I love to look at those giant cruise ships, a city at sea with Broadway shows, shopping malls, rain forests and water parks and outside cabins with patios. I saw them at the cruise dock in Nassau, Bahamas. My cruise ship looked like a tender next to them; but my ship had the front dock, right up near the straw market and the ferries. Yes, my little cruise ship, the Bahamas Celebration, was right up front. For a while, it was even stern to as they did an amazing job of unloading a fifth wheel and cars from the cargo bay.
Bahamas Celebration is a nine deck ship with a staircase that is easily navigated instead of waiting for an elevator. It has all the amenities of the larger ships, just in a smaller size. The number of passengers was around 600 the last trip I took from Palm Beach to Nassau, a two-day/two-night special. Food was available somewhere on the ship nearly 24 hours and it ranged from fresh pasta and panini sandwiches to goumet presentation of duck at the Crystal Restaurant or prime rib at the buffet in Rio's. The Cove has special, formal dining. Of course there's the buffet three times a day at Deck 9 poolside, or ice cream around the corner and midnight snacks at the Casino.
Entertainment is available from games to night club lounge shows with magicians, musicians, vocalists, high wire acts, comediens and more in an intimate atmosphere where the audience is pulled into the show or simply feels part of the show, so close that the changing facial expressions are part of the show. Dancing lessons and disco's fill late night hours.
Even better than the meals and the entertainment and the shore excursions are the excellent staff members who provide an atmosphere of camaraderie, a place where no one is alone unless they wish to be and no need goes unattended. No trip is complete without the photographs, and the photographer is top drawer.
The cabins are a little small for the most part; but who spends any time on a two-day trip in the cabin? The decor might not be as posh as the giant ships; but it still has a feel of old world elegance with the polished bannisters and exciting two story night club with dancing under the stars.
I must not forget the passengers, from every walk of life, from every ethnic background and a wide age range. Some are chatty and others in their own romantic worlds. Dining is not assigned and can be a treat in new acquaintances. The dress is a bit more casual than I remember on my Disney Cruise; yet, for some, this is their cruise experience and they dress for the occasion. People watching is entertainment, and every language is spoken. It's truly an international experience between the international crew and the ethnically diverse passengers.
Yes, I liked my little ship parked next to the floating cities. If I want a city, I live in one already with spectacular shopping malls, elegant dining and wonderful parks. If I go for a short cruise to the Bahamas, I want to remember my sailing days. After all, the ship is transportation; the amenities, entertainment and food are a bonus. I can't think of an easier ride to Nassau than sound asleep in a cozy cabin after a fine meal and great entertainment.
When I pass through customs at the journey's end, it's efficient to the max. I had my valet parking ticket for my car delivered to the curb. Ah, life in the slow lane has its pleasures. Some people prefer a Lexus; I prefer my Hyundai Sonata, elegance and economy. After all, the purpose is traveling from A to B. When I want a ride to Nassau, the Bahams Celebration is the ship for me. www.dkchristi.com
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