Nassau

Trip Start Nov 07, 2012
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Trip End Jan 10, 2013


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Flag of Bahamas  , New Providence,
Monday, November 26, 2012

I had read and heard some pretty unpleasant things about the crime rate in Nassau. We had booked a tour through the cruise line, so we were pretty confident there would be no problems. Our tour was of the forts of Nassau and included a visit to the Junkanoo museum and the Queens steps and Freedom Waterfall.

The port area was chaotic. With five large cruise ships in, there were thousands of people trying to get through immigration and either start shopping or get on to their cruise. Luckily, they are pretty casual about immigration procedures , so it didn't actually take long to get through onto the shore to meet our tour guide. Some parts of Nassau did seem to be very impoverished, and run down – hence the crime rate. There must be plenty of money coming in to the Barbados, in the form of tourism – whether it is getting to the right people is another matter. We visited Fort Charlotte and another tiny fort – both of which were quite interesting, even though they had never seen action. In between the two forts we visited the Junkanoo museum, probably the most interesting item on the tour. Junkanoo is a combination of dance, music, costume and celebration that takes place twice a year in the Bahamas. Groups of people organise to compete for the honor of first place for the best costume, which can be huge, but must only be carried by one person. Teams can spend tens of thousands of dollars on their costumes. We had a very entertaining session from our guides in this place. After the second fort, we walked down the Queens steps, carved by ex-slaves or their descendants, to commemorate the death of Queen Victoria, who had freed the slaves. The steps descend next to the Freedom Falls, an artificial waterfall constructed to celebrate the Independence of the Bahamas from Great Britain. We were delivered back to the ship by lunchtime, and not being interested in the diamonds, jewellery and watches that seemed to be the main selling points of shopping in the Bahamas we stayed on board the ship after lunch. Deborah visited the medical centre to get some different motion sickness tablets and these seemed to be much more effective. I attended a session on the design and construction of the Magic, while Deborah rested. Then we had a walk around the ship. We saw the show Villains Tonight just before our evening meal in the Royal Palace Restaurant. There we met the other four people who were part of our regular dining rotation. We had not met them the previous night because we were at an alternative restaurant. Although all four were very pleasant company, we really hit it off with Steve and Carrie, who are Canadians, have two kids aged slightly older and slightly younger than Jason, and got married In the same Year as us. We also met our dining rotation wait-staff Angel and Anastasia. Our meal was outstanding – although not quite of the quality of the night before. However good company and good discussion more than made up for it – and the food was certainly plentiful and delicious. As previously, the wait staff were only too happy to bring out multiple courses, provide tastings or suggestions based on what you have enjoyed previously. Bed beckoned. I had noticed that on the map, the distance between Nassau, and Castaway Cay, our next stop, was not very great. Indeed, once Nassau was just over the horizon, the ship virtually stopped, only generating enough headway to stay in position. We hardly moved all night, only picking up speed the following morning.
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