When we finally did leave the hotel, it was to pay a visit to the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science. I had made an interesting discovery about the museum on Saturday: I had been there before. It was very odd: boliver and I were standing in front of the museum using the Whisper Cones, and as I had my head turned toward the museum interest listening to what boliver was whispering into the other cone, I noticed the huge kinetic sculpture near the museum entrance and was suddenly struck with the idea that I'd seen it before. I visited the museum of one of my AOL Melrose Place friends during my first trip to Florida in 1995—and, apparently, promptly forgot having done so. Go figure. So anyway, now I've seen it twice. On this visit, I got to visit the IMAX theatre. We saw a pretty but boring movie about coral reefs. (Some of us slept through parts of it.)
After that, it was time to head to Port Everglades and check in for our cruise to Nassau. We boarded, found our cabins—outside rooms, with portholes and everything!—participated in the mandatory lifeboat drill, and returned to our cabins as we were guided out of port by a pilot boat. Soon enough, we had left Fort Lauderdale behind us and could see nothing but open seas ahead of us.
After dinner, the four of us walked around the Sun Deck, watching an unimpressive sunset. Eventually, Mr. Boliver decided to return to his cabin while boliver, rustydog, and I watched the World's Worst Variety Show. It was probably better than the variety show I took part in when I was in sixth grade, but it definitely wasn't as good as the variety show we saw on our Jungle Queen river cruise Saturday night. After the show, boliver and rusty retired to a pair of couches on the Promenade Deck, while I found a seat by the pool after exploring the ship.
We arrived in Nassau on Tuesday morning. The four of us disembarked and were promptly approached by a taxi driver offering a driving tour of the island. The price was right, so we piled in to his cab and were treated to a pretty good tour of Nassau. Which, truth be told, is kind of a depressing place. The Bahamas are at best a second world country, and without the tourist trade I don't think it would take long to descend to third world conditions. On the other hand, the government has a refreshingly frank approach to preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
After a brief stop at the historic Nassau water tower and the Queen's Staircase, our driver took us to Paradise Island to visit
After a brief walk through the resort, our driver dropped us off at a public beach where, he insured us, we would find someone who would rent us some snorkeling equipment. That turned out to be something of an overstatement, but we did find someone who would rent us a Jet-Ski. "Us" in this context means boliver and rusty. Neither Mr. B nor I had any interest in going into the water, so while the ladies were out on the water, we men stayed on the beach in the shade, reading. Good times.
Once the women returned from their Jet-skiing excursion and from a subsequent (and unusually lengthy) expedition to find an ATM, we all returned to the docks, where we sought out an Internet cafe, and did a bit of souvenir shopping. And then we returned to the ship. Having suffered through it once, we chose not to go to that evening's variety show; instead, we retired to the Card Room on the Promenade Deck to play Scrabble. Modesty prevents me from revealing who kicked whose butts. And then we went to bed. When we woke, Port Everglades was in sight, and by 9:00 AM we were back on terra firma and ready to drive up to Orlando for Phase Three of our trip.