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East Coast Bikers Cruise to Cozumel 06 Pt 1
11/26/06 - by Steven Winslow
Click on image for full size PopUp.

Gotta love those 6am flights...

Our first view of the Fascination


Friendly Waiters!

Our host, Bill of WMW + ECBC.

The first night, I had a few too many, hehehe.

Headed into Key West, first stop...

Street Entertainer in Key West.

Drinking, the sport of Key West...

Had to LOVE the view from the Lido Deck!


Only time we had to dress up the whole cruise...

"OH MY FREAKING GOD...!" : Steven Winslow whenever asked about the cruise.

Part 1 of a 3 part article on East Coast Bikers Cruises first annual Cruise

When Bill first came to me about thier new company, East Coast Bikers Cruises, my first thought was of old people playing shuffle board... NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH! Cruises these days cater to pretty much everyone, even us Hard Partying bikers. Yes, there are a few groups out there promoting cruises for bikers, and even another one based out of Delmarva. Most of them cater to high end bikers, or those that can afford $2000 + a trip. ECBC was started with the idea of doing things a bit more reasonably...

For the first year, Bill and Lori selected Cozumel and The Fun Ship Fascination of Carnival Cruise Lines. The cost ended up being $600 for the complete package... Now, complete means different things to different travel groups, so its allways important to ask. In this case, it ment airfare, the cruise, food and transfers. Pretty much the whole shebang less alcohol, gambling, excursions and souvineres. VERY reasonable as cruises go...

The trip started for the 15 of us with an overnight stay in Baltimore and then a 6am flight to Miami. Our group included 10 adults and 5 teens (15 to 20). We were greated by a very nice representative of the cruise line, and off we went to the ship... The ship... Oh my freaking god, if youve never been on one you dont know what you are missing! While by far not the largest ship on the 7 seas, the Fascination is pretty freaking awesome! It has 8 or 9 decks, hosts rough 2000 guests and has a crew of a 1000. Thats 1 crew for every two passengers, a pretty high ratio!

Speaking of the crew, I cant say enough about these people who come from every corner of teh globe... Every last one of them had a huge smile and friendly demeanor. Carnival bases all promotions and raises on customer feedback, and man do these people bend over backwards for thier charges! Even heading back to my cabin late at night, I would encounter a whole batalion of workers smiling away and happy to answer questions while scrubbing every inch of the ship!

Anyway, we spent the first night hanging out on the Lido deck drinking entirely too much, jumping in and out of the pool and hottubs and making new friends. The whole place has this kind of enfectious air, you just cant help but have a blast! Our waiters for the night, Big Kahuna and Big Al pretty much catered to us the whole trip and were about as bad an enfluence as you will find, hehehe. They made sure our glasses never went empty and we always had a smile!

On Tuesday, our port of Call was Key West... Uh yes, Key West... This town is legendary as a party town, and I must say it didnt disapoint! They feature loads of bars, souvineer shops, resturants, beaches, gils in bikinis, you name it! Bill and one of our travel companions went snorkeling while a couple of the girls and I caught a shuttle into town to poke around and see what was what. We made a stop at the Hogs Breath Saloon, shopped and enjoyed the day! My only regret was that we didnt have more time there, LOL! We spent 3 or 4 hours walking about and then the shuttle back to the ship.

Travelers Note: Security is EXTREMELY tight on cruises... They issue you a special ship ID and you must also produce photo ID anytime you board the ship. Searches are done anytime you enter / exit a country or the ship and its about the only time you need to be serious. I HIGHLY advise not engaging ANY illegal activities. That could potentially be a ticket to a nightmare...

Tuesday night was the infamous and traditional Captains Dinner onboard the ship... Now, my initial plan was to not attend. Im not much for suits and ties, but Bill, Lori and Sheri pretty much insisted that I go. Bill loaned me a shirt and tie and off we went... Our group had its own table reserved and our waiter Gabi and crew made sure we were well taken care of! I had two of the Lobster dinners with all (and I mean ALL) the fixins! The selection included seafood, steaks, a wide variety of appetizers, salads and deserts!

Oh yes... THE FOOD! One thing you will never do onboard is go hungry! They have several decks with buffets serving everything from Hot Dogs and Hamburgers to New York Strip! Even late night, they keep a pizza bar open on the Lido deck for those just getting out of the Casino. Every bit of food is well prepared, and presented! They even feature room service and an omlet station for breakfast!

Next up: Part two COZUMEL!

- Steven Winslow

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