Saturday, April 12, 2014

Malabrigo Cruise- Nassau Morning

We were only docking in Nassau for a part-day. Many left the ship quite early because they had excursions (dolphin swimming, snorkeling, a trip to the Atlantis Resort, etc), and everyone was expected to be back on board by 1:30 pm. BTW, you have to show your Sea Pass Card when you leave the ship so that you're logged as leaving, and then again on the way back in, so that everyone is accounted for at all times. Though the rum was cheap and duty-free, you also were not allowed to bring purchased liquor to your room- any booze (in unopened bottles) was held by the ship until official disembarkation back in Ft. Lauderdale. I don't know happened to open booze bottles, but any other liquids had to be dumped before coming back inside (we didn't buy liquor in any in any port). All bags were x-rayed so it wasn't really possible to sneak any in.

A bit about the Sea Pass card- it's your ID, it's your credit card (no cash purchases on board, all purchases are made with your Sea Pass, which is automatically linked to your account). It's your ticket into wherever you're going. When it is issued (just before you get on the ship), your picture is taken, so when you make any purchase (large or small), your picture flashes on the till so that the clerk knows that the card is yours. You really don't wanna lose your Sea Pass card. Most carry it on a lanyard around the neck. You also have to have an official picture ID to get back through customs to get on board. A passport will do, but so will a drivers licence (since you have to register your passport even to get on board, all of the ports know that each passenger has official ID somewhere).

Anyway, we didn't sign up for any excursions. We just planned to wander the town a bit, and then get a cab to Fish Fry for a conch lunch, just like we did in July. The day was wonderful- warm with a cool breeze and not very humid (unlike our day last July).

A Disney Cruise ship docked as we were getting off our ship.

The water is such a wonderful shade of blue.

As I said, it's a big boat.

I was fascinated by the hi-tech mooring system... ropes... centuries of boating can't be wrong...

I suspect that the Lady Holly is a tug, used to guide the larger ships into their docks.

Why am I singing *three hour tour*?

We didn't take many pictures of downtown Nassau because we took lots of them last July. We wandered the streets a bit, and mentioned to one of the shop keepers that we intended to get a cab to Fish Fry for lunch. He suggested taking one of the island buses, which would get us there for far less ($1.25@ rather than $5@). We planned to eat, and then stick our toes in the water for a little while.

We took his advice and got on the rather shabby open-air bus, and told the driver that we wanted off at Fish Fry, which was about 10 minutes from downtown (by bus... over an hour on foot, as we found out last summer). About 15 minutes later, I thought I spotted the conglomeration of buildings that comprised Fish Fry as we sped past it.

At first I thought that maybe he was going to make a short loop and drop us off in front of the stores (rather than across a rather busy highway). But no, we continued on. And on. And on. In and around fancy parts of Nassau, and some really not-fancy portions. We drove along the beautiful beach, and up into residential sections. Deeann finally asked the driver how far it was to Fish Fry.

"Fish Fry?" he asked. "Oh, that was long way past."

We had sort of figured that out by then. He cheerfully told us that he would drop us there on his return loop. So we got back to Fish Fry after about a 45 minute tour of the city. All for $1.25.

Now, I am a little bit OCD about getting places on time, and it was already after 12:30, and we had to be back on the ship within an hour. But Dee assured me that we had time to eat, and she was right. The Conch Fritters were amazing (the picture is too dark to see), we skipped the toe-dipping and found a cab which dropped us off at the port with time to spare. 

Time enough for me to buy a pendant/earring/ring set with silver and Caribbean Topaz (also known as Rainbow Topaz). I still need a good silver chain for the pendant, but I really love this set. It looks black indoors, but in the sunlight, it reflects blue, green, and purple.

You may notice that the buying of jewelry sort of becomes a theme to my port shopping. It's not my fault really- the ship hands out freebie coupons (I also got a pair of teeny little Tanzanite stud earrings for free in Nassau, plus another earring/pendant set for $10... I'm sure it's just glass, but it's still pretty, and a perfect Caribbean color), and 8 of every 10 port shops sell jewelry...'s really kind of hard to resist... I didn't try very hard.

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