Thursday, January 26, 2012


Okay, so this is my first Norwegian cruise and also my first to the Bahamas, and things are done a bit 'different'.  On all my past cruises, shore excursions met in a designated area on the ship and then were called individually to head to the bus.  Well this time it was leave the ship and wander around the pier area looking for your assigned waiting area.  STRANGE.
Our excursion was the Garden of the Groves, so we found our area, after asking, and waited.  Once on our bus the tour guide NEVER shut up.  A constant dialog about EVERYTHING we passed.  A few minutes pause would have been nice.  After what seemed at least 4 hours we arrived at our destination.
The Garden of the Groves was a private garden developed by the Groves and donated to the city.  Mr Grove was one of the leaders in developing Freeport in the 1940s.  The Bahamian government sold him LOTS of land VERY cheap, and he developed it into modern day Freeport.
The gardens were guided through featured many local plants and some imports.  They were laid out in a very nice way interspersed with water features,a maze and small chapel.  All of these items provide for a nice way to spend an afternoon, whether on a cruise or a local.  At the end of the tour were a few little shops with local products.
On the drive to our next stop, we had the opportunity to stop at a small beach.  It was a a great little stretch of sand and totally deserted.  There was a small parking area that was empty and only three houses across the street.  Most people on the bus did go down and walk on the sand, a few children did go in the water.
Once back on the bus, and the nonstop commentary, we headed to Lucaya Beach.  The Lucaya area is the resort area on Grand Bahama island.  It is lined with hotels, restaurants, shops, and the Casino.  We wandered around the shops, walked over to the Casino then re-boarded the bus.

Back on the bus it was a passenger by passenger questioning of where where you from, been here before , etc.  This session lasted about 15 minutes too long.  On the way back to the ship, the play by play continued, really need to know the facts on that gas station.  A quick wander around the little shops at the port and then back on the ship.
One of the main businesses at the Port of Freeport is a large dry dock.  Many ships based in South Florida will go to Freeport for renovations.  While having lunch after our Freeport experience, one of the Princess fleet was being renovated and updated.

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