The Hawk Eye

Cruising through the Bahamas

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I am terrified of flying in airplanes, especially over large bodies of water. It’s mainly because of my childish fear that the plane will end up crashing and I won’t be able to keep myself from drowning or being eaten by sharks. Now, imagine how scared I’d be traveling in a ship swaying back and forth, threatening to tip over, for four days.

Even with all of the safety precautions we learned about on our first day aboard the ship, I was confident something was going to happen. I felt so nervous that these fears flooded my dreams multiple times. Fortunately, the ship wasn’t too bad. I didn’t know I was on a ship until I laid still and felt the ship rock from side to side, which was surprisingly soothing.

A line of cruise ships docked at Key West, Florida.

It didn’t take long for me to get used to the conditions on the boat, due to the unlimited supplies of junk food and the vast amount of activities. However, I really regret not taking advantage of the clubs available aboard.

We started off in Miami and spent the whole day sailing toward Key West; this gave us time to explore the ship. The first day aboard was probably the only day we actually walked around the cruise ship. After getting our lunch and touring in and out of activity rooms, it was eventually time for dinner. Dinner was absolutely my favorite part of the cruise. I was more excited to walk into the diner than participate in the cruise activities. Trust me, the food was that good, or at least the appetizers and desserts were.

Along with the dinner, the locations where we docked were really beautiful. Although, I would’ve enjoyed Key West more if it wasn’t so humid. But I loved the Bahamas. Since it consisted of multiple islands, we couldn’t tour all of the Bahamas so we just went to Nassau. There, we took a tour around all of the different communities. It amazed me how the local children in these communities were so connected and how the streets of those neighborhoods were always filled with laughter, even if they were dealing with problems.

After going through the communities, our tour guide took us to his favorite food market by the coast to give us a taste of their coconut water. Since I really didn’t like coconuts, I wasn’t interested in tasting the coconut water, so I just stayed in the car observing the waves hit the rocky beaches and the crowd of the market. While I looked around, I found this local girl, around four years old, in a car nearby waving at me and making silly faces to make me laugh. So I played along and without even talking to her, we became friends. She was the cutest child ever and her innocence and happiness – despite all odds – inspired me.

Before we left the island, I wanted to get my hair braided the traditional way: intricate strands of individual braids, ending with beads at the end. Halfway during the braiding process I immediately regretted my decision; I just couldn’t bear the pain when my hair was constantly pulled. And by the time we got back to the ship and finished our dinner, I immediately took them out, even though they were supposed to last a couple of weeks.

My time in the Bahamas was less of a vacation and more of a lesson due to my exposure to the locals there. They taught me that nothing could come in the way of friendship and happiness, not even language barriers.

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