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Mark-n-Deb's Nakation 2017

Our First Nakation!

We started planning our nude vacation in 2015 when we found a link to the Bare Necessities Big Nude Boat - Dare 2 Bare (BNB-D2B) 2017 event. BNB-D2B 2017 was a clothing optional, 9 day Caribbean cruise aboard the Carnival Pride. The plan was to stay at Cypress Cove Nudist Resort for three days, do the cruise, then stay at Cypress Cove another day. This would be our second visit to Cypress Cove and our first nude cruise.

We were a bit concerned when Deborah got a new job three months before departure time since the reservations were confirmed and the tickets were paid in full. But the folks at her new job were very good and let her have this two-week vacation anyway (she was among the opening crew for the resort, after all).

Our Itinerary

Itinerary for Our 2017 Nakation
Date Location Arrive Depart
2017 The Preparations - -
Feb 2 The Nude Drive - 10 AM
Feb 2-5 Cypress Cove, FL Feb 2 Feb 5
Feb 5 Tampa, FL - Embarkation 10 AM 4 PM
Feb 6 Fun Day at Sea - -
Feb 7 Key West, FL 8 AM 5 PM
Feb 8 Fun Day at Sea - -
Feb 9 Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas 8 AM 4 PM
Feb 10 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos 11 AM 7 PM
Feb 11 Amber Cove, Dominican Republic 8 AM 5 PM
Feb 12 Fun Day at Sea - -
Feb 13 Fun Day at Sea - Birthday Dinner - -
Feb 14 Tampa, FL - Disembarkation 8 AM -
Feb 14 Cypress Cove, FL - -
Feb 15 The Nude Drive Home Whenever -
Feb 16 Conclusion — TLDR - -

Note: Many of the arrival and departure times on the islands were adjusted, but I did not keep a record of the actual times.

The Preparations

Deborah had been packing items over several weeks and was well prepared by the time we left. I began packing a few days before. We set stop/start dates with the Post Office and the local newspaper. We called our credit card companies to notify them that we would be travelling abroad and to please not deny our charges. Neighbors were notified of our plans and one of them kindly offered to move the trash bin from the curb (departure date was a trash day).

Okay! House is locked. Non-critical appliances are unplugged. Heater is adjusted. Car is packed. Cooler is stocked. Snacks are available. It’s time to go!

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The Nude Drive

February 2, 2017

We jump in the car, I strip down to drive naked and, as Deborah often sang during this trip, ♫♪ “and we’re on our way” ♪♫. Traffic is about as expected for a week day travelling East on I-10 and rather uneventful. Deborah and I are laughing and joking and having a good time.

We’re nearing Tallahasee when I get a call from our neighbor. Uh oh. Trouble so early in the trip? He asks where, specifically do I want the trash bin placed <Whew!>, and . . . did I really want to leave the garage door open? YIKES!!! Grrr, grumble, mfblgmlhfppl, of all the...Thank God for good neighbors!

The rest of the drive went very well. I enjoy driving while nude (DWN) or carnuding, but have no desire to be seen by others who may choose to be offended, so I drape my shorts over me whenever a truck, RV, or bus might be able to see inside and when going through toll gates. I donned the shorts only for re-fueling and at one of the rest stops. A very pleasant 7-hour drive to Cypress Cove.

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Cypress Cove Nudist Resort & Spa

February 2-5, 2017

Check-in was a breeze. The friendly staff gave us a packet of stuff related to the deal with Bare Necessities including t-shirts (surprise!), stickers/wrist bands for the bus ride to and from the Tampa cruise terminal, etc... We unloaded the car and unpacked into the room, freshened up, undressed if needed, and headed out to Cheeks Bar & Grill for something to eat.

I’m sure the meals we had there were very good, but they got trumped in my memory by the ship’s quisine :( One thing we both remember – and ordered with every meal at Cheeks – is the side of Sweet Potato Puffs (sweet potato “steak” fries) with cinnamon butter.

The resort was busier than we’d seen it before (OK, it was only our second visit), yet there were still some vacant lounge chairs available. The crowd was as friendly and congenial as one could ask for. DJ music and dancing around this pool, quiet conversation around that pool, small groups or couples talking to each other in the chairs in the grass or the sheltered areas between the pools, etc... Everything you could wish for in a very short walking distance — from the loud and party atmosphere to the small couples conversations, and everything in between. There were lots of activities going on all over the property, but we mostly wanted to relax. We were made welcome in any situation we wandered into and in any state of dress/undress.

