Crystal2000


Itinerary Show Map = at anchor
Tuesday
19th December
- Fly to New Orleans, USA
& stay at overnight hotel
Wednesday-New Orleans, USA
embark Crystal Harmony
Thursday-New Orleans, USA
Friday-at sea
Saturday-Cozumel, Mexico
Sunday-at sea
Monday-Christmas Day at sea
Tuesday-Oranjestad, Aruba
Wednesday-at sea
Thursday-Castries, St Lucia
Friday-Gustavia, St Barthelemy
Saturday-Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas
Sunday 31st December-at sea
Monday 1st January-at sea
Tuesday-Nassau, Bahamas
Wednesday
3rd January 2001
-Ft Lauderdale, USA - disembark
& Fly to UK overnight
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Crystal Harmony (1990: 48,621grt) in Castries, St Lucia.


There were 5 of us for this, our "real millennium" cruise, with Dad accompanying us, as well as our new friend, Joyce from Manchester.

It was also a celebration of our making the final payment in September under our 25-yr mortgage, taken out in 1990 and which we had successfully paid-off in just over 10 years.


True to the exclusive nature of Crystal Cruises, this was our most expensive cruise to date, costing an average of more than 1 a mile!


A Digital Experiment
Many of the photos below are what can only be described as "1st-generation digital" photos. At this time, I was concentrating my efforts on video and trying to save weight by not taking my heavy SLR, especially since my new Sony digital video camera boasted a seperate photo feature and a "mega-pixel" camera! Sadly, the results were a bit disappointing, which is why I have included some of my Dad's photos, which are scans of some of his excellent slides.
Tuesday 19th December 2000
Flight to New Orleans, USA - via Chicago!

After check-in at Terminal 3 Heathrow Airport at 7.00am, followed by breakfast, it was a fiasco trying to find the "All Nippon Airlines Executive Lounge" which (directions notwithstanding) simply didn't seem to exist. Eventually, we got the American Airlines Business Class Lounge to accept us. Called "The Admiral's Club", the only person missing was Helen Hayes! (movie "Airport" 1970)

American Airlines Experience
In-flight service was just as I remembered from last time in 1995; brutish staff, chewing gum, no menu and luke warm tea. Entertainment was ok, with Morecambe & Wise and the just-released animation film "Chicken Run" - except that they didn't tell you when the film was going to start!

Our flight was routed via Chicago, which we were told was under 6ft of snow! So after an 8-hr flight, we had a tedious stop-over of 3 hours before a further 2-hr flight to New Orleans; that was at least less frenzied with a half-decent cup of tea! Meanwhile however, Joyce's flight from Manchester was delayed by 3 hours and upon enquiring at the American Airlines desk, I learned that she had been re-booked on a later flight, so she wouldn't be arriving until much later this evening.

On arrival in New Orleans, the weather was an "unseasonably cold" 38 deg F, as our meet-and-greet guide told us during our transfer to the "Chateau Sonesta" hotel for our overnight stay. John & I went out at 9pm to briefly explore Bourbon Street, the attraction of which seemed to be centred on noise and liquer. We also visited a Voodoo shop, where I bought a "Gris-Gris" Bag for good luck.


Wednesday 20th December 2000
Day 2 in New Orleans, USA
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Show Picture Full Size Joyce seemed none the worse for her flight delay yesterday when we met her today for our complimentary sightseeing excursion to the Destrehan Plantation House, including a rather dismal lunch. The House was interesting, though; built in 1787 displaying an eclectic mix of styles, it's the oldest surviving plantation house in the Lower Mississippi Valley.
(left) The Greater New Orleans Bridges (1958 and 1988)


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Destrehan Plantation House (1787)
French Colonial, West Indies and American Styles (Dad's photos)
San Francisco Plantation (1853-56)
"Steamboat Gothic" (Dad's photos)

Our next stop was at the San Francisco Plantation House, built 1853-56 in a style locally known as "Steamboat Gothic". To add an authentic atmosphere, the guides at both houses were dressed in pre-Civil War period costume. Our excursion concluded around 4pm at the cruise terminal, where we embarked our ship, Crystal Harmony.
(right) Crystal Harmony and the Greater New Orleans Bridges
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Thursday 21st December
Day 3 in New Orleans, USA

