Friday, 15 July 2016

USA Itinerary Day 9 - Bahamas, Nassau on Royal Caribbean cruise: Senor Frogs,Junkanoo Beach, Cabbage Beach

It was a bright sunny day with clear blue skies and strong winds. We docked at Nassau, Bahamas and realised immediately that the difference between Caribbean beaches and Asian beaches was that the former lacked the humidity which characterized the latter. The sea breeze in Bahamas was cold and we did not feel sweaty or sticky on the beach. 

We left the cruise to explore Nassau, Bahamas. We did some research before our trip and read that Nassau had a pretty scary reputation, especially in the Over-the-Hill areas where violent crimes happened frequently. The general advice for tourists was to stick to areas near the port or travel across the bridge into Paradise Island. 

We spent the afternoon at Senor Frogs which served awesome cocktails and had an infectious happy party vibe. Certainly no better way to enjoy the perfect weather than with a delicious cocktail and catchy music!

After all the drinks and snacks, we continued walking into the downtown area along the coast. We explored the Straw Market which resembled an indoor pasar malam with little stores selling various handcrafted goods. It was dark inside, warm and surprisingly humid. I read some online stories about how tourists could be robbed inside the Straw Market but we were thankfully safe. These handcrafted goods were extraordinarily expensive though, totally targeting the American tourists, so we left after strolling through the market without buying any. After exiting, we went down the road towards Junkanoo Beach and popped by various souvenir shops along the way. 

I also observed a number of rather odd things in this part of Nassau. I did not see many locals along the street, aside from the ones in the shops and Straw Market. The street was pretty isolated and only a handful of vehicles went around. The whole place was geared towards the tourists from the cruise and the shops were shuttered once tourists began returning to the cruise. Many shops were selling Cuban cigars and lots of touts were prowling the street pestering tourists to buy the cigars. And by pestering, I really mean that. A young tout followed us for like 5 minutes asking us to buy cigars and refused to leave.

Junkanoo Beach was crowded with tourists so we hopped onto a taxi and headed to Cabbage Beach in Paradise Island. Cabbage Beach was nice with its powdery white sand and the long stretch of sand meant that tourists were evenly distributed and not lumped together as with Junkanoo. Waves were very strong here though and I was repeatedly washed ashore when I attempted to soak in the waters. We eventually gave up and decided to rest on the sand, listening to our ipod and drifting off to sleep. I read a little, wrote some post cards, and had a fantastic relaxing late afternoon. 

Took the taxi ($4 per pax) back to the port and ran up to the top deck of the cruise just in time for this magnificent sunset. The only other sunset which could rival this was in Boracay. Nowhere else comes close.

We washed up and headed to the main dining room for formal night, basically a night where everybody dressed up and ate yummy food. We obviously did not have enough space in our luggage to bring nice dresses or suits so we did the best we could, but everybody else was dressed to kill. The food was great as usual.

After our dinner, we went back to our room to drink our moscato (we were allowed to bring two bottles of wine on the cruise each) before checking out the poolside party. The poolside party was incredibly tame and child-friendly, not the clubbing sort, and everybody was line dancing to pop music under the starry night. Ok not our cup of tea, so we left for the Viking Crown Lounge hoping for some clubbing atmosphere but nope, it was dead, there were only 10 people in there and the dance floor was empty. 

Eventually we brought our Pinot to the poolside to enjoy the relatively better music and played ping pong. Playing ping pong with alcohol in our systems had to be the most hilarious thing on earth. It was so exciting because the ball flew everywhere and we could hardly get it across the net to the other side and I recall the guys did a lot of running to retrieve the balls. Party music ended at 1 am so we returned to our room, went over to Stef and King's side to drink prosecco, watch anime, laugh loudly at ridiculous things, and listen to ipod music. Woohoo! Was a great time.

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