|Sun setting over Florida from plane window|
This was to be the MOM's cruise. We have been meeting for over 32 years having our little bobbleheads laying on our hand crocheted blankets in front of us while we shared stories of their little triumphs. One by one our potential cruisers dropped out leaving just the two of us but that was enough for a party so we went. The cruise line we took was one of the few (if not the only one) which lets you bring your own wine to the room. I fretted a bit while packing. Did I want to risk wine breaking over all my 'nice' clothes? Solution: Boxed wine! Doesn't break, needs no corkscrew and the box is lighter than the glass.
The plane itself was full of cruisers. I could not sit with my friend (must make reservations way earlier!) but I sat with two very excited sisters eager for their trip, one missing her first grandchild's birth (I booked this cruise back in March! I had no idea she would get pregnant!)Very chatty ladies and packing every kind of snack food imaginable which they shared with me.
Haitian Taxi Drivers: This seems to be their competitive niche. While we waited in the taxi line, a fight broke out between two drivers shouting loudly in French Creole. They were vigorously punching each other: were weapons coming next? The dispatcher broke it up. Soon it was our turn to hop in a 20 year old falling apart car driven by the surliest man ever. There was a fixed price presumably and the motel was close but he seemed real put out to have to be driving us there. He pointed to the trunk when we arrived for us to unload our bags ourselves. Our motel host told us that all the guests complain about the rudeness of the taxi drivers but he would arrange for 'nice ones' for the following day.
|From the Lido deck waiting for us to leave port. The ship to the left was a twin of the ship we were on and went to the same ports. At port we would ask Which Dam ship are you on?|
We were to have 4 ports of call and two whole days at sea but we were not able to do the last port, the one I looked most forward to, due to it being too dangerous to tender in the high waves. The ship needed to medically evacuate two people: one required that the ship turn around and backtrack 2.5 hours to land so we missed a chunk of time in our first port. The other evacuation required just an hour or so. The sister ship had someone helicoptered in a swinging box right off the ship itself.
At the cruise port, one mega ship had to come in 2 days early as the ship was infected with norovirus, my favorite. Other ships were delayed due to this. Fortunately this was not a problem on our ship. As a precaution, for 48 hours, no guest could reach for food or have skin to skin contact with the help. All surfaces were swabbed regularly.