4/22 – 4/24
It took two sea days before we reached our first port-Nassau, Bahamas. Before we tell you about that stop, we should give you some idea about what life is like on board the floating city:
>The ship – The Mariner of the Seas holds about 3100 passengers. The 41 day cruise was a combination of three back-to-back cruises and none of the cruises were filled. They probably averaged about 2800 people per cruise.
> Our Cabin – Since we spend so little time in our cabin, we normally get the cheapest we can get, and we did this time also. We had an inside cabin (#7223) on the seventh deck (there are 14 decks on this ship) and was located forward (towards the front of the ship). The cabin has a couch and bed in one room and a bathroom. It was about the same size as our motorhome minus the kitchen.
>Activities – There are no shortage of activities on this ship. Joan had a hard time finding time to relax. There were normally one or two seminars on each sea day covering a vast array of topics including port history, port tours, forensic psychiatry, Egyptian mythology, Egyptian history, etc.. Joan attended art classes and did a lot of painting. In fact, she sold three of her works. Other activities included bingo, casino gambling, ice skating (Joan got on the ice), rock wall climbing (I looked at the wall once), miniature golf, basketball, table tennis (Joan won third place in a tournament), and many group games and activities. We both joined the ship choir, went to a number of practices and performed at two evening shows.
>Entertainment – Almost every night we were entertained at the theater by some excellent performers. Entertainment included solo vocalists, singing groups, comedians, acrobatics, instrumentalists, ice-skating show, impersonators and production shows by the ships orchestra, dancers and singers. There was even an Olympic gymnast.
>Food – The food was good, about 3.5 stars. There were three restaurants that cost additional money, two we did not try but Ken did have a decent hamburger at Johnny Rockets. We had a choice of either the dining room or the buffet for all three meals a day. Normally we had breakfast and lunch at the buffet and dinner in the main dining room. Ken really enjoyed having escargot during this cruise. For the first four weeks it was fake escargot (scallops instead of snails) but the last couple of weeks was the real thing.
Nassau was our first stop and the only stop on this trip that we have been to before. We walked around town checking out watch prices and Ken decided to buy a Citizen watch to replace his 31 year old Hamilton (which he purchased in the Grand Caymans on another cruise). His new watch uses solar power: does not have a battery and does not wind up. It also has a sapphire crystal to eliminate scratches (the reason he was replacing his old watch – changing that crystal is almost as expensive as the new watch). After shopping we took the local bus to Potter’s Key where we had a delicious lunch of conch soup and conch fritters, both specialties of Nassau.