The Captain’s Travels: Buccaneers & Bombshells – Day 6 – Drink Up Me Hearties!

Too late of a night and too early of a morning, but we arrived in Nassau without difficulty! After bypassing Freeport due to weather, our ship sailed onward to Nassau with plenty of time to spare; come evening, the ship came to a stop for a while, and we continued to cruise around in a wide berth to stay out of other traffic lanes since we were not yet scheduled to arrive.

Nassau (and the Bahamas in general) have a rich history when it comes to piracy, and the other pirates I met back at Gasparilla, Robert and Victoria, opted to don a more casual and comfortable version of their piratical garb for today’s shore adventures. None of my equipment lends itself to being casual, so regrettably I went incognito as a modern landlubber.

Naturally, our first stop of the day was the Pirates of Nassau Museum. I expected it to be a low quality tourist trap, but I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of information and attention to detail throughout the exhibits. Many of the displays featured rich backdrops and props, complete with wax figures representing famous people from the era. I’d recommend a visit to anyone with an interest in history and/or pirates, or those who just appreciate a good visual display.

Our piratical journey continued as we left the museum to visit the John Watling Rum Distillery, whereupon we were immediately greeted with a pina colada taster at the entrance. The tour was pretty minimal, focusing less on the distillation process and more on the rums themselves: the pale rum, aged 2 years and good for “passive” alcoholic cocktails like mojitos and pina coladas; the amber rum, aged 3 years and better for alcohol-forward cocktails (like a simple rum and coke); the buena vista rum, aged 5 years and great for sipping by itself; and lastly, the single barrel cask-strength rum, aged 4 years and bottled directly from the barrel. Each bottle of John Watling rum is packaged by hand, and all were available for tasting (either neat or in a cocktail) in the tasting room. The cask-strength rum has a wonderful flavor, but it is quite “bitey” and is best treated more like a fine scotch than a rum. I left with a bottle of each to bring home with me.

We briefly returned to the ship to drop off my four newly-acquired bottles of rum. We had a bit of time to spare before we needed to be back on board in time for departure, so we disembarked once more for a brief visit to the Nassau Straw Market, where dozens of merchants aggressively peddled their wares in tight spaces. The aisles were cramped, and the moment I stopped to look at anything that caught my eye, the merchant immediately threw an initial purchase price out to haggle, even though many times I simply appreciated the craftsmanship with no intention to purchase. I did purchase a few items, successfully haggling some of them to less than half of the initially suggested price, though upon further inspection one of them turned out to be a typical mass-produced boxed sailship with the plaque replaced to say “Bahamas” instead of the ship name. Oh well, it’s still a ship for my collection.

I skipped out of karaoke tonight, instead going to the official Carnival deck party on the Lido deck for all passengers. It started out alright, playing a few freeform dance-worthy songs, but as the crowd grew ever larger, it quickly became organized line dance after line dance, with the MC shouting words of encouragement into the mic as the mind-controlled drones clung onto his every word. My crew and I stepped to the side and opted to people-watch in amazement that apparently we’d all missed rehearsal. We didn’t stay for much longer before retiring to our respective cabins since we had yet another early morning – hopefully – as we made a second attempt to dock at Freeport.

Regrettably, I don’t have many photos of today’s adventures for reasons that will be apparent in tomorrow’s post.

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