Here is the navigator for this day: Navigator June 12 2012
The kids were up at 6:30 a.m., as usual. We managed to keep them in bed until 6:50. We weren't supposed to dock at Nassau until 9:45 a.m. this morning, so of course we had hoped they'd sleep later. (Have I started every day's trip report like this?)
After we got done with breakfast, I delivered some of our Fish Extender gifts (the pens personalized for our trip date and the candy/gum). They announced that we could disembark the ship early, I think it was around 9 a.m.
Originally, we had planned on getting off at Nassau and taking a taxi to Ardastra Gardens (a local zoo and gardens with a flamingo show). However, after being on the ship for 2 days now, we felt that we had only touched the tip of the iceberg in all the ship had to offer. So we decided to shorten our stay in Nassau and skip Ardastra. Instead, we opted to start our day with a horse & carriage ride. We hoped to be back on the ship for lunch.
Now I had read on a few cruise boards that many people don't care for Nassau. I've read that it's dirty, there are pushy sales people all around you, it's not safe, etc. So before we disembarked we prepared the boys for the worst. We told them that people might try to put things in their hands so they would buy it. We told them not to talk to anyone.
But we really wanted to see Nassau, because this would be the first country (besides Russia) that my boys will have seen.
When we got off the ship, we were ushered into this building and then directed to the way outside. And when we got outside we were asked by several people if we needed a taxi. But no different than when we've landed in New York or Vladivostok, Russia. So far, no big deal.
We kept walking and spotted the horse and carriage area. While we were walking there a man approached us and asked if we wanted a horse & carriage ride. He was very enthusiastic and friendly. We said yes. He ushered us over to his ride and he had to have several other horse & carriage drivers move theirs for us to make it out of the complex. Actually, before we got in I asked him how much, just to make sure we weren't completely getting ripped off. He quoted us $10 a person (minus the baby who was free). That's how much I read it would be, so we got on.
The carriage was a little rickety, for sure!
Brian sat in front with Joshua, and I sat in the back with Nathan and Alyssa. Our driver talked a lot about the history of the city and pointed our buildings of interest. He was sure to point out the hospital where Anna Nicole Smith gave birth.
Another man offered to take a picture of all of us in the carriage. I was a little afraid that he would take our camera and run with it. But I had read that this would happen, and the people who do this are just looking to earn extra money. So he took this picture, and I paid him $5.
Our driver pointed out this almonds (green) on the trees.
I think the ride lasted maybe 30 minutes. It was pleasant and a good way to see some of the city without walking it ourselves.
Here's a picture of 3 ships that were in port that day:
We had told our driver that we were heading for the Nassau Pirate Museum after our ride, and he tried to direct us there. We walked to the right, by the waterfront, and first passed Senor Frogs. There were some fun chairs to sit on outside.
We found the pirate museum. There was a man dressed as a pirate outside who had fun with the kids. He was a really good pirate.
The inside looked better than I expected. Good props.
Next, we headed to the famous straw market. This is a picture of the end aisle. On the inside it's narrow and there are lots of vendors.
The vendor sewed her name on it within a minute. I was amazed.
Nathan got a guitar. Joshua got a small drum.
And then we decided to head back to the ship. We enjoyed seeing a little bit of Nassau and getting to soak in the flavor of the city.
We decided to have lunch at Royal Palace, the one restaurant with a sit-down lunch. We were seated next to a big window.
Of course they still had you order an appetizer, soup or salad, and entree. I chose the mango soup. WOW. It was absolutely amazing. It had a mint foam on top. Seriously, my absolute favorite food item from the entire cruise!
And I found myself in this restroom with a Mickey head mirror. (All of the public restrooms on board were exquisitely decorated).
I went back to the room and ordered room service for Alyssa for lunch, who was now awake from her nap.
Around 2:30 I got a page from the Oceaneer Club saying Joshua was ready to be picked up. I took Alyssa down to Deck 5 and I noticed that a bunch of characters were hanging out in the atrium. I figured if they were still there we would catch them after we picked up Joshua.
I picked up Joshua (who couldn't remember why he paged me but was having fun, but when I told him there were characters in the atrium he agreed to leave), then saw that the characters had no photographers with them, so we ran back to the room and picked up my camera, then went back to the atrium. And there were only 2 families in line in front of us. The characters were dressed in their "island wear".
Based on the low crowds at the Aqua Duck and at this character meet in mid-afternoon, I'd say that a lot of people leave the boat on Nassau day and it's a good time to see some things on the ship with no crowds.
Oh, how can I forget...this character greeting was really hard for me. Any time Alyssa went into the atrium she just wanted to run, run, run. So she was running all over the place, I was trying to chase her and at the same time take pictures of Josh, we were running into other people's pictures along the way (so sorry!). Next time, I'd need help for a character greeting. Sheesh!
We stopped by this "throne" on our way back to the room.
When we got back to the room, the kids watched The Little Mermaid on TV.
After Brian got back with Nathan from the Aqua Duck, he decided to stay with the kids and give me an hour to myself. Woohoo! What to do? I decided to go to a lounger on Deck 4 (an open-air deck) and read a book. I had purchased 50 Shades of Grey before the trip and I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about. I only got through 3 chapters and I still didn't understand what all the hoopla was about! I guess I had to read farther.
Alyssa took another nap while I was gone. Yay! We took showers and ordered room service for the kids for dinner. Tonight was our big date night at Palo, the adults-only restaurant! We dropped the kids off at the nursery/kids' club.
We had a 6:30 Palo reservation. We were seated right away near a window. Our server was Ivan from Croatia. He was very passionate about the food they served there. Before we got started, we asked him to take our picture. He said he had a special place for a picture, and ushered us over to another table for this pretty Italian background:
The food was very good. The restaurant was a lot smaller than the main dining rooms and it was a lot quieter. I had the lobster ravioli. Totally yum!
Here is our formal picture from Palo:
We ended our dinner with Palo's famous chocolate souffle: WOW!
We picked up all the kids at 8:30 and came back to our room to discover this towel frog.
We wanted to get the kids to bed as soon as possible. We put Joshua and Alyssa to bed while Nathan went out with me to deliver the rest of our Fish Extender gifts. I ran into another one of our group members in the elevator. Our stateroom host gave Nathan a whole handful of bedtime chocolates when we saw him. And he ate them all as we were delivering our gifts!
When we returned to our room, the younger kids were asleep and Nathan followed them shortly after.