The Farmers' Market was open during one of the days. Deborah purchased and ordered several cool, hand-sewn items from a resident artist, “Custom Designs by Suzanne.” We didn't pick up any fruits or veggies since we were going to other countries during this trip.

The second (third?) day there, we ordered a couple of sandwiches to go from Cheeks and checked out a paddle boat from the office. We set out on the lake and leisurely paddled to the far side of the lake. We saw lots of Florida wild life on the way. Once there, we stopped paddling and opened our lunches and water. It was a perfect day for this. Sunny with a light breeze that allowed us to eat while slowly drifting back to the beach landing. The perfect picnic in God’s nature au naturel.

We made some very precious memories at Cypress Cove and had just barely started our nakation.

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Tampa, FL - Embarkation

February 5, 2017

Bus ride from CC to Tampa. The blue bus was the gold bus, the red bus was the green bus, the other bus was the red bus and the busses were labeled #1, #2, and #3...In other words, there was a brief SNAFU with the bus labeling/organization. The first of several hurry-up-and-wait situations to come. But the Cypress Cove gang got it all sorted out in good order. Some anonymous woman came through the line and enquired whether we brought any wine and as soon as we said no, slapped two bottles in our hands and disappeared in the crowd. ??? Well, thank you kind lady! Before too long, we were all loaded up ♪♫ “and we’re on our way” ♫♪ Butt wait, there’s more! We were mooned – mooned! – by several lines of nudists on the way out of the resort. :-)

So we arrive at the terminal, gather our luggage from the busses, and start heading to the terminal building. The parking lot is just a tad rough for my bare feet, but we’re moving slow enough for it not to be a problem. On the way, Deborah shifted a bag and . . . whoops! . . . the wine bottles hit the pavement. Hey, we hadn’t planned to pack wine bottles. One of the bottles cracked and sprung a leak, so we left it with the first security guard to dispose of. Once we get through the first series of ID/Boarding pass checks, we hurry up to get in line to wait for the next phase. Oops, we got in the VIP/Platinum member line. Okay, move to the “newbie” line and wait some more.

There were two more lines before we crossed the gangway, but they moved steadily along. I am quite impressed with the speed in which the terminal crew processed over 2,000 people on board. One staff person chuckled and said that I forgot my shoes. I mentioned that shoes are over-rated anyway and she responded with a grin and something along the lines of, “If it makes you happy...” Nice response, I think. We get to our little interior cabin and Deborah is greeted with lots of Happy Birthday decorations and doo-dads including a complimentary T-shirt from Bare Necessities. I just love seeing her smile :-)

The checked luggage moved quite a bit slower. We were already on board, underway, and had already gone through the life boat muster drill before our luggage showed up in our stateroom on deck 8. But the good news is . . . ♪♫ “and we’re on our way” ♫♪

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Fun Day at Sea

February 6, 2017

Continental breakfast delivered to the stateroom, real breakfast on the Lido deck, and mostly just lazing around and sunning on deck.

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Key West, FL

February 7, 2017

Pulling into Key West, we see two other cruise ships already moored at the docks. Key West will be crowded today! Since there was no more room, we tied up at the Navy pier. This created a long delay while we waited for the clearance to do so. And it meant that we had to take shuttles/trollies to get into town which meant a slightly longer walk for us to get to our favorite restaraunt.

Deborah and I had been to Key West before and knew where we wanted to go, Santiago’s Bodega tapas restaraunt. The food is always exquisite there and it is far enough off the beaten path that it is rarely crowded. Hmm. Maybe I should’t be telling you about it. Oddly enough, this is the only time during the entire vacation I was told to wear shoes – in Key West, of all places. Fortunately, I brought some flip-flops along, just in case it might happen.

The next stop was discussed on the Bare Neccessities Web forum – The Cruise Takeover of Garden of Eden at 2:00PM. The Garden of Eden, Key West is a clothing optional rooftop bar. The place itself is rather drab and uninviting, but it was fun to be naked for a little while in the middle of town. At least with the nude cruise take over, we were able to meet lots of fun nudists. And with standing room only, we severely overpowered the gawkers that seem to hang out there. It wasn’t our first time at the Garden, but I don’t expect we’ll go again.

I should mention that we used the Green Parrot as a pit stop in both directions. We like to order a Mojito whenever we go there. The interesting thing is that every bartender there has their own idea of what goes into a Mojito. This time we were very pleased with excellent Mojitos. No where near as good as Deborah’s Poquito Mojito el Grande, but very good nonetheless.

