Let me provide you with the basics. A is for Adrienne. That’s me, which would also make me the Author of this tale. B is for a couple of things: Birthday, Boat, and Bahamas. C is for Celebrating one of the three Bs on the two others. D is for Dayo, my incredible tag-along and friend who treated me to such an amazing gift. I’ll admit the last couple of weeks had been pretty gloomy, and I wasn’t planning to do much of anything for my birthday until Dayo suggested a cruise.
In all my travels, I had never been on a cruise ship or to the Bahamas, so the sound of his offer made me want to samba or cha-cha-cha. And that’s exactly the way I boarded the ship. Well, maybe in my mind, because I was a little tired after the four-hour drive into Ft. Lauderdale, where the Discovery Cruise lines would embark, but I was still extremely elated. Let’s say E is for Elated.
Boarding a cruise ship instantly feels like a party. Warm smiles from the crew welcome you, flyers for all the raffles are stuffed into your hands, and a combination of young and old run around, happy to be alive. "Happy 23rd Birthday, Adrienne," I said to myself. In fact, it did feel good to be alive, and I couldn’t wait to capture these precious moments and fine details of my very first cruise with my camera, even though the early-morning drive exhausted me. Even more exhausted was my chauffeur, tag-along, and companion Dayo. He wanted to make a dash straight to the cabin for some rest, but he decided to look around the ship with me a little.
Now, before I go any further, let me confess some of my quips with boats. All that motion tends to make me sick, and I’m not a hot swimmer, so I tend to avoid this leisure activity. On the flip side, cruise ships are huge, you can’t feel any jolts, and the fruity, cold margaritas erased all the worries away. We found the bars easily, and I was pretty surprised to see people drinking so early. It had to have been 8 or 9am at this point, and as much as I was tempted to, I decided against it. There would be enough drinks once I actually reached the Bahamas.
After discovering where everything was in a nutshell, Dayo made like a mad man and dashed back into the cabin. Kicking off his shoes, he hopped up onto the top bunk and fell into a heavenly sleep. That bottom bunk was looking pretty darn cozy, but I insisted on staying up a little longer. You only get one birthday a year, and I didn’t want to sleep my only cruise ship experience away. I left Dayo in the cabin to wonder the cruise ship halls, casinos, and decks and talk with some of the crew.
I started with the gentleman at the front desk, who asked me if I was lonely. Why? Did I look lonely, I thought to myself? Maybe tired, but not so much as lonely. Couldn’t he see the birthday girl fiesta going on inside of me? Probably not--the guy gives room keys, takes deposits, and makes announcements for the ship. How could I expect him to detect the unobvious? I told him it was my birthday, and it was my first time on a cruise ship. We exchanged a little bit of conversation, where I found out he was from India but lived in Portugal. Or was it the other way around? The crew tends to be from all over and such fascinating places, it’s hard to remember most of it.
My feet took me back outside onto the deck, where I inched myself over by the rail to look down upon the white waves and break in the deep blue water created by the ship plowing along. I took a couple of pictures but deleted them instantly, as the vast blue ocean doesn’t make for a good shot, but I was too delirious and shutter-happy to realize this in the first place. Wondering around the ship, I managed to find better-still subjects for the album I would later on create. I snapped shots of lifeboats, cruise ship workers (I know they’re not still, but better than the ocean), and lifesavers lining the railing of the ship.
I bounced back inside, where I poked my head inside the casino, but I didn’t partake in the gambling activities going on inside. There was no way I was going to give up any birthday cash to a cold slot machine. Instead, I took a look at my reflection in several tiny mirrors that lined the wall on opposite sides, creating a kaleidoscope effect. I tried really hard to capture what I was seeing, but I’m not that good with scientific explanation, and I am sure there was a reasonable one to explain why my camera couldn’t.
At this point, I had seen enough. If needed, I would be able to write a full report on the sights to be found on a ship, but not the tastes. We hadn’t made any arrangements for lunch or anything, because I would rather eat the food on the island. In any case, my new 23-year-old limbs were weak, and I needed rest. The bottom bunk in my Discovery Cruise line cabin was calling, and a catnap on a ship couldn’t hurt anything or anybody. Especially on my birthday. I figured I’d use the opportunity to count coconuts in my sleep before we arrived in Freeport, Grand Bahamas.
This concludes part one, but if a cruise tickles your fancy, I’d recommend Discovery, and make sure you request a cabin. Even if you don’t plan on hanging out inside of one too long, it always helps to have the added privacy. I don’t have all the details, as it was a gift, but you can check them out for yourself at www.discoverycruise.com.