I jumped back, “What?”
He pointed to the eyesore anchored in the ocean, right in front of our condo. A large red and white cruise ship reading “Resorts World Bimini Superfast.”
We knew the ship was coming to the islands and it was hotly debated among homeowners in South Bimini. But we didn’t expect it this soon. We both stared in awe, then continued our morning routine. I peeked at it from different angles during my run, not really giving it much thought. Until my husband came home and asked me if I wanted to tour the boat. “They are inviting locals aboard to check it out,” he pleaded. “And a free lunch.”
Free food meant nothing to me since the vegetarian choices would be lame or non-existent, and I committed myself to a good week of writing. “No, I need to write.” I finally answered.
“Well, we need to go now. I came back to get you.” He stated. “You can blog about it, that’s writing.”
After a brief contemplation I went with him, as is. No make-up, no bra, just a basic shirt and shorts since I didn’t have time to do anything. It was the maiden voyage, empty of passengers and welcoming the locals for the afternoon. A holiday gift for anyone wanting to visit, since it was the Bahamian Independence Day.
It seemed like the entire island was aboard the two ferries shuffling passengers to the cruise ship. A fifteen minute slow ride landed us at the large vessel, and then we banged into it. Several gasps and a high-pitched scream turned into clatter about the experience of the crew. Then while tieing up to the cruise ship, the skinny, undersized dock lines broke the stern’s rail. I watched the crew waiting on the gangway expressing disbelief, yet waiting patiently. The second time around we finally docked and disembarked.
We were given brochures and directed through the casino to the upper deck for food and drink. Most of the staff were from the Philippines and very friendly. Plenty of helpful faces smiled and welcomed us, and then pointed us towards the stairs to climb to a few flights.
The lunch was average and I just grazed on a few pastries. We wandered down a deck and spoke with one of the captains. As my husband was asking questions, he pointed to a small asian man. “Ask him, he’s the boss.”
“We’re from South Bimini, the sands.” My husband said, shaking the CEO’s hand.
“You guys are trouble makers,” he responded with a smile.
I giggled and met his eyes. Grinning, I chimed in, “We just have basic concerns about the island.”
The two men talked and exchanged information and emails. We felt better about the influence a cruise ship might have in Bimini. We were impressed by the ship itself and what Resorts World was trying to do for the local economy. They seemed to have real plans and solutions for the impact a large amount of tourists would have on the island.
Leaving the vessel we again saw the CEO, thanking everyone departing the ship. He recognized my husband and offered to show him the area that holds cars for the crossing.
“My wife’s already on the ferry,” he said. “Next time.”