will be offering an exciting cruise opportunity this October. Not
only will we be sailing on Carnival’s newest ship, the Magic, we
will be sailing to our most requested destination – The Bahamas.
The best news is that we will be leaving from our own home port of
Galveston on the Magic. Even better news is that we will be sailing
mid October, outside of the most dangerous hurricane season.
This year's trip is scheduled to depart on Sunday, October 14th, and
cruise on over to the beautiful Bahamas Islands. We will
return on Sunday, October 21st.
Enjoy seven nights experiencing luxury and grand style while sailing
the Caribbean Sea! Dance your hearts out for a solid week with your
friends from the studio.
This is our twenty fifth SSQQ Cruise Adventure. Did you know we have
taken well over 1800 people sailing over the years? As my
husband is fond of saying, we haven't a single passenger yet.
You can expect plenty of Slow Dance, Romance, and a great deal of
Before you read any further it is important that you know there is
all kinds of danger on SSQQ Cruises, especially for women.
It is a well-documented fact from previous trips is that the ladies
of the group are rendered helpless at sea. That ocean air is
intoxicating and their defenses are down. Any man who can dance and
smile is certain to be one heck of a popular guy aboard this trip!
This trip is safe for no woman.
But better be careful, guys, you aren't invulnerable. We know from
experience that Cupid is always lurking just around the corner and
he may just have your number! So cruise at your own risk. You think
you can dance your way out of any trouble, but you could easily fool
around and fall in love... after all, we have a long list of couples
who connected on our cruises and ended up getting married.
Assuming you still want to come with us even though you have now
been warned of the dangers, here is the Itinerary for this trip.
Day One: Sunday
We set sail on Sunday,
October 14th at 4:00 pm out of Galveston.
Now as the evening draws near, we begin our adventure. The first
night will include a Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party prior to dinner.
The party gives everyone the opportunity to say hello and get
acquainted before we sit down for our group dining.
As in the past, Rick will bring along our portable Music Machine and
he will DJ as we dance in our own private venue into the wee hours
of the morning.
Day Two: Monday, Day at Sea
We are at sea, so this
is the perfect time for dance classes in the morning. Foxtrot,
Waltz, Rumba, Cha Cha, Swing or Western. You name it; we have fun!
I will try my best to have two workshops to choose from.
Come afternoon, it is definitely time to check out that awesome
Waterworld Complex and the many hot tub venues! I am sure the group
will have fun on the super long waterslides.
And how about a challenge on the Ropes Course on the Sports Deck?
Monday will be the first Formal Night.
The group typically drifts over to the Main Lounge for the Captain's
Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party. This is your chance to join the rest
of the Dance Group to put on a real show. This is the perfect
opportunity to show off your ballroom dance skills in front of the
entire ship. Expect to Foxtrot, Waltz, Swing and Slow Dance to the
Big Band music played by the ship's orchestra. "In the Mood" and
"Moonlight Serenade" will be your inspiration!
We are always the stars of this evening as the other passengers
smile and gaze at our dancing with appreciation. This evening is
definitely one of the highlights of the trip!
Day Three: Tuesday – Key West, Florida
Our first stop is Key
West, Florida. We arrive at 10:00 am and the ship will set sail at
6:00 pm as it continues on towards Freeport, The Bahamas.
Discover a city where real estate titles date back to the
Kings of Spain. Stroll the palm-lined streets and discover
gingerbread mansions, tin-roofed conch houses, the John Audubon
House and Ernest Hemingway's home. Walk in the footsteps of Thomas
Edison, Lou Gehrig, Harry Truman, and Tennessee Williams.
Gaze at the fabled treasure of the galleon Atocha. Discover
tomorrow's fine art treasures by Key West's well-known and unknown
In Key West, you can visit these and a host of other attractions by
taking advantage of convenient public transportation, taxis, pedi-cabs,
tour trains, trolleys, bicycles or even your own two feet.
With its balmy weather and crystal blue skies, the island is famous
among the outdoors set for its diving, fishing, watersports, and
golfing at nearby Key West Golf Club, a course designed by Rees
The streets are filled with jugglers, mimes, musicians and street
artists. The streets are filled with sidewalk cafes, open-air bars,
legendary pubs and world-class restaurants. Gourmets and gourmands
alike treat their palates to island specialties.
As you enjoy these sights, you'll discover that modern Key West is a
warm-hearted place where all are welcome. ONE HUMAN FAMILY is the
official philosophy of the island community of Key West and Monroe
County; a simple motto which serves not only as a shining example of
daily life here, but as one that is openly shared with global
neighbors throughout the world.
