We are the fourth ship to dock this morning in Nassau. The Independence of the Seas is in the far slip next to the channel, next the NCL Getaway, then the Carnival Dream, and finally our ship, The Brilliance of the Seas is at the dock closest to the city.
Major construction of the terminal area continues. A large crane outside of our balcony towers above our ship and spends all day moving slabs of concrete into position. I doubt there are more than two dozen workers on the site.
Shortly after we are moored, a tug and barge moves into place to work on the new pier from a position directly in front of our ship. It is more like being docked at a construction site than a resort city in the Caribbean.
The temperature is expected to be about 79, and the winds brisk at 25 mph, A perfect day for the unsuspecting to get a sunburn.
We all meet for breakfast on the open air deck at the back of the Windjammer. Plans for the day are discussed. Not much, maybe just a visit to a nearby rum distillery that is within walking distance. Dr Google says it is .6 miles from our current location.
We decide to leave early to avoid the midday sun. The others walk much faster than I do, but aren't planning to leave untill about noon. Maybe we will see them, maybe not.
The hill is long, much further than Dr. Google advised. I don't know for sure, but maybe more like 1.6 miles. Long for an uphill walk for a mature man like me, made longer by the fact that masks are required at all times, even out of doors. Fines start at $250 and jail is possible if you are seen not masked. No exceptions.
The setting is picturesque. A few pictures, samples of four of the different flavors distilled at the micro distiller, and a restroom stop. After making a small purchase we head back towards the ship.
On the way a stop at Senor Frogs seems appropriate. They still have not reinstated the free popcorn, my primary reason for liking Senor Frogs, but a kids meal lunch, some local beer, and everything is good. The ship is not far away. There are guests at Frog's from all the ships in port, most drinking much faster than we do. Not even all the way back to the ship and my phone indicates 3 miles of steps.
We expected to pass the others on thier way to John Waitling's Distillery, but our paths did not cross.
I call. They are at the Pirate Republic, a Micro Brewery. I step out on the Balcony, and I'm immediately spotted. I have no guess as to exactly where in the maze of old buildings in downtown Nassau they are even though I do remember walking by the Pirate Republic on my way to John Waitling's.
The rest of the afternoon is spent writing and listening to music in several different venues.
Dinner in the dining room is again good. The head waiter is giving us lots of attention, and brings the bowl of savory bites. He has heard about the fiasco at Chops, not from us but from his staff. He apologizes and we hear about his career, probably spanning 3 decades.
After dinner I attempt to make my reservation for covid testing for the next cruise. All back to back passengers are tested on the ship the day before departure. The app doesn't work. It won't let me schedule a testing time. A visit to customer relations, and the solution is to answer the questions as if I were taking a flight out of the country after the cruise and not a back to back traveler. I would have never figured that out on my own. OK whatever works.
I spend an hour in the Schooner bar with Kelly Goodrich. I have know Kelly, and his wife Ann for about 10 years, since I first started cruising on the Monarch of the Seas. He was laid off for almost two years, due to the pandemic and did about 200 facebook video shows from his home near Tampa. This is his second contract since cruise ships began operating, and will be here several more months.
Ann, his wife, is going to be spending the next two weeks at home instead of on the ship. She can get on and off at will in ports as she is officially a passenger. Kelly is restricted to the ship because of covid protocols. When I retire for the evenning, there are only 2 passengers in the Schooner Lounge for Kelly to play for. The toll of the pandemic.
The seas remain slight as we head to Tampa for turn around for the next cruise. Tomorrow is a sea day, and packing for many. We have the luxury of just walking off the ship and back on to our same cabins with everything already in its place.