

Me climbing the towerOh yeah, we got this!Lovely Grand Turk

For more pics click here.





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