Necessities Tour and Travel FantasyFest Nude Cruise October 25 - November
November 1 -Final Day at Sea
Instead of cruising in the warm and sunny
Caribbean sea, our captain took the Atlantic route. The day started warm
and sunny, but by noon was cloudy, cooler and rainy. The ocean was very
rough, white caps and rolling waves giving us a rough ride. Bad captain!
Then went to the final art auction. Park West has to be the biggest art rip off in the world. I stayed for an hour because I was fascinated by people paying hundred and thousands of dollars for lithographs, which are basically prints, of genuine art. The artists they push the most are Peter Max and Kincaid, and it was stunning to see people regard these as collectable art. It's all salesmanship: a slick handsome, sophisticated looking man telling tales about the value of these. Of course, being captive on the ship, there's no way to research or check prices elsewhere, unless you go online and do some research. Amazing.
We got our disembarking information regarding
ship procedures. On this cruise, you can either take your own luggage
off the ship and be the first group to disembark, or put the luggage out
tonight, then get off the ship at designated times, claim your luggage
at the terminal so you don't have to haul it around. Decisions, decisions.
Just to show you how Carnival cruise has fallen since our last cruise, there was no Baked Alaska dessert at our final dinner!
Last minute shopping included the $10 items: watches, evening bags, and other little things women like for cruises. Then there were two raffles today for $100 shopping sprees. Awwww.....I didn't win either.
Packing is done. Luggage is ready to go out the door for pick up. The mini-fridge in the cabin is locked. The cruise is almost over. Be sure to check back in a few days, when I will add photos of Fantasy Fest and other cruise photos, and will write a review of the Carnival Miracle and our experience with Bare Necessities nude cruises. We are booked on the Big Nude Boat in 2013, and if you want to book a nude cruise on a big cruise ship, this looks like it will be a good one. Hope you are able to cruise on the Big Nude Boat with us!
October 31, Halloween - Grand Turk
Today was my most fun day of the cruise. The ship spent the morning completing the voyage to Grand Turk, and the sea was that classic, beautiful Caribbean blue. I enjoy the music and party atmosphere of the Lido deck, but I also enjoy the serenity of being on the balcony in my cabin, where I can be close to the sea, and relax to the sight and sound of the water. And that's where I spent the morning, until we docked next to the Holland American Eurodam on the Grand Turk pier. We were supposed to be fully clothed on deck in port, but when it's hot and sunny, underwear feels awful. However, today it was so windy, underwear was necessary!
There isn't anything interesting in the port, except shopping, and I had saved my shopping for this port. I did all my shopping at Goldsmiths, where they had a great selection of Grand Turk/Caicos things, finally got a tote bag and pareo, and bargained down a larimar stingray pendant necklace from $295 to $125. Then went back to get Tom a hat and tee shirt, and they gave me a tropical shirt for him free. Jewlery is very over priced at these cruise port stores. I saw a coin pearl necklace for $475 that I sell on my web site for under $100, so I guessed bargaining was expected.
I am not a beach person, but the beach here was the best beach I have ever been to. The water was clear and warm. I had on a tube dress when I went ashore, and went in the water up to my knees, then a wave came in and I got soaked. We decided to go back to the ship, get swim wear and spend some time at the beach. The Eurodam was leaving at 2 PM, but it's not legal to go topless or nude on these beaches.Tom had swim trunks, and I put on a black bra and Tom's black G-string he wore at Fantasy Fest and we headed back to the beach. It was fabulous. We walked about half a mile and found very nice conch shells. And we found people who decided to be nude just a little farther up the beach. Grand Turk truly has the best beach, and I had the best time there.
I found at at dinner that there were quite a few photos taken of me playing on the beach!
Halloween costume party after dinner, although many people wore their costumes to dinner, so another fun dinner time.
Tomorrow is our final day of the cruise, and a day at sea. I looked at the schedule of events, and there's lots to do including a group Cypress Cove photo. Can't believe it's our last day!
October 30 - Day at Sea
This was our first sunny and warm day, and we have been at sea all day. Not surprising, there were not many cruisers up for breakfast and we saw lots of room service trays by the cabin doors. When people started getting up and around, many of the women still had their body paint on. When you pay $100 for body paint, you want to enjoy it as long as possible. We still had remnants of glitter and paint after two showers.
I explored the fitness center this morning, looking for a hot tub that was hotter than the ones by the pools and found the one inside a little warmer. I had a good soak, then tried out the sauna, and the steam room, too.
We met a lot of people today, including quite a few life-styler cruisers, a porn star, the owners of Mira Vista resort, several people who had lived in Ohio, a few Canadians. We lingered at breakfast and lunch, and at the pools to get a chance to talk to people. That's one of the things we really enjoy on these nude cruises, meeting all kinds of people.
