Bahamas Cruise 2005: Day 2


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Bahamas 2005: [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4]

Saturday, December 10, 2005: At dawn, Gina and Debbie ran out onto the balcony to see what we could see. Coco Cay was still off in the distance, but the sunrise was incredible.
We had a delicious breakfast in the Windjammer Cafe (eggs, bacon, waffles, rolls, fruit, milk, orange juice, salmon, yum!), then waited patiently to disembark. We were ready for a day of fun at Coco Cay!
Our first order of business was to get our snorkeling gear and get in the water. Here are Gina and Audrey above the water ...
... and here they are below. Audrey was easy to spot in her pink shirt, which prevented her skin from becoming sunburned beyond recognition.
B-b-b-barracuda! One of the nice lifeguards pointed out the location of this beauty to us, and we were in hot pursuit. He was about three feet long.
Here are Brent and Tom. Maybe. It's hard to tell without seeing the color of their flippers.
Look closely at the dark spotted area in this coral and you'll see an eel resting.
There were pretty fish everywhere, but let's get to the point of this cruise: eight and a half years ago, Tom and Debbie snorkeled these very waters and saw the most amazing school of manta rays. We wanted to see them again. We had to see them. We must see them.
So, we dragged our friends (first-time snorkelers all) out to the far part of the reef, to the very farthest buoy where the water was the deepest. There were no rays anywhere. A moment after Debbie apologized to everyone for wasting their time, we turned to see several dozen rays glide out from under a rock 30 feet down.
Five of them headed into shallow waters and we swam after them.
They have incredible white markings on their black bodies, which look like Helvetica 72-point lower case o's and dashes. We learned in Puerto Rico several years later that these are spotted eagle rays.
Our close encounter ended, and we swam into shallow waters to visit one of Coco Cay's wrecks. This gentleman was several feet long and in no hurry to swim along.
At one point, the fish were so plentiful that you couldn't help but put your hand out to try to touch them.
This wreck was a well-preserved airplane in about eight feet of water. Brent was able to stand on the wreck in his bright yellow fins.
We love snorkeling!
Back onshore, we ate a gigantic lunch at the open air restaurant, while chickens pecked at the ground around our feet, then we ordered some Coco Locos in colorful souvenir glasses.
While Audrey and Brent went to the small straw market, Gina and Debbie took Orchy to see the sights. He attracted the attention of the ship's photographer and was featured in the photo gallery onboard the next day.
When we had soaked up every last ray of sunshine, we boarded the tender to take us back to the boat and bid farewell to the lovely mermaid at the pier.
Three of us bolted to the Blue Skies Lounge as soon as we got back onboard so we could play Movie Soundtrack Trivia, hosted by the lovely Heidi. We were all set to be victorious but were unexpectedly thwarted by a team of pediatric dental personnel and had to settle for second place.
Tom and Debbie headed to the top deck for a little ice cream, a few photos, and a waypoint on Tom's GPS. Here is our beloved Coco Cay ...
... and our neighbor, a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, visiting her private island next door to Coco Cay.
We attempted to get a shot of Debbie in the same location (and same t-shirt) as a photo taken in 1997, but were not as successful as we thought upon comparing to the original once we got home.
Just two doors down from our suite on the top passenger deck was this giant anchor, which glowed blue at night to let passing boats know that we were the mighty Majesty of the Seas of Royal Caribbean.
A short time later, the gentlemen came to the ladies' suite to squire them to the formal dinner.
There was much wearing of black at our table.
After dinner, our headwaitress Vilma surprised the birthday girls, Debbie and Gina, with tiny birthday cakes. Three days later, Debbie's age would be a prime number while Gina's would end in a zero. We won't be getting any more specific than that.
The little Happy Birthday signs on the cakes were edible.
Right after dinner, we headed to the Captain's Reception, where the lovely Heidi introduced all five of us to the captain by name and we scored free glasses of champagne.
After a bit of coaxing, the Blackwells headed onto the dance floor while the orchestra played. They were the only dancers on the floor and they received a round of applause from the other guests afterward.
From there, we stumbled onto Majority Rules Trivia in the Blue Skies Lounge again.
The lovely Heidi was there again, accompanied by our host who goes by the nickname Winnie the Pooh. We did not win, but we all received additional bingo cards to go with the ones we had already purchased.
Next thing we knew, we were playing bingo, and Gina only had one uncalled number on one of her cards: O-64. Try to guess what the very next number was. Yes, our Gina was the winner of $200! No one has beginner's luck like Gina. No one.
Here is the big Bingo board before it was turned off and covered with its soft velvet blanket for the night.
It was time to ditch the formalwear, so we headed back to our rooms to find an elephant made out of a towel.
He was wearing Gina's sunglasses and three Royal Caribbean chocolates, so we figured it wouldn't hurt to add Orchy, too.
Casual once again, we headed to the Chorus Line Lounge where Big Winner Gina bought us a round of Love Potion #9.
No ordinary drinks, these, because not only are they a mix of three delicious frozen treats, they come in excellent glasses that light up at the bottom.
We were here to enjoy the Love and Marriage show, which is the cruise world equivalent of the Newlywed Game. We were delighted to see Joiner and his wife (on the left) get picked as contestants. He had earned the nickname "Joiner" because we had seen him involved in many activities before this, including ping pong and trivia.
We headed up on deck and strained to get a shot of the glowing blue anchor described above. You may have to use your imagination a bit on this one.
Somehow, we had managed to stay awake past 11:00 PM, so we raised the difficulty level by adding more alcohol to our systems in the form of Red Stripe and Foster's beer.
We took our drinks up to the very top deck, where we enjoyed the night air. Here is Debbie's view to the left ...
... and to the right. Ahhhh. Night air is awesome.
We got a rare group shot featuring the entire Vegas Five (temporarily renamed the Nassau Five for this trip only) before heading back down to the party.
The midnight buffet was set up on eight or ten tables all around the pools, but it was still only 11:30.
What to do with our spare time? Dance, of course!

At 11:45, an ice sculpture demonstration took place, followed by much eating. Shortly after gorging ourselves yet again, we called it a night.

Day 3 >


Bahamas 2005: [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4]

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