Wanderung 28

A Warm Winter Break

December 2013 - January 2014


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Wednesday January 8, 2014: Boarding the Coral Princess

It rained off and on as we had breakfast at the IHOP about a block away from our motel, but we were in good spirits because we were, after all, headed back down into the Caribbean! After breakfast, we wandered around the main commercial street and found an ATM in the Civic Center so that we could get some more cash for our upcoming cruise. Returning to our motel, we packed up the car for the short drive over to Port Everglades, the main port area of Fort Lauderdale. The sky was overcast and the day quite dark, but we looked forward to nicer weather in the Caribbean so that didn't matter.

We were happy to find a slot on the interior of the second level of the parking garage for Pier 19, as that way the car would at least stay dry while we were off on our cruise. Then we rolled our luggage across the entrance area and gave it up to the porters to be put on the ship. Our usual next step would be to sign on board, but then Monika suddenly said she didn't have my passport! Well, that shook me a bit, because there was no way I was going to leave the USA without having my passport to get back in! (But consider that my luggage was already on board the ship!) So we both hustled back to the car and Monika found where my passport had slipped down beside her seat. Phew!

Quite relieved, we returned to the terminal and signed onto the Coral Princess. Our luggage arrived quite early, so we unpacked well before the lifeboat drill at 3 p.m. and relaxed until the ship slid sideways out through the rain into the harbor basin, pivoted using the bow thrusters and the help of a tugboat, and then steamed rather slowly out to sea. The wind was up to at least gale strength by that time, and the police boat escorting us had to really crash through the waves to stay abeam.

The police boat turned back at the harbor mouth, but the pilot stayed on board until we were a mile or two out to sea, and then he jumped onto the pilot shuttle boat for the trip back to shore.

At dinner that evening we met Carmine and Shelley, two of the remaining four in our table for 6 in Bordeaux Dining Room. Carmine owns a stone monument manufacturing company and Shelley works as an image consultant and personal manager at a firm specializing in handing rich, famous, or powerful folks, so it was rather interesting hearing about their working lives. Coincidentally, they had also been married 44 years and had, naturally enough, children and grandchildren, so there was plenty to talk about.

After dinner we listened to a string trio for a while in the main atrium of the ship before retiring for the night.

Copyright 2014 by R. W. Holt and E. M. Holt


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Map of Homosassa, Florida Map of Western Caribbean Cruise Map of Panama Canal Cruise

December 2013
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January 2014
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