All the deck chairs at the pools were occupied, most of them not by people, occupies by towels. I had sent an email to Bare Necessities prior to the cruising requesting that the BN staff remove towels from chairs that have been unoccupied for a long time so people can use them. There are always BN staff around the pools, but they don't "do" anything, and it would be nice if they at least removed towels so other people could use the chairs. But they didn't. I spend most of the afternoon on my balcony getting some sun and quiet time, another priority for me on cruises. There is always music, really loud music, by the pools and that's fun for awhile, and almost everyone I talk to agrees that it's just too loud most of the time.
We went to the show tonight, Beatles music and a good show. Played in the casino, looked for zombies.
A quiet and relaxing day, no photos since we were in the nude areas and no photo areas most of the day. Tomorrow we arrive in Grand Turk at noon. We don't have any excursions scheduled and we have to be back on board by 6 PM, so will wander around, see what turns up.
October 28 and 29 Key West Fantasy Fest
The weather continues to be cloudy and some showers all day as we made our way to Key West. We watched the body painting onboard for awhile, then got into our outfits and costumes so we could head to Duval Street in Key West as soon as our ship got into port. As we pulled into port, another Carnival ship was pulling out and of course there were nude people on our ship on their balconies, on the decks, and lots of cheering from both ships. We later found out that the other ship was supposed to go to Cancun but because of the storm they were going to Bahamas.
But first, we had to all go through immigration, and it was announced that we couldn't have paint on and had to be fully dressed for the customs and immigrations officials. They didn't make a big deal of it, though, and it took about 90 minutes for all of us to individually clear immigration.
Fantasy Fest is a huge party on the streets, in the bars and restaurants, and everything is packed with people. You can wear "regular clothes", fantasy costumes, or wear body paint as clothes. You walk around, take photos, get your photo taken, drink, eat, meet people, party. Friday's People's Parade was 5-7 PM, which we just missed but amazingly we caught up with friends from the ship, took lots of photos, then went to Hog's Breath for food and beer.
It had been drizzling rain all evening, but it started pouring rain while we were eating, so we made our way back to the ship. Good thing none of us were wearing paint as clothes, because we would have been nude as the paint washed off.
Saturday we wandered around Key West in the morning, did a little shopping and got some really unique things, had some lunch and one of my favorite things to eat: Key Lime pie dipped in chocolate, frozen and on a stick. Mmmmmm.
Then in the evening, the highlight of Fantasy Fest week, the Captain Morgan's Fantasy Parade. We like to go to the post office where the parade begins to watch it, Some friends who did not go on the cruise had set up chairs and coolers there earlier in the day, so we had a good spot. Bare Necessities had a float and tossed out beads with their logo on it. The parade was about two hours. We took a lot of photos, and when I get home I will make a Fantasy Fest photo page to add to this blog. Too many other things to do now! If you have never been to Fantasy Fest, you really have to see it, experience, to believe. Amazing.
The only reason I'm blogging now is to rest my feet for a few minutes so I can put shoes on and go meet friends for the rest of the evening's fun. Tomorrow is a day at sea, one of the things I like best about cruising.
Thursday October 27 - Day at Sea
Hurricane Rina has had a great effect on our weather and sea conditions even though it is hundreds of miles away. Last night the wind was roaring when we were on deck 9 and 10 and the ocean really rought. Our captain moved the ship north, and it looks like we have been off the east coast of Florida, east of Miami most of the day. So the seas are more calm today, no white caps. But we have had bands of rain that don't last long, and it's been mostly cloudy all day. The temperature outside has been warm and comfortable. And the temperature inside has been comfortable, too, not as cold as on other cruises.
We decided to have breakfast in the Bacchus dining room instead of the buffet this morning, and were seated with a couple we knew from Green Valley Nudist Club in Ohio. It was fun talking with them, catching up on people we knew from Green Valley.
There have been a lot of actvities throughout the day. Keith has won the most "ships on a stick" for winning trivia challenges, and our Cypress Cove group is going to have a lot of those ships before the end of the cruise. Other friends have been winning medals in games, and Marilyn won $200 in bingo.
Tom wanted to slide down the big water slide today, and went three times. I tried to get his photo on the slide, but camera wasn't fast enough to catch him as he went speeding past. Although it was cloudy and some rain, there were a lot of people outside in deck chairs.
One of our group was in quarantine since dinner yesterday. We thought she was only seasick, but she was so ill she went to the ship's doctor, who told her she had a virus, gave her a shot, and she stayed in her room all day in quarantine. She thought she could have fun ordering room service for food, but the kitchen had "doctor's orders" to only let her eat certain things. She was happy to get out of quarantine this evening. She's not the only one with a virus, and we are all taking extra care to use that sanitizer every time we see it.
