“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover’’
– H. Jackson Brown Jr.
I never for once considered myself as a well-travelled individual. I’ve been to a few cities albeit common and not so exciting; London, Paris, New York, Dubai, Dublin and the list goes on. I developed a soft spot for all afore mentioned cities, but if you told me you were going to any of these for vacation I would literally squint at you till you get the message (Yo, im not saying I won’t go if offered o).
Summer 2015 I decided to do something different, I got an idea to visit more than 7 countries in the space of 7 nights. Crazy Crazy Crazy!! What was I thinking, how could I afford such? How much do I even have as savings? Before I go on, my uncle always said a knowledgeable man is a powerful man, if you don’t ask questions you will never know.
So here we go, I got an idea to go on a boat cruise with friends touring the eastern Caribbean countries. My itinerary looked something like this:
Lagos – Houston – Fort Lauderdale-Bahamas- St.Thomas -St.Marteen – Eleuthera – Barbados – Jamaica – Fort Lauderdale – Houston – Maryland – Lagos.
- Lagos – Houston: I was all too familiar with this route, standard 12 hour flight to George W Bush Airport Houston. At the time, United Airline was the only carrier that offered this direct flight to Houston, pretty long flight but relatively stress free.
- Houston – Fort Lauderdale: The fun actually began here, 2 hour airport wait went by so fast. Flew united to Florida, upon landing the pilot couldn’t ‘’taxi’’ because there was a thunderstorm and appaz it’s a health & safety hazard because someone got hit by lightening the previous week. Well, this was no problem till I realized I had just 45 mins left to catch the ship.
- Fort Lauderdale: America is really beautiful. It trips me knowing that all states are almost as equal in development, unlike most African countries where civilization and development is centered in the capital. We need CHANGE!
Major key 1: To embark on the cruise, all you need is an American Visa, that covers all countries visited.
Take a deep breathe now, and gush at the ‘canoe’ I used in visiting 7 countries:
- Port le Fort Lauderdale: The first thing that catches you is the size of the ship. The Oasis beats the Titanic in every dimension. The titanic was around 46,000gt, carrying about 3547 passengers and crew (credits to google) while the oasis measures 225,000gt (5 times bigger than Titanic!!) and can carry a maximum of 8,471 passengers on 17 deck. Yes 17 story building on water.
Major key 2 : Tickets for the cruise are booked months in advance for best rates and do NOT FORGET YOUR PASSPORT AT HOME.
Check in: the check-in process is very straightforward, there are literally no queues and once you board the ship, it’s literally an entirely different world. You are given a smart card that serves as your ATM card on the ship, access card to your room and has all other personal details. Minority report kinda stuff.Forgot to mention.
Fort Lauderdale – Bahamas: Nassau was the first stop, it took us about 10-15 hours from the port and you wake up to scenes of the sun rising over the great city of Atlantis.
Nassau, Bahamas: I’ve heard so many great things of this city, unfortunately as a tourist entering via the port. You aren’t allowed to go beyond the tourist areas, sort of like a high street where tourists are entertained. There are no physical restrictions against going beyond this high street, but you are sternly advised not to, to prevent harassment from the locals.Nassau has semblances to Lagos Airport, upon arrival at the port you are greeted with a host of locals who are trying to hustle you to patronize them. Tourism is their major source of revenue. And weed of course.
I have a long list of countries I would want to visit next. I’ve learnt not to bother spending a lot for cliché trips……….
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