October 10, 2021

Day 8 - Disembarking and Drive Home

I am the first passenger to arrive in the theater. Passengers that are carrying off all their luggage are called to begin disembarking. Shortly it is our turn.

Again no lines, no crowds. One last scan of my sea pass card to account for me leaving the ship.  The gangway is a very long ramp that winds back and forth as we go from deck 5 on the ship to the second floor of the terminal and then down to ground level.

As we enter the terminal building masks are required. Our luggage is waiting for us and is quickly found. We head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Historically this is the step that can take hours. Not today.

As I fish in my pocket to get my passport the agent says: "just put that away, please remove your mask".  Within 2 seconds the screen flashes a message and I am on my way. More technology. Facial recognition has compared me with an electronic record of my passport.

The shuttle bus takes me directly to my car, we load the luggage and start the long drive home.

Shortly one of the tire pressure warning alarms comes on. One tire is a few pounds low. Of course this appears after I have entered the Turnpike with limited service areas,  I watch it, and make the decision no action is needed unless it continues to drop. The pressure remains steady even if a few pounds low.

After several restroom stops, I am home before 1 PM.  Unpack, wash all the clothes and I am ready to go again.

Later in the day, hours after arrival at home, I learn the tire pressure really isn't low, it is a defective sensor. A task for another day.

Yes it was great to get back to sea again. I will be doing it again in less than 60 days. I expect the covid protocols will change again by then.

There were no covids cases this week. The entire crew and some passengers were tested on the third day of the cruise. Every day the captain reported on the health status of the ship - no one suspected of covid and no one testing positive. Just as planned.

Day 7 - Nassau

The Carnival Magic is already in port as we arrive and dock beside her. The skies are clear and sunny, but the temperatures are in the mid 80's, a pleasant break from the Florida heat.

Since my last visit here Nassau is adding another pier which I suspect will be capable of docking two more cruise ships, bringing the total port capacity to 9 ships at the same time.

Soon another ship arrives on the other side of us, the MSC Meraviglia. Nassau is definitely the busiest port in the Caribbean right now.

About 75 guests take the 2 hour boat ride in what are basically pontoon boats with outboard motors.

Some coincidences are beyond imagination. As I am communicating with my daughter in Orlando on Facebook, I get a message from the travel agent that I had used for nearly 10 years prior to the pandemic. I had tried to contact him several times, but he no longer worked for the firm. Hearing from him while on a cruise is just uncanny.

After lunch I start the sad process of packing. Many things I won't need again like my shaving mirror, and there are many others I gratefully never needed on this trip like all the emergency just in case travel stuff. Suitcases need to be out tonight between 6 and 10 PM. I will pack my carryon sutcase in the morning. 

We are scheduled to disembark in group 9 at 7:50 AM. I will probably regret saying this, but the process should be easy with so few passengers.

Without reservations for dinner, the app wouldn't allow us to make any, we elect to return to the greek restaurant. They have plenty of seating. another excellent dinner.

I catch one last show and then return to the cabin for the evening. The alarm is set for 6:45 AM. We agree to meet in the theater at 7:45 in the morning just before our scheduled departure time.

The seas are slight, with waves less than 2 feet. We move steadily and slowly at 10 knots toward Port Everglades.