The following day, we took the Riverfront Streetcar into town to explore the historic French Quarter around Jackson Square but that "unseasonably cold" weather deteriorated into rain; Andrew, Dad & Joyce returned to the ship.
(far right) The Riverfront Streetcar
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St Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square
(rebuilt 1850)
Gen. Andrew Jackson
7th US President 1829-37
Pontalba Buildings
Jackson Square (1840)


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French Quarter
Typical balconies
Street Entertainers in the French Quarter
Off-duty Copper Cowboy and Saxophonist
Royal Street
The French Quarter

Show Picture Full Size Even John & I eventually sought shelter in the River Walk Mall not far from the ship, where I had a Crawfish Po'boy (a traditional Louisiana-style fish sandwich in a crusty roll) with a local beer called "Lagniappe" (Creole for "something extra")!
Louisiana Crawfish Po'Boy (fish sandwich)

John & I were disappointed not to have been able to travel on the famous St. Charles Avenue Streetcar, the oldest operating streetcar in the world but maybe there'll be another time - one day!

Sailaway was at 4pm, in the drizzle after boat drill.
(right) Andrew & Joyce in the Palm Court
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Show Picture Full Size After drinks in the Club 2100, where Joyce & I had our first dance, Dinner tonight was at our "proper" table for the first time (last night was open seating). After dinner, there was a Variety Show in the Theatre; Australian vocalist John Christie (ok but not brilliant) and ventiloquist Mark Merchant, who had various puppet characters, was very good and really funny.
(left) The Crystal Dining Room

Friday 22nd December 2000
A Day at Sea
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Making 18.3 knots crossing the Gulf of Mexico; sea conditions "rough" with waves 8-13ft and a moderate gale from astern; temperature 54 deg F. However, the ship was steady as a rock. Otherwise a quiet day, with a Foxtrot dance lesson with Joyce and an interesting talk on Mayan architecture in the afternoon. Then the Captain's Welcome Cocktail Party and Dinner - I had Oysters and Lobster! (right) Me, John, Joyce, Dad & Andrew >> Show Picture Full Size

Showtime after dinner was a Cole Porter revue. It was dreadful; loud, brash and totally devoid of sentiment. To cap it all, I was developing a sore throat - and it wasn't anything to do with singing!

Saturday 23rd December 2000
Cozumel, Mexico
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Show Picture Full Size After a brief call off Playa del Carmen to put ashore passengers on tours, we docked in Cozumel, an island about 6 miles (10km) off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Since the 1960's it has become popular for scuba-diving and snorkelling on its coral reefs.
(left) Andrew, Dad, Joyce and me; off on tour in Cozumel

Unfortunately, I awoke today feeling terrible; I was coming down with flu' but, even though I had done it last time we were here in 1996, I decided to join Andrew, Dad & Joyce on the $260 excursion by plane to Chichen Itza. I'm glad I did, as it helped take my mind off feeling rotten! Mind you.....


The Benefit of Hindsight
4 years ago, we did this trip in a 44-seat Fokker F-27 Friendship operated by AeroCozumel. What we didn't know was that one of their planes had crashed outside Cancun in July 2000 and one man died of a heart attack wading through the swamp to escape! However, today's flight was with Aero Ferinco in a 16-seat L-410UVP Turbolet, previously with Russia's Aeroflot. In September 2001, one of these planes crashed leaving Chichen Itza, killing all 19 on board and the airline was shut-down!
(right) Our 15-seat Let L-410UVP Turbolet operated by Aero Ferinco
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El Castillo, the Step-Pyramid Temple of Kukulkan
and the view from the top of the Temple of Warriors
El Osario
Small Pyramid Temple
Lizard or Iguana?
Just one of hundreds!


Show Site Plan Full Size The Archeological Site of Chichen-Itza
From c600 AD, Chichen Itza was a major centre of Mayan civilization. As the only rivers in the area run underground, the site was chosen for 2 sink-holes or "cenotes", providing fresh water. The buildings also show Toltec influence up to c1250 AD. When the Spanish Conquistador, Francisco de Montejo Jnr arrived in 1532, the temples were largely ruined but the area was heavily populated and hostile to plans to develop a city here. However, by the late 16th century, the Spanish had established cattle ranching here.

The site is dominated by "El Castillo", a 98ft high step-pyramid temple dedicated to the feathered-serpent god, Kukulkan. With 91 steps on each side and one at the top, it's no coincidence there are 365 steps in all.