We did a little shopping on Duval Street before boarding the trolley back to the ship. After a bit of a wait while they’re calling somebody who apparently didn’t make it back in time, we get underway ♪♫ “and we’re on our way” ♫♪

Carnival’s famous towel animals (towels twisted, wrapped, and contorted into shapes of animals) started arriving today. Click the animal icons when available to see the photos.

Tonight’s towel animal is a frog. [image]

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Fun Day at Sea

February 8, 2017

Continental breakfast delivered to the stateroom, real breakfast on the Lido deck, and mostly just lazing around and sunning on deck.

Tonight’s towel animal is a Canadian Goose.

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Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas

February 9, 2017

Our next stop is a private island owned by the Holland America cruise line, Half Moon Cay, AKA: Little San Salvador Island. Since we are the only ship in port, we get total freedom to be as nude as we wish. Well, we have to dress when using the tenders (water taxis) to go ashore and back to the anchored ship. I stayed nude the entire time on the island.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous! Deborah and I walked the inland(ish) trails for a while before heading to the beach to pick a spot. The clear, calm (and fairly cool) water and the smooth white sandy beaches were very relaxing. The sand is not quite as white or as fine as the sand we’re used to in Destin/Fort Walton Beach, but still very nice. All along the entire beach are naked or nearly naked people performing various activities from simple tanning, walking, yoga, to vigorous swimming and snorkeling. All beaches should be so free! Deborah took a nice long walk around the beach while I lay on a towel with occasional swim breaks. When she returned, we went to the BBQ lunch, then visited Capt. Morgan’s Shipwreck.

There was a Trop Rock band at the pirate ship playing Jimmy Buffet and other islandy music. There were professional photographers shooting stills and videos of models for future Bare Neccessities promotions. During one song, a long line of people got up and did something similar to the cha cha. I shot some video of it from the top of the pirate ship and may post it some time. I suspect it will be okay since the professional photographers shot close-up video of that crowd. Anybody not wanting to be filmed was probably not in that line.

We then met up with Jack Gescheidt to participate in one of his beautiful Tree Spirit Project (Nudity) photo shoots. His work has been published in many places, including several covers of N Magazine, the official magazine of The Naturist Society (TNS). He took many photos with several poses and showed them to us later on the ship. He chose three photos from the shoot and titled them “How Green Is My Island”

  1. How Green Is My Island 1 (Nudity)
  2. How Green Is My Island 2 (Nudity)
  3. How Green Is My Island 3 (Nudity)

I can find both of us in #1 and myself in #3, but we’re obscured in #2. Be sure to read his blog post that explains why no trees, among other things: “How Green Is My Island” indeed (the making of) (Nudity).

This is the only place on the trip where we took full nude photos of me that I will upload some time later.

Tonight’s towel animal is a Ram. [image]

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Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

February 10, 2017

Next stop, Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands. No nudity allowed on this island :-(

Deborah and I took the "Old Homes and Museums" tour of the little island and we’re glad we did. Their primary industry before tourism was salt. Now, of course, it is tourism – and real estate. Along the tour, we saw the replica of John Glen’s Friendship 7 Mercury space capsule (it splashed down near the island in 1962). We visited a quaint museum that showed relics from many shipwrecks discovered over the years.

The beach was nice, but the water didn’t look all that inviting. We bought a rum drink from a beach vendor that kept trying to get us to flash another vendor for a free drink. I told him that we like to be naked as much as possible, but we are not exhibitionists. I don’t think he understood the word, but it was all in fun anyway.

We ended up eating at the touristy port area in, unfortunately, Margaritaville. We generally don’t care to support that business since they treat the Destin fishing fleet so badly – basically turning their back on everything Jimmy Buffet used to sing about. Sorry for the side track. We then shopped a little and went back to the ship. We may have missed out on some of the local color just outside the port area, but wanted to get back early.

Tonight’s towel animal is an Elephant. [image] [image]

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Amber Cove, Dominican Republic

February 11, 2017

There are clouds in the sky partially obscuring the mountains as we near Amber Cove. We can see light rain showers as well. We’re told that nudity is only allowed on shore in the cruise terminal pool area. Deborah and I wanted to book an excursion for this port (This is where parts of Jurassic Park were filmed!), but the ones we were interested in were sold out by the time we learned about them.

