We woke up to our customary plate of fruit and croissant for Ellie and prepped for our day in Freeport, the Bahamas. As I’ve mentioned before, we booked excursions through Carnival this cruise, but we recommend booking your excursions on your own, if you can. It is much cheaper! They were a little late letting us disembark for this port, but it ended up not being a big deal. Our excursion for Freeport? A 3 hour trip on a 107 year old historic German Windjammer Sailing Ship. Not bad, huh? We had such an amazing time on this ship. The crew was excellent and hilarious. They let Ellie and I Captain the ship, which was a smart move. We’re already pirates! It rained during part of our excursion – you could see the rain coming, which was fairly majestic. When it started raining, we got Ellie below deck with everyone else, while I took photos and explored the ship. I always recommend bringing a water proof camera, especially to places like the Bahamas. It was nice to have the entire deck of the ship to myself. I got to talk to the crew and tie a few ropes. Also got to steer the boat for a while, which was fun. They taught me how – which you know is right up my alley. Educational and fun? Yes, please! They explained all the dials and digital screens, which I thought was really above and beyond. When the rain stopped, Ellie and Ryan came back on deck and explored the boat some more. I took Ellie and let Ryan run around and get a feel for the ship. She was so good during this excursion. She got a little hungry, so I breastfed her, which I thought was fun. And no one seemed to care. Not that they should, but the Bahamas isn’t the US. They don’t have to let me breastfeed on their boat, nor do the other passengers have to be OK with it. I found that everyone I met during the cruise didn’t bat an eyelash when I breastfed Ellie on the boat or during an excursion. It was a nice, non-judgmental feeling.
WHAT SHOULD YOU EAT: Any seafood is recommended. Seafood comprises of the majority of meat eaten in the Bahamas. If you enjoy seafood, try the conch salad at just about any place you can find.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO: I cannot recommend the Windjammer excursion enough. If you can’t book separately of Carnival, it is 100% worth the excursion price. Our friends also recommend the Jeep excursion and the 5 mile bike around the island excursion – both through Carnival, although you might be able to book separately.
We were supposed to have a beach photo shoot after our excursion but shortly after we were back on land and doing a tiny amount of shopping, Ellie passed out in her stroller and didn’t want to wake up. We had to reschedule. They originally didn’t have an opening, but they made an exception for us because, well, every photographer on that ship wanted to photograph Ellie. They’d fight over her.
We were pretty tired and didn’t want to take a cab to the beach or into town, so we called this port a day and enjoyed some lunch. We rested and let Ellie sleep until dinner time. We went to bed early, since we had a 630AM wake-up call for our next port, Nassau.
We woke up a little late for this excursion, but it ended up fine. Well, late for us is not arriving 15 minutes early. But, we’re crazy about punctuality. When you’re on a boat that leaves with or without you, it makes you very cautious about timing. We waited for the excursion to start, which included a bus tour around Nassau, a boat ride to our glass bottom boat and then an hour or so touring about the waters and looking for fish, turtles and sharks. Fortunately, we were able to see all of the above and more! (Including a deck chair that someone is obviously missing!) While on the bus tour, we were taken to the highest peak in Nassau so we could see the entire island. We learned a great deal about the city, as well, from our hilariously informative bus driver. And, of course, we did a little shopping. When we arrived to the pier where our first boat was docked, we were greeted by another hilarious tour guide. He pointed out all the famous people and their opulent homes. I mean, Oprah totally needs two huge mansions next to one another. Don’t we all? Ellie really enjoyed this part of our excursion. She loves wind. Seriously. Swinging on a swing, being spun in a circle. Anything that causes the wind against her face feeling she loves? She’ll giggle for an hour over it. So, a boat ride — she was in heaven. Of course, she wanted to walk around, but that wasn’t in the cards. When we got to our glass bottom boat, we met another charismatic guide, which led me to believe that Bahamians are very charming people. And that when tourism makes the majority of your industry, you are a culture of well trained entertainers. We saw so many beautiful schools of fish, lots of turtles and a few sharks. It was a very successful excursion. Oh, and in a small, enclosed space, I breastfed Ellie there, too. So, she was breastfed in Hemingway’s house, on a 107 year old ship and in a glass-bottom boat. A breastfeeding adventure!
When we made it back to the port, we decided to go to the boat and get ready for our photo shoot. Of course, Ellie passed out again, but we couldn’t miss this opportunity. So, we got her ready anyway. We all got our bathing suits on and made our way to meet our photographer, Tharesh. When we met him, he was suffering from a cold of some sort. Poor guy! He said the beach was a 15 or so minute walk away and off we went. Once we arrived at the beach, it was gorgeous. And we found an area that was fairly secluded, even though there were two cruise ships at port. We took about an hour to get all the photos we wanted…and then played with Ellie in the sand and water for a little while longer before making the trek back to the boat. It was Ellie first time at the beach and I am certain she had the best time of her life there.
On the way back, we stopped for a snowcone and a little shopping. We found a number of amazing finds and even better deals! And then we headed back onto the ship to get ready for dinner.
Two Days at Sea
Our at sea days are always filled with lots of walking around the boat, lots of shopping and lots of eating. We had a second Formal Dining night, which we were accidentally prepared for. We tried out the Red Frog Pub, which was delicious. We also found a great grill place on the 5th deck. We took lots of photos of Ellie and us and Ryan even got some of his gambling done. We can have it all!
We met Tharesh on our last full day at sea and saw all the beautiful photos he took of Ellie and us. It was such a pleasure meeting him. I’m so glad he was available to photograph us. Ellie grew very attached to him.
We also booked our next cruise, which we’re excited about. Even more excited now that our friends have also booked with us, so we’ll have friends to share the experience with!
All in all, our first international trip with our 13 month old daughter, as well as her first cruise, was a success. She had such a fun time and so did we! We can’t wait to cruise again!
January 13th – January 20th, 2013: Cruise to the Bahamas, Part 1
January 13th – January 20th, 2013: Cruise to the Bahamas, Part 2