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El Caracol
"The Observatory"
Casa de Las Monjas
"The Nunnery"
La Iglesia
The Church
Stone Detail
on La Iglesia


We got back safely and without incident, naively unaware of the risks we had all taken in the two flights we had just done. Meanwhile, it had been raining "cats and dogs" in Cozumel and John had been to the beach but had managed only a couple of hours of sun-bathing before he too had returned.
(right) Crystal Harmony docked in Cozumel.
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The evening's entertainment included British comedian Mike Goddard; rather droll and quite good. Had a really bad night's sleep; sore throat, sweats and a headache.

Sunday 24th December 2000
A Day at Sea
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Making 19.5 knots; sea still "rough"; temperature 75 deg F. rising to 82 deg F. during the day with occasional tropical showers. Joyce and Andrew both coming down with the 'flu (as well as me now!). Otherwise, "a good day" at sea; another dance class with Joyce (Swing), relaxing on deck, an Asian Buffet lunch, then a Bridge Visit, Team Trivia Quiz and Afternoon Tea in the delightful Palm Court.


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The Vista Lounge
forward of the Palm Court
The Palm Court
for Afternoon Tea
Harpist Statue
Hymn to the Heaven & the Earth
On the Bridge

Joyce & I danced Foxtrot and Jive before dinner of Roast Goose, after which, the Christmas Eve variety show proved a bit better than the other night. However, I really wanted to take a nice group photo of us tonight by the Christmas Tree in the Atrium but Joyce had taken too much 'flu medicine all day and she fell asleep before I had the chance!
(right) Dad on the Navigational Bridge
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Monday 25th December 2000
Christmas Day at Sea
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Outside air temperature 79 deg F. at dawn! Partly cloudy and a fresh breeze; seas 8-13ft ("rough").

Show Picture Full Size There was almost no-one on deck this morning; did my 4 laps (>1 mile) before breakfast in the main Dining Room, followed by presents in Dad's stateroom. Joyce had bought us each a bow tie plus a silver-plated mini photo album, all of which she had carried in her luggage from Manchester!
(left) Christmas day at Sea aboard Crystal Harmony

The 'flu still hitting me in waves; one minute feeling ok, the next minute thick in the head and a voice like the old film actress Joan Greenwood! Joyce is also unwell, Andrew less so.


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Ice Sculpture
Cold Buffet
Gingerbread House
sweets and chocolates
Cheeseboard Castle


Observed the Christmas Buffet in the Atrium but had a light lunch in the Café upstairs. Then spent the afternoon reading and dozing on the sheltered afterdeck. What a way to spend Christmas Day!

A Bit of an Emergency
For a short while around mid-day, we changed course towards the coast of Colombia and picked up speed because of a medical emergency. The Captain said he was hoping to call a helicopter out to take someone off. Then by 1pm he said he couldn't get a helicopter after all and had decided to revert to our planned stop at Aruba. However, at our full speed of 20 knots, we would be arriving early, around 2-3am tomorrow morning.

Show Picture Full Size Somehow "Father Christmas" visited the children at tea-time! I'm sure it was more for the parents' benefit than for the kids though, because most of them didn't seem to know what was going on!

Later, an impromptu group sang carols by the Christmas Tree. The occasion lacked enthusiasm; "Frosty the Snowman" never sounded quite so dreary!

Christmas Dinner and Champagne! No turkey on the menu (it's not the thing in the US as they have turkey at Thanksgiving) so I had salmon. Joyce had hardly anything but still seemed keen to dance; did some foxtrot, jive and waltz both before and after dinner (there was no show tonight). Meanwhile, Andrew, John and Dad all went to bed early. What a peculiar day! Show Picture Full Size

Tuesday 26th December 2000
Oranjestad, Aruba
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Temperature 79 deg F. partly sunny and humid but tolerable. However, still full up with 'flu and Dad coming down with it too, so we abandoned our planned trip to the beach and settled for a gentle stroll ashore, a sit-down in the shade and refreshments before coming back to the ship for lunch.


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Crystal Harmony
in Aruba (Dad's photo)
Oranjestad
Typical Dutch Architecture
John & Joyce
and Crystal Harmony


Just 20 miles long and 17 miles off the coast of Venezuela, Aruba is one of the "ABC Islands" of Aruba, Bonaire & Curaçao, which form part of the Netherlands (or Dutch) Antilles in the Caribbean. Since the 1980's, Aruba has developed more autonomy and was expected to be independent by 1996 but in 1995, following a convention in The Hague in 1990, the process was officially suspended.