So we made the best of things while staying within the gates of the Amber Cove cruise terminal complex. We walked up to the Sky Bar and had a nice view of the port while sipping on some rather mild bloody marys. Mild in the sense that Deborah is known by many as “The Spice Girl” – for good reason. She managed to school the bartender a little on how to make a bloody mary, though they were lacking the proper spices and hot sauces. The waiter was very friendly and seemed to share a surname with Deborah somewhere in his ancestry (does he say that to all the beautiful women? :) While we were standing on the lookout, an ancient dinosaur (AKA: lizard) leaped onto Deborah’s hand and ran away, giving us a good chuckle.

The weather started clearing up a little and we started walking around the compound. There was a coral gravel path that was sharp enough for me to put my flip-flops on. Thankfully it was very short and I was able to go barefoot again in short order. We did a little shopping, then headed over to the pool area.

Along the way, we passed through the Coco Caña Poolside Lounge where there are several humorous sharks hanging from the ceiling dressed in tourist garb. [image] [image] [image] The tiger shark actually has Bengal Tiger stripes! While lounging around the pool, the bar staff provided us with an entertaining dance on the pool bar. We stayed in the pool through several sun breaks, then moseyed on back to the ship.

While the water in the cove was murky and the weather not ideal, we decided we would like to visit this port again and see the island.

Tonight’s towel animal is a Dinosaur. [image]

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Fun Day at Sea

February 12, 2017

Continental breakfast delivered to the stateroom, real breakfast on the Lido deck, and mostly just lazing around and sunning on deck.

While it may seem that the Fun Days at Sea are boring, that is because we chose to keep things relaxed. There are far more activities available on board than any two people can attend. We did enjoy a couple of comedy shows on these days at sea and she got a much needed, birthday-discounted massage.

There are three dining areas where one must be dressed. We got dressed to go to the main dining room and enjoyed a very good dinner. Neither of us thought it was great, but it was definitely worth the extra price and a nice change from all the buffets on the Lido deck.

Tonight’s towel animal is a hanging Monkey. [image]

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Fun Day at Sea - Birthday Dinner

February 13, 2017

Today was special. Our favorite of the three pools on board was the Serenity on the aft end of the ship. It is quiet and, well, serene when compared with the other pools. Among the regular lounge chairs are about eight clamshell and maybe four other round loungers that we had been wanting to use. But they are in high demand and hard to obtain for daytime use. So I vowed to get out there before sunrise to see if I could nab one. The partially covered clamshell loungers were occupied, but I did get one of the other round loungers. YES!

It was cool enough that I wore a robe until it warmed up later in the morning. I was able to observe a beautiful sunrise off the stern before Deborah came on deck. When she arrived, we took turns getting breakfast and bringing it back to the lounger to eat. After breakfast, we enjoyed a wonderful, quiet and romantic morning in the sun.

After she’d had enough sun, we went back inside do do some shopping. One of our bags broke a zipper and we needed another anyway to carry the souveniers we had purchased. She got a great deal on several purses in the ship’s store. I also took this opportunity to purchase the group photo taken earlier in the trip. We dawdled around the ship for most of the rest of the day before getting dressed for dinner.

As I said, today was special. Her ValenBirthTinesDay, as I call it, is February 14th, but we were going to be busy all day leaving the ship and checking into Cypress Cove. We agreed that today would be the best time to celebrate, so I reserved dinner for two in David’s Steak House on deck 10. Since we had an early reservation, we were able to choose a window seat facing west as we were heading north back to Tampa.

Shortly after ordering, they served complimentary glasses of Champagne for her birthday. There’s that smile again. Win! Then they brought out this tiny little piece of bread with some sort of crab meat goodies in it — on a spalted maple stick! This was compliments of the chef and was scrumptious, whatever it was. The appetizers were very good, and the filet mignon (choice of sauces) and lobster were grand!

For dessert, I ordered the chocolate sampler, thinking it would be light. Out came four delectable chocolate deserts including her favorite ValenBirthTinesDay dessert she usually makes herself, Tiramisu. Any one of these would have sufficed as a dessert on its own . . . so we ate them all :-)

Now, besides being the final night at sea with this most beautiful lady, what really made today special for us happened between the main course and dessert. God gave us a most spectacular sunset that brought such a smile and tears to her face that I can’t begin to describe the joy we felt. The beautiful sunrise and spectacular sunset made perfect end-caps for her birthday at sea.

I’ll say it again: Today was special!

Tonight’s towel animal is not an animal, but a Valentine. [image] Happy Valentines Day!

