The flight was relatively uneventful – we arrived about 5am in Miami – right on time. However, we had a really long wait to get to the ship. They weren’t supposed to let people on til about noon, so we decided to wait in the airport, have a leisurely breakfast and settle in and relax, read, nap. Unfortunately, once we picked up our luggage, we were outside the area where the coffee shop was at the airport and we couldn’t get through clearance again…. Nothing in the outside area except a Starbucks. So that’s where we had breakfast – muffins and coffee. By 8:30ish we were DONE with waiting around the airport. We trekked our way to the taxi stand and found a cab to take us to the port. We got a very limited view of Miami on the way to our ship, which turned out to be a very short drive – only about 15 or 20 minutes.
Needless to say, it we were early… the previous cruise’s passengers were still disembarking. Now this is Miami, even though it IS winter, and we were expecting warm weather like what we left behind in California. It was cold, cloudy and windy down at the port and we were very uncomfortable with a 2 hour wait in store. I asked if we could just come inside and wait inside the terminal and a very nice security lady checked our passports and e-docs and let us wait inside. Shortly thereafter, others started filtering in, so we weren’t the only ones who were hours early.
After about an hour wait indoors out of the cold and wind, the slow process of being moved from one room to another began and we were seated in a large room where we waited for the last few passengers to disembark and the last of the crew to join the ship. It looked like they had a whole new cadre of employees joining the cruise, too.
Finally they let us start to board… hooray! It was still cold and windy, and Joe and I were already beat… It was noonish on Friday and both of us had been mostly awake since Thursday morning. We were in need of food, sleep and showers, and not necessarily in that order. Even though they let us on board, the staterooms weren’t ready yet and our luggage was still in being loaded. We wandered a bit, found something to eat. It’s a cruise – there’s ALWAYS food, everywhere. Finally we curled up in the library… I found a sofa to doze on, Joe found a comfy chair. We waited. And waited. And waited some more. Finally the announcement came – the staterooms were ready for us.
We went to our room and relaxed for a bit. Our quilt & photography group had a get-together at 5pm, so we were afraid to actually go to sleep for fear of sleeping right through it, so we unpacked our bags. We made a brief appearance at the get-together, had a little liquor (bad idea on such little sleep), and made our excuses and slipped off to have dinner and get some sleep. We saw the line at the restaurant and had dinner at the buffet. After a quick dinner we crawled back to our room and fell asleep, too pooped to even shower and change…