Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hello Paradise!!! Platinum Cruise 2010- Caribbean- Turks and Caicos/ Nassau, Bahamas

Click on the pictures to enlarge them:

First of all, these pictures do not do an ounce of justice to how beautiful these places really were. I could not get over how blue the water was and how colorful the cities were. Josh's company that he works for, Platinum Protection, sent a lot of the company on this cruise to the Caribbean. We left Sunday, Feb. 21st and flew into Ft. Lauderdale, boarded the ship in Miami and set sail for paradise...
I was so worried it was going to be rainy the whole time. It was pretty overcast the first 2 days but we were at sea anyway so it wasn't too bad. The boat was rocking so bad though from the wind, a lot of people got sick. Thank goodness for Dramamine though- I wouldn't have survived without it!

Day 1: Sea Day. The skies cleared for a bit to let us all catch some rays instead of being stuck inside the boat. It was so nice! I'm such a people watcher so laying out on deck was so entertaining for me. There were so many foreigners, I loved overhearing people's conversations in a different language.
I should have learned from my trip to Hawaii that you can still get pretty toasted while the weather is poor nose and shoulders were burnt and Josh's forehead was probably as red as a tomato- not kidding.

The ship was set up to have buffet-style food all day long, every day. Not great for being in a swimsuit all week, but every night we ate in the actual formal dining hall. This was so fun. They had a different menu for each day and you could pick as many appetizers, dinners, desserts as you want. The waiters/ waitresses and Maitre d's would all do a dance every night for us. We loved our waiters, Edward and Rico who were from Indonesia and the Philippines. They were so fun- probably some of the most personable staff on the ship that we met. They would show us tricks, we would cheer them on when they danced and they even told us about their families back in their countries. It would be so hard to leave your family for 8 months at a time to have to provide for them. They were such sweethearts. These pictures were from our formal night. We dressed up, ate dinner, went to a Broadway style show which we weren't allowed to take pictures of but we managed a few shots...

Day 2- Turks and Caicos: As soon as I walked off the ship, I was so taken back with how beautiful it was. We managed to be some of the first few off the ship so the beaches were empty, the sun was warm and a cool breeze from the ocean with all this loud Bahamian music in the back ground made for a dream come true. I was so absolutely sick of the snow and cloudy weather back home that I almost forgot how warm and relaxing the sun was.

We did a little snorkeling, all the pictures are on our water camera but we saw a lot of cool things. Tons of pretty coral, Lion fish (which we think are poisonous), squid, clear little fish and some neon blue ones. There were TONS of Conch shells washed up. Josh made a mission to find the prettiest one to bring home. You should have seen our beach bag when we left, shells, dried out coral and sand in every single pocket!

I should be a Carnival photographer- I took this shot- it looks like a post card!
The water was gorgeous. Josh and a few other guys were snorkeling in the back ground of this picture.
View from back on the ship before departure.

We loved our little zoo of animals that Dewa, our housekeeper from Indonesia created for us. Dewa LOVED Josh...too bad Dewa is a male. Haha. I don't think he even knew my name but he made sure to always say good morning to "Joshwa." It was so funny. "How are you Joshwa?!" "You lookin' stylin' Joshwa!" "Do you need anything Joshwa?" It was cute! I don't think Josh agrees though. Haha.
Day 3: was supposed to be Half Moon Cay but due to the weather, the ship couldn't port. That was another day of boat rocking and motion sickness for most people. Again, thanks to my Dramamine- I enjoyed the day napping, walking around the ship, the sushi bar and hanging out with everyone. I would have much rather been on the beach again though. Oh well, its a good excuse to go again!

Day 4: Nassau, Bahamas- aka what could have been the last day of our lives! This was quite an adventure. We got off the boat in Nassau and walked over to catch a taxi van to the Atlantis Resort. There were several cab drivers over there basically wheeling and dealing to get us to go them over the other guy. Basically persuading us with the kind of deals they can get us for Atlantis. This ended up splitting our group up so a bunch went with Dwight in his van and 4 other couples including us went with this other guy. After we got in the van, we all were seriously a little freaked out after what kind of things this guy was telling us and especially how he was driving! When we asked what his name was, all he could tell us was "Business is business and he doesn't give out his name." BUT, we could call him "Big Black Guy with a Gun!" Yeah, he actually told us that! As we were driving, he had a lot of things hanging from his rear view mirror but with every ditch he hit, I noticed he had a name tag hanging. I figured, if we were gonna die and not know who killed us- at least I would have a picture of the ID for police. So, being as terrified as I was, managed to snap this...
He drove us through the ghettos of the Bahama's and saw where all these drug deals happen. I'm not even positive if he didn't make a drug deal while we were in the van because, AS HE WAS DRIVING, his window was rolled down and he would pass a few people and slip them a wad of cash. He took us through the city, and to this old "fort" from back in the 1700's. It was pretty cool but we just wanted to get to Atlantis...alive!

I seriously couldn't tell you what these buildings were. We were a little preoccupied with how we were going to get to Atlantis as quick as we could. Atlantis tickets for the water park and meal ticket are about $100 each but our "cabbie...with a gun" said he could get them for $75 each. Little did we know but we should have figured, it was a black market wristband to get in. Which explained why he was delaying us by driving through the city to get to Atlantis because if we got there early and already had wristbands, then Atlantis would question us and we would get him caught.

At last, we made it to Atlantis! I could seriously live there for the rest of my life! It was the most beautiful resort I have ever seen in my life. It was so much fun! We rode a bunch of water slides- The Black Falls and The Rapids, and one that we rode even went through the shark tank!

This picture, you can see the tunnel in the background for the water slide.
Here are some pictures from the aquarium. Some of the pictures didn't turn out so great because of the flash and glass but here are a few.
Green Moray Eels that are actually blue- the mucous that covers their skin is yellow which makes them green! Who woulda thought?

Old school scuba gear. Couldn't figure out if it's actual gear or costume...

Beach in Nassau, right across from Atlantis
Tash and I hanging out waiting for the group to come back to leave for the ship.
Blaire, Me and Tiff
Some of the group before we set sail for home

The trip came and gone so fast. It was so much fun though, we were and still are so exhausted. With a weeks worth of Dramamine in your system, plane flights and the ship, our equilibrium still can't straighten itself out. When we walk, we kinda sway from side to side like we're still on the boat.

Goodbye Paradise, you haven't seen the last of me!