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Published: March 8th 2014
Castaway Cay is like marmite for the crew on this ship. You either love it or you hate it. I can honestly say that I despised to place during my first contract. Possibly due to the fact that it was the morning-after head ache that we all had to endure after our infamous thursday late nights. Nothing is less appealing than having to work on a hot and sticky island , covered in sand and 4 year olds screaming in your ears. This, I am sure, anyone can do without!
But it is this island that seems to attract our cruisers. Nothing says "exclusive" more than a privately owned island by his royal Mickeyness , where the passengers of one cruise ship can have all to themselves for the entire day!
So, it's the 100m dash as the Captain announces "all ashore" for the passengers as they stampede down the gangway and onto the tram that will be transporting hordes of families from one beach to the other. It's the teenagers who get there first, obviously sent by mom and dad to go ahead and grab seats as they waddle down with various bags and children on each arm, whilst grand dad and grandma hobble down, causing absolute uproar for crowds who are stuck behind their 1km/hr mobility scooters because heaven forbid them to walk 25meters! O no, that wouldn't do! Then comes the task of now getting said scooters onto tram! More uproar from awaiting passengers as grandma gets hoisted up into a seat and the tram drivers try stowing away this apparent collapsible scooter which ends up in a screaming match between the 2 Bahamian men and grandma sits their waving her cane and blaming all the fuss on the heat. Scooter eventually gets wedged in between 2 crew members sitting in the back and grandmas beady eyes keep looking round to make sure that the battery doesnt get stolen or something.
This scene I normally have to witness almost every castaway day, and of course then it's the massacre over sun loungers. That can get a bit messy, best leave it to the lifeguards to sort it out! After all, I'm pretty sure they don't get paid just to look good!
But then after the war, the calm settles in with Caribbean beach life taking its full course. The islands breezes of the Bahamas settles all and everything is right in the world again. Grandma is no longer thumping the older kids in the shins, but sitting back and complimenting the views. Moms who were close to hysterics are now lathered up in sun tan oil and baking blissfully in the sun, dads got an ice bucket full of cold beers slotted in the sand next to his deck chair, and the children are playing nicely in the sand making mud pies and other inediable food items.
Initially,the island was bought as a movie set for the 1980's classic, 'Splash'. Of course they used it for other films as well over the years until the cruise line came along. Wanting to add a bit of magic to a normal cruise itenary, they transformed it into something out of Swiss family Robinson. The island is decorated with washed up boating materials and vintage castaway propaganda. They even came up with a whole story behind it that involves the giant whale from Pinocchio, a nutty professor out on expedition and some chef called "Cookie". It's a great story! The problem is, is I just don't remember it.
Now-a-days, I've started to make full use as to what the island does for the crew. Just the other day I went for a swim in the sea and it was one of the best feelings I have had in a while. Rather than going straight home to sit in a windowless tiny cabin and sleeping off the cobwebs. But then again I can say my volunteerly late-nights aren't so frequent these days! Lessons learnt here!
All in all, this beautiful bit of paradise has now become one of my favourite places and I feel like I'm beginning to love marmite!
Tot: 2.26s; Tpl: 0.059s; cc: 10; qc: 48; dbt: 0.0378s; 2; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
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