Cruising down the Caribbean, the Virgin Islands are calling out..
Tag along with me on my Caribbeancruise, three of them actually, booked back to back. I kept a journal because I knew I wouldn’t remember everything and I was right. Many years later, these journals are coming to light and delighting me once again with the memories made. Leaving a long term marriage I felt reborn and decided to see the world and here I am creating my very own journeys, and making my very own memories..
The Norwegian Sun is a beautiful ship, with twelve floors and glassed in elevators (which I love), two pools and four big hot tubs. I personally like the openness of this ship. Capacity is almost two thousand guests, add another nine hundred for the crew. I give it a two thumbs up, it was recently refurbished in 2018 and that’s really important in ships. They get a lot of wear and tear being always booked to capacity with no down time.
Here we are on day one (a girlfriend and I) embarking on the first of three cruises I had carefully planned and set up. I searched for great deals on all of our cruises. It was fun figuring out which ships to sail on, where we wanted to go and most important.. getting the sailing dates and the ports right! We were doing back to back cruises, and this is where we hit my first snafu, on day one.
The day started out hot and sunny, and we enjoyed our leisurely breakfast overlooking the pool. We had arrived in Ft. Lauderdale and checked into our hotel the night before. Always arrive at your destination city the day before, just in case you have travel issues, it happens. We dawdled the morning away tanning and swimming and trying to keep the huge smiles off of our faces. My daughter texted us the cruel cold temperatures from home, ah well, we felt bad for her but happy for us. Our smiles disappeared however, as we checked out of our hotel to catch a cab to port and embark on our first cruise.
There is a reason for travel agents and apparently I need to learn this the hard way. When we told the doorman our destination he looked at us and said “there are no cruise ships in port today”. “Well there must be some mistake” I say, we have the correct date and as I looked again at our tickets I realize we have the wrong city, damn! The Norwegian Sun leaves from Miami and we are in Ft Lauderdale. Being geographically challenged as I am I immediately think ‘Oh shit, we are screwed’. Lordy, lordy and bloody hell, how can I be so stupid? Our plane tickets were through Royal Caribbean, which is our cruise leaving from Ft. Lauderdale, but our cruise today leaves from Miami as does our second cruise. My search for picking this particular hotel because of its proximity to the port comes back to mock me.
This is bad and we are a little sick, until we learn that Miami is only an hour away and A HUNDRED DOLLAR CAB RIDE. Well, we did dodge a bullet there. On the way the sky opened up with a deluge of rain and we can hardly see out the window. Our cab driver is intent on getting us there on time. We now have a new fear, we would like to arrive in one piece. The expected hour long cab ride turns out to be a mere 34 minutes that seemed like forever in that rain, what the heck? This guy takes personal pride in breaking all speed records and brags of his prowess in doing the impossible. I want to kiss and hug him for getting us there fast, safe and in one piece, I settle on giving him a twenty dollar tip. We are there so early that we get to stand in line for an hour until we can get through the line up and board. It is now hot and muggy and as we check in we are informed that we got an upgrade in our room, sweet.
Well, well, well, seems our upgraded room turns out to be a broom closet and we wonder what the hell the other room looked like, geeze, this is the smallest room we have ever had on any of our cruises, thank God for the upgrade. A decision is made to hang only our dresses and live out of our suitcases. We draw an imaginary line to stake our territory, Sharon gets the toilet but I get the shower hahaha. We also agree we should take in lots of activities to keep us out of the room for most of the day. Having decided the important stuff we skip the sail away party and have a nap, till our bags are delivered (the stress, sun and an hour long life boat drill did us in). Turns out The Norwegian Sun is two hours late leaving port and the view at night is spectacular!
We awake and set out to check out the ship to find a favorite spot or a bar we may like to hang out in. The twelfth floor lounge/observation deck is looking pretty good. Rev, the bartender, is friendly and makes us a frozen Bellini that will no doubt become our favorite, until we run out of money, nine bucks a drink with out tip!
Supper in the beautiful seven seas dining room delivers up the best steak and a lobster that actually melts in our mouths, this is not boding well for our calorie intake. We decide to skip dessert, well that is until we see the key lime pie and warm bread pudding (both our favorites). Tomorrow is another day and we will skip dessert tomorrow, hmmmm. It’s official, the food on this trip is going to make up for the lousy room and so we are happy campers.
The entertainment in the showroom after supper is ok until the banjo player on steroids shows up. He proceeds to play a long repertoire of every song ever written for a banjo and a whole bunch that weren’t, and there is a REASON for that! He promises we will see and hear him again throughout the cruise and I decide to slit my wrists if I have to sit through that again. We check out the disco and realize we haven’t danced since the last cruise BUT it is freezing up there. We decide to call it a night, there is only so much excitement we can take when you get our age. we are over sixty and loving it.
Tomorrow is our first full day at sea. I can’t wait to see the Virgin Islands, I am a born again virgin and I might get lucky : )
to be continued..