Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Norwegian Sky Cruise: Bahamas | Days 1 & 2

March 7-8, 2016

My family had planned as early as Christmas to do a trip together over spring break - my sister and I coincidentally had the same week off - and the idea had originally been to rent a beach house for a week on the NC coast, as we've done multiple times in the past and have always enjoyed. So it came as a surprise when, barely three weeks out from break, my parents booked a 4-day cruise to the Bahamas aboard the Norwegian Sky.

This trip marked the second time I've visited the Bahamas; in fact, the Bahamas were the first country I ever visited outside of the US. I was excited to return to a (somewhat) familiar place, take in the astonishingly clear, blue seas, and enjoy all the complimentary food and drinks.

What I was not prepared for was the nature of our fellow cruise passengers. I was expecting a few other college students, but unbeknownst to us, Norwegian had rented out most of the rooms on the boat to a third-party vendor called College Party Cruise, which had filled the boat with the loudest and trashiest group of frat guys and sorority girls I have ever had the misfortune of meeting. This particular boat included unlimited alcohol, which meant that many of them were drunk the entire trip. On top of that, the College Party Cruise organiser had found several bars on the islands to partner with and the college kids would get off the boat hungover from the night before and get drunk on the islands, then return to the boat and continue drinking.

Now, I'm all for enjoying your vacation the way you want, but I had been expecting a vessel predominantly full of seniors and families, and instead I was surrounded by my less savoury peers. What I had assumed would be a fairly calm, quiet trip was full of long bar lines and constant yelling in the corridors.

Despite the unpleasant company, we were able to enjoy ourselves and relax. After the first day we figured out where the college kids would be most of the time and stayed to different areas of the ship - particularly the outdoor lounge/bar/dining area located on the 11th deck at the back of the boat, which offered some incredible ocean views. The first two days were largely spent on the boat - we spent day 2 was docked in Freeport, but aside from a quick trip ashore we opted to watch movies in the ship's theatre and relax on the back deck the whole day.

Though our ship's company was less than could be desired, it did not much diminish our enjoyment of the trip. We were able to quickly bond with other boat guests also taken unaware by the number of college students, and nearly all of the boat's areas that didn't contain a bar were completely empty and free to use. On days three and four - posts coming later - we were able to get out and explore the islands more without much interference from fellow passengers.

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