However you choose to see the town, you'll discover that old town
Key West is one of America's true architectural and botanical
treasures. On even the tiniest lanes, the locals have faithfully
restored old wooden homes and adorned them with lush tropical trees
Key West's African cultural heritage is represented by the vibrant
Bahamas Village neighborhood, founded in the early 1800s by Africans
migrating from the Bahamas, and in historic churches, indigenous
food and annual festivals.
Among Key West's most significant African cultural sites is the 1860
African Burial Ground, located on the island's Atlantic Ocean shore
beside a Civil War-era fort. It is believed by experts to be
America's only African refugee cemetery. A memorial honoring the
buried Africans is being constructed at the site.
New restaurants and stores fill the historic Bahamas Village
neighborhood, which was settled in the 19th Century by Bahamian
immigrants. Hemingway loved coming here to mix with the hard-working
locals at boxing matches and arm-wrestling contests
The Island's seafaring tradition lives on at the renovated Historic
Seaport district, known locally as the Key West Bight. Dozens of
shrimp boats once called this harbor home. These days, "the Bight"
is a popular place to arrange a day on the water, whether you are a
diver, snorkeler, fisherman or eco-tourist. Others come just to
stroll along the harbor walk or dine at one of the many restaurants.
One note on Key West:
In the past, we have organized a group walk over to Sloppy Joe's for
a morning of dancing and drinking. You might want to keep your
ears posted for our return visit to this favorite hot spot.
Four: Wednesday, Freeport
We arrive in Freeport,
Bahamas on Wednesday at 8:00 am.
Departure time is 5:00 pm.
Freeport is the Hong Kong of the Americas
Where Nassau is a blend of the old and new, Freeport/Lucaya is a
modernistic planned city, and is situated on the Bahamas' second
most popular tourist destination, the Island of Grand Bahamas.
Grand Bahamas Island is the second most popular tourist destination.
Here you will find long stretches of deserted clean-white beaches,
inviting hotels, one major casino, nighttime entertainment and
world-class scuba diving facilities and land and sea sports.
Freeport is the resort
center of the Island where much action can be found. On the eastern
and western ends of the Island are serene and quaint settings and
finding hide-away spots is not uncommon. Shopping is also a feature
as one can stroll through Port Lucaya and discover duty-free
treasures from around the world.
Like New Providence, the larger Grand Bahamas boasts (more) miles of
pearly white beaches, and luxurious hotels. Unlike Nassau, the less
populated outskirts of Grand Bahamas supply more serene and tranquil
surroundings (read deserted beaches) popular amongst those who
desire private hideaway spots reminiscent of the Family Islands.
According to a census
taken in 1990 stated that there are 40,898 persons living in Grand
Bahamas, of which 12% were non-Bahamians, and 88% were Bahamian.
For those into nature, Grand Bahamas is also home to one of the
oldest underwater cave systems in the world, situated at the Lucayan
National Park. Lucayan National Park comprise one of the longest
underwater cave systems in the world, which is also among the most
environmentally distinct. The vast tunnel system, accessible by both
land and sea, was created over eons by the seepage of acidified
rainwater into the island's limestone base. Nobody thinks of pine
forests, huge caves brimming with stalagmites, and pidgeon plum
trees. Surely, such a landscape belongs to some other place,
Colorado maybe. Pine trees, after all, just don't sound tropical.
Well, they are.
At Lucayan National
Park (about 25 miles east of Freeport) you'll see thousands of them,
along with mangroves, ferns, and dozens of rare flower species,
including orchids. You'll probably come back with a whole new idea
of what the islands are. The 40-acre park, established in 1982,
provides an unparalleled glimpse into the complexities of the Grand
Bahamian environment, where the beaches represent only one of six
distinct ecosystems -- all of which are present in the park.
Another choice for nature lovers would be to visit the Garden of the
Groves. Considered one of the finest botanical Gardens in the
Caribbean, the Garden of the Groves has more than 10,000 species of
flowers, shrubs, trees, and exotic plant life. Along it’s shaded,
winding paths are several waterfalls, exotic native birds and an
old-fashioned chapel. It is also an ideal spot for those simply
seeking a serene setting for quiet reflection.
Be sure to make a stop at the Rand Memorial Nature Centre - This 100
acre park is part of the Bahamas National Trust, and it offers the
best birding on the island. Along its trails you'll see about 130
varieties of native plants, including magnificent wild orchids. When
you arrive at the famous observation deck at Flamingo Pond, you'll
be glad that you brought your camera. The birds are vibrantly
colored and comfortable with tourists. You'll capture some great
photos of whimsical flamingos, thrushes, tanagers, hawks,
hummingbirds, and more.
