Moon Over Miami

Trip Start Dec 14, 2013
Trip End Dec 22, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Sunday, December 15, 2013

I woke up at 8:10 and sat in bed and blogged about our first day. Erin woke up about 8:30 thinking I couldn't sleep and that was why I was up.  She then got up when she realized what time it was.  We got dressed and went downstairs to the Grab-n-Go to get some breakfast.  We got croissant sandwiches and corn muffins (for later).  We found a table at the bar by the pool and sat to eat our breakfast.  Then we went back to the room, packed, checked out, and checked our bags at the hotel.  We had received an email last week to ask us not to arrive before 1:00 due to new embarkation rules.  So we decided to not leave until 1:30 and not arrive when everyone else did.

So we went out to the beach for a walk.  We walked along the beach which was very warm and humid.  There were not many people around, maybe because it was Sunday.  When we came to the beginning of the sidewalk we walked there as the sand was very soft and hard walking.  At the first the sidewalk was brick pavers and then a boardwalk.  We were glad to be back where there was some shade as it was really warm, over 80*.  As we walked I started to see and hear birds and at that moment realized I forgot my binoculars and bird book!  So I started using my new camera to take bird pictures to remember what I saw.  We saw boat-tailed grackles, a red-bellied woodpecker, collared doves, gulls, terns and one little shore bird I couldn’t identify, but definitely a "peep."   There was resort after resort on this part of South Beach, so there weren’t any eating places or other shops to explore.  We walked about a mile down the beach and then headed back to the hotel.  We tried to print a luggage tag for Erin but you had to pay to print in the business center at the hotel, so we didn’t.  We retrieved our bags and got a taxi to the Cruise Terminal.

When we got to the terminal about 2:00 it was really busy and really hot outside.  They were even providing water while we waited outside. So we didn’t beat the rush.  We should have waited half an hour longer.   Once inside we waited to have our passports checked and to go through security.  Then we went upstairs to wait in another long line to get our room keys and have a photo taken.  Then we got photographed again for the usual picture they try to sell you on board.  We were able to go right to our room which is great.  This is the first time we have had a balcony and we are on deck 8 and close to the elevators and stairs, a great location.  We ate our corn muffins and headed up to the Sail Away Party on Lido Deck.  We had to wait for two other Carnival boats to leave before us.  Then we went up the canal and turned around and then headed out of the harbor.  The sun was setting and the moon had risen which gave us great pictures of our departure.

It wasn’t long before we could only see a few lights in the distance and the lights from one of the other Carnival Ships ahead of us.  We decided to take an excursion tomorrow in Nassua to Atlantis, the largest water park in the world, I heard someone say.  So after the Sail Away we went to the Excursion Desk and signed up for the Aquaventure which is a half day at Atlantis all the water features included.  Then we picked up a map of the deck plan from Guest Services.  We had been having trouble figuring out where things are.  We had signed up for “Your Time” dining so we headed back to the room to change for supper.  We got to the Golden Dining Room about 7:30 and were there until after 9:00.  Our meals were fantastic: bread, appetizer (ham croquette, empanada, and black bean salsa), mahi, mahi with red beans and rice.  For dessert Erin had Melting Chocolate cake which she didn’t like as it was dark chocolate.  I had Date and Fig Pudding with Custard, delicious.  I had Moscato wine and Erin had a cocktail.

After supper we decided to go to the Cinna-Bar Piano Lounge.  This lounge has a circular bar around the piano and on the bar are raised piano keys, very unique.  When we arrived there were lots of people around the bar playing percussion instruments and singing along with the piano player, Dave from Phoenix.  We found two empty seats and joined in.  Erin had some beer.  Dave was great at playing and getting all the people to interact with one another.  He played a lot of requests and there were over 3000 songs on his list from almost every genre.  He did a name that tune quiz where he played 20 tunes and we wrote down what we thought they were.  Erin and I only got 5 right.  We stayed until almost 11:00.  We went back and got ready for bed.  Early up tomorrow at 7:00 to be ready for 8:00 briefing for our excursion.
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