Three Sisters
Three Sister's Vacation
A wild and adventurous time on the high seas
Sunday -- June 27, 1993
Our morning has started off in typical "Johnson Girls" fashion! Barbara and I set the time wrong on
the clock, so we got up at 3:30 instead of 4:30! We picked Zaundra up at 4:45 and went to the
waffle house for breakfast.

We arrived at the Cricket Inn at 6:00 -- then looked at our schedule and saw that the departure
time was 6:30 instead of 6:00.

We've started this trip off with a bang!

We'll spend the night tonight in Daytona. I don't know which one of us is the most excited and
nervous, but I think we are all as equally silly and giggly!

There are 31 people on the bus. I got the prize for coming the farthest. We have stopped every
two hours for about 15 minutes.

We should be in Daytona around 6:00.
Monday -- June 28, 1993
Left Daytona about 7:45 this morning heading for Miami.

We're here! Going through customs is an experience. You keep feeling like they want to deport you.
We had been forewarned as to how tough customs can be.

The Nordic Empress -- our cruise ship is huge and our room is very small. We're all very excited and
ready to explore! The first thing we did after settling in was to go to the "Strike Up The Band"
lounge and give a toast to our daddy for making this all possible.

Our first day onboard was unbelievable. We ate enough food today to last for the entire cruise.
The theme for tonight was Italian with an Italian menu. The waiters even sang "O Sole Mia" to us,
placed our napkins in our laps, and cut our salads and meat for us. We even went to the midnight
buffet. The ice and butter carvings were wonderful.

We saw the main show tonight and it was excellent. The theme was "Show Stoppers." Such colorful
costumes and talent. We saw Carmen Miranda, Elvis Presley, Gene Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and many
more. The band was great also.

We played bingo (didn't win) and went to the casino (Deanna won $6.00). We are really tired and
I'm sure we will sleep great tonight, especially since our steward has turned our beds down and left
a piece of chocolate on our pillows.
Tuesday, June 29, 1993
We started our day early with breakfast at 7:30 and then went ashore at 8:30 for a tour
of Freeport.

What a ride that was!

We were in a stretch limo (white Cadillac) with no air conditioning and a crazy driver who blew the
horn at anyone in his way and also hollered at them. There was one traffic light and few stop signs.
Evidently all the locals are supposed to know who has the right-of-way.

Part of our tour was to Grove Gardens. It was very beautiful. We all wished we had more
time there.

This Island is owned by one man, Mr. Grove. He works in conjunction with the Island Government to
provide housing and jobs for inhabitants. One interesting point was the many unfinished houses at
different stages. Grass and trees were growing inside the frames. This is because even though the
Island has more banks than anything else, the banks will not loan money to build homes until half
finished. Therefore it's a pay-as-you-go venture.

We window shopped at the International Market, toured the Island and then back to the ship in
time for a wonderful lunch at 12:00. We sat sail again at 3:00 for Nassau.

Tonight was the Captain's cocktail party (free drinks), followed by a French dinner.

We went to two different shows, played some slot machines and sat around the pool. Barbara ended
up being in a skit in the Western show and we laughed at her until our jaws hurt. She was "Miss
Kitty". In the end, she was shot and had to fall flat on the floor. Then Tony, the black assistant
cruise director, fell down flat beside her.

He sat up and said "if I had known it was this easy to get a woman to lie down, I'd have played this
skit a lot earlier".

We ended the evening with a game of shuffle board. We really had a great day! Now for a good
nights sleep and into Nassau tomorrow.
Wednesday -- June 30, 1993
We went to the 7:30 breakfast and then we left the ship to tour Nassau (another hair-raising
taxi ride). What a beautiful place this is. Beautiful flowers everywhere; Hibiscus, Oleander, Poince
Anna Trees and many others we didn't know the names of. Nassau is aflame with color.

We came back to the ship for lunch, rested for about 30 minutes, then back into Nassau to shop.
We soon learned that you have to know how to say the following things in order to survive in
the Bahamas:

  • No, I don't want a taxi.
  • No, I don't want my hair braided.
  • Don't call me sweetie.
  • No, I don't want to spend anything today for that straw hat.

We were back on the ship about 5:30 and cleaned up for dinner. Tonight was Caribbean Night.
What a show our waiters and bus boys put on for us. They paraded in, dressed in colorful shirts
and heads. They were accompanied by steel drums and keyboard.

The food was wonderful as usual.

After dinner we played bingo (didn't win) and then played Novel Quest (a scavenger hunt) in teams
of six people. Zaundra and Deanna ended up taking their bras off as we needed two bras (not being
worn) for our team.

We will never live down the fact that two mature ladies, members of a Christian Tour group,
disrobed in front of 1600 people. (Deanna also contributed her panty hose and we still lost!).

After the game, we had 50's and 60's night. They had an Elvis impersonator contest and the same
young man that was the sheriff on western night, was a contestant and got Barbara again on the
dance floor. Then, according to Tony (the MC), Elvis slung Barbara across the room into the far
wall! Tony said she bounced back but it scared her so badly that her hair turned white!

This show ended in a Congo line of 1600 people going from deck 5 to deck 10 (puff, puff) for
midnight buffet complete with a steel band and limbo contest.

