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  #1  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 5:40 PM
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Smile Orlando, Florida and Freeport, Bahamas

Sooo, last summer my partner suggested traveling during the holidays. It would be my first Christmas away from my family but they gave us their blessings so I told him "find somewhere warm, affordable, and preferably at least second-world (aka water/electricity). He worked his magic with priceline, hotwire and who knows what else and he managed to find a great deal for a Carnival cruise to the Bahamas.

We stayed at the Florida Mall Hotel in Orlando - the hotel was nice enough, and being attached to a large regional mall with Saks and Nordstrom - well, I was a happy camper. Added bonus - our room faced downtown Orlando which has a small but impressive skyline:




We didn't get a chance to explore the area beyond the mall - maybe next time.

Exterior shot of the hotel as we head to Port Canaveral:


Yep, on our way to the coast!


Almost there:


Two other cruise ships - Disney and I believe a Norwegian:


Our ship - the Sensation (which I had to say "SenSATION!!!" with 'jazz hands'):


Inside the ship - we had heard that the decor was dated, which it was; that it was a little Vegas-y, which it was. But hey, we didn't mind and I kind of liked some of the retro look. The main atrium:


Some artwork in the corridors - told you it was retro ;-)


Back to the Promenade deck for our muster drill (aka the practice run with life jackets in case we hit an iceberg). We had a view of the distant NASA Vehicle Assembly building - about 500-ish feet tall:


It said Great Lakes and I thought it was a floating brewery - imagine my disappointment.


But the gorgeous sunset made up for it:




Our stateroom had two of these funky windows. This is the ship channel heading into Freeport:


Freeport (population about 26K) was charming - they're still recovering from being hit by three major hurricanes. We took a $5 cab (well, an old Toyota minivan) to the Lucaya Beach area.

Being a British colony, they drive on the other side of the road:


We arrive at the Lucaya Beach area - some cute/touristy shops were around here:




And Lucaya Beach... the aquamarine/turquoise color of the water was surreal:


You're welcome, guys ;-)




Gecko? Geico?


But it was time for lunch - we couldn't have planned it any better as it clouded up later so we got plenty of sun in the morning and had plenty of beer in the afternoon:


And what else would we have - conch fritters (drooool...)


There were quite a few police about - I think they were there to reassure tourists more than anything else:


Just some shots from around the Lucaya Marketplace:










Okay, a resin statue of a pirate hoochie... umm:




The Sheraton:


The bus stops were absolutely adorable:


The tallest building in Freeport, a condo tower undergoing renovation:


Back to the ship, I took some shots of the Port Lucaya area:




View of Freeport from the ship:


Next up - Nassau, Bahamas! http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=143481
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Last edited by MayDay; Dec 29, 2007 at 6:47 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 6:08 PM
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Cool! Man, is that beach beautiful.
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  #3  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 6:12 PM
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Looks like great places to go.

I half expected that gekko to talk.
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  #4  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 6:45 PM
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Great vantage point of downtown Orlando's skyline. One of the better...
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Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 7:42 PM
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Quote:
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You're welcome, guys ;-)
Thanks for looking out for the other side MayDay. Much appreciated.
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Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 8:33 PM
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Wow! I could use that beach right now with winter and snow here in Denver! Thanks for sharing.
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Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 11:34 PM
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other than the beach, the bahamas looked pretty ugly! i am surprised.

well, cute thread i suppose, cute because MayDay is turning into a vacation granny before our eyes!
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Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 11:52 PM
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Nice shots!
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Old Posted Dec 29, 2007, 12:35 AM
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I gotta admit I do pretend I'm the one going on these vacations. And I hope you don't mind me sending the pics to old friends of my trip and my new high-waisted gal pal strolling the beach. Thanks MayDay.
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Old Posted Dec 29, 2007, 3:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arbeiter View Post
other than the beach, the bahamas looked pretty ugly! i am surprised.

well, cute thread i suppose, cute because MayDay is turning into a vacation granny before our eyes!
Admittedly, Freeport isn't much in the way of a "scenic" area aside from the beaches. The port itself is obviously a working cargo port, and the area between the port and the beach pictured has a somewhat suburban layout (strip plazas, ranch-style homes, etc.). The touristy area (Lucaya) near the beach is like most - low-slung buildings with a kitsch feel a block away from the beach and beach hotels. Much of the development on Grand Bahama island happened after the 1950s. New Providence island - where Nassau is located, has a much more urban feel - not that the Bahamas is known for having a "big city" feel.
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Old Posted Dec 29, 2007, 3:58 AM
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great shot of downtown Orlando!
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  #12  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2007, 9:16 PM
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Great sunset and beach photos !
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  #13  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2007, 3:31 AM
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Part 2 is posted in the International section

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=143481
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Old Posted Dec 31, 2007, 9:42 PM
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Damn!

Onward to Nassau!
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Old Posted Jan 1, 2008, 12:06 AM
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This one brings back memories. My friends and I would frequently skip school and make that drive over to Port Canaveral for a day of surfing at Jetty Park right next door.

I'm quite nonplussed about the fact that you went to the Florida Mall. I didn't even think Orlandoans went there anymore. There are some great parts to Orlando beyond that. Maybe next time.
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Old Posted Jan 1, 2008, 12:54 AM
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^The throngs of people reminiscent of Times Square (no, I'm not kidding) suggested that plenty of people still go to the Florida Mall. Granted it was the holidays but it was painfully mobbed.

If the point of our trip was Orlando itself, we certainly would have stayed elsewhere. Our priority wasn't a hotel close to the interesting parts of Orlando, it was to find somewhere decent and affordable ($80 on hotwire for a 3-star - no complaints) that was close to the airport and convenient to Port Canaveral. I'm well aware there's more to Orlando than Disney - but we were only there from late Friday night to early Sunday morning.
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Old Posted Jan 1, 2008, 1:57 AM
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The other guys may thank you for the babe in the bikini (or possibly the resin hoochie), but I think I'll express my gratitude for that picture of the hunky cop.
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Old Posted Jan 1, 2008, 2:06 AM
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Honey, you would have LOVED the guy in Nassau who tried to get me to take a "horsey-carriage ride". There were a bunch of pushy taxi/tour drivers, but this guy was something else. At least 6'4", big rippling muscles everywhere, short dreds, etc. - only problem was he didn't ask me - he just yelled "come for a horsey-carriage ride!". I nicely and politely said "not right now, but thanks" which apparently was a come-on to him so he proceeded to grab me by the arm and try to drag me to his horsey-carriage... at 9am... when I'd just gotten off the boat... long before my coffee kicked in...

Yeah, within 5 minutes of setting foot in Nassau I became the "crazy hater tourist" Sorry - I digress...
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Old Posted Jan 1, 2008, 2:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayDay View Post
Our priority wasn't a hotel close to the interesting parts of Orlando, it was to find somewhere decent and affordable ($80 on hotwire for a 3-star - no complaints) that was close to the airport and convenient to Port Canaveral. I'm well aware there's more to Orlando than Disney - but we were only there from late Friday night to early Sunday morning.
That's understandable. Just seems strange that of all the places to end up...
Looked like a nice trip though. Glad you enjoyed it.
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Old Posted Jan 1, 2008, 3:23 AM
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Ships still amaze me. They float!!!! lol
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