Bahamas 2021:
Day 1 - Nassau [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Bahamas 2021: [Day 1 - Nassau] [Day 2 - Coco Cay] [Day 3 - Coco Cay] [Day 4 - At Sea] [Day 5 - Cozumel] [Day 6 - At Sea] [Day 7 - Freeport] [Day 8 - Nassau]

Saturday, July 24, 2021: We awoke at 2:30 AM to discover a series of text messages saying that our American Airlines flight from Indianapolis to Miami, originally scheduled for 6:00 AM, would not be taking off until 3:30 PM that afternoon. The only flights offered as replacements included two connections with less than 40 minute layovers. Realizing that would likely put our entire trip at risk, and after two calls to the Royal Caribbean Travel Team, we purchased new one-way flights on United Airlines that left at 8:00 AM and routed us through Dulles and then on to Nassau.
Several hours later, we had our traditional pre-trip breakfast at the airport McDonald's. They had remodeled since we were last here, putting in three self-service kiosks, and removing humans from the ordering process entirely.
We went through security with lots of time to spare, and found seats at the departure gate to wait for the flight to board. There's the sun peeking above the horizon in the distance.
We celebrated our on-time departure and our projected early arrival into Dulles with Diet Cokes over ice at 30,000 feet.
The last time we were in Dulles, on our way to South Africa in 2014, we had heard Toto's Africa going down these escalators. We were half expecting to hear the Beach Boys' Kokomo this time, but no such luck.
We had a completely empty exit row on our next flight to Nassau, ...
... which is just the way we like it.
It's always a treat to look for interesting airline livery while we taxi, ...
... like this plane from Egyptair, ...
... and this one from Ethiopian Airlines with the interesting characters near the tail.
The people-movers at Dulles certainly are funny looking.
The snack bag provided on this United Airlines flight contained a water bottle, pretzels, a stroopwafel, and an American Airlines napkin. Hmmm.
Shortly after 1:00 PM, we were descending into Nassau and Debbie was on photography alert.
The ocean in the Bahamas is such an inviting blue.
We arrived in Nassau ahead of schedule, once again thankful that we had switched flights
Welcome to Lynden Pindling International Airport (commonly known as Nassau International Airport)!
Preparation for this trip involved purchasing a Bahamas Travel Health Visa for each of us within two weeks of our trip, which required showing proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, and came with travel insurance if we contracted COVID-19 during our visit to the Bahamas.
Less than an hour after landing, we had our bags and were aboard the Royal Caribbean transfer van.
Five minutes after we boarded the van, we were headed toward the ship.
At the airport exit, we saw these giant versions of what looked like mimosa leaves. We later learned that these are zamia plants, also called cardboard palms.
Most of the roundabouts contained interesting statues sculpted by the late Stephen Burrows, like this one with a white crown pigeon, ...
... a conch shell, ...
... a flamingo, ...
... and a triton trumpet shell.
The FML Group of Companies has an awesome hibiscus sculpture in front of it.
You've gotta love parrots on a street sign with Bahamian beer in the background.
The McDonald's in Nassau is a two-story building. Classy!
Approximately 25 minutes after leaving the airport, we arrived at the British Colonial Hilton Nassau for our pre-boarding health check.
We were here for the pre-boarding health screening which included showing proof of our COVID-19 vaccinations and showing the negative result of our required RT-PCR test that we had taken four days earlier.
In under 10 minutes, we had completed the test, ...
... boarded the waiting shuttle bus outside the hotel, ...
... and were being driven the short distance to ...
... the pier to board the Adventure of the Seas, our home for the next eight days. It's moored behind Crystal Serenity in this shot.
Let's look for our cabin, shall we?
There it is in the center of this picture. It is the one with the rectangular window on the flat part of the ship, under the overhang, with the two-part balcony spanned by a single rail to the right of the window. Let's get on board and get a closer look.
We boarded a glass-sided elevator for the ride to Deck 10, ...
... looking out over the magnificient Royal Promenade on Deck 5.
We had boarded on the forward gangway, so we needed to walk aft to our stateroom, ...
... cabin 1308. Our SeaPass key cards were tucked in an envelope behind the stateroom number.
It was an owner's suite and had a name: the Alps Suite. Let's go inside!
It had a dining area, ...
... a sitting area, ...
... and a bedroom with a vanity/desk, chair, and chaise by the picture window.
Looking from the picture window, you can see the four mirrored closet doors.
On the desk were a bottle of hand sanitizer, two masks, today's shipboard program, and our shore excursion tickets.
The bathroom featured two sinks in the vanity, a shower AND a bathtub, complete with ...
... a tile mosaic of a chalet in the Alps.
The Malin+Goetz shower products contained the oddest collection of scents: rum body bath, cilantro hair conditioner, and peppermint shampoo. There's a cocktail no one would drink. Fortunately, they had almost no actual scent to them.
A bidet! Oh my. How French.
The vanity contained three drawers and two large cabinets for storage, in addition to the medicine cabinets behind the mirrors in front of both sinks.
There was a basket of fruit waiting for us, with grapes, an orange, a pear, a kiwi, a red apple, a green apple, and a strawberry.
The large balcony had a table and two chairs, ...
... and a reclining lounge chair. The window behind the lounge chair looked into the sitting area by the bed.
