Nassau, Charleston, and my First Cruise

I call it our “5 years late honeymoon.” My husband and I just got back from our anniversary cruise from Charleston, South Carolina, to Nassau, Bahamas. I have so much to say, so I’ll try to add pictures to keep things interesting.


First we drove from our home in the Midwest to Charleston. We managed to hit major cities during rush hour because that’s just what we do.

We boarded our new ride, the Carnival Ecstasy, and set sail for the Carribean.

The swaying and rocking of the ship didn’t make me nauseous, thankfully, but it did make my head feel fuzzy and disoriented. I slowly got used to it.

The first day we explored the ship and discovered that it was absolutely huge and that it was essentially an entire city floating in the water. Whatever your vice, you could entertain it on this ship. Food, drink, gambling, shopping, pampering, or exercise, it was all available. There were 14 decks to explore and we navigated all of them. The luxury was strange to us at first.

All the food and drink we tried were fantastic. There was a taco bar, a burger joint, 24-hour pizza and soft serve, and a fine dining room that was probably the nicest place I’ve ever eaten (we ate there every day!). All of that food was both free and seemingly unlimited. We had to pace ourselves to ensure we could still move the next day.

My husband and I have never gambled, so we thought this would be a nice opportunity to walk through the casino and watch the excitement (we’re both wayyyy to cheap to actually spend any money on gambling). We spent a few minutes watching some of the table games, and it was fun to see the clapping and excitement when someone did well, but we walked away with no more knowledge of gambling than when we entered.

On the formal dining evening, we got all dressed up and excited for our nice dining experience. I convinced my husband that we should take some photos while we were looking so fancy, and he decided the front of the ship would be a good place to start. Allow this photo to explain how windy it is there:

So I didn’t get any nice formal pictures of us, but I do think that one is a keeper. It’s a bit more realistic and a whole lot more fun. I was laughing so hard the whole time.

 

Nassau was not what I had expected. Getting off the cruise ship was like running through a gauntlet. There were all sorts of people hollering for my attention and my money. Within the first mile of the city, I was offered hair braiding, tee shirts, cuban cigars (I later discovered that the man with the fake cuban cigars was also the man to get other… ahem… smokes… from), coconut drinks, painted canvases, key chains, jewelry, liquor, and any other touristy thing you can think of. It was an experience, but not exactly the experience I was looking for. We walked far enough to find a nice beach and set up camp to float in the crystal clear water for a few hours. It was absolutely beautiful. We applied sunscreen 3 times that day and still managed to return with some nasty sunburns. I’m beginning to believe that the sun in the Carribean is not the same sun as the one that shines on the Midwest.

Back on the boat we went and back to the days of indulgence. We attended some amazing singing and dancing shows and some very funny (although raunchy) comedians who made you do that thing where you kind of look around before laughing to make sure you’re not the only one. There was also an extremely talented pianist who played at a fun singalong piano bar which I really enjoyed.

I even tried escargot. Hide your snails, or I might just come after them.

Then, we arrived back at Charleston and discovered what I think was the strangest part about the cruise- getting re-acquainted with solid ground. I felt perpetually dizzy and somewhat confused for THREE DAYS after arriving on land. It felt like the ground was moving. The brain is a powerful thing.

In Charleston, we spent a day exploring and took a tour of Fort Sumter. I joke that it wouldn’t really be a vacation for the two of us if it didn’t involve a museum of some sort.

Fort Sumter was jam-packed with history and amazing information about the Civil War. I learned a lot and am always fascinated with the idea of standing in locations that were monumental in history, like this fort which was the location of the first shots of the Civil War and changed hands throughout the war between the Union and Confederate troops.

We then stopped on a scenic street in Charleston and walked around a bit.

We found a delicious lunch spot and some really neat architecture. History seemed to be everywhere.

 

I’m thankful that we were able to save up the means to take this amazing trip. It was a wonderful celebration of our 5 year anniversary, and I had a really great time enjoying some wonderful places and fun relaxation.

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