Friday, July 5, 2013

Anniversary Cruise (Freeport)

We started our vacation in Charleston, boarded our ship and headed towards Nassau, then moved on to Freeport. Here's the rest of my vacation recap...

Our day in Freeport was an interesting day, to say the least. We visited a beautiful beach, I snorkeled for the first (and possibly last?) time, we ate conch fritters, and I got sick (not related to the conch fritters.) It's easier to explain with photos. Warning: this is largely the story of how I am a big 'ol snorkeling baby.

I arranged a snorkeling excursion for our day in Freeport. As someone who's not a huge fan of swimming in the ocean, I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking. The excursion included transportation to a remote beach, snorkeling gear, snorkeling guides, and beach chairs for relaxing. Whereas other snorkeling excursions took you out on a boat, this one had you swim from the beach to a reef... a comfortable distance away, the excursion reviews said. So easy that children can do it, the reviews said.

Once we arrived at the beach, we were given a quick snorkeling briefing before picking up our gear. We had two guides that would go into the water with us and I think our group had somewhere between 15-20 people. Setting my pride aside here, let me tell you that I nearly died on the way out to the reef. As Brandon zipped along ahead of me, I struggled to swim that far and keep up with the group. It felt so far away. The water was shallow but the guide yelled at me every time I tried to put my feet down to walk (dangers of coral cutting me). The snorkeling mask made me nervous and I hated wearing it. My arms and legs were burning.

Once we made it out to the reef, the guides threw bread into the water so the fish would come close. I was in full-on panic mode at this point and was focusing on treading water for half an hour instead of floating around looking at fishies like all of the sane people in the group. Every now and then I'd put my head down and see some pretty fish but I was pretty underwhelmed and truly afraid of being that far from shore. Brandon, on the other hand, had a blast. He had an underwater camera and took some videos and snapped photos, too. I was ecstatic when the guides said it was time to turn around and swim back to the beach. I was one of the first people back on the sand! I pulled my flippers off and ran to my water bottle and took several gulps. Not surprisingly, I had swallowed a lot of salt water while I was in panic mode. Le sigh.

I was more than ready for some relaxation on the beach, but by the time our snorkeling was finished we had less than 45 minutes before our bus driver picked us back up. I quickly snapped photos and Brandon and I ordered conch fritters, which were delicious. Then back on the bus we went.

All in all, I'd probably do this exact same excursion again. I'd totally recommend it! One major difference: I would be soaking up the sun on the beach while everyone else snorkeled. Señor Frog's is more my style.

After lunch at Señor Frog's we explored the straw market of Freeport before boarding the ship.

With this beautiful shot of a palm tree, our vacation story ends. We boarded the ship and I promptly got sick with a vicious cold that lasted not only throughout the rest of our vacation but for the next 5 days or so once we were home. FUN! Our last day at sea we went mini golfing, played trivia and bingo, and I napped and sneezed a lot. We arrived back in Charleston before the sun on Saturday and we were on our way home shortly after 7 am! Can we go back now?


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