October 03, 2019

Nassau on The Mariner

The ship moves slowly thru the water to reach Nassau by morning. About a 70 mile cruise.

We are the third ship in port after the Navigator and a Norwegian ship.

The skies are sunny with a brisk breeze. Temperatures hover in the low 80's, very pleasant.

Again I stay on board. About 2:00 the Carnival Freedom arrives.

Today I discovered another dedign feature that has carried across every ship that Royal operates.  Hidden in the deep dark depths where passengers never venture is the control system for the elevators. You and I would think these to be relatively straight forward systems that would drive elevators up and down between decks, opening and closing doors as needed to let passengers on and off.

Well I can assure you from first person observstion that these systems have developed a level of artificial intelligence unequalled anywhere.  Elevators have minds of their own. Going where they want and stopping or not stopping at their whim and not following the buttons that are pushed or the announcements it makes in the car every time it moves.

Very clearly the arrows and the announcement said going down. After the doors closed we went up, stopping at several decks with no passengers waiting either on or off the elevator.

Now I know another reason the audible announcements haven't survived to newer ships. Too much confirmation that the elevator mind is in control not the passengers.

Our departure from Nassau is after dark. The lighting on the newly added water slides and jumping ball are impressive.

Tomorrow is another day at Coco Cay.

Coco Cay - Royal's private destination

The ship continues to roll slightly thru the night. I sleep like a rock as I almost always do while on a ship.

Morning finds the skies cloudy with the sun peeking thru occasionally. The rain comes and goes, but mostly just brief light showers lasting two or three minutes. Some passengers get to the pier and turn around to go back to the ship. Others headed to the beach realize they will be wet soon anyway. I elect to stay on board, with many others.  

We share the pier at Coco Cay with The Navigator of the seas. On the island the balloon was removed as a precautionary measure for the last hurricane, and hasn't been put back. Otherwise there appears to be no after effects in this part of the Bahamas.

I run into Rod and Val Montgomery, a couple I have not seen in about 3 or 4 years. They continue to cruise much more than I do, and attained Pinnacle status  two years ago.

The  diamond lounge seats about 35, no where near enough for the 350 or so Diamond and Diamond plus passengers. Being such a short cruise there is no top tier party or captains reception. Dress code for what used to be formal night is now billed as "dress your best". That sounds like an invitation to a tee shirt with the sleeves ripped off. To the wearer it is "his best". Who could argue.

By afternoon the skies clear to bright sunshine. As expected many come back to the ship sporting newly acquired look. Lobster Red.

For those of you that have been reading this for a long time will remember that I often shared bad behavior of passengers. I really have been trying to get away from that, and a lot of bad behavior is just so commonplace it isn't worthy of mention. Last night there was an exception.

As expected all the seats in the Diamond Lounge were occupied.  I was sitting with 5 others. A couple arrived with a young adult daughter in a motorized wheel chair, and were standing at the end of the room.  The 3 people across from me left for dinner and I asked the couple next to me to help me try and get their attention so they could have a seat. The wife turned to me and said "she is a special needs child and I don't want her sitting with me".

My reaction is probably predictable, I stood up and waved my arms vigorously to get their attention and motioned them to come join me. They did, were grateful, and we had a very enjoyable conversation. Well at least the four of us did, after a few minutes the other couple left with drinks in hand. I hope I don't see them again, I probably won't, they wouldn't want to sit near me anyway.

Royal has had a pier in Coco Cay for several years now. There is another private island less than a mile away, I think for Norwegian if I remember correctly. Passengers there need to tender to shore.  A ship approached, hung around for awhile, and then very slowly departed. No beach for them today, the seas were too rough to tender. Precisely the reason Royal buit a pier.

We leave a few minutes before the Navigator and head to Nassau. Again there is a slight motion to the ship. We are going too slow for stabilizers to do any good anyway.

I forgo the dining room for the second night, getting by with appetizers in the lounge and a slice of pizza for dinner.

At 8:00 I head to the Schooner Bar to listen to the piano player. OK but not a player or entertainer at the level of Kelly. The room is nearly empty.

Tomorrow we will be in Nassau.