Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cruising with Bromptons!

Tim and the Bromptons, on the docks in Nassau, Bahamas
And by "cruising" I don't mean a casual, local ride around town...  No, I'm talking about taking an ocean cruise, and bringing Bromptons along for use in the ports along the way!

The trip was an eight day adventure, with four days at sea and four each in a different port - Port Canaveral, FL, Nassau, Coco Cay (the cruise line's private island) and Key West. From previous experience on a cruise to Bermuda Christy and I knew that having our Bromptons with us would give us more flexibility and opportunities for exploration than if we had to rely on other forms of transportation in port. And it's just a lot more fun to ride around on a bike than sit on some tour bus or in a taxicab!

And here's Christy with the bikes... the smile says it all!
On this trip we found that Nassau and Key West were the most sensible places to use the bikes.  Coco Cay is basically one endless beach, and Port Canaveral just isn't very bike friendly... heavy traffic on highways, essentially. Nassau was a bit challenging, due to some heavy traffic and the fact that they drive on the left there, but we did find it a lot easier to see the things we wanted to see by bike rather than walking. KeyWest, on the other hand, seems to be just about perfect for exploring by bike... the streets really encourage drivers to go slow, and there are lots of folks getting around by bike. I was pleasantly surprised by just how many bikes we saw, both on the streets and parked all over town.

Nassau, near the Queen's Staircase
Sunny, warm days, beautiful scenery, interesting towns... and all so much better by bike! I highly recommend adding some cycling to any cruise you might take, and especially if you can bring a folding bike. You'll want to check with the cruise line you book with, and I recommend getting their policy in writing, just in case. Keep that with you when you get on and off the ship, just in case someone questions you about the bikes. And be prepared to be the center of attention as you get off a fully loaded cruise ship, surrounded by other passengers and folks on the dock, as you unfold your bike and ride off on your day's adventure. We found ourselves with an audience pretty much everywhere we went.

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