Spent the rest of the day relaxing on board; then a little dancing with Joyce before dinner. This was our third cruise with Joyce and while we had been aware from the outset that she was quite difficult to please when it came to the dinner menu, we were only now learning the full extent of her culinary dislikes. Teasing her about it, she took it all in good humour, as I sat with her making a (long) list!

Joyce's culinary dislikes
Carrots, asparagus, apples, oranges & plums, cream (not much) but definitely no milk; not keen on garlic; pork, pasta (eg the "white stuff" or tube type but will eat spaghetti bolognaise); cheese (especially cooked); whites of eggs but can eat meringue; iced tea, bloody meat, figs and ice-cream; strawberry-flavoured things but likes fresh strawberries; artichokes, veal, soups "with bits in" (like basil) but likes plain tomato soup; toasted sandwiches. In later years, this list proved to be far from complete!


Wednesday 27th December 2000
A Day at Sea
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Still full up with the 'flu and Dad now appeared to be coming down with it. Dance-class with Joyce doing Rumba and did remarkably well but then tried Team Trivia later on and did badly, as usual!

Crystal Society Party - just for Andrew, John and me. The drinks were free and Andrew drank rather a lot of Rose wine! In the evening, our dinner in speciality restaurant "Kyoto" was somewhat spoiled by even more wine being consumed and Joyce not coming, as she was unwell. Meanwhile, my 'flu seemed to have infected my eye, which was becoming rheumy and painful.


Thursday 28th December 2000
Castries, St Lucia
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Show Picture Full Size Not a good night but awoke generally feeling a bit better, although I had to bathe one eye with hot water as it was completely dried shut! Even so, pressed ahead with an early helicopter flight with Joyce, who seemed in good spririts considering she missed her dinner last night!
(left) Crystal Harmony in Castries, St Lucia.


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Helicopter Flight Petit Piton Castries Harbour John
at the beach!


At $98 for 20 minutes, the helicopter flight was expensive but really good, with excellent weather and great views. With just 4 passengers, I sat next to the pilot and enjoyed a fantastic view as we flew down the coast, around St Lucia's famous Pitons and back over the centre of the island and Castries harbour, where Crystal Harmony was docked opposite Costa Romantica (1993: 53,000grt) and Monarch of the Seas (1998: 73,937grt).

Monarch of the Seas disaster 1998
I didn't know it at the time but exactly 2 years ago in December 1998, Monarch of the Seas had to be evacuated when she struck a reef leaving St Maarten and very nearly sank. She tore a 40m hole in her side as result the incident, flooding 3 of her compartments and began sinking by the head. Fortunately, she was beached on a sand-bar in time and no-one was killed. The things you don't know when taking a simple holiday photo!


Returning to the ship, I then joined Andrew & John for the rest of the morning on another excursion to the beach at the Rex St Lucia Hotel on Rodney Bay, where we hired shades and sun-beds and swam in the sea. While there, I bought (or rather, was sold!) a rather nice haematite shark's tooth necklet for $10 from a particularly amiable young beach-hawker!

After lunch back at the ship, Andrew, John & I took the harbour water-taxi across to the shopping mall at Pointe Seraphine (where the other ships were).


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Andrew
on the water-taxi
Pointe Seraphine
Monarch of the Seas & Costa Romantica
(Dad's photo)
A classic Brig Crystal Harmony
The photo that cost me $1!


I left John & Andrew at the mall to go back the same way while I walked back around the bay and through town. Primarily, I wanted a good photo of Crystal Harmony but it was a hot and tedious walk and en-route, I was accosted twice; first by a small boy who stood in the way and begged $1 before I could take my photo of the ship and then by a guy who I thought was going to "sting" me (or worse!). However, I remained polite and in the end he just wished me a pleasant stay.

I had probably over-done it today and French Dinner that night was rather spoiled by me feeling particularly rough again; now my other eye seemed to be infected and I was feeling terrible, so I went to bed early and had a rotten night, with a head-ache and what felt like glued-up eye-lids!

