Saturday, 22 December 2012
Nassau & CARNIVAL BREEZE Part 3
(click on pictures to enlarge)
Friday 23rd November 2012
Today we arrived in Nassau, in the Bahamas, at 8 a.m
I was on deck at 7.30 a.m. all dressed and ready for the day, as I couldn't sleep any more and the View from the Bridge was looking very enticing. All around was blue sky and hot sunshine as we approached the quayside. Up on deck I met two charming American ladies - Valerie and her friend Jean - and we chatted for quite a while. We could see the hotel resort of Atlantis on Paradise Island which looked weird and wonderful, but then Michael Jackson thought enough of it to have his permanent rooms there, over the bridge between the buildings.
We had breakfast on board and watched the huge surf pounding onto the surrounding outer rocks and the turquoise sea was a wonderful colour wherever I looked. I understand there is very deep water outside the reefs.
We walked ashore to Festival Place Market which was noisy, vibrant and colourful, just at the entrance to the Cruise Ship port. The original building was destroyed by fire in 2001 I gather, and this rebuilt one is said to reflect the architectural style of a Bahamian village and evokes a time when Bahamian artisans and crafts persons practised their art and trade in small island communities, with over 45 artisans busy at their work in the Straw Market. Most of them were busy making hats and bags and I have never seen so many for sale all at once. Walking around the town was interesting and occasionally hazardous as some building work was being undertaken in unexpected places, but the high number of diamond and jewellery shops was a surprise. The T-shirt shops appeared to be doing good business too.
We walked along a town quay to watch the arrival of NORWEGIAN EPIC into the harbour, and she really is an odd sight with the positioning of her forward cabins.
She had been closely followed by CARNIVAL SENSATION but because of the EPIC manoeuvring, the SENSATION had to wait outside the harbour. We felt so glad not to be on board her then, as the wind and currents caused her bow and stern to rise and fall rather a lot as she struggled to stay in place, and we saw one anchor dropped to try to help. Once EPIC was alongside, the CARNIVAL SENSATION could come into port.
I knew that my Father had been to Nassau on the ARANDORA STAR in 1931, but his two pictures taken there show a huge shark being carved up on deck, whilst he and other colleagues look on. Father is in the right hand picture, third from the right, in his Engine room overalls.
Back on board CARNIVAL BREEZE the pool deck lunch looked very appetising, with a big choice. We sailed from Nassau at 5 p.m. under a threatening sky, but the view from the stern decks was fascinating as we left the port and soon came into deeper water. The Pilot left us as we sheltered him from the rising wind, and we watched the views of the island disappear into the dusk.
Dinner this evening included a starter of alligator fritters, which I decided to try. It was all right, but mixed with vegetables so there was hardly any flavour, but maybe that was the idea. Some diners kept doing arm movements like an alligator's jaws, but we eventually realised that is the name of a famous American football team so they are used to doing that action when the name is called.
Again this evening the Maitre d' sang, some of the waiters danced on a few tables down on the lower level of the restaurant, and it was fun to watch.
The Show at 10.15 was again good, but there is no orchestral music, it is only recorded, and yet there is an excellent band playing for the atrium after dinner. That atrium is so like those on Costa ships but there seems to be more participation on here with hundreds of people happily dancing or standing around on the various levels enjoying the music.
Tomorrow we arrive back in Miami before dawn, and later I leave the ship to start the next part of my Miami-based adventure, by flying up to Tampa to join another Carnival ship. I am now part of the Carnival family!
Ships seen: A Bahamas ferry, Norwegian Epic, Carnival Sensation
Saturday 24th November 2012
Here we are back in Miami Cruise Terminal, with Carnival Liberty astern, and I will be leaving the ship to head for the airport.
I have really enjoyed my time on CARNIVAL BREEZE, although it was rather short. I think the ship architects, the Partner Ship Design company of Hamburg, Germany, have done an excellent job with many memorable places on board, and I would be pleased to sail on her again. My travelling companion has written an article about the ship which will be published in the Ocean Liner Society's quarterly magazine "Sea Lines" so I shall look forward to reading an in-depth description and review of the ship.
To be continued....