Back to the cold

Well, last week was fun. A nice relaxing cruise around the Caribbean is a great way to break up what is feeling like a long winter.

Grand Turk was kind of a mixed bag. The town was not what I expected to see; there doesn’t seem to BE much of a town outside of the small strip of shops set up for cruise line tourists. We went power snorkeling, though, which was amazing. It’s pretty much solidified my desire to get SCUBA certified, even though there’s basically nowhere to dive anywhere close to here.

Half Moon Cay is a relaxing place. There’s basically nothing there outside of a little area set up for passengers, a few shops, a couple of bars (of course!) and an open air dining facility. I’ve never seen a beach so white, and with such powder-fine sand. Went parasailing, which would have made the entire stop worthwhile even if the beach hadn’t already done so.

As for Nassau — well, I’d put it around Ocho Rios on the “don’t care if I go there again” scale. At least in Ocho Rios you can spend some relaxing time browsing the shops with a beer & a cigar. Nassau was inundated with passengers from no less than five cruise ships the day we were there, which made for some crowded conditions. We finally had to resort to a party boat excursion – which was OK, but not as good as it could have been. Most of the stop seemed to be oriented toward steering people toward the Atlantis resort at $150 per person for the day – no thanks.

Overall the cruise was a terrific experience. The Carnival Imagination was, as before, nearly perfect. I think the worst we endured was a brief coffee outage (which is dangerous even when it’s brief!!) The weather cooperated; the worst we experienced during the day was some stiff winds the first day, and it was pretty cool and windy when we pulled into Half Moon Cay but ended up a glorious day. This time we did some excursions, which I would say added a lot to the trip. Big thumbs up for Carnival, with one thumbs down for the elimination of the tops-optional sunbathing deck. Boo!