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rtw68

Our B2B Adventure on the Breeze Inaugural!

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We planned on going ashore about 10:30am, so we had breakfast, and of course I had to take some more pictures!

 

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Here was a guy in a VERY small boat I’m assuming fishing:

 

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Welcome to Curacao!

 

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More blue water!

 

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We met up with Steve and Michelle and proceeded off the ship.

 

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And started walking to the downtown area.

 

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An old fort was converted to a hotel shopping area.

 

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Here is the pontoon bridge. It had a boat motor on either side and would push the bridge open or closed depending on the traffic. They had warning bells and flags when the bridge was due to open.

 

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This looks like an old NCL ship that was sold?

 

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Here is a pic of the four of us. Myself, DW, Michelle, and Steve.

 

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Then some speed boats showed up. Looked in ninjas or military?

 

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Edited by rtw68

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The architecture of the buildings was impressive. Even though they were all modern stores now, you could get a feel for the history and influence.

 

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Subway anyone? They also had a McDonalds!

 

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Wonder if this boat would stay afloat?

 

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Here the pontoon bridge was open and a tug boat came through

 

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We ate lunch at a place along the port. The crab salad sandwiches were good! I can’t recall the name of the place but it’s the first place on the left once you get off the pontoon bridge.

 

Here are some pics of the Breeze from the city:

 

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This bridge also joined the two sides:

 

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I hope these weren’t aiming at the Breeze! She isn’t a pirate ship!

 

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Some more pictures of the shopping area

 

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We actually went back on board the ship. Steve and Michelle got back off toward the evening and we joined them and took some additional pictures.

 

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Michelle’s pictures came out much better than mine when we took some of the city & ship at night-time. Hopefully these photos won’t outlaw me from being Mr. Kodak!

 

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This one turned out pretty good:

 

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We all met up for dinner that night at the Red Frog Pub. We each ordered some of the “pub grub” and had a buffet of our own.

 

Speaking for myself, I enjoyed one too many “pain killer” drinks (which were really good by the way) and fortunately, DW was my “designated walker” for the evening!

 

Here is the menu for the pub grub. The food is really good and only $3.33 per appetizer (plus gratuity):

 

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Here was the evening’s towel animal:

 

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We went to bed excited for our excursion in Aruba!

 

I will hopefully be able to post some more tomorrow evening! Thanks for reading.

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11/24/2012 – END OF TWO DAY/EMBARK FOR EIGHT DAY

 

I am normally up very early for work every day, and unfortunately, my built-in alarm clock had me awake very early. The good thing about that is we were just heading back into Miami, and I was able to watch the Breeze spin around in the turn basin.

 

In watching the other ships do this from the Port of Miami Web Cam it sure looks tight. Seeing it in person, however, there is more than enough room for ships to make the turn.

 

On most mornings, we ordered room service coffee and fruit to enjoy on the balcony, then we went for some breakfast a little later. The breakfast buffet on the lido was pretty good. The scrambled eggs had a strange texture to them, but still tasted fine. I enjoyed having French toast and yes the bacon police were active!

 

I do think that Carnival was unprepared for the number of B2B’ers that were on the ship. I was expecting there would be more but there were only 180 of us.

 

I was shocked when our room steward Wilfred had placed the luggage tags and customs form on the bed Friday night! After a trip to customer service, they said that was normal procedure and they did have us on the B2B list.

 

The left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing and it wasn’t until late on Friday night that they had the info for us. We were to meet in the Ovation Theater at 9:30AM to get the process moving.

 

In addition to the 180 of us that were on the B2B, there were staff members that would also be disembarking that morning. They had to keep us separate. Most of the delays were caused by Customs & Immigration, and unfortunately, until they say things can proceed, we just had to wait.

 

I believe it was close to 10:00AM before we finally made our way off the ship. They walked us through the terminal, and down the escalator to the customs/luggage area.

 

We “Breezed” right through customs only having to hand them our filled out form. Nobody was declaring anything on the forms since we were staying on board, I think it was a major waste of time dealing with the form, but that’s the government in action!

 

We were then taking to a large waiting room and that’s where we stayed for quite a while. At this point, they were supposed to hand us our new S&S cards and then we could proceed back on the ship. We were supposed to be back on before anyone else embarked, but that wasn’t the case as we later found out.