Our ship will dock at Lucaya Harbor, which is a 10-minute drive from
the city of Freeport and about a 25-minute ride from Lucaya. Taxis
will line up at the pier; if you are taking a taxi to the beach,
arrange a time for your driver to pick you up. A taxi for two to
Lucaya will cost $25; if you ride in a collective van with other
visitors the fare is a quite reasonable $5 per person each way.
If you are a shopper it will be a toss up as to visit the 10-acre
International Bazaar downtown Freeport or Port Lucaya. Since they
are several miles away from each other, and it doesn’t make much
sense to try to go to both in our one-day. The International Bazaar
provides a great choice for shopping. The bazaar is divided into
sections that represent different parts of the world. You will see
sections representing India, the Orient, Africa, France, South
America, and the Bahamas. You can find bargains on many items such
as French perfume, Rolex watches, cigars, leather goods, jewelry,
and there is a Straw Market, where you can get local arts and
crafts, and a perfume factory, where you can make and name your own
At the Perfume Factory
of Fragrances you mix your own special fragrance or you can purchase
a unique fragrance created and manufactured right on the premises.
The Perfume Factory is located in a replica of an old Bahamian
mansion. The International Bazaar has nearly 100 specialty shops and
If you are a gambler, another draw to go to the Bazaar is that there
is a Las Vegas style casino on premise
Day Five: - Thursday, Nassau, The Bahamas
Rick and I explored Nassau's Sister Island, Paradise Island in
2010. Be sure to read Rick's write-up of our day:
Atlantis Bahamas Resort
We had so much fun that
we absolutely must go back. Rick and I will be most definitely be
spending the day here. There simply wasn’t enough time to try out
all the slides... Perhaps, a group excursion?
Venture east on Bay Street from the city's core and you come to a
bridge that takes you to "Paradise," with posh luxury resorts
(including the world famous Atlantis Bahamas Resort, the Caribbean's
largest casino, plus exciting nightlife on an island formerly called
The Atlantis resort is
absolutely spectacular. Atlantis wasn't designed to be just visited;
this resort was designed to be experienced! Atlantis has the world's
largest marine habitat, the largest casino in the Bahamas (and the
Caribbean,) a 15 million dollar marina, lagoons, and waterfalls and
even includes the underwater ruins of Atlantis itself. One of the
highlights of the water park area is The Mayan Temple Water Slides
Leap of Faith Slide: An almost 60 foot vertical drop propelling
riders at speeds of 35 miles an hour culminating with a pass through
a clear acrylic tunnel submerged in the shark filled lagoon.
Serpent Slide: Spin
through the temple's mysterious core then passes through a predator
lagoon at a leisurely pace
The Challengers: Race down high speed dual slides
Jungle Slide: Meander through exotic caves and jungle
Other features at the Atlantis Bahamas Resort include the Lazy River
Ride which is the quarter mile meandering for tubing; Eleven pool
areas; Paradise Lagoon, which boasts a 7 acre saltwater lagoon for
snorkeling with thousands of tropical fish; There are eleven
saltwater habitats spread out over the Atlantis resort, with over
100,000 marine animals comprising over 150 species.
There is a recent addition of the Marina Village that features
dining and shopping in a quaint Bahamian village setting.
The bridges to the Island (there are actually two - one for coming
and one for going) can be walked but most people cab over. Speedy
boat taxis are also available which connect with dockside limo
services on both islands.
That said, Atlantis
isn't for everybody. There is much else to do in Nassau.
Nassau in the Bahamas
is the most popular Bahamas island vacation destination. Located on
the island of New Providence, Bahamas, Nassau is the capital city
and has been the centerpiece of this island nation since the
shipwrecking days of Blackbeard the pirate. A busy hub of
international commerce and finance, Nassau is the most cosmopolitan
city in the Bahamas Islands, the seat of government and a vibrant
center for tourism, as well as world-class entertainment. While
there is no local government, it is governed directly as an
administrative division of the national government. Nassau is
considered a historical stronghold of pirates.
Here is a little Bahamian pirate history: Privateers and pirates
were essentially the same thing: privateers simply carried a
government license called a "Letter of Marque." Those whose ships
were plundered made little distinction, and when potential gain
increased, many privateers turned to indiscriminate piracy. For the
most part, these marauders were beneficial to the Crown's interests,
as they often ransacked enemy merchant ships. However, once a rogue,
always a rogue, and the Crown's own ships became fair game when a
convenient opportunity arose.
