After booking my cruise back in June, October 2 could not come quickly enough. You know that feeling when you are in a car waiting to get to your destination and time seems to crawl like a slug across a sidewalk? It felt like that during my four month wait – four months!
Anyway, October 2 finally (FINALLY) arrived, and I set off to Denver International Airport at 0600. I hopped on our 0815 flight on United down to Houston, had an hour layover, which I used to enjoy some pizza, and then hopped on another United flight over to Miami.
Upon arriving in Miami, the humidity hit my body so strongly that the best way to describe it is like you have been stuck on the North Pole your entire life, and you get rescued and introduced to the Caribbean.
It was so hot, and so humid, that immediately my hair started curling and I could feel my skin begin to dampen. I waited outside for our hotel shuttle, I getting crabbier and crabbier by the minute from the heat, and then was taken to Comfort Suites Miami Airport North. The hotel is wonderful! The décor is very modern and tasteful, the bed was very comfortable, and it was very clean. I will definitely be staying there again next time I am in Miami.
The staff was really friendly, and quick to take care of you. I brought my luggage up to my room, and then went back down to the bar. I had received a free drink voucher upon arrival for being a member of the hotel’s reward club, and decided to take advantage of it. I mean, who wouldn’t?
I had a wonderful time chatting with the bartender, who was excellent at both service and quality of drinks. He was intelligent, which made for wonderful conversation, and I ended up staying for another round before going to bed.
The next morning I hopped on the shuttle to Port of Miami. I told Norwegian Cruise Lines that I would be at port at 1000, so we got through security rather quickly. I then sat in the waiting area until boarding began at noon. I was one of the first on the ship, and the first thing I did, of course, was explore all of the areas the ship had to offer.
I pretty much stayed inside until I left port at 1700. The heat was just terrible. I guess I am officially used to the dry climate of Colorado! That evening I enjoyed an early dinner on the party deck, some froo-froo cocktails, and tried out karaoke after dinner.
I decided to eat in the fine dining room. I went down to make a reservation with the hostess, who informed me that I could just come whenever. Keep in mind, I was wearing my navy blue swim cover up with my bikini on underneath, with a very colorful skirt hiding my legs.
Normally on cruises, they have formal nights and casual nights, casual still meaning no swim wear or swim cover-ups, but actual nice shirts and bottoms. On Norwegian Sky, it seemed that there was no dress code for the dining room. I still dressed up though. I brought nice dresses along and I was going to wear them, gosh darn it!
I got ready for dinner. I was wearing this V-neck black dress with a layered skirt, did my hair, put on make up, and headed down to the dining room.
The hostess was very shocked when she saw me. She couldn’t even formulate a sentence, so I winked at her and said, “Clean up good, eh?”
How Northern of me.
She laughed and agreed, and had another hostess lead me to my table.
I woke up around 1030, and headed down to the buffet just in time to eat breakfast before it was taken off and switched to lunch at 11. I was in port at Key West, Florida, and I was excited to get off the ship and take a look around. On the way down to the buffet, I snapped this photo of the atrium, the heart of the ship:
I got to watch the ship come into port, which I’ve actually never paid attention to. They maneuver the ship very, very slowly as to not cause too many waves in port.
Our captain was very skilled in the art of nautical maneuvering and perfectly docked us.
I got off the ship, and where we were ported was a naval base, so I had to get on this little shuttle that was designed like a miniature train, and set off for town. I was not allowed to take photographs until we go to town - military security and all that jazz.
I got off the shuttle and decided to do some shopping. I had to get some gifts for people. I found a wonderful gift for Alisa, one of my coworkers and friends, who covered my Sunday shift and was taking care of my departments while I was away. I also found a gift for myself, not exactly my intention, but it happened. I decided to wait until Cozumel, the next stop, for other shopping because I had some particular items in mind that I knew I would find there.
While roaming the streets, I noticed a lot of roosters. They are everywhere!
I also enjoyed the music of several street artists playing steel drums. If you don’t know what steel drums sound like, think of “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid. The beginning notes that everyone knows are made with a steel drum. Don’t know that song? How about “Take On Me” by A-Ha.
I continued enjoying the scenery, and even walked through the Memorial Park, where they have foliage beautifully arrayed throughout the park.
I got back onto the ship after a few hours of enjoying Key West, enjoyed a few more fruity cocktails, and then had to decide what to do about dinner.
I ended up eating in the fine dining room, and I got to don on my other pretty dress that I brought along, and afterwards I got back into our “cruise gear” and headed back down to the party deck. I ended up going to karaoke again, where I made acquaintances with the bartender, Ralph, told off a lady who was getting pissed off at Ralph for no good reason, and met Lauren Deamer Whitehurst and Eric Whitehurst, who became my cruise buddies!
They had just gotten married right before the cruise, so wishes of happiness and good health to them!
I got some wonderful sunset shots by Key West – a beautiful ending to a beautiful day.
Photographer, visual artist, mother to four fur-babies, and travel enthusiast.