Thursday, November 29, 2012

Water, water everywhere ...

... and not a drop to drink.  That's what the bars are for! 

Our trans Atlantic trip was so smooth we hardly knew we were at sea hundreds of miles from land for the most part.  We did pass through the Straits of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco in the middle of the night.  Some people stayed up or got up to see the Rock but in the dark they said it was a mere shadow.  The straits are about seven miles wide so we were very close to Africa.

I didn't take many pictures on the ship.  We filled our days with leisurely breakfasts which was easy to do because each night we gained an hour as we moved west.  There were mornings I went to the Promenade when it was still dark except for the Cafe.  The lights came on at 6 am.  Normally I would run into someone, have coffee, and after an hour or so would take coffee to our cabin for Ted.  Eventually we would head to the dining room for breakfast.

Our group would gather outside one of the bars on the Promenade and people would come and go for visits.  A priest was on board and said Mass at 9:15 each morning and sometimes we attended.  We took Spanish lessons, played Trivial Pursuit, walked the track on the top deck, played miniature golf and shuffleboard and did some of the activities the ship provided.  There were movies every day and we did see Chicago again because we both like it so well.

After lunch whoever wanted to play cards met in the dining room at 1:00 and we played until around 4:00.  By then it was 5 o'clock somewhere and the group would start gathering outside the bar again but instead of coffee, the drinks started coming.  Dinner for us was at 6:00 followed by great entertainment in the showroom after that.  When that was over most headed to their cabins because the day had started so early and we would gain another hour the next day!

Here is a group photo on the steps of the Rhapsody in Blue dining room and a "photo of the photo" (I don't have a scanner) taken by the ship's photographer on our last formal night.  By the third formal night, Ted refused to wear a tie, he said he was on vacation!  The six late diners and a couple others are missing from the group shot.  It was taken on our second formal night (and Ted has on a tie!). 

After six days at sea we docked in Nassau.  The sun was shining, the weather was warm and everyone was ready to set foot on terra firma once more.  Two Carnival and one Norwegian ship were in port along with us.  It made for a very crowded downtown.

Ted and I had visited back in July, 1973, when the Bahamas received their independence from England.  The bus driver actually mentioned that date during our tour.  We saw Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Blue Angels as part of that celebration.  There are two forts Fincastle and Port Charlotte and the Queens Steps but not much else to visit.  Here are Ted and I at the bottom of the Queen's Steps and at our stop at the beach. 

The one thing that has been developed over those 40 years is the Atlantis Resort where our tour made a brief stop. 

Some of the yachts parked in their basin.

My Edith Ann pose in the Atlantis chair in the lobby.

The fountain at the entrance to the hotel and casino.

Without a "bracelet" that you paid admission or are staying there, you can't go very far in the complex.  Of course they will allow you into the casino and shops!  I turned $5 into $8.50 in a few minutes at the casino but had to cash out quickly to catch the bus.  If you had the time, a day pass to the resort would be well worth it but we didn't have that luxury this time.

Ted, Tom and I walked through the downtown and I bought the jacket I am wearing in the formal photo above.  We had two more days at sea passing the Florida Keys and entering the Gulf of Mexico to Galveston.  On the last night we played bingo and I won $277, but the last game, the big jackpot that had been building, went to one woman for $5800.  That would have been nice but to win at all was a thrill.

When we arrived in Galveston we had reserved a bus to take 14 of us to Terry's where cars and rides awaited us.  It was a great trip!

But Keith and Steve were coming home with us for a week so there is more to come.

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