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Western Caribbean, 17 - 24 August 2002

The Itinerary

NCL LogoPlease click here for details of the Ports of Call

We left the hotel in Orlando at 7.30am, making our way over to the Turnpike, stopping for breakfast and petrol and then finally off at 8.15am. With one stop at the services in Pompano Beach we made Alamo at Miami Int'l Airport before noon. We were held up by a very nasty smash at the junction of I95 and SR112 [the turn to the airport], where obviously someone had had to have been cut from a squashed car. We just got straight on the Port shuttle bus and were at the Cruise Terminal by 12.40pm. 2 ships in port, Explorer of the Seas & Norwegian Sun.

A porter took our bags and then the endless queuing started; at least 200 yards outside the termianl itself. ID required to enter the terminal, the passports are checked to tickets before going through security. No-one appeared to be having their hand baggage checked after the x-ray. Then the check-in which took forever, an hour for us in line. The staff were so slooooooow and some hardly spoke English, which didn't help. It was quite warm in there too, but at least there were drinks. One does have to have a digital photo taken for the 'Sun Card', which is what appeared to be taking the time.

The Miami Skyline from Norwegian Sun - 17 Aug 2002

Miami Skyline from Norwegian Sun

Finally the last check, photo ID & Ship pass required to be permitted to join the queue for the photographer to board. The 'security' bods seemed to have a problem with the fact that some no longer had photo ID, as check-in keep non-US citizen passports, and driving licences like mine don't have photos. Eventually the supervisor agreed to accept the ticket against the ships pass. No by-pass line for the photo, had to have it, which turned out to be awful. Howard has his eyes closed; not buying that at $20!

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Explorer of the Seas, Miami, 17 Aug 2002

Explorer of the Seas, Miami

On board and to the cabin, 0003. All seems very nice. No upper berths, the sofa opens into a double bed, which does take up quite a bit of room at night. We had been told the bags often don't arrive until early evening, up until 7pm, so as it was now nearly 2pm we went to the Garden Café for something to eat. It was a bit crowded up there as everyone had the same idea, but the Great Outdoor Café had no queue, the same food and you could then come inside to eat. Our bags were in the cabin when we returned, well 3 were, but by the time we had unpacked those the 4th had turned up and everything was put away before the muster drill at 4.15pm.

I forget the number of times we were told exactly where to go over the PA system but some twits still managed to be at the wrong stations and on the wrong side of the ship. A roll call was taken and those who didn't turn up have to attend another tomorrow morning. We sailed at 5pm, an hour later than scheduled. There was a "Sail-Away Party" by the pool. A "Bon Voyage" drink costing $6.95! You do get to keep the plastic glass for that.

Howard and I walked the decks as we departed Miami, taking photos and watching the US Coastguard boat accompanying us. Protection against any terrorist activities? I won't make comment! We went along to the Kid's Crew Program meeting and bought wristbands so they can have unlimited sodas during the week $16, not cheap! $39 for a backpack, containing a Kids Crew, Hat, Sunglasses, T-Shirt, Drinks band etc. We ate in the Seven Seas Restaurant. We were all tired so didn't bother with the shows, just wandered around the ship exploring.

Leaving Miami 17 Aug 2002

'Au Revoir' Miami

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NCL LogoPlease click on the links below for details of what we did and saw in the ports of call

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U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Boat - Miami 17 Aug 2002

U.S. Coast Guard

Day

Visiting

Arr

Dep

Sat 17 Aug

Depart Miami

 

1700

Mon 19 Aug

Grand Cayman

0800

1500

Tues 20 Aug

Roatán, Honduras

1100

1800

Wed 21 Aug

Belize City

0800

1700

Thurs 22 Aug

Cozumel, Mexico

0800

2000

Sat 24 Aug

Miami

0700

 

Fisher Island Ferry "Flamingo"

Fisher Island Ferry "Flamingo"

It was still quite dark when we arrived back in Miami. The lights looked pretty. Disembarkation went smoothly according to one's colour tag. We were towards the end, not having a flight from MIA until 3.00pm. There was a slight queue at Immigration which didn't take long to get through. We boarded the coach to the airport and were there before 10.30am; 4½ hrs to wait for our flight! American Airlines to Heathrow via Chicago, which all went uneventfully, with an upgrade to 1st Class on the leg to Chicago:) Arrived back home at Noon, 25 August. An excellent holiday.

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