By 1700, the pirates
actually ruled Nassau (insofar as lawless riot and drunken revelry
constitute rule), and chased off to Great Exuma most of what
remained of the law-abiding citizenry. Edward Teach, the notorious
Blackbeard took Fort Nassau as his residence and played cat and
mouse games with the British Royal Navy. Finally in 1718, the
British Crown had had enough and decided that the pirates needed
The British government
appointed the former privateer Woodes Rogers as Royal Governor of
the colony, and he began his campaign by offering royal pardons to
those who would cease their illegal activities. However there were a
few exceptions: Blackbeard, a swashbuckler named Charles Vane, and
eight other pirates were sought for criminal prosecution. Blackbeard
and Vane escaped--the latter after burning a ship to cover his
getaway. Blackbeard was eventually killed in June 1718 off the coast
of Virginia in a legendary sea battle.
Nassau Bahamas history has been preserved nicely in Victorian
mansions displaying elegant noble architecture, cathedrals,
weather-beaten 18th-century forts and a hand-carved Queen’s
Staircase, whose 66 steps lead to a view of the island not to be
Vacationers know Nassau as a vacation playground of fine white-sand
beaches and exciting nightlife. International business people know
Nassau Bahamas as a financial center and a starting point for global
Weather in the Bahamas is almost always warm and sunny. Soft-sand
beaches washed by clear turquoise-colored water surround the island
of New Providence. Waving palm trees and bright red & pink hibiscus
thrive in Nassau's year-round mild climate and warm weather.
You can scoot around the island on a rented motor scooter, rental
car or bicycle (be sure to drive on the left-hand side of the road,
British style); or cruise out to spend the day scuba diving or
snorkeling the coral reefs; go fishing for dolphin, tuna or wahoo;
play tennis or golf; take an Out Island excursion or just lay back
to snooze in the sun.
Visit the historic forts or shop for bargains along Bay Street,
Nassau's famous international shopping location. Liquor, perfume,
jewelry and china are favorite items for duty-free shoppers, along
with fine local and international crafts plus native goods, from
handmade yards of batik to fine jewelry & Rolex watches. The best
buys and shopping bargains can be found among the straw craft items
and souvenirs at the Straw Market.
The stores on Bay Street are flanked by picturesque, pastel
pink-colored Colonial-style Government buildings erected in the
early 1800s by Loyalists, including the Houses of Parliament, the
old Colonial Secretary's Office and the Supreme Court all
surrounding a marble statue of Queen Victoria. Dare to take a royal
climb up the 66 steps of the Queen's Staircase, which was carved out
of calcareous, a coral-based sandstone at the end of the 18th
century? The stupendous view will be your prize for making it to the
Parliament Square in downtown Nassau Bahamas is the traditional
center of Bahamian government. Each season, the Opening Ceremonies
of the Supreme Court fill the square with pomp and pageantry.
Further downtown stands Fort Charlotte. Built in 1788, it is
complete with moat, open battlements; even dungeons
The number one photo op on the island is the balcony of 18th-century
Balcony House, which also happens to be Nassau's oldest wooden
structure. Step inside this island landmark to see the mahogany
staircase said to have been salvaged from a shipwreck in the
One of the most popular cultural stops on the island is the
18th-century Fort Charlotte. It's fun to roam the dungeons and
underground passageways and see the waterless moat -- but some say
the amazing views of the harbor from the ramparts are the real
don't-miss here. Two other forts worth checking out are Fort
Fincastle (overlooking the town from Bennet's Hill) and Fort Montagu
(on East Bay Street).
As you go east, just past the bridge to Paradise Island, there is
the boating heart of Nassau / Paradise Island with a number of
marinas with boats for hire. The East End is also a delightful
residential area showing the full flavor of Nassau's colonial past
in its architecture & horticulture. Big houses with wide breezy
verandas face the sea.
To the west of Nassau is Cable Beach. Heading in the other direction
you will discover Cable Beach, the Bahamian Riviera, with its luxury
hotels, casinos and world famous beachfront. Cable Beach got its
name in 1907 from the laying here of transatlantic telephone cables
linking what was an isolated Bahamas to the rest of the world. But
these days, the world comes to The Bahamas to see what it has been
For those who prefer a quieter, more serene island experience, it
can be found even farther west. Once you leave the downtown area,
the pace is slower. For example, the section of West Bay Street that
leads to Cable Beach is nicknamed "Go Slow Bend." Beyond Cable
Beach, the island's environment is transformed. Large tracts of pine
trees dominate the central-west portions of New Providence, with the
island's perimeter marked by miles of fine white sand beaches.