We decided to venture out to find some lunch. The cake at the head of the buffet confirmed we were on the right ship.
The Atlantis Bahamas resort was visible beyond the ship.
Some tables were reserved to spread everyone out for social distancing.
Tom was fascinated by the bread display: l-r: rye, garlic cheese spread spirals, Barra with seeds, soft cheese roll, baguette. He wanted to try to recreate several of these when we got home.
The glass elevators gave an impressive view all the way down to Deck 4.
Back in our room, Debbie relaxed on the very comfy couch.
The view toward Nassau was entirely taken up with the Crystal Serenity.
The carpets in the elevators reminded everyone what day of the week it was. We had previously seen this on Holland America's ms Rotterdam in the Black Sea in 2007.
We were heading down to check in at our muster station to complete our safety training which was handled completely online at our convenience via Royal Caribbean's app. This was such a welcome improvement to standing on deck, packed in like sardines, to listen to the same safety announcement.
After leaving the muster station, we headed to the main dining room to see if our table would be a table for two. The maitre d' assured us that our assigned table was for eight people, but that we were the only people assigned to it. Debbie asked him specifically if it would remain just the two of us, and he assured us it would. Confident in his reply, we didn't ask for reassignment. <Insert ominous music here.>
Next, we took a walk down the Royal Promenade on Deck 5 to see some of the shops and restaurants.
There was a display showing what the place settings looked like at each of the specialty restaurants, along with a QR code to bring up the menu for that restaurant in the Royal Caribbean mobile app.
It seemed like the perfect time to celebrate our successful day with Beertinis at the Duck and Dog Pub.
Debbie had the El Toro, made with tequila, lime juice, pineapple, and jalepeƱo, and topped with Modelo. Tom had the Dublin Iced Tea, made from Bacardi, Jameson, cognac, and port, and topped with Guiness Irish Stout. They were delicious and very strong.
While we sipped them, Debbie's watch continued to serve up message after message from American Airlines telling her where her alternate flights were and how late they were arriving.
A little after 5:00 PM, a Bahamian Junkanoo band started played on the pier between our ship and the Crystal Serenity. There were dancers in the front row, horns and whistles and bells in the middle, and drums at the back.
The costumes were spectacular, decked out with feathers and beads, and they covered the musicians from head to toe. Each outfit was a different color, and they looked very festive.
The band appeared to be performing for Crystal Serenity from the way they kept turning toward their ship, but we enjoyed it just as much as they did. People from both ships lined the balconies and public spaces to watch the band perform.
When we headed down to dinner, we went to our assigned table for eight where the waiter told us that there was one other couple assigned to our table. Nope.
We immediately went back to the maitre d' to request a table for two for real this time, and he assigned us to a lovely table for two ...
... with waiter Simone and assistant waiter Nengah.
Debbie was very pleased with this new table assignment.
Tom was very pleased that Debbie was pleased.
Our happiness increased when Simone told us her recommendations for dinner and they all matched Debbie's choices. For starters, Debbie had the Maryland-style crab cake, and Tom had the wild mushroom soup, ...
... progressing to the prime rib for Debbie and the battered fish and seafood for Tom, ...
... and finishing with the warm hazelnut chocolate cake for Debbie and the warm apple tart for Tom.
At 7:00 PM, Crystal Serenity left port, ...
... giving us a full view of the Nassau harbor area.
Here's a glimpse of Parliament Square, with the Parliament building draped in Bahamian colors of aqua and yellow. We had seen it up close when we were here in 2005.
We went up on deck to get a better view of Atlantis, going through the solarium ...
... with its adults-only pool area, ...
... and then the main pool deck with its special seating reserved for suite guests like us, ...
... and up to the upper area around the pool deck with the activity track and more lounge chairs.
Atlantis Paradise Island is breathtakingly huge. It covers more than 150 acres with waterparks, golf courses, a marina, and a shopping center. It had expanded to two new buildings since our last visit in 2005.
Continuing our walk around the back of the ship, we tried to figure out if these glass partitions are meant to be wind breaks, or if they were part of the plan to mitigate COVID-19 on board, or maybe both.
The main pool deck had a large screen TV at the aft end where movies were shown in the evening.
One of our suitcases had been delivered after dinner but we were still waiting on the other one. Tom correctly guessed that it had been flagged by security because it had our anniversary bottle of wine in it, so he went down to Guest Services to retrieve it. Sure enough, there's the label of shame. Had we packed it in our carry-on, it would have been allowed.
As the sun set, lights started to come on in the shops and restaurants in town, ...
... and on the harbor boats that would help us get out to sea.
Resorts on Bay Street were brightly lit.
After the long day, we relaxed in our comfy pants before getting some well deserved sleep.

Day 2 >

Bahamas 2021: [Day 1 - Nassau] [Day 2 - Coco Cay] [Day 3 - Coco Cay] [Day 4 - At Sea] [Day 5 - Cozumel] [Day 6 - At Sea] [Day 7 - Freeport] [Day 8 - Nassau] [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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