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Lorin Kee

Age: 25

Occupation:Video Editor

Number of Cruises: First Cruise

Cruise Line: Imperial Majesty

Ship: Ocean Breeze

Sailing Date: N/A

Itinerary: Nassau, Bahamas

This ship left port about 6 p.m. We enjoyed sitting on the deck chairs at the front of the boat as it left. In the back of the boat there was a party by the “pool”. (It’s more of a water hole actually – 5 feet deep and about 8 feet across, about the size of the Jacuzzi. We didn’t care though. We had seen the picture on the website beforehand so we knew what to expect. ) Walking around the ship, one can certainly appreciate the character of this boat. It was built in Belfast Ireland about fifty years ago and christened by Queen Elizabeth II. It actually looks like a boat, not a floating box. For the most part, all of the decks were clean and in good repair. We had a room on the bottom deck. It was small, but it was clean and in good shape. The main dining room in which we had dinner was very nice. The service was absolutely outstanding – even better than the 5 star resort my wife and I stayed in this summer. The food was good, but definitely not 5 star. I had a New York Strip that was decent, but not up to par with “Outback” or “Ruth’s Chris”. The appetizers were good. I love ceviche, but I usually don’t like scallops that much. I ordered a scallop ceviche and it was wonderful. Gazpacho was also very good. My wife didn’t like her fish that much (although I thought it was pretty good- nice firm texture). I think the crew tries to seat according to age because we sat with two other very nice couples that were late twenties like us. Overall, we really enjoyed dinner.

There are lots of activities at night. In addition to a multi-level casino, there was bingo, a disco, live music and karaoke. We ended up going to karaoke both nights with one of the couples from dinner. (We couldn’t get enough of a group aboard from a radio station. Imagine Jack from “Will and Grace” doing “Material Girl” and “Love Shack” and you’ll understand why we had such a good time.)

Day Two: Nassau

My wife and I opted not to do any of the ship’s excursions, knowing that we would pay more for them than if we bought them in town. I had called the Minister of Tourism for the island a few months before and asked about snorkeling. He said that Cable beach was a good place to snorkel. We took all of our snorkeling gear and hopped on the $1 “jitney” bus to go over to Cable beach. I don’t know if we were misinformed or just in the wrong place, but there wasn’t any snorkeling to be had where we were (in front of the hotels). We had snorkeled at Cozumel’s reefs just 3 months before so we weren’t too upset about not getting to snorkel here. We took the jitney back to town and went back on the boat to take showers. Afterwards we ate lunch on the boat. Lunch was served in the nice dinning room with a full dinner menu (fresh fish was Mahi, Mahi). I got a hamburger and some really excellent cream of tomato soup.

Before we got back on the bus for lunch we stopped buy the tourism office to ask about city tours. The city tour the OceanBreeze offered was a $33 a person for 1 ½ hour limousine tour with stops at Fort Charlotte, the Queen’s staircase and the water tower. The Taxi drivers do the same tour for $25 for the same amount of time and they also go to Atlantis. After seeing the island’s “limousines” we were happy with our $8 cheaper air-conditioned mini-van. Our tour guide was very good and our tour ended up lasting about 2 ½ hours. We had a government-guided tour at Fort Charlotte. Outside we sampled conch fritters from a lady with a fryer in the back of her car (greasy, spicy, and fantastic!). I really feel like we saw all of the island on this tour. We saw the prime-ministers house (small and unimpressive), the upscale houses, and even the poverty of the island. He showed us the “College of Tourism” (tourism is just about the only industry on the island). Our taxi driver dropped us off at the straw market where we bought all of our souvenirs. All in all, we had a very fun day in the Bahamas.

Back on the boat my wife and I had prime rib for dinner. Prime rib was good, but a thin cut. The tiramisu was out of this world. After karaoke we went to the mid-night buffet. I liked it better than the lunch buffet that we had when we first got on the boat the day before. We docked the next morning at 9 a.m. We were at the airport at 10.

Whether or not you would enjoy a cruise like this comes down to what kind-of-a-person you are. My wife and I are both “glass half full” kind of people. I’m sure a lot of the other people on our trip had “boat envy”. For us it was a comfortable, (but not luxurious) way to visit a foreign country in a weekend. If your idea of a vacation is lying out by the pool all day, stay home, save money and join a country club. My wife and I realize that each time we go to a new location outside of the U.S., we have a wonderful opportunity to experience the beauty, people and customs of a distant land- in addition to getting some sun. We had two free domestic plane tickets so we were able to go to the Bahamas for the weekend for about $200 a person and make all of our friends envious. Take this cruise, see the island, eat conch fritters, buy some cool souvenirs and have a great time.

I hope this is informative.

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