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Day Two: Nassau, Bahamas on RCL Wonder of the Seas, January 2023

January 8, 2023

We had never planned on getting off at Nassau. We used to own property there and are no longer fans.

I didn’t sleep well at all due to knee pain – only 2 hours, 15 minutes.

A first look at Atlantis on Paradise Island. Back in the day Paradise Island was known as Hog Island but that didn’t do much for tourism.

And the Paradise Island lighthouse

! did take lots of pictures of docking.  2 Carnival ships, NCL Escape, Independence of the Seas and us. I never figured out who we docked in front of, below left.

Some building developer took the time (and money) bo construct a building that looks like a cruise ship.

This was a very low-key day partly because of my knee pain. After breakfast in the Windjammer, I took a nap in solarium.

Back for lunch in the Windjammer  I told Tom we should pay less in port fees because we weren’t disembarking in most of the ports.  He said we were eating more on board so it should average out.  Hmmm.

I started Pender work.  Even though we’re supposed to have this super-fast Starlink service, the video download was very slow as was audio upload. 

As always, Tom had a meeting in the MDR at 3:00.

It was fun to see people trying to get back onboard on time

This tour boat brought people back really late – I assume it was an RCL excursion or we wouldn’t have waited.

It was a Formal Night – I have no idea why they do those on port days instead of sea days.

We went to a show called “Tap Factory” which I assumed (remember that? https://youtu.be/LfvTwv5o1Qs) would be like Fred and Ginger? Or the Nicholas Brothers?

The Tap Factory was less tap dancing and more drumming and acrobatics but still a great show.

Dinner in the Main Dining Room was “French Night” we didn’t go, partly because we didn’t want to dress up for Formal Night and also because we had reservations to the inTENse Aqua show.

A friend had told me that she loved this show so much that she has a cabin on a future cruise that she chose just so she could watch all the shows and rehearsals from her balcony. Tom told me it was the best show hs has ever seen. Luckily, we have reservations for a second night, too!

From RCL: The judges’ scores are in… and it’s inTENse, the awe-inspiring athleticism and mesmerizing technology are cranked all the way up in this AquaTheater production —only on Wonder of the Seas℠. This high-energy show brings next-level intensity to everything from pool plunging to tightrope teetering and beyond. Shift all your expectations of what entertainment can be into high gear and prepare for the maximum performance level of inTENse. The only question is, are you ready to push the pedal to the metal?

Our show was slightly different but this is the basic performance.

Blue, blue water.

Tonight we head back north to CocoCay

Scotland August 2, 2022: The Royal Yacht Britannia

Our hotel had a free hot breakfast each morning from 7-10. Most mornings, we got there just about 9:59 or so. Today was no exception. The breakfast was pretty good – most days it had baked beans, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, cereals, toast, juices. They may have had more offerings but not at the time we arrived.

The coffee machine was most impressive. In addition to black coffee, they had tea, latte, cappuccinos, mocha, hot chocolate, latte macchiato, espresso and some other drinks too numerous to mention. Out of curiosity, I tried the latte macchiato and found it wasn’t for me. Turns out, it’s mostly hot, steamed, frothy milk with a shot of espresso in it. Now I know!

Every breakfast the tv showed the Commonwealth Games Lawn Bowling. I’d never heard of Lawn Bowling before so I looked it up.

Bocce and Lawn Bowling are cousins but have some distinct differences. The Bocce Ball is round whereas the Lawn Bowl is round in only one direction and elliptical in the other, giving it a bias and causing it to curve. Second, the Bocce Ball is thrown underhand, like softball, and the Lawn Bowl is rolled.

This is a sample of what we saw every morning sans sound:

After breakfast we decided to walk across the street to the Ocean Terminal. It was a bit hard to remember that traffic was coming at us from the wrong direction and with the construction AND a roundabout right outside, crossing the street was taking our lives in our hands.

Although the map shows a 2 minute walk, it was a bit longer than that because of the construction, which turned out to be an extension of the tram.

The tram extension will be a good thing – eventually. I asked a few people and got varying estimates from 3 to 5 years. Right now, the tram goes from the airport to St. Andrews Square in Edinburgh but someday it will go all the way out to our hotel. How convenient that will be.

Current tram map

The Ocean Terminal Mall is pretty standard except that the stores and restaurants close pretty early – mostly by 8pm. One thing that I thought was pretty cool was that they had an “Indoor Beach” on the first level overlooking the water. When seen from above, it looked pretty much like a large sandbox in a mall. Kids seemed to be having fun, though. They also have a rollerskating rink and cinema. They also had a music and bookstore. We got 2 books for only £7 or $8.55. I got an interesting-looking book by David Attenborough (Adventures of a Young Naturalist: The Zoo Quest Expeditions) which currently sells on amazon for $13.74 and Tom got 1000 Years of Art which I haven’t found on amazon…yet. Tom was most unhappy with the music playing and we left the store quite quickly with Tom sharing his views with the sales clerk.

We looked at a bit of each of the three levels (lots of empty storefronts) until we got to the ticket office for the Royal Yacht Britannia.

A Royal residence for over 40 years, The Royal Yacht Britannia sailed over 1,000,000 nautical miles on 968 state visits with the Royal Family.

Britannia was launched from the John Brown & Company shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland, on 16 April, 1953. For over 44 years the Royal Yacht served the Royal Family, travelling more than a million nautical miles to become one of the most famous ships in the world. To Her Majesty The Queen, Britannia provided the perfect Royal residence for glittering state visits, official receptions, Royal honeymoons and relaxing family holidays. For Great Britain, she was a majestic symbol of the Commonwealth and a proud ambassador generating billions of pounds in trade deals. For the Royal Family and 220 dedicated crew of Royal Yachtsmen, she was home.

Some of our photos from the Britannia (we have hundreds more which will be shared in a giant album at the end of this trip)

After we left the ship, I was astounded to see that someone had used pianos as artwork.

We stopped for smoothies at a small restaurant (that was still open!) and sat on the open deck overlooking the water – a fine end to a great start to the vacation.

On the way out, we noticed a bus stop – including the blue line for Hop on/Hop off busses. Hmmm

After the smallest of naps (I’m still adjusting to this timezone which is 5 hours later than home (4pm in Fairfax is 9 pm in Scotland) we went to dinner. LIke breakfast, we just got in under the 9pm closure. if you noticed the menu from yesterday, some items like pizza and ice cream are available 24/7. I ended up having what they called a “chicken burger”. In reality, it’s 2 pieces of marinated, grilled chicken breast on leafy stuff with a sauce hamburg bun. Like the other meals here it came with fries.

The dinner tv each night was Commonwealth Games without the Lawn Bowling (HOORAY!)

Tomorrow will be an early day because we’re going to take a 12-hour bus tour to the Highlands and we need to be at 6 Waterloo Street by 7:45 am.

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