The Coral Harbour development, on the southern side of New
Providence Island, is a quiet, opulent community in a palm-clad
setting. Its winding canals offer easy access to the sea. West of
Coral Harbour, there is Adelaide, a tiny village with narrow
streets. It was one of the first Black settlements established after
the abolition of slavery. The area is a lovely, secluded spot for
activities such as fishing or swimming. At the tip of New
Providence, there is Lyford Cay, an exclusive residential enclave.
There is certainly no shortage of restaurants and lounges either.
Enjoy almost any type of international cuisine or experience native
recipes that will wake up your taste buds like never before. Conch
fritters, grouper fingers, peas 'n' rice, boiled fish, johnnycake
plus guava duff are just a few of the tasty dishes, all of which go
"just right" with a tropical drink in your hand.
Nassau is one of the Caribbean's premier duty-free shopping
destinations, with visitors flocking to the shops of Bay Street to
seek out deals on jewelry, crystal, fragrances and other upscale
items. Keep in mind that all duty-free goods are not necessarily
good deals; if you have a particular item in mind for purchase, be
sure to research prices at home before your trip to make sure the
"deals" you see in Nassau really will save you money. If you're
looking for more traditional souvenirs of your trip, visit one of
Nassau's street markets to find local handcrafts and artwork.
The Straw Market is perhaps Nassau's most popular attraction. You'll
still find all things straw and artwork made by locals, including
shopping bags, handbags, hats and wonderful dolls -- though you'll
also see plenty of cheapie sunglasses, tacky trinkets and knock-off
purses. Those who are willing to browse -- and barter -- may come up
with some great finds.
Just near the Straw Market is Bay Street, where you'll find tonier
shops like Gucci as well as a variety of upscale duty-free goods.
This area is well frequented by the island's many cruise ship
Also nearby are the dozens of shops inside the Nassau International
Bazaar at Woodes Rogers Walk and Charlotte Street. Designed to look
like a small European town, complete with cobblestone streets, the
bazaar offers goods from all around the world.
6: – Friday at Sea
Sleep in after partying hard last night and then enjoy a leisurely
breakfast chatting with fellow SSQQ cruisers. Enjoy another day at
sea relaxing in the sun by the pool or frolicking in the hot tub.
Since we are at Sea sailing our way headed back to Galveston, we
will have our second dance class today.
This evening features the second Formal Night. Everyone looks
terrific all dressed up and fancy. It is important to make this our
Group Photo Night.
Saturday - This is our last day at sea.
Enjoy the fresh air and
mingle with your fellow SSQQ travelers. There is always fun and
dancing to live music on the Poolside Deck throughout the day. We
will conclude with our final group dance lesson.
Now let's review why this trip will be great:
First and foremost, we are sailing aboard the beautiful Carnival
Magic for seven nights at affordable pricing! The Magic is a 130,00
ton Megaliner of floating fun. Enjoy the life of luxury for about
$100 per day.
Where else can you get a deal like that??? Accommodations, fine
dining and entertainment all included in the price. And the
opportunity to share this experience with your fellow SSQQ cruise
SSQQ Cruises feature lots of Dancing.
We begin with our first SSQQ sponsored dance event: the hour long
Cocktail Dance Party.
In addition, we will have SSQQ Dance Workshops on each of our three
days at sea. We will dance Swing, Cha Cha, Salsa, Slow Dance, Rueda,
you name it. These workshops are well-attended and provide a fun way
to get to know your fellow shipmates within the SSQQ group!
There are usually other ship sponsored dance classes as well taught
by instructors working for the ship. Although much of the material
is pretty easy, our dancers thoroughly enjoy the extended
opportunities to dance and dance some more! And you never know whom
you might meet!
In addition to all the above, we offer after hours dancing with our
group in a private venue most nights of the cruise.
A Week of Adventure with your Friends
The SSQQ Cruise is a chance to make firm and lasting friendships
that will continue after you have left the ship. The romance angle
is well-known, but less advertised are all the neat people you will
meet on this trip that continue to share adventures with you after
you return to land.
No matter what it is you
wish to do...
First deposit of $250 is
due by May 1st.
A word to the wise—I have limited space at rates quoted. Once those
cabins are sold, the prices will increase. Do yourself a favor and
if you know that you want to go, register early.
Feel free to email
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone with any
questions. 713 862 4428.