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Tampa, FL - Disembarkation

Disembarkation was very organized and went very smooth. We opted not to carry our own luggage off and had time to get breakfast before they called our “zone” to head to the gangway. Our luggage was waiting for us when we got off the ship. The next step was going through customs – yet another line. But we discovered that hiring a porter to carry our bags gave us almost direct access to the customs check. Outstanding! We boarded the last of the three busses to Cypress Cove and. had. to. wait. and. wait. Apparently, 12 inconsiderate people decided not to ride the bus back and didn’t bother to tell anybody. The CC crew eventually contacted them ♫♪ “and we’re on our way” ♪♫.

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Cypress Cove, FL (Return)

At last, the bus arrives in Cypress Cove. There are still some people checking in/out at the office, but I got to the desk in about 10 minutes. Our room is not ready, but will be ready in about an hour. Hmm. Oh well, I had to retrieve my car anyway. Unfortunately, Deborah had to stand in the direct sun while waiting for me.

Several kind folks offered rides from the office to the area where the cars are parked. Uh oh. My car battery is dead. I walk back to the office and ask for a jump. Somebody on the CC staff tells me to jump into his golf cart and we go pick up a jumper box, head over to the car, and jump it in short order. I drove back to load the luggage into the car so Deborah can seek some shade or whatever. We head over to one of the pool areas and enjoy the sun and water for a spell.

An hour later, I head back to the office. I’m told the room still isn’t ready and it will be another hour and a half. Huh? We had reservations months ago and they knew we were on the cruise bus. During this next wait, a woman (sorry, I forgot her name) tells us that all the rooms have been cleaned already. I go back to the office and they say room is still not ready.

Steam is beginning to come out of Deborah’s ears, but she bites her tongue. After yet another wait, they were ready for me and called me by name when I walked in. They apologized sincerely for the long wait and gave us a complimentary upgrade to an apartment. This was a definite upgrade, but we’re only staying overnight and the sun is already setting. All in all, though I don’t know what the SNAFU was with our reservation, the staff did try to redeem themselves.

This was Deborah’s roughest day during this nakation and, to make matters worse, it was her actual ValenBirthTinesDay. Even so, we decided together that we will go back to Cypress Cove again.

The next morning, we had breakfast at the Lakeside Restaraunt. Back in 2014 we had breakfast there, and it was likely a skeleton crew, but the cook’s idea of cheese grits was to melt a slice of processed cheese on top. Wrong! We’re happy to state that they did it right this time. We checked out and hung around for another hour or two, but there was a long drive home.

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The Nude Drive Home

We hopped into the car and headed out the gate. ♫♪ “and we’re on our way” ♪♫ I stayed naked again for the drive home, but this time, I sat on a towel wrap. As with sitting on a regular towel, it is very easy to cover up when needed. Better than a towel or shorts, it is very easy to simply connect the velcro to get out of the car. I did this at a rest stop and at a gas station. I was expecting to get odd looks at the gas station, but I think my bare feet got more double takes than the towel wrap.

There were a couple of heavy rain showers while driving north, but that can be a good thing for carnuding – less need to cover up :-) The rain was done by the time we headed west. Traffic was unusually light for a week day on I-10. That didn’t reduce the number of speed traps that section of I-10 is famous for, but I drive within speed limit anyway - unless that would slow traffic and draw attention to myself.

We took a slightly different route through Niceville to go to Helen Back Again for a bite to eat on the way home. A couple of White 'Bolis ♫♪ “and we’re on our way” ♪♫ Less than 30 minutes later, we unloaded the car and went inside to relax from this great nakation.

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Conclusion — TLDR

Will this be a once-in-a-lifetime event? We hope not, though we’re not booked on a future nude cruise. We had a very good time! I was very pleased that I was able to stay barefoot for all but one restaraunt and one minute on the coral path. The highlights for me were all the smiles on Deborah’s face, the paddle boat ride at Cypress Cove, seeing Deborah in all her beautiful sarongs (and nude in social settings, of course), the sight of her on the lookout at the Sky Bar at Amber Cove, and the wonderful ValenBirthTinesDay dinner experience at David’s Steak House on the Carnival Pride. There is much more I could write about, but I think this has gotten long enough :-)

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Oddly, I didn't get very many nude pictures during this trip. If you are not offended by the sight of some of God's creations in a natural state, you can see some here in the photos section of my site.

Monkey Icon Vector Illustration by vecteezy.com