The evening show was "Singing with the Big Bands", with Christoper the singer star, a talented performer. All of the entertainers make some amusing comments about our nudity, and he did, too. But as he was changing costumes, we were surprised to see him start taking clothes off, and we cheered him on as he took it all off and sang "My Way" in the nude. He is the first performer in any of the ship shows that "joined in" by doing some of the performance nude. Of course he got a standing ovation.
The day ended with Parrothead Party, and I'll let the photos show what I'm too pooped to write:
Photos take a long time to upload on the ship's satellite internet, so I have included small size and only a few, but when I get home I'll add more, so be sure to come back later in November to see more photos.
Tomorrow we dock in Key West in the afternoon. We'll spend the afternoon getting our costumes and body paint ready to join in with the People's Parade as soon as we can get off the ship. The next blog post may be when we are at sea on Sunday.
Half Moon Cay
Half Moon Cay is a private island owned by Carnival cruise. The tenders started taking passengers at 8:30 AM, and we were finally ready to go at 10:30. Two years ago when we went on this cruise, Tom took his first and only parasailing adventure. It was not a very safe experience, and the parasails ripped to shreds on the person before him, but he got up really high, and decided it was a once-in-lifetime event for him. There was no parasailing this time, probably because of the windy conditions. The day was a mix of overcast clouds and sun, warm and really comfortable temperature, and the water was warm and refreshing. Not everyone got nude, although most of us were nude all the time. Sharing some of our great day in the photos below:
If you want to see more, you have to join one of these cruises!
Tonight was Captains Night, "Red" theme night. The Carnival dining room menu sure has changed since two years ago with fewer selections, no more shrimp cocktail appetizers, and lower quality food. I don't think we will starve, though, and there won't be any dessert deprivation. They still have the warm melting chocolate cake with ice cream, the highlight of dinner. One of our friends always takes many photos at dinner on all our cruises of the food, the dinnerware and utensils, and I don't think he took more than three photos at our last two dinners. Not that impressive. So maybe we won't all have to go on diets and to exercise classes when we get back.
And some of us love to watch movies in the theater onboard all our cruises, but that's a thing of the past, also, on the Carnival Miracle. We even brought warm clothes to wear for movie time.
There's several trivia games througout the day, and our Cove people have been winning the "ship on a stick" prize as we have very good trivia players and much competition every weekend at the Cove to keep in practice.
Tomorrow is our first full day at sea. I don't know how those long and lazy days at sea go by so fast, but they do.
October 26, 2011
We boarded at Ft Lauderdale and arrived just as the cabin rooms were available for check in, and our luggage arrived very quickly. We caught up with our traveling companions and friends in the buffet for a quick late lunch. Time goes by so fast on the cruise ships and before we knew it, we were casting off from the pier.
Hurricane Rina is growing somewhere in the Gulf of Mexicao, and although it is hundreds of miles away from, the sea is quite rough and we will probably get caught up in this storm somewhere during our cruise. In fact, this morning when I was watching the sun rise, there were "red sails". (Navy wisdom: "Red sails in the morning, sailors taking warning. Red sails at night, sailors delight") Within an hour of setting sail, two friends told me they were seasick already, and by dinner, two more were quite ill. I always put on my Sea Bands as soon as I get on the ship, and even with the rolling, I am feeling fine, and I get seasick very easily. Good thing we brought the ginger tea, and there's even acupuncture treatment on board to help with this. Perhaps the rough seas account for the dining room not being very full tonight for dinner.
The captain sounded the horn about an hour after casting off, but only a few got nude right away. It was nearly time to get ready for early dinner sitting, which requires clothing. There are many first time nude cruisers, somewhat cautious about getting nude, so still most had clothes on, although Tom took his off after a "before" photo.
I don't know how the evening went by so fast. At the 10:30 ship's show, the Bare Necessities staff "unveiled" their announcement of their new nude cruise, May 31-June 14, 2014 aboard the Paul Gauguin to Fiji, including Vanuatu, Ile de Fou, Noumea, Iles des Pins, Tanna, Mololo, and Lautoka to end the cruise. They said the Tahiti cruise is sold out, but waiting list is available. Why am I spending my precious cruise time advertising for them? Because there is nothing as wonderful as being on a cruise, unless of course it is a nude cruise. And we want more!
And hope to get some "after" photos as we all get in the spirit of things today on Half Moon Cay.
Please note: uploading this blog to the web site is challenging on ship's internet and photos and text may not look right, and will try to fix it after we return.
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