One of the best parts about our trip was obviously the islands. We stopped in 3 ports: Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. They were all gorgeous, average temperature of 90 degrees and crystal clear waters.
1st up: Nassau, Bahamas -
After much debate, we decided to swim with stingrays as our first excursion. The girls we were hanging out with also came with us. Unfortunately our time in Nassau was short, so the excursion took up our whole time there and we didn't get to explore much of the island. That's okay though, we had a great time. We took a ferry boat to a little, and I mean little, island called Pearl Island. The view getting there was gorgeous. On the way, we saw the Atlantis hotel, one of Oprah's homes, as well as some other huge celebrity homes owned by the likes of Tiger Woods, Chuck Norris and Barry Bonds right off the water. Once there, we started by snorkeling. Corey had never gone before and really enjoyed it. The waters were a little choppy, but once we learned to relax and go with the flow, we saw a lot of cool fish.
Then we moved to the other side of the island where we got to swim with the stingray. Our guide CJ "Ya Man!" had a very stereotypically Caribbean fun, relaxed, cool attitude. He was a ton of fun and put anyone's fears at ease by telling them not to think about what happened to Steve. Stingray deaths are EXTREMELY rare. I wasn't nervous at all. Once in the water, it was my goal (one of them) to see a sea turtle which I was told were around. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures to show, because most of them were taken with a disposable underwater camera, but it was so cool though. The stingray glided though the water and surprisingly it was really beautiful. CJ caught a little sea turtle and let us see it up close. I also found a huge sea turtle near the bottom of area where we were swimming. We ended the excursion by actually petting and holding a stingray ourselves. They feel like a wet mushroom. So cool. Thanks for the advice everyone.
As we headed back to the ship, we stopped to try some conch fritters (delicious) and get a couple souvenirs. There are little kids everywhere selling tchatchkies. They'd come up to us and ask for a dollar if they sing you a song. How can you resist?
The only bad thing that happened was that I cut my toe, I assume, on a rock at the bottom of the ocean. It bled a lot, but didn't hurt too much. I was mostly concerned with the ugliness of the band-aid on my toe in sandals for the rest of the week. So, we came up with a solution....
No one could tell the difference :)