charleston is only 3 and a half hours from asheville. the cruise left at 5 pm on monday, so we drove down monday morning and got on the ship. no airports, no hotels. easy breezy!
i have never been on a cruise before. it was not exactly like the love boat, but it wasn't too over the top cheesy either. it was a lot like woodloch pines, but on a ship. lots of activities available, but nothing was mandatory.
there were over 2000 people on the ship. if you're looking for relatively agreeable, polite passengers, i recommend a ship leaving from charleston as opposed to one from south florida and/or new jersey. it seemed like 99% of our boat was from NC, SC, or Kentucky. They blessed their food before eating, but did not bless out cruise ship staff. Good trade.
|here they are learning the 'thriller' dance|
the weather in asheville last week was snowy and sub freezing. the weather in the bahamas was 72 and sunny.
we got off the boat in nassau and went to a resort nearby- site of many james bond movies. they try to keep the riff raff (us) out, but our cabbie lied and said we were staying there and snuck us through the gate and we went to the spa to sign up for a couples massage. it was all very uncomfortable. we were chased out of a hammock in a deserted park while waiting. we drank the world's loneliest un-garnished bloody mary in a fantastically beautiful but soulless heartless silent bar.
we weren't supposed to be there, and everybody knew it. i was happy to see it and happy to leave it.
after a peek at the vegas-disney spectacle of the atlantis, we found a sweet spot at the other end of the island called traveller's rest.
people were nice! they spoke to us! and wanted to take our money! it was glorious!
they even gave us a bonus fritter. they are serious about their conch down there. delicious giant clams.
the next day, the ship stopped in freeport. we took a cab to the reef golf course at the grand lucayan and kevin played golf. it was very beautiful and relaxed. the course was in pretty dang good shape and greens fees were reasonable. he was the second person out at 9 AM and did not wait for a shot, done in about 2.5 hours. it was lovely.
the ship left the bahamas at 5pm on thursday and we had a 'fun day at sea' friday, arriving back in charleston at the crack of dawn on saturday. the carnival staff were great - friendly and diligent. they cleaned our room 2 times a day. all of the common areas were constantly being maintained - scrubbed, painted, re-tiled. twice i saw them RECARPETING somebody's room. i guess when there's an accident, instead of cleaning the carpet, they pull it up and replace it. it may not be the greenest method, but it definitely seemed clean.
one fun, quirky thing about carnival is they make 'towel creations' - twist towels into animal shapes. i thought this was extremely funny and wanted to buy the instruction book. kevin wasn't so amused, and so we didn't get the book. if anybody is looking for birthday present ideas for me, i would like this book.
all in all, it was a great escape for 5 days, and i would definitely do it again.