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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

[Day 3] Freedom of the Seas - Nassau, Bahamas (staying on the ship)

 Guest Post by Rachel Shingleton

Welcome to Nassau! If you remember from my day 1 post, the selling point for this itinerary was 2 days at CocoCay compared to only 1 day at CocoCay had we chosen to sail on the Mariner. The downside? No sea days ☹ Since we’ve been to Nassau many times before, and it’s far from being one of our favorite ports of call, we opted to make our own sea day today. We started off with a light breakfast from CafĂ© Promenade. I had this super-healthy red velvet donut –


It was actually pretty good, but way too heavy and sweet to be able to eat the whole thing. Probably for the best! We wanted to walk some laps and opted to do so on deck 4 instead of on the top deck jogging track since it was quite sunny and hot. We forgot that they were doing the lifeboat drill on deck 4 starboard, so really we just ended up walking back and forth down deck 4 port.

We discovered where they’re storing all the extra lounge chairs –


We were in port with the Mariner today


They’re building a new pier in Nassau



We heard an announcement that the lifeboat drill was over, so we decided to try and venture over to starboard. We made it quite a way and passed tons of employees, but about halfway down the deck an officer flagged us down and ushered us back inside. Guess that drill wasn’t quite over…



Since we’d had a bit of trouble using all 4 of our Diamond Drink Vouchers the day before, Judy wanted to be more proactive about using them today, so we decided to head up to the Solarium for a Screwdriver and Bloody Mary. We hung out there for an hour or so before deciding to go change into our swimsuits for some afternoon pool time. By the time we made it down the one flight of stairs to our room – it was raining! So, we passed time in the best way possible –

The rain passed quickly, and we headed up to the pool deck where we had no problem finding loungers. This is one thing I will definitely miss when cruising returns to full capacity! We were immediately greeted by a friendly bartender who strongly recommended that I get a Bailey’s Banana Colada. He’s the expert – who was I to argue?!


If you followed along on my Instagram takeover, then you already know what’s about to happen. There was a poop-in-pool incident. I have passed by pools on cruise ships that were closed for cleaning for this reason, but I don’t think I have ever been sitting RIGHT THERE when it happened. The culprit was easily identified by the lifeguard and everyone else on the pool deck. YIKES. It was a liiiiiitle bit funny though, because the same child who made the pool her toilet had also dropped half her ice cream cone on the pool deck about 15 minutes prior, and several of the adults near us had a good time joking – “steer clear of the ice cream, it goes right through ya!”

But in all seriousness, it took the maintenance guys about 10 minutes to get the pool covered, and the pool remained closed for the remainder of the day.



It was really hot today, and since it wasn’t actually a sea day, there wasn’t much of a breeze. We ended up spending most of our time in the shade before deciding to grab a late lunch from El Loco Fresh.


We really enjoyed El Loco Fresh and were so happy to have a quick-service food option right there on the pool deck. Much more convenient than going into the Windjammer!

We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out by the pool in the Solarium. Judy went back to the room ahead of me, and I decided to grab a drink from the Solarium bar to enjoy in the hot tub while I gave her a head start on the shower. There was a group of guys, probably in their early- to mid-twenties at the bar, and one of them struck up a conversation with me. We made small talk, and then out of nowhere, he points to the green #TheRoyalComeback bracelet on his wrist. You know, the one that indicates you are fully vaccinated? And he says, “I stole this.”

EXCUSE ME?! He tells me that one of his buddies, who was vaccinated, gave him his bracelet and then went to guest services, showed his proof of vaccination again, and got a new bracelet. I was floored. First of all, why would you do this? Second of all, why are you TELLING PEOPLE? He then proceeds to stick out his hand for handshake as he tells me his name. I looked at his hand and said, “I’m not so sure I want to shake your hand now.” All of his buddies erupted in laughter, which obviously left this guy feeling pretty embarrassed. He ushers the group away from the bar and as they’re walking off, I hear one of his buddies mutter “dude, you gotta stop telling people.”

I feel comfortable telling this story now because we were one of the last sailings out of Florida that allowed unvaccinated passengers over the age 12. If the wristband policy was still in place, I wouldn’t share this encounter, because I don’t want other people getting any ideas. Cruise lines have been doing everything they can to facilitate a safe return to cruising. Either comply with their regulations, or stay home.

Okay, back to the fun stuff! We stopped by the Suite Lounge to get a pre-dinner drink from our sweet bartender, Tom. The Suite Lounge was always pretty empty, but tonight we had it to ourselves –


They had these adorable chocolate strawberries tonight


As you guys are aware from my love of mozzarella sticks, I’m a fan of bar food. So, when I discovered that the Freedom received a Playmakers Sports Bar during her Amplification, I knew I had to go. Initially I thought we would do this as a lunch, but after our disappointing Main Dining Room experience, we were eager for alternative dinner options.


Rach loves steak and pub mix, Judy loves cheese plates and….BUD LIGHT! Seriously. She especially loves a 16oz Bud Light in the aluminum bottle. At Playmakers you can get a pitcher of beer for $18, which we thought was a great deal! These are the beers you can choose from


Bet ya can’t guess what we picked -


For dinner, Judy ordered the Playmakers Classic Burger with Playmakers Fries, and I had the “Minor League” buffalo wings


I ordered the 12 wings basket, but this was way more than 12. I’m pretty sure I counted 18. We really enjoyed our food, but even more than that, we LOVED the atmosphere. We had the most incredible waiters and bartenders who truly made our night so fun. Our primary waiter was Geemar, and he greeted us by welcoming us back. Wait, what? Have we been here? WE HAD! We stopped by Playmakers on Embarkation day and had a drink. Geemar said, “You ordered the jalapeno margarita, and you made a face after you took your first sip, like ooo spicy! And you had the Playmakers punch.” We were amazed at his memory. Throughout our dinner, he brought several of his friends over to meet us including Jayson and Iwayan. We loved chatting with them and hearing their stories about ship life and how the pandemic affected them. All three of them were working the bar at Captain Jack’s on CocoCay the following day and encourage us to stop by and see them.

We had a wonderful “sea day,” and were so excited to return to CocoCay for another Perfect Day!

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