April 2018 Cruise

Last week, we returned home from our first vacation planned for this year. Given that our trip later in the year visits a lot of places with little down time, Kara wanted this trip to be pretty much just relaxing at beaches and pools. We ended up choosing a 6 night cruise to the Dominican Republic, Grand Turk, & Bahamas. Although, to save some money we booked an inside cabin, which is the first time we've done that. Here's how it went:

  • 04/21 - Flight to Fort Lauderdale: On the way there, we flew nonstop from Nashville to Fort Lauderdale.
  • 04/22 - Embark in Fort Lauderdale: We boarded the Carnival Conquest in Fort Lauderdale. We didn't purposely choose a cruise on a ship we've been on twice before, but it just worked out that way.
  • 04/23 - Day at sea: We spent most of the day sunbathing or in the pool. Kara won the Harry Potter trivia game. That makes three combined trivia wins between us!
  • 04/24 - Amber Cove, Dominican Republic: Amber Cove is a cruise ship port just outside Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. There is a resort area as part of the port that is accessible to the cruise passengers that has pools, water slides, zip lines, among other amenities. We got a couple chairs and an umbrella and spent the day there.
  • 04/25 - Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos: The port in Grand Turk has a beach and pool area, which is where we spent our time there.
  • 04/26 - Half Moon Cay, Bahamas: Half Moon Cay is actually Little San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. It is a private island that has an awesome half moon shaped beach. It was also the only port where we had to tender. The day started gloomy with rain, so we rented a clam shell umbrella that would keep us dry. Luckily, it cleared up a couple hours later and became sunny for the rest of the day. The beach was one of the better beaches we've been to.
  • 04/27 - Nassau, Bahamas: Like the last time we were in Nassau, we booked an excursion that took us to Balmoral Island also known as Discovery Island. And that is what we did again this time. The resort was a little more developed this time and there wasn't near as many people there with us as last time.
  • 04/28 - Disembark and flights home: When we booked our flights we had direct flights in both directions of travel. For reasons passing understanding, in January JetBlue cancelled the Fort Lauderdale to Nashville flight for the day we were coming back. They didn't drop the route, just that day's flight. Weird to do for only one flight date about 3 months in advance. Since JetBlue's only other destination from Nashville is Boston, that required a connection there. The flight from Fort Lauderdale to Boston went normally. It looked like the subsequent flight to Nashville would operate as scheduled, but after sitting on the plane at the gate for quite a while they were unable to solve a mechanical issue. So, they deboarded us while they tried to find us another plane. That took so long the pilots timed out on their allowed work day. Then we had to wait for them to find us another flight crew. After a nearly four hour delay, we finally got going. We ended up getting home after midnight. Before we even landed though, JetBlue sent emails stating that each passenger would get a $100 credit. Given what we paid for the flights that is better than a 50% refund.

The last flight home notwithstanding, it was a relaxing trip. I'll update the post with the links to the pictures on my Flickr when they are finished.



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