Island Travel

I may be a bit late, but here is week 7 of the Indie Travel Challenge. The prompt is about island travel.

I just visited two islands on my recent trip: Singapore and Penang, Malaysia. These aren’t really the kind of islands you think of when you think island travel, but they are islands nevertheless. However I’m not going to write about them (hey, I’m not finished with my photo processing).

Instead I’ll take this opportunity to write about the two islands of the Bahamas I visited during a Royal Caribbean cruise in January 2009.

The cruise was 4 nights from Port Canaveral, Florida. Interestingly, when I list the countries I’ve been to, most people don’t realize the Bahamas is its own country. They seem to think it’s part of the US. Well, it is in fact its own country.

Our first port was Coco Cay, which is Royal Caribbean’s private island. I have to admit I wasn’t sure about stopping there, but we got the cheapest cruise available and I wasn’t being too picky. I ended up enjoying it.

Sure, it was entirely touristy, but we managed to find some areas that weren’t full of people by shying away from all the available ‘activities.’

We found some awesome iguanas and walked along a trail until we got away from the people, and then laid in some hammocks for a while.

This was an island of relaxation or of fun sports or shopping, whatever you wanted to do. But we found out that even on an island 100% for tourists, you can find quiet places and sort of ‘get off the beaten path.’

The second and final port on our cruise was Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. Again we shied away from the ‘shore excursions’ (though we did go to what was listed as a session to tell you what you could do in Nassau but that ended up being something to tell you where you could shop…).

I had done no research on Nassau whatsoever. We figured we’d just walk around. First we walked past the people renting out scooters – we didn’t want to be one of the people who stupidly crashed a scooter they don’t know how to drive. Then we just wandered. I stopped in a Harley store (I always do this, because my parents ride Harleys and I always consider buying them a shirt with a different city or country on it, but then I remember that Harley stuff is ridiculously expensive). We found a market catering to tourists, and the pirate museum.

Eventually we stumbled upon a bookstore. We walked to the local guidebooks section to see what was nearby. There was a fort pretty close so we headed over to it.

Fort Fincastle is a small fort that you can walk around in about 10 minutes. However we had fun climbing on stuff we probably shouldn’t anyway. Nearby is a neat passageway which contains the Queen’s Staircase.

Those sights are an easy walk from the harbor and I’d recommend them. Overall I didn’t get much of a feel for Nassau but I didn’t really expect to on a cruise ship stopover. I plan to write about the pros and cons of cruises in a later post. The islands I visited in the Bahamas were relaxing, warm, and fun to see. I feel I can hardly claim I’ve been there after just a few hours in two spots, but nevertheless, I enjoyed my time.

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