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!
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 ;-)
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 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