We've had so much fun. Every day seems better than the day before. It's 2:00 a.m. and we're
ready for bed and off to Coca Cay tomorrow morning.
Thursday -- July 1, 1993
After breakfast this morning, we left our ship and boarded a tender that took us over to Coca Cay,
an uninhabited island owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. We left in the rain and were sure our
island day would be ruined. Not more than 30 minutes after debarking, the sun came out and stayed
out all day.

Coca Cay is a beautiful place.

Beautiful, clear blue, warm water and lots of flowers and palms. We had a wonderful bar-b-que with
all the trimmings. There was a steel band playing, limbo contest, volleyball, snorkeling, banana boat
rides, and lots of fun.

We came back to the ship about 3:00 (all three of us a little sunburned), showered and rested until
time for out last bingo game. Our last formal dinner was an American theme (the waiters were all in
red, white, and blue), complete with Flaming Baked Alaska paraded in by dancing waiters carrying
them on their heads.

After dinner, it was back to the theater for the Crew's talent show and good-byes. They are all
such talented and fun young people. You leave there feeling like you have known them forever.

After the show, we lost a few dollars in the casino and then went for our last walk on deck 10.

The midnight buffet tonight was an extravaganza of food, color, and eats. It was indescribable --
huge ice and butter sculptures and every food imaginable. Lots of chocolate displays, fruits made
into everything imaginable and loaves of bread shaped as big fish. We even had caviar!

Tonight, as we said our good-byes to our Cabin Steward, he said that during the three years he had
been with the ship, we were his nicest passengers and certainly the funniest!

Tomorrow morning will be our last few hours aboard ship.
Friday -- July 2, 1993
We had breakfast and said all our good-byes to those who have pampered us so much. We're on our
way to Jacksonville for the night.

We are definitely back to reality. No one to pamper us for dinner and our beds were not turned
down when we were ready for sleep.

Also - no chocolate on our pillows!

We were all three so tired that we ate dinner, showered, and were in the bed early.
Saturday -- July 3, 1993
We are on the bus headed for Asheville. What a fun, wonderful trip this has been. Everyone on our
tour was so much fun and we feel like we've known each other for a very long time.

We've been known as "The Three Sisters" by all and everyone agrees with us that we have a very
special Daddy to have given us such a wonderful gift!
Things to Remember:
 
  • The disappearing Ping-Pong ball
  • All those moderations!
  • Swollen feet
  • Deanna and her cabin key
  • The commode monster
  • Our busboy "Sasquach"
  • The food was "excellent"
  • 14K gold key chains - plastic coated
    for protection
  • All those stairs
  • Black Bart
  • Betty setting off the fire alarm
  • Bunk beds
  • Storm at sea
  • The taxi drivers
  • Bras (Novel Quest)
  • Humidity at ports
  • Miss Kitty
  • Blue Mondays
  • This__________ is closed!
  • Tony
  • This is your Captain speaking
  • Rodriquez
  • Donovan
  • Supercharge card
  • One arm bandits
  • "Crews" quarters
  • All those desserts
  • Wake-up calls
  • "Have your luggage outside your
    door . . . . "
  • Andre and Cirell
  • HOT! HOT! HOT!
  • Deanna Dobbins
  • David's 11:00 phone call
  • Deanna, Robert, 4120
  • Table 16
  • Possumized
  • Barbara taking pictures
  • Picking up "5" passengers on the air
    conditioned bus


    July 18, 1993
    Marietta, GA


    Dear Daddy,

    I would never be able to tell you how wonderful this trip
    has been or how much I appreciate you doing this for us.
    I have to say that two things made it extra special.

    One - that you loved us enough to send us on the trip and
    two - that we love each other so much and had such a
    wonderful time together.

    We have laughed till we cried, oohed and aahed, eaten till
    we couldn't move and had an unforgettable time.

    Thank you so much for our memories.

    I love you,

    Deanna


    July 22, 1993
    Asheville, NC


    Dearest Dad,

    The first thing we did upon settling in on the ship was to
    raise a toast to you. Wherever we went, you were with us.
    We spoke of you many times a day. I thank you for such a
    lovely trip - one we would never had made (the three of
    us) if it had not been for your loving generosity.

    And what a trip it was! The ship was magnificent. I've
    never seen such beauty. The food was "fit for a king" and
    we were pampered beyond imagination. Our meat was cut
    for us as were our salads and fruit. We laughed, ate, and
    played all day until the wee hours of the morning.

    Dad, thanks for such a wonderful gift. It will be a part of
    me forever, as will my love for you.

    Much Love,

    Barbara


    July 25, 1993
    Asheville, NC

    My Dearest Daddy,

    There are no words to express my gratitude. I feel you
    were right there with us and you could feel the
    excitement and wonder of it all.

    It's going to be hard to come back home. I have been
    petted and pampered beyond belief.

    By the time we left the ship, everyone knew the "Three
    Sisters", and was constantly talking about our wonderful
    father. It has been a dream of a life time come true.

    THANK YA! THANK YA! THANK YA!

    I love you very much,

    Zaundra
. . . The End . . .
For the "Johnson Girls," this totally unexpected
and generous gift from their father -- a 6-day
cruise to the Bahamas sponsored by Christian
Tours -- was a dream come true.

The following year, Deanna and I and Barbara and
Jimmy repeated this same cruise.  Deanna and I
have been "hooked" on cruising ever since.

Thanks, Johnny for your gift that keeps on giving.
As recounted to
Mike Bailey
Letters to Daddy
Three Sister's Vacation:
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