The Golden Age of piracy lasted for thirty years…from 1690-1720. It was said that when a pirate slept he didn’t dream of going to heaven but to his favorite port of Nassau on New Providence Island. Why? Nassau was well suited to be a pirate base of operations because its waters were too shallow for a large man-of-war but deep enough for the fast shallow draft vessels favored by pirates.
When Thursday morning dawned we were anchored at Nassau. The Fascination docked early because at 9 AM the intercoms in the hall were announcing that you could begin disembarking. Me? I was trying out room service for the very first time! Hey, when you’re on a cruise, you gotta’ try it at least once! *wink*
Our first adventure of the day was the famous “Straw Market” where, “Dare be no charge for touchin’ taday!” and “Here purty lady, I give you a deal!” was heard in every stall. The Straw Market was fun to go through and thanks to our friends, Stan and Esther; we didn’t have to brave it for the first time alone! Each row was jammed with all types of souvenirs…T-Shirts, bracelets, wood carved animals, tote bags, hats, you name it – they sold it. Though a lot of the vendors sold the same items the quality and style of the object (and of course the price!) would change from one to the other. So the hunt for the perfect souvenir was on! After weaving through row after row of choices I finally decided what I wanted. A wood carving of an anchor. The thing was, some had “Bahamas” burned into the side and some didn’t. I definitely wanted one that said Bahamas on it…and after much searching, I found the perfect one!
We went back to the ship for lunch and then we set off to Atlantis! To get from Nassau to Atlantis we had to take a ferry – on the ride over we listened to a local narrator as he talked about some neat facts concerning the island. Did you know that Nassau isn’t the island? The island is New Providence Island and Nassau is only considered the city area on that one section. As we neared Paradise Island the guide directed our attention to the left where beach front homes lined the water front – these were owned by the world’s richest men. Only millionaires lived there! Before we came to the dock we saw the spot where a scene from one of the James Bond movies was filmed, a glimpse of Atlantis rising in the distance and time shares that started at $25,000!
From there we walked a short distance to Atlantis and walked around. We didn’t pay to see the aquarium (though next time we definitely will!) but meandered around the outdoor walkway that wove through the resort. It was a magnificent view. The structures were ginormous and the attention to detail beyond description! We didn’t have to fear the ship leaving without us because we wouldn’t sail out of Nassau until 11 PM, but if wanted to eat in the dining room, we had to be at our table by five forty-five. Some friends also advised us that it would not be a good idea to be on the island after dark. Later on in the evening, we found out why. *wink*
When we left the dining room after a delicious mean, we found ourselves two seats by the pool stage and waited for The Whisnants to begin singing. Their first song was a brand new one from their “That’s Why We’re Here” project called We’ll Meet Again. Then Susan sang a request that’s a personal favorite of mine – Nail it to the Cross. After the Ready Medley they introduced the group and Austin sang Sheltered with the Erwin’s joining him. It was the first time I’ve seen them sing this song with Austin and the message really hit home with the addition of those two young people! The rest of The Whisnants set was made up of of I’ll Trust the Potter’s Hand, He’s Living Today, I’m Trusting the Blood and New Day Dawning.
The Palace brought the singing to a close with Karen Peck and New River, who featured a lot of their new songs in their set. Some of those were Joy in my Heart, Everybody’s Going Through Something and their new #1, Revival. Karen brought Ray Dean (from the Kingsmen) up on stage to sing a special song with them. Ray said, “I’ve always wanted to sing with girls.” LOL Then they did an acapella version of Beautiful Home. “That was awesome,” said Jeff Hawes afterwards. Jeff went on to talk about how his pastor went home to be with the Lord last March – it was a difficult time for him, but Karen and Susan were so encouraging to him. He turned that story around to introduce his ballad, You Did It Anyway. Karen followed with My God Will Always Be Enough and Four Days Late.
From midnight until 2 AM I sat on the back deck watching Nassau fade away in the distance. I loved seeing the city lights get smaller and smaller until they were just a dot on the far away shore. I was sad that we were officially on our way back to the States, even though we still had a full day at sea ahead of us the next day, Friday.