Monday - 2006 Carnival Valor Wine CruiseMonday was Nassau day. We woke up at 7am with the sun streaming in our windows, and had a great view of Nassau from our room. We are on the left (port) side of the ship. It was fun hanging out on the balcony, watching the world go by. Eventually we began to see people walking down the dock; they had started letting people off. We went up to the buffet for breakfast, which was reasonably good. Then we headed out.
It was super fast to get off the ship, probably because we didn't try to be the first ones off. A simple walk through the security check, down the gangway and we were on the dock. Then a short walk through their "shop building" (required) before you were out on the streets of Nassau. We walked the hour out to Atlantic, on Paradise Island. There were great views from the bridge over to Paradise Island. The town area was perhaps a little run down, but certainly safe enough.
I *loved* Atlantis - now there is decor that I could live with every day of my life. It is simply gorgeous. We walked through the casino and hotel into the main aquarium area, which surrounds their cafe. We spent quite a while just looking at the fish there. Then we signed up there for the full tour, $29 each. I loved the tour with the naturalist who could identify all the sharks and rays for us. Don't go with the ship on this one. The ship crowd we saw was huge and it was hard for them to see or ask questions. We signed up ourselves at Atlantis and had a small group of four - us two, plus Daniel and Dianne from the Carnival who also came over on their own. They were from Montreal, and spoke both French and English. It was great fun talking with them. The afternoon was perfect.
We walked around a bit on our own after that. We'd already seen Cafe Martinique, where James Bond's Thunderball had a scene. It was moved to Atlantis from its original spot at another point on Paradise Island. We also saw the bar where parts of After the Sunset were filmed. The Bridge Suite ($25,000 / night, four night minimum) of course featured heavily in that movie.
Cabs back were super easy when we were ready, you just go to any lobby area, there is a cab line waiting, and you hop in one. It's a flat fee back to the dock, I think $9 each. So why go in a van for $9 when you can have a "luxury" leather seat car for 2 for the same price.
The ship leaves here relatively early - mid-afternoon and then moved very quickly from that point forward. We had an Argentinian wine tasting from 1:30-3:30 in the Lincoln dining room, where we sat with 2 friends from our table mates of last year - Bill and Kay. It's a small world! The tasting was quite interesting, hosted by Scott Thominson of Epic Wines. We really liked the Joffrey wine they served. The Zolo winemaker, Patricia Ortiz, was there, and she did a great job of talking about her winery and wines. Apparently it is incredibly hot in this region of Argentina, up to 110F. They irrigate heavily, and where there isn't the green of the vineyards, there are just rocks and sand. Patricia said that we'd be able to order Zolo wines with dinner tonight if we wanted.
Soon we were out loose again. We went by the golf place, then up to the spa area and made a reservation for me for the St. Thomas day, when Bob was thinking about playing golf. Apparently I get 20% off my spa treatment because of that.
When we went back to our room, there was a card waiting for us saying that they'd changed our table on us again. We hoped this one would have people at it :) We went down.
First we went by the sushi place, and had some Sho Chiku Bai sake (SUPER hot, way too warm) with some sushi. It was nice once it cooled down to a reasonable temperature. There were tons of people here waiting for the Captain's Reception so we had to eat in the One Step disco. Soon they let people through. We got to shake hands with the captain and staff, then head into the very back of the Eagle's Lounge. We sat with an interesting couple and had fun. I had a whiskey sour but Bob somehow found Champagne. All too soon it was time to head up for dinner.
Interestingly, we were now at the exact table, against the back wall, as we'd had on the Liberty last year! Unfortunately there were NO people at all at it. We were getting to feel like this was deliberate :) Several other empty tables were around us too. Did that many people like the buffet setting better? The two couples we'd talked with yesterday, one that we knew from last year, talked to the wait staff and were able to come over and sit with us. They are George and Pam, and Lois and Bob. In fact the staff brought us two bottles of Zolo wine for us to have, in apology. Which is good, because we wanted to try them - and they weren't on the menu!
We also got a bottle of Jekel Pinot Noir ($35) to go with dinner. Quite nice.
We were feeling tired by the time dinner was done, so headed back to the room for some House and sleep.
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