 

To be honest, I had never done a B2B before and none of this really bothered us. There were some other people getting upset, but I knew we had another eight days to look forward to. I was on vacation and wasn’t going to get worked up about it.

 

They finally started handing out the new S&S cards, and this was very disorganized. They had them listed by cabin number and it took quite a while for them to be given to everyone. Again, I think it was because of the large number of B2B’ers and the Customs and Immigration delays that caused the problems for Carnival. In the future, they should have a better way to handle that many people returning to the ship.

 

After what seemed like a 30-40 minute delay, we were finally brought back on the ship for another “ding” and security photo.

 

Pierre Camilleri, the hotel director, was personally greeting everyone once we boarded and apologized for the delay. I was back on the ship again, it didn’t ruin my cruise! Later that day, we found a fruit basket that he had given to the B2B'ers.

 

Thank you Randy, for this very accurate description, and keeping it in perspective so well...too bad more adults can't manage this:rolleyes:

It was a Customs and Immigration delay that did not clear the ship for reboarding, for anyone, period. It wasn't fun for sure, but the CCL staff were awesome and did all they could with a crappy situation...And I thought hey, one more fruit basket was a very nice touch.:D I felt awful for the staff dealing with a lot of anger that was misdirected!

Most excellent review and pics, thank you!!!

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Thank you Randy, for this very accurate description, and keeping it in perspective so well...too bad more adults can't manage this:rolleyes:

It was a Customs and Immigration delay that did not clear the ship for reboarding, for anyone, period. It wasn't fun for sure, but the CCL staff were awesome and did all they could with a crappy situation...And I thought hey, one more fruit basket was a very nice touch.:D I felt awful for the staff dealing with a lot of anger that was misdirected!

Most excellent review and pics, thank you!!!

 

Thanks Floatie! I have enjoyed many of your reviews and to have you compliment mine is an honor! :)

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This looks like an old NCL ship that was sold?

 

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She's formerly Celebrity Horizon, and was sold to Pullmantur a few years ago. Love your review!

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She's formerly Celebrity Horizon, and was sold to Pullmantur a few years ago. Love your review!

 

Ahh thanks for the info! :)

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11/26/2012 – GRAN TURK

 

This was our first visit to Gran Turk. We didn’t have any specific planned, but wanted to visit the beach and ended up at Margaritaville.

 

As soon as we pulled into port, you could hear loud music and announcements from the “Local Village.”

 

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I don't think I'd trust a $35 helicopter ride. The Red Frog Caribbean Beach Party looks like fun! I've gotta try one of those "painkillers"! :D

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11/29/2012 – ARUBA

 

Ok back at it! Hard to believe we were at our last port of call on this cruise. Welcome to Aruba!

 

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We had some breakfast and then went to check in with the DePalm tour folks for our SeaTrek Underwater Helmet Walk. We had to fill out a disclaimer form at the counter, and then the bus driver had us fill one out also. No way we could have sued them for anything….

 

We then went outside and waited for a bus. Unfortunately, they don’t count as people get on the bus so we had to get off of two buses before they had one empty enough for us.

 

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The bus took us on about a 15-minute ride around the airport and through some back roads to an industrial area. The De Palm Island is about a 5 minute boat ride from the shore.

 

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We checked in with the counter at De Palm and provided our previously filled out disclaimer forms.

 

Our turn was at 10:30AM.

 

Here are some random pics around De Palm

 

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We had a safety briefing and they explained what we would be doing. We would start our way down a ladder into the water at shoulder height. They would then place a helmet that weighed 70 lbs on our shoulders.

 

They helmet had a pressurized air hose attached to it (3 times normal air pressure). We would then make our way down the ladder about 20 feet into the water.

 

Also, you had to walk level and keep the helmet level because if you bent over, water would fill the helmet. Also, they recommended you breathe naturally to and from your nose, so the helmet wouldn’t fog up.

 

Now I’m not a strong swimmer (DW is a former life guard) and she was worried I wouldn’t do well. Not to worry! Swimming is not a requirement here!

 

They pointed out that every step or so we should try to balance the pressure by yawning, swallowing, or holding our nose and force pressure out our ears.

