Cruising to Freeport


Hello

Today we are going to Muse about a two-day cruise to Freeport, Grand Bahama.  If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.

Click to check out my artwork

Cruising to Freeport

Grand Bahamas

Grand Bahamas

Birthdays come and birthdays go.  This year we had a collective celebration on the Celebration . . . the Celebration Cruise ship.

bahamas celebration4

bahamas celebration4

One of our friends, Joan had a birthday coming up and she pulled a group of us together to do a two-day cruise to Freeport, Grand Bahamas out of West Palm Beach.  It is only 84 miles.

There were eleven of us:  Joan and Don, Eileen, Carol and Confrey, Stewart and Josie, Steve and Laura, Jeanette and me.  As it turned out there were two other birthdays in the group:  Josie and me.  So we decided to celebrate.  I told them I would take all the presents I could get.

Thursday we boarded the ship around one o’clock.  We checked into our suite which was in the stern on the eighth deck, overlooking a lounging area.

View from our Cabin

View from our Cabin

Arriving early gave us time for a leisurely lunch followed by some causal merrymaking  (drinking).  Here you can see various members of the group.

Let the Party Begin

Let the Party Begin  Stewart, Josie, Jeanette

Josie, Eileen

Josie, Eileen

Josie, Steve, Stewart, Laura

Josie, Steve, Stewart, Laura

Stewart, Carol, Comfrey

Stewart, Carol, Confrey

Stewart, Joan, Josie

Stewart, Joan, Josie

Don, Jeanette

Don, Jeanette

The weather was beautiful.  We had worried because Hurricane Sandy just passed by a week earlier and even the day before the seas were rough.  However, they were calm now.

Heading to sea

Heading to sea

At six o’clock The Celebration embarked and we passed out the Palm Beach Harbor inlet on our way to sea.  Here you see our coast guard escort.

Coast Guard Escort

Coast Guard Escort

I had never noticed the machine gun before.  Must be because of smuggling.  The sun was setting.  Beautiful.

Setting sun

Setting sun

West Palm Beach as the sun set

West Palm Beach as the sun set

Once we were in international waters the casino opened.

Ship's Casino

Ship’s Casino

The ship was not crowded.  I think the storms of the week before caused many people to cancel.  The casino was empty.

Empty Casino

Empty Casino

Eileen was one of the first people there.  She likes the slots.  I did a little roulette and promptly dropped $150.  Time for dinner!

After dinner it was back to the casino.  I played more roulette and won back my losses plus about $50.  So I was happy.  Jeanette and I toddled off to our cabin where we met this little fellow.

cabin

cabin

New Buddy

New Buddy

The ship was in Freeport Harbor when we awoke.  This is a working harbor.  Very industrial.

Freeport_Bahamas

Freeport_Bahamas

Working Harbor

Working Harbor

local cruise ship

local cruise ship

After breakfast our group assembled for a day in Freeport.

Comfrey, Laura, Don, Steve, Wade, Jeanette, Joan, Carol, Eileen, Stewart

Confrey, Laura, Don, Steve, Wade, Jeanette, Joan, Carol, Eileen, Stewart

Joan had arranged for a driver to give us a tour and then take us into town.  Here you can see Wade, our driver and most of the group.

Our Tour

Our Tour

He took us through industrial areas, residential areas, through the interior of the island and along the coast.  Wade said the Bahamas were badly damaged by the hurricane in 2004 and have never recovered.  Here is a nightclub we skipped.

Local Nightclub

Local Nightclub

Beach Side Food Stalls  Closed

Beach Side Food Stalls Closed

Many of the buildings were shuttered and closed, hotels, country clubs, apartment buildings even the Straw Market, a famous tourist attraction.  Wade said the economy was severely depressed and completely dependent on tourism.  Making it worse was the fact that Hurricane Sandy hit the island last week causing flooding in the low areas.  Many of the residential areas were in bad shape.  This was eye-opening for me.  As close to Florida as the Bahamas are, I really knew very little about them.

After this bit of uplifting sightseeing we went to the tourist center of the island.  The homes around there are owned primarily by foreigners and are much more substantial.

House owned by founder of BurgerKing

House owned by founder of BurgerKing

Wade referred to it as Millionaires’ Row.

Port Lucaya

Port Lucaya

Port Lucaya,  the shopping area across from the Treasure Bay Casino is colorful and stocked with nice merchandise.

Shopping Area

Shopping Area

More Shopping area  No Crowd

More Shopping area No Crowd

There were not many people there though.  And, as I said earlier, probably because the storm caused people to alter their plans.

After a couple of beers and some conch salad most of the group headed to the beach.  Eileen, Jeanette and I headed to the Treasure Bay Casino.

Treasure Bay Casino

Treasure Bay Casino

It was almost empty.  Fortunately you do not need a crowd to play roulette.  I hit a hot streak and quickly picked up a couple hundred dollars.  Jeanette decided to pull me away before I gave it all back so we toddled off to lunch.

Outside Treasure Bay Casino

Outside Treasure Bay Casino

Eventually the afternoon passed away.

Back to the ship

Back to the ship

We returned to the Celebration for our return voyage.  It was pretty much a repeat of the day before except that most of the party needed a nap.

The bunch of us were hosted for the birthday dinner by Stewart.  Thank you.  Thank you.  I think we all had a good time.  As the evening wore on I began to notice things that until now had alluded me.  For example, they say married couples begin to look like each other.  It became obvious with  Joan and Don.

Don at dinner

Don at dinner

Joan at dinner

Joan at dinner

I suspect that Don was a short fortune teller who escaped from prison  . . . a small medium at large.

More to come

If you like Musings, take a moment and click the subscription button on the side-bar to the right so you will be notified by e-mail when I make a new post.

****************************************

Books by Thomas L. Tribby Available
Click on title below to preview

Works on Paper

On The Waterfront

Impressions of Florida

Tribbyart’s Boutique

*****************************

Limited Editions available

The Gallery

The Gallery

Click to see
Black for the Wicket

Black for the Wicket

Click to see
Yellow for Wicket
Yellow for Wicket
Click to see
The Watched Shot
The Watched Shot

Click to See

Advertisements

About Thomas L. Tribby

Professional artist: painter, sculptor, print maker. Maintains a studio in West Palm Beach, Florida
This entry was posted in art, croquet, food, games, life style, tourism, travel, Uncategorized, work and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s