A Rocky start - but a joyous finish

Trip Start Feb 05, 2011
Trip End Feb 13, 2011

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Where I stayed
Allure of the Seas

Flag of Bahamas  , New Providence,
Monday, February 7, 2011

Woke up already in Nassau. The sun was just starting to come up - and we watched it rise and Atlantis Resort come into view.

Had booked an 8am massage - so a quick breakfast needed to be digested.  Then a quick photo excursion around the ship and its neighbors.  We weren't in port for long - so there was no plan to get off the ship.

Arrived at the spa and was immediately offered to add a facial - which I accepted.  The massage was wonderful, and after the facial I was offered lots of product.  I ended up racking up a $500 bill in total.  But later, I was able to apply the coupon for being a Platinum member and thus was given a 15% discount on the massage.  It went into the tip.

Stayed in the spa until I heard engines running (kind of loudly) and realized we must be underway already.  But when I arrived back in the room - I noticed the view hadn't changed.  Turned out we hadn't left - that a somewhat uncommon mistake had been made.  Apparently we had tried to leave port without properly securing the mooring lines and they had become entangled in the engine.  Divers had been sent out to clear the engines.  Oopsie.

At this point some rumors had started.  Apparently 5 guests had been kicked off the ship after being caught with drugs.  It was hard to tell what was truth and what was exaggeration - but later is was confirmed - 5 guests gone.

Tea was early - 3:30 and we still hadn't left port.  Soon after it started, so had we.  Arriving at the first major party (for us) was pretty amazing.  The boardwalk was crowded and as we approached the Aqua Theater - it got more and more populated.  Eventually we realized we could watch from the second story - where the access to the rock climbing wall is.  Once we got up there and made it to the railing we could see it all.  It was unreal.

There were probably 3000 people at this party - in the amphitheater.   Off the back of the ship you could watch us pull out and leave Nassau.   It was beautiful.

Not only was this tea larger than any other we'd ever attended - the venue had a unique and brilliant addition - two jumbo-trons on either side.  At first they were simply signage - displaying the typical dog-tag rules ("Double green means meet me in my room in 15 minutes" and so on).  But then - RCCL staff with cameras starting moving through the crowd and the screens displayed live highlights.  It was the PERFECT addition.  Almost everyone was given their moment to shine - and for those who shone brightly - the camera lingered.  It was genius and an absolute blast to watch.  Usually the moment that the person on screen realized they were on screen and reacted was the best.  Invariably they all became larger than they were only a second before.

Not to forget though - the theme of this tea was "Ask Me, Tell Me" - signifying the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  Another brilliant move as the whole thing took on new meaning.  And, of course, the halftime show cashed in on the theme.  Atlantis performers came out in traditional garb for each of the branches of the armed service (very formal and stiff), but then broke into a rounding rendition of "I'm Coming Out".  It joyous (so much it made me cry).  It was unforgettable.

Afterward we walked back into the Promenade to get a drink and ran into new friends Tom and (Brad) Cooper.  We had a great talk and found a lot of common ground.  But it turned out we never ran into them again on the cruise.  But we will soon.

That night was the first major night time party - in two venues/parts.  Upper deck Solarium - the Hero party.  Meanwhile in Studio B - the Anti-Hero party.  Needless to say I didn't dress up but saw quite a few gorgeous costumes (paint a Superman-like S on your bare - shaven - chest and you've got a terrific costume).  Went to bed - but still couldn't avoid the party ...
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