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ORD-CLT-PBI/PBI-DCA-ORD June 2019

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ANCFlyer (netAirspace ATC & Founding Member) 10 Jun 19, 18:59Post
Took MRSANCFlyer to the Bahamas. Just a three day ride, but - IMHO - one of the best weekend excursions around.

AA all the way on a 738/A320/E175/738.

Way too early departure of 0545 out of ORD on a 738, still configured pre-cattle car (in F). Simple enough ride to CLT. Typical goat-rope in CLT at @ 0800. Fortunately, we didn't hump the airport, we walked calmly to the gate next to ours and hopped on the AA A320 for the ride to PBI. MRSANC appreciates the Airbii over the Boeing for shorthaul rides, just as do I.

Off to the ship at the Port of Palm Beach and we're off. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line isn't Princess, or any other major brand name. For what they do, transport gamblers and drunkards and Condo patrons to Freeport, they do very, very well. Currently operating two ships: Bahamas Celebration and Bahamas Classica **. Arrived and disembarked the Bahamas Celebration without incident. Spent a day in Freeport. Out of port on time at 1600. Suite Veranda 5, Deck 11 forward, one of only 16 balcony cabins on the ship.

Back to Port of Palm Beach, docked on time. Disembarkation hassles mitigated by 'class of travel' so off the ship at our discretion. Did spent a couple hours at PBI though.

My previous experience with cruises is that don't expect to move to quickly to the airport, so I didn't . . . and therefore booked an early afternoon departure back to ORD out of PBI. Well, we had plenty of time. I asked the agent at PBI if there was anything earlier than 1300 leaving PBI getting to ORD - in F - and he kinda chuckled. PBI is a VERY nice small airport, with all the right carriers going all the right places, just not very often. So with that, we had breakfast (again) at PBI, required libations and sat through a lightning storm that pretty much shut the place down for 45 minutes.

Boarding on time and on target, this time a new type for MRSANC (E-175) in F (2 seat side). We're off. Weather was seriously shit all around the airport and all the way up the coast, pretty bumpy jaunt. None the worse for wear we do the south approach into DCA and spend time in Concourse C waiting on the DCA-ORD flight.

I hadn't been to DCA (or back to that grid square) since the Army retired me 18 years ago (yeah, 18 year ago . . . damn I'm getting old). Same airport, although a lot of space previously dedicated to seating at the gates is now consumed by Starbuck, Dunkin, Five Guys . . . . blah, blah. I was actually at DCA the day the new airport opened. Did I mention oldage?

One thing about DCA that has always been a pain in the ass though is that there is NO secure way between Concourses. One must re-clear TSA if you want to explore - unless you get on a bus between B and C. Construction at DCA has started on a new terminal dedicated to the Regional flights on AA currently operating on the Tarmac where the former US Airways hanger once stood. Concept photos looks great and no one will get blown into the Potomac when that is completed in 2020/2021. They will also complete an enclosed secure path between A, B and C concourses.

Onward to ORD on a 738 - WITH the cattlecar configuration. 38 inch pitch in F, much less in Y. No inflight entertainment at all, unless you have a 'device' with the AA app loaded - we do of course. Weather again a factor as we didn't spare the horsepower on climb out. Departing to the north - past my old condo in Crystal City, US Capital on the right, five sided funny farm (Pentagon) on the left and a sweeping turn over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington . . . . aaaaand we were in the soup and bouncing around quite a bit. Once clear of that, standard issue flight to ORD arriving way the hell out past the freighter terminals and taking 22 minutes to even start seeing (pax) terminals.

Surprisingly - and pleasantly - our arrival gate was L1, so essentially off the plane, through the front door to our car. Usually I get chosen for arrival at gate Q850820804, three miles from the tickets counters. We were home by midnight.

No plane pics, weather didn't help us there. Some boat pics, but this is an aviation site, I'll spare you the misery. And seeing my fat hairy naked belly will not help your digestion.

