Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Nassau
Mayan Pyramid, Atlantis Resort, Nassau
Atlantis Resort in background
Sunset in the
Waterfall, Nature Center
Sunset in Key West
Key West Beach
Key West Pier
Key West Beach
SUMMER DANCE CRUISE
Sunday, September 5th -- return
8 am, Sunday,
Travel Coordinator Marla Archer email
Phone questions to 713 862-4428
to 713 862 2550
or bring the form to the studio.
2010 Cruise is the perfect
'End of the Summer' Vacation Getaway!
Story written by Marla Archer
I have received
several requests to change the dance cruise itinerary to the Eastern
Caribbean. Well, the timing is now right!!! We will continue our tradition of taking our
end of summer cruise this year with the Bahamas as our destination.
The best news is that we will be leaving from Galveston on Carnival's
Conquest. Even better news is that we will be
sailing over the Labor Day holiday, so you will only have to take 4 days
This year's trip is scheduled to depart on Sunday September 5th and cruise
on over to the beautiful Bahamas Islands and we will return on Sunday,
September 12th We are sailing once again on Carnival's Conquest as
it is the ONLY ship that sails from Galveston to the Bahamas this time
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. What better way to say
goodbye to summer???
This is our eighteenth SSQQ Cruise Adventure. Did you know we have taken
well over 1400 people sailing over the years?
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.
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
warned of the dangers, here is
the Itinerary for this trip:
Day One: Sunday - We set sail on
Sunday, September 5th 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 Dance Party prior to dinner. The party gives everyone the
opportunity to say hello and get acquainted.
Day Two: Monday - We are at
sea, so this is the perfect time for dance classes. On last
year's cruise, we learned Foxtrot and
Argentine Tango. It was loads of fun!
This will be the first
Night. It is important
to make this our Group Photo Night.
We have found in the past that if we wait till later in the
week, people have trouble standing up.
After our Group Picture, we will drift over to the Main Lounge
for the Captain's
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 - 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 still at Sea sailing our way to
the Bahamas, we will have our second dance
class today. Perhaps we can have a scavenger hunt
rematch as well?
Day Four: Wednesday - We arrive in
on Wednesday at 8:00 am. Departure
time is 5:00 pm.
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.
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 missed.
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 top.
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 mid-1800.
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).
Nassau's Sister Island is Paradise Island. 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 "Hog." Rick and I will be most
definitely be spending the day here. 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 that includes:
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.
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
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.
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
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 missing.
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.
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
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 passengers.
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.
Day Five: - Thursday
We arrive early in
We have from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. to see
Freeport: 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.
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
The caves at
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
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.
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 perfume. 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.
This evening features the second Formal Night.
looks terrific all dressed up and fancy.
for some reason we don't get the group picture on Monday, we will
use this night as our second chance to get
Day 6: - Friday Our
final stop is Key West, Florida. We
arrive early at 7:00 am and the ship will set
sail at 3:00 pm for it's return to Galveston.
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 artists.
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 Jones.
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
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 and flowers.
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.
Day 7: 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
Conquest for seven nights at affordable pricing! The Conquest is a
110,00 ton Megaliner of floating fun. Enjoy the life of luxury for only
$90 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 enthusiasts!
- SSQQ Cruises feature lots of Dancing.
We begin with our first SSQQ sponsored dance event: the hour long
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!
As mentioned previously, other dancing opportunities include the formal,
upscale Captain's Welcome Aboard Party. During our 2001 Celebration
cruise in August 2001, there was a terrific band that played Big Band
Swing, Foxtrot, and Slow Dance music and we danced on the main stage.
The SSQQ dancers basically took the entire floor over to the delight of
the audience. Our dancing was so good people in the audience would greet
us as we returned to our seats and thank us for being so much fun to
watch. When you add up all the great dancers in our group, we definitely
put on quite a show.
- A Week of Adventure with your Friends
Whether it is zipping down a slide at
Atlantis, exploring underwater caves at Lucayan
National Park, snorkeling the crystal blue waters in the Bahamas,
stopping for a brew at a famous pub in Key West, dancing with the
group in a workshop or romancing with someone special in a secluded
cubby hole on the ship, 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.
First deposit of $250 is due by April 1st
Marla Archer is our travel agent. (email questions to
She has a direct phone (713 862 4428) and fax line. You can fax your
Registration Form directly to her at 713 862 2550 or simply email the
The timing is right and the ship is right. We should have the time of
our lives, so hop on board and join us before the ship sells out!!!