Saturday, March 3, 2018

Crystal Serenity – Caribbean Cruise – December 6 – 20, 2018

Travel Day – Tuesday, December 5, 2017

As is generally the case, we are on an early flight to Fort Lauderdale – it’s a little inconvenient but it does give us a full day in South Florida.  Flight 2265 ORD to FLL is scheduled to depart at 7:45 AM.  Our American Taxi Blue arrived on time at 6:00 AM and we arrived at ORD at 6:20 AM.  We checked in via kiosk and our trip through TSA PreCheck was fast. When we arrived at gate H18, our plane was there.

IMG_20171205_AA2265 ready to go

When the crew arrived I noticed that our captain piloting the B737-800 was a very stately woman. It was a smooth flight overall – the plane dodged some stormy areas on landing.  We arrived 10 minutes early at 11:35 AM. The luggage came right out (we are actually using a larger suitcase this time (two cruises and more fancy clothes). I called for shuttle from the Quality Inn Cruise Port Airport North. The clerk initially assigned us to a room on the first floor but then told us that room 315 was now available. We dropped off our bags and decided to head out to Ft. Lauderdale Beach and then find a place by the beach for dinner.

We thought at first to use public transportation but it looked complicated and the bus made 30 plus stops along the way resulting in a 90+ minute ride. Instead I called an Uber and, although it was still a pretty long ride due to traffic, the fare was $15 (a lot less than a cab). She dropped us off at the restaurant on E. Sunrise Boulevard I had picked out for dinner. We walked the two blocks to the beach – it was late in the day and not worth renting a beach chair and umbrella so we sat on the sand or on the cement fence bordering the beach.

IMG_20171205_ET Atlantic

ET and the Atlantic Ocean

IMG_20171205_ET FLL beachIMG_20171205_FLL beach looking NIMG_20171205_FLL beach looking SIMG_20171205_FLL beachIMG_20171205_FLL seagulls

Lots of Seagulls

IMG_20171205_me ft Lauderdale beach

Me on the Fence

We walked around the beach area, which consisted of only about three or four square blocks of stores and restaurants. We got to the restaurant just when it opened at 4 AM. We ordered two side salads (modest but the balsamic dressing was the best) and a large 16 inch cheese pizza. The pizza was very good and we couldn’t finish it.

I called for another Uber for the ride home. The traffic was horrendous and finally the driver took a series of side streets to get us home. The ride was $14 and took 53 minutes – had he taken the alternate route we would have been back in 20 minutes. He’ll know that for next time. You can add tips for your rides now so I gave both drivers a tip and 5 stars for dealing with the traffic.

We spent the rest of the evening in our air conditioned room listening to our neighbors squawk and whine about something and hoping that they would stop when it was time to sleep.

Maybe, we’ll find a different hotel next time.

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