16th Aug 2014 - Caribbean Cruising
Ready to Set Sail
Saturday August 16
I barely slept at all last night. It is always hard before a trip, excitement, nerves, unfinished to do lists. I remember looking at the clock on several occasions and was thinking that this was the time to sleep right now, because soon I would have to be up and that wouild make for a long day. Needless to say, when my alarm went off at 4:30am it felt like I had just closed my eyes.
The ride to the airport was a breeze (mom drives fast) and dad and I were ready to start our Caribbean cruise. Or so we thought. The US Customs at the airport was a gong show. The line up was almost the length of the terminal. They were ushering people with earlier flights out of the line up...maybe they should have someone like mom to drive them to the airport to make sure they arrive on time. I was elated to make it to the entry to customs, only to see more zig zagging lines and more waiting ahead. Mom laughed at me when I told her the time that I wanted to be at the airport, but as it was we made it through and then immediately boarded our flight (of which, dad slept for the majority).
Landing in Fort Lauderdale was very odd for us. I was surprised that when you land, you are funnelled into the waiting area with those waiting to board. It was a little crowded and while a number of airports do it this way, I still find it odd for a major airport. Down in baggage claim, the doors to the street and garage kept a flow of pedestrians coming in...didn't seem so secure considering the hoops we jumped through to get on the plane. Dad was highly amused by the decor in baggage claim that was straight out of the early eighties. I can picture big hair bands and jelly shoes were in style when this decor also was.
We got our luggage and boarded the bus transfer to Miami (only about 35 minutes) and were dropped off to a sea of people waiting to board three cruise ships. The lines were crazy. Crazy. We again waiting over two and a hald hours to get on the ship. Ugh. All in all we waited in lines for almost four hours today.
I was here on the ship and that was all that mattered. It was incredibly fun to explore for the first day. Dad and I went to the safety demo (couldn't hear a thing over the air vents we were in front of), shopped in the stores, watched some dancing, and generally oriented ourselves to where everthyhing was.
Dinner was absolutely lovely. Dad enjoyed a surf and turf dinner, while I had alligator fritter appetizer and a lovely steak. The Melting Chocolate cake for dessert was incredibly decadent and sinful. Afterwards we enjoyed watching our cruise director lead motown trivia, which became a hilarious dance and singalong. I was excited to play bingo and found that I lost when I was only one number away. Sad face. By this point it was already around 11pm and since I didn't sleep the night before, we headed back for some zzzs.