Carnival Splendor Cruise
NYC - Florida - Bahamas - NYC
Back in June we stumbled onto a "Past Guest Sale" and booked this Carnival cruise to Florida and the Bahamas (Nassau & Freeport). We've been on this itinerary before but the $204/pp rate for an INSIDE cabin was simply NOT to be missed. Besides, we've never been on Splendor so this was our chance to check out a new ship. Splendor, at 3,000 passengers, also represented the largest ship we've been on. All of the other ships we've sailed on were in the 2,100-2,400 size.
Getting to New York involved taking the Bieber Bus from Kutztown PA, something we've done many times before. Temperatures were in the mid-60's when we arrived so we walked to the pier. At the pier, we checked our two big bags, checked in, and waited until the boarding process started. The embarkation process seemed to be running late but we eventually got on in plenty of time for a relaxing lunch on the lido deck.
The ship returned to New York with temperatures hovering around 21 degrees. We disembarked the ship using "Self Assist" and were amazed at how quickly we found ourselves out of the pier. Rather than wait in line for a taxi, we decided to hike back to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Dam near froze to death in the process but we were early enough to catch the 8:30am bus instead of the 10am we were originally shooting for.
Be sure and click on any image for a larger view, some additional information about the image, some camera information and a satellite image of where the picture was taken.
We've done the New York City cruise ship departure several times. The departure this time of year usually brings some nice sunset picture opportunities but it was different this time around. Besides darkness, it was generally foggy out which gave the skyline an eerie look as buildings came into view. We never did see the statue and it started raining so we didn't hang around for the bridge.
Port Canaveral Florida
We've only been to Disney one time before and that was 25 years ago so we figured it was time for a visit. At the time, Epcot had just opened and, frankly, we enjoyed it more than the Magic Kingdom. We decided to book a ship excursion to Epcot. The excursion was 10 hours and included transportation to/from as well as admission tickets. Booking these long excursions thru the ship is always best because your time at the park is maximized and the ship will wait for you should there be an issue with the bus. Anyway, Carnival got us off the ship early and on our way for the 1 hour bus trip to the park. Everyone was dropped off at the transportation center and, those of us going to Epcot, had to take a 20 minute monorail transfer. Basically you end up with 6 to 6-1/2 hours in the park after all of the transportation. This was more than enough time for these tired old bones.
Nassau in the Bahamas
This was out 5th time in Nassau and, as always, there is something different do. This time around we decided to take the 2 mile hike to Ardastra Gardens & Zoo. The hike wasn't bad but we chose to walk along some of the secondary roads none of which had sidewalks. Really had to keep an eye out for traffic. The park itself was small but provided more than enough for us to see. Not a lot of stuff was in bloom. We especially enjoyed the bird feeding event. There was also a flamingo event later in the afternoon but we decided to head back to town. Someone we met at the park talked about taking a public bus along the main road for $1.25/pp so we decided to check it out. We took the short walk to the main road, asked about the bus stop, and a few minutes later boarded the bus. I say bus but it was really more like a 15-20 passenger van. We were the only tourists aboard but everyone was helpful. In hindsight, we should have taken the bus out to the park if only we had known about it.
Freeport in the Bahamas
This was our 2nd trip to Freeport and we decided to do a 4 hour ship excursion to the Garden of the Groves. The short bus ride to the garden was billed as a city tour which was very interesting. Once at the garden, we went on a 45 minute guided tour followed by a little over an hour to explore on our own. The garden was nice and completely man maintained. None of the ponds were natural. Like Nassau, many of the plants were not in bloom but we enjoyed walking the park anyway. Following the garden, we were dropped off at Port Lucaya Market Place, with just enough time for us to do a little shopping. Kathy spotted a good price on a Philip Stein "Fruits" watch and I spotted a deal on a Movado "Bold" titanium watch. What the heck, you only live once so out came the credit card.
As mentioned earlier, this was our first time on Carnival Splendor. Our INSIDE cabin was down on deck 2 and had plenty of room for our needs. In fact, the cabin was more spacious than what we've had on the Norwegian ships we've been on. It took us a couple days to figure out how to get around. Main Dining rooms are entered from deck 3 and 4 so we kept running into dead ends when we tried to go the length of the ship on deck 3 and 4. It took us awhile but we eventually figured out that deck 5 runs front to back and you go up/down from there. Anyway, we never got so lost that we missed a meal.... 8-) We especially enjoyed camping out in the Serenity area where the seating was comfortable and in quiet surroundings. In our travels about the ship, I found the "Good Luck Coin".
Images were also geotagged using a Sony GPS-CS3KA.Return To Main Page
|New November 2013|