November 17, 2019

Fri Nov 15 Final Port

We arrive in Port Everglades a few minutes late. I guess the currents weren't as strong as the captain has estimated. The Celebrity Edge is across the harbor from us. I am scheduled to disembark at 8:20. when I arrive in the lounge to wait, I find it packed. No one is off the ship yet! Usually by now half of the passengrs are gone.

There is a problem getting any luggage off the ship. I don't know if it a mechanical problem, a customs inpection problem or a dock worker labor issue.  The end result is the same. No one is leaving.

Eventually the process starts. It takes me longer than usual to gather my luggage. First of all because I never had to find 4 suitcases before, and secondly the suitcase gorillas thought some of the nines were sixes and put two suitcases in the wrong location.

The next delay was waiting for a porter. The were in very limited supply, and the demand for them on this ship was probably higher than most because of the mature demographics of the passengers.

Getting thru customs was a breeze, probably my Global Entry and the fact I was using a porter saved me an hour.

No one else is waiting for the parking lot shuttle bus. Not many passengers left cars here so I give them a call. Within 15 minutes the bus arrives to pick up 3 passengers. He takes me directly to my car, and helps load the luggage in the back.

Now the big challenge is do I remember how to drive?

The driving is easy, but the GPS has failed again. Fortunately I have driven this route so many times I know it pretty much by heart. I get on the expressway and within 2 minutes the GPS decides to cooperate afterall.

A long drive home, a stop for food and the restroom along the way.

I unpack and start the first of two loads of wash and head to the grocery store for food. I left the icebox nearly empty. A little to my surprise, it now has some food in it. Food placed there by Alyssa in anticipation of her move in two weeks.

By bedtime all the unpacking is done, the clothes clean and hung in the closet. One must be ready, there may be a good cruise fare for a ship leaving this weekend. I'm ready.

Nov 14 - Sea Day

The seas subside as we progress towards Florida. We skirt the northern edge of Cuba as that is where the currents are most favorable for conserving fuel. The captain shares that by catching easterly currents they can turn off one engine and still maintain speed. Tons of fuel will be saved.

The skies are mostly sunny, but the temperatures are beginning to drop, and it is noticeablly cooler outside on deck and by the pools.

Guest talent show, guest singers, guest performance of "The Killer Dance". Do you see a pattern of how the passengers are being entertained? And Royal is keeping costs down.

This is packing day. I need to get extra luggage tags, I don't trust the gorillas with only one tag on the luggage, I always attach two. Guest services is busy with guests settling accounts and fixing account discrepencies.

I have been here for weeks, and on the last day I meet neighbors that live just North of me. Frequent cruisers that will make Pinnacle status level on their next cruise, as I did on this one, Irving and Linda are also both pilots. 

Last chance for dinner in the dining room, I pass and go to Park Cafe for a snack.

I expected to find the liquor I purchased when I returned to my cabin. Nowhere to be found, I was misinformed, I needed to go to the shops to pick it up. It was waiting for me on the counter when I arrived. 

Bruce and Sandi come in while I am there. The sales person shows them the distinctive bottle and laments the fact he has no more to sell. He offers a few samples to finish the last bottle of Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey in the store. We we happy to help.

With liquor in hand, I can now pack my last suitcase and get the needed ones out in the hall.

The alarm is set for 7:00, sadly tomorrow I need to leave and go home.

Nov 13 - George Town, Grand Cayman

By  10:30 most passengers have taken tenders to shore. The sytem works much more efficiently here than in Cabo San Lucas, primarily because the tenders are operated by the port, not the ship.

The weather is hot but ideal. No clouds, lots of sun and a light breeze. There is also a Holland America ship and a Carnival ship anchored nearby.

I go ashore for about an hour. Nothing needed to buy, nothing bought. I return to the ship and shower.

As we are about to leave, the captain makes an announcement about an outbreak of norovirus that is spreading on the ship. I wasn't aware except that I thought the cleaning efforts were more aggressive than usual.

One passenger reported that she was aware of the outbreak about two days out of San Pedro as it had struck people at most of the tables around her in the dining room.

Whether norovirus or something else, Bill didn't feel well and went to the medical facility yesterday. After a $1,000 bill he was advised to disembark in George Town and seek more advanced medical care. He ignored the advise.

Several times there were indications that some passengers missed the ship. Today the identity was confirmed of a person that did miss the ship in San Pedro.  Captain Mike was supposed to take command in San Pedro. For an unexplained reason, he didn't make it and boarded in Colon instead. So if you had any idea that the ship would wait for you, thing again. They didn't even wait for the captain.

The seas are about six feet as we leave port headed to Ft Lauderdale, Fl. There is a nice roll to the ship. Most passengers are fine, but there are those that are complaining.

Another comedian ventriloquist for entertainment. Not as good as most others I have seen.

Tomorrow is a sea day.