I'm finally getting around to recapping the wonderful vacation that Brandon and I took in May of this year. I started with Charleston and am now moving on to the first half of our cruise. Looking through the photos just makes me want to go and do it all over again! Le sigh. I already have my heart set on an Alaskan cruise for 2015, but only time will tell... on to the good stuff!
We sailed on the Carnival Fantasy and had a great experience. I know Carnival has gotten some heat in the press this year, but our cruise was wonderful and we encountered great staff everywhere we went. I would recommend Carnival cruises to anyone based on our experience. We spent the first day at sea exploring the ship, watching entertaining shows on the lido deck, eating (and drinking) a lot, getting some sun, checking out the casino and dressing up for formal night.
Day #2 was our stop in Nassau and I was EXCITED. Since I was in middle school, I've dreamed of visiting the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas. It all started with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's movie Holiday in the Sun that was filmed at the resort. Please tell me at least one of you knows what I'm talking about. It was my absolute favorite movie for a long time. Fun fact: it features the big screen debut of a (very) young Megan Fox!
Atlantis was only a quick taxi ride over from the port and Brandon and I planned to spend the first half of our day there. Things couldn't have worked out better! Though Carnival offers several excursion options to the Atlantis, they seemed pretty pricey to me so we decided to do it on our own. The taxi was somewhat frightening, but we traveled in a group and it only cost us $4 a person each way.
I was absolutely in love. The resort was breathtaking and about 3x larger than I realized! We purchased tickets to explore the various marine habitis on the property and then grabbed an early lunch at an outdoor grille. Because we didn't come via an official excursion we had a lot more freedom, which I really liked.
After lunch, we went back over to Nassau to explore the city a bit. Brandon bought cigars, I bought a knock-off Tory Burch purse, and we made sure to pick up some duty free alcohol as well. We stopped by the "famous" straw market, but I wasn't impressed. It bothered me how pushy some of the people were. No, I don't want to buy something from you because it's your birthday. No, I'm not being mean. No, my husband doesn't want the bracelet you walked up and put on his wrist and then tried to charge him for. I'm trying to remind myself that as one of the thousands of tourists who invade their town every day the locals probably find me pretty annoying, too.
Now that I've had a chance to visit the Atlantis Resort, I think I'd enjoy doing a city excursion if we ever visit Nassau again. The cruise line offers a "Nassau heritage" tour that tells the history of the town and even stops by a pirate museum! Next up, Freeport...