As expected, I did not get much sleep due to our noisy neighbor, which turned out to be people renovating the room underneath us. I should also mention that we are probably the only English speaking people in the hotel. While we were having our breakfast out on the walkway, a lot of people greeted us with a friendly Buenos Dias or Buon Dia. While we were walking, some people came up to me and asked me something in Spanish – all I could do was nod and smile and sometimes say Si.
We had the usual breakfast and waited for the taxi I pre-arranged with the desk for transport to the pier. The fare was metered but was calculated to be about $25. Although it took us a while to find the Azamara Quest (it was docked all by itself on the other side of the port – away from the huge ships), the fare still came in under $25.00.
Boarding was quick (small ship benefit) and we got expedited being guest entertainers. We got our sea pass cards and made our way up to the Windows Café for the buffet lunch. We had some salad, some tuna, and some pizza. Pretty much the same lunch we always have on board these ships. The food was good and the Café was not that crowded as some people had not yet boarded.
We ate on the back deck and had some lunch drinks to jumpstart the voyage – a Bloody Mary for me and a Banana Daiquiri for Ellen.
Getting in the Cruising Mood
There were quite a few ships docked on the other side of the port – mostly NCL ships.
Once we got notice that the cabins were ready, we went down to our cabin – 4020 (right across from the Med Bay on the port side) but very conveniently located. It’s a great room with a big unobstructed window and a huge bed. The room is spacious with a couch and there is room between the bed and the wall and also room for two night stands.
It was a very clear day and we were able to get great shots of the Miami skyline from the open decks.
Tony Markey is the Cruise Director for this voyage and the Activity Manager is Matt Belsey (I sailed with Matt and Erik in February on the Journey). There was no welcome aboard letter from Matt in the room – we figured it would be there later.
We attended the safety drill at 4:30 PM – our Captain the is the Brit would ran the Quest the last time we were on – he’s very into the number of lines used to secure the ships (“strings” he calls them). This cruise will be a disappointment to him because we are tendering to almost all the ports.
After the drill, we checked again for the letter from Matt – nada. I went looking for Matt in the CD office but had to have him paged by the Purser’s desk. There were some welcome letters for speakers on the purser’s desk but none had my name on them. I finally got hold of Matt and told him about the letters. He said he would be right down. In his office, we found out that I was not listed on his grid as one of the speakers – another speaker, who wasn’t due to board until next cruise had been scheduled in my place. Matt did have all of my information – for some reason, the voyage was wrong. He told me that all five talks would be scheduled but he didn’t know when. Complicating things for me was the presence of two other speakers on board (not mentioned on the Azamara Website) – Cassie O’Hara from the WWF and Carl Schott, the Destination Speaker. I have confidence that Matt will work the whole thing out.
In any event, we watched a very scenic sail away from the open deck. We passed by the posh condos and golf course on Fisher Island before clearing the break water and heading out to sea.
Breaking from tradition, we had dinner in the Discoveries Dining Room. We both had the salmon, which was OK – the service was quick and the dinner was good overall.
The Welcome Aboard show tonight is actually the first Production Show - “Stage Door to Dreams”. After a brief introduction of the Entertainment Staff, the show went on with what I found out was a brand new cast. The singers and dancers were good and Tony added some songs not previously part of the show.
Hairspray Medley – No Roller Skates Version
Currently reading - “A Death in Venice” by Daniel Silva – about hiding Nazis and the Holocaust (Part of the Holocaust Trilogy). Very different from his other books.
Our room is quiet and comfortable – hopes are high for a restful cruise.