We just got back from our first cruise. It was quite an experience, with a huge range of emotions. I started out the cruise nervous. I had no idea of what to expect from anything. We took a hotel shuttle to the port in Charleston so I wouldn't have to find it. There is no terminal in Charleston, they're building a new one. We went through a warehouse, had our carry on luggage checked, then stood in a long line to get our paperwork done. After that, we went over the gangplank, and someone told us all to go to the lido deck and get lunch. I was terribly nervous at that point, and afraid I'd get sick, so I took my non drowsy dramamine and put my seasick bands on. I was nervous leaving my daughter home alone also, this was our first time. We got into our room about 2:30 and met Petrus, our steward. I really liked him. He did a good job and always had a friendly word for us. Got unpacked, there was plenty of room to put our things. We brought a small over the door shoe holder, but we didn't even really need it. We put our toothpaste and brushes, and small bottles of shampoo in it. We didn't even need our power strip, we had a battery powered alarm clock, and my camera or phone never did need charged. The only complaint I had about the room was the toilet, if you leaned back it flushed. Also, the toilet tissue is hung way in the back corner. Dont' see why they didn't hang it in the front corner where you could get to it. Also, we had an interior room, I'd get a window next time only because it was so dark in the cabin. Hard to put makeup on. The muster drill was a little confusing. We walked around before it trying to figure out where we'd meet and we couldn't find it. We decided to go to our room and follow everyone. I didn't realize it would be in a lounge.
I never did get really sick, just a little "off" the first day, after that I was fine with my dramamine. I even relaxed after the first night of laying there thinking of Poseiden adventure. lol We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet most days. One day we decided to try the celebration dining room for breakfast, but the food was the same as at the buffet, and the service was slow. We chose flexible dining, which worked well for us. The lines were short, and we got to meet some very nice couples. The only main course I didn't like was the tilapia, it just didn't taste right. The Chocolate Melting cake was my favorite dessert. I still miss that buffet, it was so convenient, and we usually managed to sit by a window. Nikola was the Maitre 'd and he's a good looking italian guy. And I really loved watching the waiters dance! Fun!
The shows we saw were good. We saw Scotty K at his family friendly show. He's good. We watched a reggae band that we enjoyed, and the Beatles Tribute show is excellent. I took a towel folding class, which was fun, I was supposed to do a scrapbooking class, but they double booked the room with a wedding, the wedding won. lol Also, the farewell party was great, the band was really good, and the drinks were free. I even got a strawberry daiquiri, I didn't realize at first that you could order something like that.
The ports were not what I expected, I guess. I expected more. Nassau is very busy. We wanted to walk to the Queen's staircase, but felt uncomfortable in the neighborhood we walked in. We ended up going to Bay street to shop. The straw market is an experience, but I could live without that again. All the booths are in a tent, not much room in the aisles to walk. Everyone had mostly the same items, and everyone wanted you to buy theirs. I did bargain and get a few things for my girls, a couple of t-shirts, a couple of baskets, and a couple of Christmas ornaments. They did have a band in the building where you enter nassau, but I thought there would be steel drum bands or something tropical. The weather was scorching at first, 90 and humid. It rained about noon, so we went back to the ship for lunch, then took umbrellas back out. It was much cooler then.
Freeport had a little market by the port. We took a taxi for $5 each to Port Lacaya. It wasn't as crowded. We walked through the Our Lacaya resort to the beach and stayed there awhile. We looked through the market, got conch fritters at a little stand. They were not good, rubbery. Then we decided at about noon to go back to the ship and get lunch. We checked out the little market outside the ship, it's kind of cute.
Basically, it was a very relaxing trip. no driving for 5 days was wonderful. Debarkation took a long time, finally got off the ship at 10:30 am. I did make our steward a towel elephant and put an extra tip on the trunk for him. Hope that made him smile. I did not realize though that it would take a couple of days once I got off the ship to stop rocking. haha. I had to take dramamine on land. Can't wait to get back. Charleston's new terminal, when built, will accomadate bigger ships. Hope to try a different port of call.