January 14, 2024

Jan 12 - Return to Tampa

Tampa is a small port. I think at most they can dock 3 cruise ships. We are tied up to the dock long before I awake at 5:30.

I pack my carry on and we head to the dining room for breakfast. We have lots of time to kill.

Often I avial myself of wheelchair assistance for disembarkation. With the high demand for the service on this ship and the fact that the ship and port are smaller, I elect to forgo that convenience today.

The ship is cleared by authorities early,  and disembarkation begins. Our luggage tag number is called just after 8:00, nearly 40 minutes before the anticipated time. The walk up the gangway to the terminal, across the terminal, and down to the luggage hall is long. With a few stops I make it.

There are no lines for having our passports checked. They do not have facial recognition, but do have 6 or 8 agents manually checking. 

Now it is time to see how well valet service works for retrieving my car.

The valet stand is clearly labeled and is a few steps away just outside the terminal door. I hand the attendant my ticket, a runner heads off to get my car. Within 2 minutes my car is waiting with the trunk lid open ready for our suitcases. I step off the curb into my car. Definitely worth the few extra dollars!

I take a few minutes to plug my home destination into the GPS and we are on our way.  As often is the case, GPS takes me a different way than I would go. But she usually knows more than I do, especially about current local conditions.

It is a gloomy day with fog, low clouds and a light misty rain. Traffic is heavy as would be expected on an early Friday morning. We are guided to I-4 to get out of Tampa and then take the back roads to Clermont. Must faster than the major highways.

We are home by a few minutes after 10:00, the water is turned on, the heat turned up, and laundry started.

In conclusion, a very enjoyable trip despite the cold rainy weather. I verify that it was just 10 years ago that I had last sailed on the Constellation. Looking at the condition of the ship today would give no indication that she is as mature as she is.  I say mature as I avoid the "O" word.

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