Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010 – Miami, FL – 74F – Embarkation Day

Up at 6:30 AM – quiet night – no earplugs – just an occasional jet taking off from MIA.  Our room at the La Quinta Airport East is pretty nice (not a new hotel but it seemed clean).  We had the usual waffle based breakfast and are now waiting for our 10:00 AM shuttle to the Port of Miami.  Three more folks signed up for the shuttle so the ship won’t be empty.

 E in front of La Quinta (Small)  

In Front of the Luxurious La Quinta

Plane leaving MIA (Small)

Plane taking off over the hotel

The shuttle picked us up at 10 AM for the 10 minute drive to the Port of Miami.  The Celebrity Century was the only ship there – unusual but expected for a Thursday departure.

On our way to port of MIA (Small) 

On the way to the cruise port

We dropped our bags and went to a waiting area for security to open.  I informed the agent that I was the speaker on board and he said we could go through security first (how about that?).  We did and we were literally the first people on the ship.  A few minutes later, the buffet opened and we ate on the back deck.  We sampled a bit of everything – the food was good. 

E on Deck (Small)

Next stop:  The Library to check out books for the voyage.

E in Library (Small)

We also checked in with the Maitre D on our dinner seating.  We are in “Flexible Dining” for tonight.  We’ll see how that works out and if we need to be in the regular dining room for the rest of the trip.

We stopped by our room, 4003, to drop our stuff.  It is a passenger cabin with an enormous bathroom and shower, lots of storage, and a large picture window.  In fact, the whole ship looks likes it’s been renovated.

 Room 4003 (Small)

At 6:00 PM, we arrive at the Grand Dining Room Flexible Seating desk.  We asked for and got a table for two at the aft windows.  Pretty quiet in that location except for the slight rumbling of the engines.  The menu was essentially the same as the one we had just had on the Equinox but the food was good.

After dinner, I met with Alejandro, the Activities Manager, and Mike, the Cruise Director to go over my two topics and to film a short promo.  I plan to do  “The CSI Phenomenon” and “Cold Cases Solved”.  I usually like to bridge these two with “The Science of CSI” but the cruise is too short.  The other speaker on board is also a Special Interest Speaker, Myrna Goldberger, who will be talking on First Families and Lies and Spies.

The Welcome Aboard show featured many of the acts on board including a guitarist-vocalist (Justin Wade) , a piano-vocalist (Will), aerialists, and an A Cappella Group (Tideflats) .  The Celebrity Theater is very nice but the seats are not tiered enough.  The crowd at the second show was pretty small.

We had a message from Shore Excursions that both of us were escorting tomorrow in Key West.

There is an annoying whistling sound in our room that we want engineering to look at.

Trying to get a good night’s sleep even though the noise penetrates my earplugs.

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