First, just as an FYI, I recently changed the name of this blog to Krafty Travel, Find Your Happy Place because I discovered that there was another blog with a very similar title as my previous one. I thought it would be best to differentiate. The blog is now named after my business and tag line.
The post that follows is a reprint of an entry earlier this year on my website. http://www.kraftytravel.com/sarahs_travel_log.php
February 22, 2013
On February 4, 2013 Mike and I went on a four night cruise to the Bahamas and Key West. Our ship was Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas. Her maiden voyage was April 26, 1992 and she was refurbished last in 2007. She is 74,077 tons with a passenger capacity of 2,350. Her itineraries include 3 or 4 night Bahamas sailings. We were fortunate to have 6 great friends along with us and it was an absolute blast.
Monday night we enjoyed drinks on the deck, having a great time catching up as we set sail from Miami. The moments when you realize that the ship is moving and pulling away are really exhilarating. We enjoyed the sunset behind us then went to get ready for our 6:30 pm dining time. One of the couples that joined us booked later that the rest of us and were not reserved to dine at our table. It was very easy to change our dining reservation with the head waiter so that we could all sit together. Our waiters were two fantastic, kind and attentive gentlemen from the Philippines. Dinners were delicious with only a couple of choices that were not our favorites. The waiters were quick to offer alternatives. Mike and I enjoyed the “Boogie Wonderland” show and our friends hit the casino. We met up for a 70’s dance party before calling it a night, well past midnight.
Tuesday morning we had a quick breakfast at the buffet then headed to the pool area. Mike was anxious to gain some time reading and catching some sun. This group would have none of that and we all disembarked to explore Nassau, Bahamas. Initially we separated for some shopping but met back to wander together and ended up at Senor Frogs. If you don’t like fun, wild and crazy, this is not your place, but it suits us just fine, it was too much fun there! After Senor Frogs we hopped a water taxi and headed to Paradise Island and Atlantis. Atlantis is huge and gorgeous. A city of it’s own. We walked the marina shops and had a brief run in the casino before heading to the beach and the amazing blue waters. Blue water like you cannot imagine. A rum runner or two on the beach, a stroll along the shore, some laughs and we headed back to Nassau via land taxi this time. Two from our group headed to the ship to do a sunset catamaran excursion they had signed up for, 2 back to get some rest and 4 of us to shop a bit more, before getting back on board the Majesty for our dinner. We did not leave the Nassau port until 11:59, on the nose. There was a fun buffet and dance party on the pool deck at 11:30 pm and we watched as the ship disembarked.
Wednesday we decided to enjoy a more relaxed breakfast in the main dining room. The ship was tendered and ferry boats were taking passengers to Royal Caribbean’s private island, CocoCay. The sky was clear, a comfortable 78 degree temperature and that brilliant blue water, sparkling. CocoCay has more to offer than you can imagine, scuba diving, snorkeling, jet skis, kayaks, floating water park, straw market for shopping, white sand, plenty of lounge chairs, BBQ lunch and a bar at each beach. Our goal was relaxation, and we exceeded requirements. We all agreed that was our favorite day. It is just so beautiful. I forgot to mention that our whole group purchased the beverage package that is now available with Royal Caribbean. It essentially makes your cruise an all inclusive vacation. We don’t regret it one bit. One of the unexpected bonuses was not having to pay for our drinks at CocoCay. It was such a great convenience and we did not walk off the ship with a higher bar bill than our cruise cost as it could and has happened. Wednesday night was formal night in the dining room. No, we did not wear ball gowns and tuxes. I had a nice pair of slacks and shiny blouse, Mike wore slacks, dress shirt and tie. The day at the beach wiped out the rest of our group and we enjoyed a delicous dinner just the two of us.
Thursday brought us to Key West, our last port. We rented a golf cart for a short while to see the island then headed to Duval Street, and Sloppy Joes. This was really the main reason for booking this particular cruise. See, our group is from northwest Ohio and we all spend our summers at Kelleys Island in Lake Erie. Kelleys is one island hop from Put In Bay at South Bass Island. All summer long musicians entertain at Kelleys Island and Put In Bay. Every February, Sloppy Joes hosts a Put In Bay Days music festival featuring some of our favorite “North Coast” musicians. We were in port at Key West on the first day of the Put In Bay days at Sloppy Joes. After eating lunch a watching a few musicians at Sloppy Joes we wandered around to check out a few other local bars. I don’t know if it’s true, but I heard that Key West has 54 bars. I think I can believe it. We had to leave port before our favorite Pat Dailey took the stage, but not before I was able to play tambourine onstage with Mike “Mad Dog” Adams. I survived unscathed and happily not the brunt of one of his jokes. It was a ton of fun! As we pulled out of Key West the sun was beginning to set and the Key West guests and locals were starting to gather for their nightly sunset festival.
Our last dinner on board was a very special night. Our servers serenaded the diners and dinner was fantastic. We were even surprised with a special treat of chocolate covered strawberries by our waiters. Both Wednesday and Thursday evenings we passed our time sitting around Anthony Michaels’ piano bar in the Schooner Lounge listening to his stories and songs. He kept us thoroughly entertained for two nights.
Friday morning was time to go, none of us were ready. Disembarking went smoothly with very little wait time and we were back in Miami heading home to winter that still remains.