A cruise ship, rum, dancing, and hijinks. It sounds too good to be true, but it happened about 20 years ago.
From Charleston, Atlanta, and Savannah, we all convened at Port Canaveral to take a three nighter to the Bahamas on the Carnival Fantasy. It was just right for a bunch of 20-somethings. Before we even reached Port Canaveral, there were shenanigans with people hanging out of car windows and taking pictures.
The two guys in the car behind us were in our group, just in case you’re wondering. This was before everyone had cell phones, so I’m sure they wondered what my passenger was doing.
We packed a little “liquid cheer” to take with us on the ship (you are allowed a certain amount in your luggage), but for the most part, we enjoyed the frozen drinks, wine, and beer served on the ship. Keep in mind, this was about 20 years ago. In modern times, you can actually purchase drink packages before you leave home so you won’t have to worry about that bill on the last day. That’s winning.
On the first night, we danced and ate and drank and just generally enjoyed being single and 20-something.
You will notice that I failed to get a picture of the whole group all together. This is sad, but it’s also indicative of the fact that we all did our own thing. No one was ever tied down to a certain activity, but rarely was anyone alone, either.
On our day in Nassau, a few of us went snorkeling while others went shopping, and still others . . . never told us where they had been all day. I suspect that they may have found themselves a casino somewhere. Here are a couple of the snorkelers:
A few of us girls went on a shopping trip in Nassau in the afternoon. Everywhere we went, we kept hearing a reggae-ish song on the radio that was clearly a local favorite. We couldn’t quite make out the words, but we decided it sounded like, “Lift your leg up.” We thought it was funny and kind of random. (It turns out it topped the charts in Caribbean countries for years.) As we strolled, arms around each others’ shoulders, down the dock back to the ship, we broke out into the chorus of the song, lifting our legs up as we went. One local man sitting near the dock heard us and cheered us on, clearly pleased that we had adopted this Caribbean hit as our new favorite.
On our day at sea, the pool, drinks with umbrellas, and the Macarena were favorites. But that was so long ago. The ships these days have so many things to do, it will make your head swim. Rock climbing, Surfriders, mini golf, and the list goes on.
On the last night, we ran into a storm (okay, it was the edge of a hurricane) and the ship started rocking a bit. We also had an early morning and a long drive ahead of us, so it was a good night for winding down. After dinner, most of us gathered at a piano bar, locked arms, swayed back forth, and sang Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” with the lounge singer. Does anyone still do that anymore? We always did that at parties and bars in the 1990s. The song has a mystical, unifying power. After the rest of us had gone to bed, one person in our group stayed late in the casino. Turns out he was the only passenger in there, and he walked out of there $400 richer! He recouped the whole cost of his cruise.
Here are some of us on formal night.
So, as you can see, group cruising with your friends can be one of the most fun, memorable trips you ever take. First of all, you’re with a group of people that you chose specifically for having fun. Family is great and all, but sometimes it’s the most fun to get together with your buddies, your posse, and just take on the world with adventure in mind. Whether your adventure consists of climbing Mayan ruins, SCUBA diving, or relaxing by the pool with a Coco Loco in hand, consider the following.
Did you know that if you get enough people to go with you that you can cruise for free? True story. Each cruise line has its own rules, but a few allow you to cruise for free as the 16th passenger, assuming you have eight staterooms with two people in each. You know people. And those people know people. I bet you can come up with 15 friends.
Want more details? Contact Azalea Travel!