Friday 29th December 2000
Gustavia, St Barthélemy (St. Barts)
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We dropped anchor around 10am in glorious weather. John took the ship's tender and went to the beach again while the rest of us remained on board, enjoying the view of the luxury yachts including the brand new Tatoosh, 303ft long and with not one but 2 helipads, built for mobile phone magnate Craig McCaw and the beautiful Sea Cloud, built in 1931 for the heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. Here's a better photo of Sea Cloud taken in Mykonos in 1988 (See Photo:-)


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At anchor
off Gustavia (Dad's photo)
Ship's tender Sea Cloud
316ft built in 1931
Tatoosh
303ft with 2 helipads!

After lunch, we took one of the ship's tenders ashore and discovered that these "landing-craft" style boats were not good sea-boats; taking water over the bow, Andrew, Dad & John all got drenched!

St Barthélemy (often shortened to St Barts), is part of the French West Indies and was at this time a commune of Guadeloupe. Popular amongst the world's rich and famous, it is known for its charm, beauty and exclusivity. Unlike many islands of the Caribbean, it is clean, tidy and prosperous!


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Ashore in Gustavia
(Dad's photo)
The harbour of Gusavia, St Barts
(Dad's photos right & far right)
Meduse (1996)
197ft, sleeps 12

We had a pleasant walk ashore, admiring the boats in the harbour, including my favourite, Meduse. At 197ft long and sleeping 12, she was built in 1996 for Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft.

The language, cuisine and culture of St Barts is very French, as we discovered when we decided to have a drink in a pleasant harbourside bar where the service was surly and the atmosphere distinctly inhospitable. The barman clearly knew that we were only visitors and despite our being from one of the best cruise ships in the world, he clearly didn't consider us "suitable"!

Back aboard Crystal Harmony, we had dinner in "Prego", the ship's compilmentary Italian-style restaurant. Once again, Joyce didn't join us; still unwell, she had returned to the ship's doctor, who had kept her in for a drip. It seemed that Joyce was suffering from a form of pneumonia. Meanwhile, I was still taking flu' medication and eye drops for all I was worth!

Saturday 30th December 2000
Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
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We had to get up an hour early for US Immigration Inspection and, still full of the 'flu, this put me in a bad mood and did not enamour me of US destinations (an opinion that would not improve over the years!) Joyce meanwhile was feeling better but still had to go for another drip at 9am.

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From Paradise Point (709ft): Norwegian Majesty, Ocean Princess & Nordic Empress. Crystal Harmony in the distance (Dad's Photos)

This was our second time in St Thomas, the main attraction for cruise passengers being its duty-free dockside shopping mall! However, we discovered that we were not docked where we expected to be at Havensight near the town centre but at the old submarine base 2-3 miles the other side of town. Moreover, there was no shuttle service and we had to use the local taxis. We and many others complained at the front desk but to no avail. In later years, the area would be developed as another cruise ship terminal but at this time, there were practically no facilities near the ship.


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The Skyride Cable-Car (Dad's photos)
Norwegian Majesty, Ocean Princess & Nordic Empress
Refreshments and a View from 709ft
(Dad's photos)

Show Picture Full Size So while John went to the beach again, the rest of us took a taxi to Havensight, where we took the "Skyride" cable-car to Paradise Point on Flag Hill for the view and refreshments, before returning to the ship for a hot-dog lunch and a quiet afternoon on deck - with no view!
(left) My photo of Nordic Empress (1990: 48,563grt)

That evening, none of us could face the "Rock Around the Clock" show and the others turned in but Joyce & I tried the film "Gone in 60 Seconds" in the cinema, only to give up on that after 30 minutes; it was rubbish!

Sunday/Monday 31st December 2000 - 1st January 2001
2 Days at Sea
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Got a call from Dad at 7.15am, having been called by Joyce, who had been up since 2am in a state. Apparently, she had a coughing fit and got into a panic attack about not being able to breathe. The emergency doctor had been called in the early hours and by 9am, aside from still recovering from 'flu and a touch of pneumonia, she was much better and we were telling her off for "being silly"!


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The Avenue Saloon Joyce
& the Dancers Statue
Club 2100 New Year's Eve Dinner

So, with me and Dad also still off-colour, the rest of the day was spent being very quiet and we were thankful for two days at sea doing nothing! For the regular dance class, Joyce & I were observers only and even by the evening, our attempts were a bit of "damp squib". Nevertheless, it didn't stop us enjoying our formal evening dinner. Once again, I chose Oysters to start, followed by Lobster and with free Champagne provided by Crystal Cruises, we let-in the Real New Millennium.


