My 13th wedding anniversary was November 26, 2016. This year, my husband wanted to have a two week vacation around that time. So, that is what we did. I talked about the cruise because that was the first week of the vacation. The second week was two-fold. The weekend after we went on the cruise, we went to the home of a wonderful couple, John and Judy, who I have known for probably over 20 years. They live in Palm Coast, Florida and we are always welcomed by them when we are in the area. They really showed us a great time while we were there. They took us to St Augustine, Fl. I had not visited there before so, I really had a great time learning about the history of the area.
We were also treated to delicious homemade pizza one night and BBQ ribs another night. We enjoyed ourselves so much, it was hard to leave. But, we had to get started on the third leg of our trip. Our anniversary was still five days away!
Our time spent with our dear friends is always a treat for us. To have friends who are also our spiritual family is such a blessing. Spending time with them added to the cherished memories I already hold dear.
I know you are wondering about the food aboard the Carnival Elation. I think pictures will give you a hint of the awesome food we had like alligator fritters, escargot (that's cooked snails by the way), grand marnier souffle, bacon mac and cheese, frog legs and more! There were regular and not so regular menu items to choose from. I always try to experience a new dish on every cruise. After all, the meals are already paid for, so getting something different expands my culinary tastes and helps me to share my experience with others.
Half Moon Cay (pronounced Key) is also known as Little San Salvador Island. It is one of about 700 islands that make up the archipelago of The Bahamas. It covers 2,400 acres but only about 50 acres are developed for use by cruise guests. We had to tender to get to Carnival's private island. Tender means you drop anchor out in the ocean, not far from the shore. Then you board a small boat to take you to the island. Although it is a small island, there are several things to do for adults and children. They had a nice cookout for lunch with hotdogs, hamburgers, jerk chicken, various fruit, trimmings for the burgers and dogs, desserts, tea, lemonade and water. The island also had a couple of bars with sodas and alcoholic beverages for purchase.
On the beach area, a DJ was spinning music for all to enjoy. There were plenty of lounge chairs to relax, nap or sunbathe in while enjoying the welcomed breeze from the crystal clear ocean. there were a variety of water sports available as well as a stingray encounter. After our tasty lunch, we explored the walking trail and took lots of pictures. There is a sign on the island that says "I wish I could stay here forever". After having such a great time, I agree!
While in Nassau, it is a great time to get a rum cake (or at least get a free taste)! They come in different flavors like coconut, original, and chocolate. I try to bring one back with me when I can find one. You can order them online but shipping is just too expensive for me.
Need free WiFi? Hard Rock Cafe is minutes from the port and you can catch up on social media or email while there. But, as always, be careful with public WiFi. Senor Frogs, a restaurant and bar with a party atmosphere is also within walking distance from the ship. Even if you don't drink alcohol, they still have a really good food. Other restaurants (Sharky's and Conch and Kalik) are nearby if you want to experience authentic Caribbean food (think conch burgers and jerk chicken).
The sun finally came out around 1pm after a rainy and windy morning. Hubby and I braved the weather to go out and do some shopping. At least it wasn't cold so we were good. After we went out twice, we had lunch on the ship. "On The Grill" had hamburgers, hot dogs and lots of trimmings to choose from. Tiffany's restaurant and French inspired foods. Mongolian wok had "cooked-to-order" items. And, of course, there is a 24-hour pizza and ice cream/frozen yogurt. Truly something for almost everyone.
Nassau is the only place in the Caribbean you can find Nassau Royale. It is a Caribbean rum. The US used to import it but don't anymore. So, when I come, I make sure I get a few bottles. Four years ago, I got 4 bottles and I still have one bottle. It is a nice after dinner drink (and great for strawberry daiquiris so I try to keep some on hand.
I used to like to visit the straw market which is a short walk from the port. It is much bigger than it used to be. When I started coming to Nassau, it wasn't a very big area and you could go and watch elderly ladies making the straw hats and bags by hand. It was fascinating to me. When I went this time, there were just people there trying to entice me to look at what they had for sale. They all wanted the same thing, for me to come look at what they were selling. The area had become much larger and there are several long aisles of straw items. I did not see one person making any items, but to be honest, I did not go into the market this time. I don't like high pressure selling. I just like to look without all the vying for my attention.
We parked our car at The Parking Mall and were shuttled to the ship, which was literally right across the road. There is only one ship that leaves from the port so everyone we would meet would be out neighbors for the next 5 days. There were people from all over the United States as well as abroad. Some were first-time cruisers, some were seasoned travelers.
The check-in process was not too bad and did not take too long. Once on board we went to our room and it was ready for us. We put down our carry-ons and started exploring the ship. That is our custom when we board a new ship, start getting to know how to get around. We find out where everything is located so when are ready to find a particular lounge or place, we will kind of know how to get there. Since the ship was so small, learning how to get around was easy. Exploring is another way to get in your 10,000 steps a day. Being on a ship makes it easy to do. And after the food I am sure we are going to encounter, I know I am going to need those steps and more!
My husband and I are counting down the days for our vacation! Although we are "empty nesters", we still get excited about getting out of the house and enjoying other scenery.
This year he decided he wanted to take a two week vacation! I was shocked as we usually only do a week at a time. But, hey, who am I to complain? Since I work from anywhere there is internet, I can take my business with me if I need to.
So, by the first of Dec., I will have a lot of stories to tell and photos to share.
This year we are cruising for a week and staying at a villa for a week. We will spend time with each other and our family, making some great memories along the way.
Sometimes we are so bogged down with the day-to-day things we have to do, that we forget to take a break and do something we want to do.
What are you waiting for? Plan a vacation, even if only for a long weekend. Do something different, adventurous or just fun! Your body and your mind will thank you for it. And you will come back ready to take on the next arrow that life will throw at you.
Some people complain that they do not have the money. I created my travel agency for such people. Plan far enough in advance so that you can make payments on your trip. That way, you can go without having to skip a bill or have worries about how everything will get paid.
Travel should not be a stress! It should be a time to rejuvenate and reconnect with those you love. Take the time now. Stop waiting for what you think will be the perfect time. The perfect time is now! Visit www.McMillianTravel.com and fill out or vacation or cruise intake form. We will get back to you so that you can start enjoying more of what life has to offer.
What are you waiting for? Let's go somewhere!
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