Time for the R and R portion of this trip/vacation. The beds are made and the food is prepared and all within a short distance from wherever you are on the ship. The first day was a full day at sea watching the clouds drift by and the waves go up and down. Unfortunately the waves went up and down a little more than desired rocking the ship back and forth due to the higher winds. That just meant holding on to whatever you are carrying very tightly anytime you’re outside. It’s amazing just how quickly we can adapt to a different environment. We landed in Miami and left all the thoughts of snow and ice at home and immediately transitioned into the green grass and open water where the birds were singing and the fish frolicking around boats and rocks in search of their daily fill.
We left the Port of Miami to hundreds of police cars, motorcycles, and boats with their lights flashing as they were honoring two of their fallen officers. It was truly humbling to see the respect and honor given to those killed in the line of duty. As part of that respect, our ship left dock without the familiar sound of the horn blown three times signaling our departure. Then it was off to the Caribbean waters for a day of sun and sea. While Lysa and Kristy enjoyed the pool, the rest of us took advantage of the time for some conversation and to soak in our surroundings.
Our first stop was Grand Turk of the Turks and Caicos Islands. We only had a small number of hours at this location so quickly got off the ship as soon as we arrived to take in what we could. There was a little time in a few nearby stores, learning about the Mercury 7 splashdown, burying our feet in the incredibly soft sand, snorkeling above a local reef, and kissing a stingray. All of this in the short 7 ½ hours we had on shore at Grand Turk. On to Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. This is a private island only for guests of the cruise ship. We spent some time snorkeling off the beach and then exploring this small island full of beautiful landscapes. Our third and final destination was the capital city of the Bahamas – Nassau. This was our longest stop of the cruise but also seemed to move the fastest. After conquering the taxi and hair braiding gauntlet, we had the opportunity to quickly explore a few stores near the pier. Then it was off to swim with the dolphins for the rest of our time in Nassau. It was an amazing experience to spend some time this close to these very friendly (and well trained) animals.
Leaving Nassau we were quickly confronted with reality that this was our last night aboard the ship and it was time to pack for disembarkation. While enjoying our evening meal we spent much of the time trying to figure out how to bring our server and room steward home with us. The thought of not having them around was more than we could tolerate. Well, there was no viable solution so we decided to concentrate on our next destination – The Everglades.