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Roving reporter DUNCAN CARTER (007 MAGAZINE’s own Alan Whicker) reports on The Theme Party People’s 07-07-07 James Bond 007 Nassau Experience.

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(L-R) Dave Worrall,Tom Stroud, Lee Pfeiffer  Jean Goyette, Duncan Carter, and tour organiser Rich Skillman.

ABOVE: Essential Bond authors Dave Worrall & Lee Pfeiffer flank photographer Tom Stroud, and pose with Jean Goyette, Duncan Carter, and tour organiser Rich Skillman.

Welcome to the Bahamas!

“Alan died this morning…”
…those haunting words could so very well have been the first in an Ian Fleming novel.

Last year, whilst celebrating the release of the wonderful Casino Royale with my son Adam and a group of friends, the idea of doing something special for 07-07-2007 became a discussion point for everyone. As it would be a thousand years before the next 07-07-007 came around it seemed reasonable to assume, unless of course you were Nicholas Flamel, none of us would be around then!

So, some weeks later, after a lot of email and debate it was decided that a cruise would be the order of the day, so Rich and Leslie Skillman of The Theme Party People set about organising what turned out to be a cracking good tour. I have to tell you I take to water like a brick and get seasick in the bath so when the idea of a cruise was muted I thought for sure I was being punished for something I had done in an earlier life.

It was agreed we would all join the cruise in Miami on the 1st July and it would last a week so that we could all celebrate 07 together. What became abundantly clear as the group assembled was its international composition. About forty fans from all over America, Canada and England congregated with one thing and one thing in common…. Bond, James Bond.

Our Disco Volante, aka the ship Carnival Valor – the largest Carnival ‘Fun Ship’ based in the Port of Miami, featured the fitting theme of ‘Heroes and Heroics’, with endless entertainment options, duty-free shopping and, of course, a casino. Registered in Panama it had 13 Decks, 1,487 rooms 1,180 staff and carried 2,974 passengers and weighed in at a mere 110,000 tonnes!

Rich Skillman had designed a suitable logo for the evildoers that was later embroidered onto various styles of shirt and cap. Henchmen wore them with pride and on numerous occasions were stopped by total strangers and asked where they could buy them. Of course number one had instructed number two to inform all henchmen they were not for sale – at any price…and if they failed to comply? They would be sent for a bite – in the pool!

The entrance to Palmyra as seen in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball

On arriving in Nassau we were taken to Rock Point, on the North Shore of New Providence Island by the unit transportation manager for Martin Campbell. Getting on for 42 years after the release of Thunderball we arrived for one of the very few guided and authorised tours of Palmyra - ‘home’ of Bond villain Largo. Although run down we could clearly see where the scenes had been shot during the filming. With animated descriptions by Jim Sieff, Dave Worrall and somebody called Lee Pfeiffer, we were all captivated by their knowledge and humour.