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The Crystal Cove The Bistro The Atrium
& Caesar's Palace Casino
Mr Gay USA

New Year's Day delivered a calm sea and 74-degrees; quite pleasant. Another lazy day in "recovery mode", Team Trivia, Afternoon Tea and Dinner being the highlights, along with the young guy on the sun-lounger near me who for some reason I called "Mr Gay USA". I can't imagine why.
(right) Our favourite spot on the after-deck (Dad's Photo)
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It was the Captain's Farewell Party in the evening, our third free drinks party this cruise - and of course, the Baked Alaska Parade at dinner; better than average!

Tuesday 2nd January 2001
Nassau, Bahamas
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Show Picture Full Size 80-degrees at 8am and a good breeze. After the best night's sleep so far, I finally awoke feeling much better. Now it was nearly over, I was at last able to start really enjoying myself!

We docked in busy Nassau beside Imperial Majesty's lovely old Ocean Breeze, built in 1955 as Southern Cross for Shaw Savill Line. Following us in was Holland America's Rotterdam of 1997.
(left) Dad's photo of Crystal Harmony with Ocean Breeze (Southern Cross)


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Ocean Breeze
(Southern Cross of 1955)
Rotterdam Sovereign of the Seas & Rotterdam (left)
Fantasy & Ocean Breeze (right)
(Dad's photos)


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Sovereign of the Seas Dolphin Encounter
(Dad's photo)
My Dad & Joyce
Joyce is overwhelmed!
Show-off Finale!
(Dad's photo)


Today's Dolphin Encounter at Blue Lagoon Island was great fun; in the water with the dolphins, touching, hugging and even kissing them! Joyce was initially a bit overwhelmed and the water was a bit cold but Dad had some back trouble and only managed the first part of the experience.

The whole set-up was heavily commercialised. We had already paid $87 but they clearly didn't like people using their own cameras - probably because their own photographer was selling his set-piece photos of you for $14, as well as the "personalised video" for $58! Even so, it was an amazing experience and one you have to do at least once in your life!
(right) My $14 set-piece moment with one of the dolphins!
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The Senate House The Library Government House Grumman Mallard Seaplane
(Chalk's Ocean Airlines)

In the afternoon, took a walk around Nassau seeing some of the sights and came to the conclusion that, even though it enjoys a British heritage similar to Bermuda, the Bahamas has followed a different path in dealing with the expansion of tourism since the 1960's. As a result, while the outlying islands may be quieter, Nassau is busier, noisier and far more commercialised.


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Departure from Nassau (Dad's photos)
leaving Ocean Breeze, Fantasy, Rotterdam & Sovereign of the Seas

Sailaway was at 4pm and we were the first of the big ships to leave. With less than 200 miles to go, tomorrow would mark the end of our "Real Millennium Cruise" and there was the packing to do!

Wednesday 3rd January 2001
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
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We docked quite early in Port Everglades and I watched as Cunard's QE2 came into the berth behind us. Disembarking at 8.30am, we began the long journey home with a transfer to the local Fort Lauderdale Airport.
(far right) QE2 from Crystal Harmony
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Fort Lauderdale & the Bermuda Triangle
Today's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport began life in 1929 as "Merle Fogg Airfield" but in 1942, it was taken over and developed by the US Navy as the local Naval Air Station and this just happens to be the same airport from which the infamous "Flight 19" departed in 1945, never to be seen again. see The Bermuda Triangle >>

Wednesday 3rd - Thursday 4th January 2001
Flight(s) to London, UK - via Chicago again!

After a 3½-hr internal flight, we landed at Chicago O'Hare International at 2.40pm, where we had a 2-hr lay-over before our onward flight to London, Heathrow at 4.50pm. Here we said our goodbyes to Joyce, who was quite tearful and who was on a seperate flight back to Manchester.

Meanwhile, we boarded our flight around 4.30pm, only to be kept waiting 1½-hrs on the tarmac, while they fixed a faulty APU! The 8-hr overnight flight that followed proved tedious; the food was mediocre and the entertainment system very limited. Having suffered 'flu throughout much of the holiday, I wrote dismally in my diary, "And what with all the coughing, sneezing and squawking babies, it will be a miracle if we don't catch something else on the way back!"


See Detailed Mileage Log for this cruise >>

Cruise Mileage: 3,649 nautical miles
Total Mileage to date: 78,907 n miles

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