August 29, 2018

August 26 Key West

The passage through the night is smooth and uneventful. We arrive in Key West, are quickly cleared, and passengers stream ashore for the day. 

We are docked at the main dock, just a few minutes from Duvall Street and all there is to offer in Key West.

I decide to take the Old Time Trolley tour. Our driver is excellent, not for his driving, but for his stories. Actually his driving is good also. I had done the Conch Train tour here in the past, but this tour is much better. Definitely worth the few extra dollars. When we get to the famous marker indicating the southern most point in the US. He stops the trolley bus, and asks the hundred or so tourists that are waiting a turn to take a picture to please stand back so the people on his bus can get a picture.  They oblige, and everyone that wants is able to get a picture of the buoy from the bus without strangers in the picture.

There is little evidence of any damage from the hurricanes last year. Key West was spared for the most part, but the southern edge of the city was buried in six feet of sand form the storm surge. Cleanup was prompt and efficient.

I'm back on the ship for lunch. The Majesty of The Seas arrives shortly after noon, again to a waiting ambulance. Like it or not I am just much more aware of medical vehicles. Unrelated, while I was on  the trolley bus I get word that my grand daughter has been discharged from Neonatal Intensive Care and is now growing at home. It  won't be long before she will be able to cruise.
I forgo going to the Sky Lounge at 5:00 when it opens to enjoy our departure from port on the fordeck, or helipad. One never knows the criteria for such invitations. About 75 are in attendance. Skies remain mostly clear and the seas calm as we begin our 1080 nautical mile journey to Aruba. As Key West fades in the distance behind us we are asked to clear the deck and must return inside.

Most of our entertainment this week will be a repeat of last week shows. Even the headliner comedian is here for 1 night before departing in Key West.

I catch the early show at 7:00 then head to the Oceanview Cafe for dinner. Maybe 100 other passengers, several officers, and captain Kate share my preference for the buffet over the dining room.

The captain shares a story from last week.  While in port at the same time as the Harmony, she invited captain Johnnie to the Equinox for dinner. He was impressed with the food, and even though his ship is much larger, conceded that she has much larger and nicer quarters.

This may be the end of an era. Every ship I have ever been on has had a piano bar, including this one. the only thing that has been missing both last week and  this week is a piano player. Progress? A change for the better? You decide.

The next two days are sea days as we head to Aruba at 20 knots.

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