** from above. The Bahamas Celebration the former Carnival Celebration. Her running mate, he Bahamas Classica is the former Costa NeoClassica. Short history is that Carnival and Costa are owned by Carnival Corp, and when Carnival wanted to dispose of those two ships Bahamas Celebration had a dire need for them (as their first and only ship managed to ground itself in Freeport harbor and was sent to Alang to become beer cans). Both ships are nice, refurbed, and very friendly. They are the empitome of the party boat. They certainly kept MRSANC and I moving for three days.
Armor. M60A1, M60A3, M1, M1A1, Master Gunner, CSM - Best Job I Ever Had

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Mark 10 Jun 19, 21:21Post
Nice write-up, Pep.
GQfluffy (Database Editor & Founding Member) 10 Jun 19, 21:49Post
Was wondering...I had never heard of Bahamas Paradise Cruise until it popped up last week on FB. But then again...I've only ever been on the Mouse boats.

Celebration is an older boat but from the sounds of it they keep them in good shape. Glad you enjoyed. {thumbsup}
Teller of no, fixer of everything, friend of the unimportant and all around good guy; the CAD Monkey
ANCFlyer (netAirspace ATC & Founding Member) 10 Jun 19, 22:22Post
GQfluffy wrote:Was wondering...I had never heard of Bahamas Paradise Cruise until it popped up last week on FB. But then again...I've only ever been on the Mouse boats.

Celebration is an older boat but from the sounds of it they keep them in good shape. Glad you enjoyed. {thumbsup}


Celebration is a 1982 build specifically for Carnival, part of the four ship fleet of "Horizon" class, immediately after the Mardi Gras et al start-up of the line. Was transferred to Costa (owned by Carnival Corp) in the 90s. Then did a year under charter to some no name and laid up for a bit when Carnivals newer ships came on line. The ship has been completely refurbed - at least the passenger spaces - and was quite nice.

I also play on Cruise Ship sites . . . . BTW
Armor. M60A1, M60A3, M1, M1A1, Master Gunner, CSM - Best Job I Ever Had
tangoscar 11 Jun 19, 02:08Post
... just to add some perhaps useless knowledge - I am also into cruise ship spotting 8) - their first ship, which as mentioned found its last rest at Alang in India back in 2016, was once named "Prinsesse Ragnhild" and a car ferry owned by Color Line, a Norway based ferry line, which operated the vessel on the Oslo-Kiel route between Norway and Germany (a 19 hour trip one-way). Had the joy to sail with her twice, once in 1989 before its hull got extended and again the by then modified version in 2004 ... speaking of "bouncing around", that return voyage from Oslo to Kiel in 1989 was my rockiest experience on a boat by far ... OK, now back to aviation ...
ANCFlyer (netAirspace ATC & Founding Member) 11 Jun 19, 11:00Post
tangoscar wrote:... just to add some perhaps useless knowledge - I am also into cruise ship spotting 8) - their first ship, which as mentioned found its last rest at Alang in India back in 2016, was once named "Prinsesse Ragnhild" and a car ferry owned by Color Line, a Norway based ferry line, which operated the vessel on the Oslo-Kiel route between Norway and Germany (a 19 hour trip one-way). Had the joy to sail with her twice, once in 1989 before its hull got extended and again the by then modified version in 2004 ... speaking of "bouncing around", that return voyage from Oslo to Kiel in 1989 was my rockiest experience on a boat by far ... OK, now back to aviation ...



Sailed on her as well. Post-stretch and renovation. Had a suite on the very top deck . . . took twenty minutes for hot water to reach the shower, so I'm guessing not 'everything' got upgraded.

Once stretched, they added sponsons to hull to help stabilize her. Not a bad ship, but not my favorite. Not even a pool on board - but no one puts a pool on a north sea ship . . . unless they play hockey on board.

I have a few shots of that ship from a previous excursion . . . here's one:

Image

And another:
Image
Armor. M60A1, M60A3, M1, M1A1, Master Gunner, CSM - Best Job I Ever Had

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