 

Well, my left ear always gets messed up on flights, so it wasn’t a surprise to me that I had a sharp pain in my ear until while I stepped down (while doing the “nose thing”) to the bottom and through the walk. My ear bugged me for a couple days afterward, but it was well worth it.

 

They also briefed us on how to tell them how we were doing underwater. They would come by us and give us the “ok” sign, and if we gave them the “ok” sign then things were going ok. If we gave them the thumbs up or thumbs down they would get us to the surface quickly.

 

One thing I need to mention is a mishap on their part that actually benefited us. With our group (#4) they have divers and a guy taking photos and video. They then take the camera to the main counter and they copy the photos for you to purchase for $39.95. Not bad considering it includes photos and some video. Your own cameras are not permitted.

 

Well, when we were done with our walk, we waited for the pictures to be available. It turns out that they didn’t put a card in the camera, so NO PHOTOS or NO VIDEOS!! There were several angry people. They offered to let us go again if we wanted, and at first we didn’t want to do that. We were concerned about being back to the ship on time.

 

The other people left angrily and grabbed cabs to go back to the ships. We decided, after they said we would be ok time-wise, to do it again.

 

I was SO glad we did, DW and I were the ONLY ones that did the walk again. Because of that we had a private walk with nearly 100 photos and a couple videos of just us! We were appreciative that SeaTrek made the offer and allowed us to do the full walk again. They get high ratings in my book!

 

At the bottom of the ladder, they had a steel walkway with railings. Glad they did that! With the helmet it distorted your view and made things much larger. I found myself grabbing for the railing and missing it most times!

 

Here is a pic of DW near the ladder that we descended (and you can also see the walkway with railings):

 

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The diver had a squirt bottle that he must have sent fish food from. The fish went nuts and were very close to us:

 

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Here I am with some kind of sea creature the diver gave me:

 

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DW with the same sea creature:

 

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He were are together:

 

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Here is a good shot of the helmet:

 

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At one point, they guide you to a couple seats with a table in the middle and have you sit down.

 

They then took a couple of bottles and had you hold them and took your picture.

Pretty funny.

 

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In addition to the fish they have a sunken tour bus and an airplane. It was mostly visible but wasn’t bright in most areas. I was amazed that the water was that comfortable (being that far down) and that I felt warm currents in a couple spots on the bottom.

 

If you ever have a chance to do this, it’s worth it!

 

When we were finished, we took off our provided water shoes and made our way to the building where they provided lunch. It was pretty good.

 

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Here are some more pics of De Palm

 

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After lunch, we paid for our pictures/videos and they burned them to a CD for us. We then took the boat back to the short and hopped on a bus to return to the ship.

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Here are some pics after we left Aruba.

 

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That night, a group of us ate at Cucina Del Capitano. Its located toward the back of the Lido Market Place and there are steps you take to the second level.

 

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Thanks so much for your detailed description and photos of DePalm Island and the Helmet walk.

 

I was here several years ago and did the Snuba tour. My DD and her BFF are considering the Helmet or snuba for our upcoming Breeze cruise and I am looking forward to sharing your review and photos with them to help them decide!

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They describe dinner as “family style,” meaning if more than one person orders an item they bring it in a larger dish and you share.

 

They did do that with the appetizers, but when it came to the main courses, they brought us out HUGE individual portions (even though some of us ordered the same items).

 

Dinner was very good and we all left VERY full. During the dinner, they sing several songs. It was really funny hearing a Russian waiter sing an Italian song (he did a good job).

 

This was another night that my DW told them it was my birthday, so I got sung to again!

 

Here is a pic of the menu:

 

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That night, we wandered the ship some more and turned in.

 

Here was our towel animal for the night:

 

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11/26/2012 – CHEF’S TABLE

 

I completely forgot about the Chef’s Table! Sorry to backtrack but I want to make sure I include it!

 

I had reserved both the Steak House and the Chef’s Table soon after the Breeze started its cruises in the Med. I received confirmation of both, but we wouldn’t know what night the chef’s table would be until we boarded the ship (and I assumed not until the 8-day cruise).

 

On Saturday (day of the 8-day embarkation) we received confirmation that the Chef’s Table would be on Monday, November 26th. They included a form for DW and I that asked us if we had been sick. Since the event would be in the galley, they didn’t want anyone that was sick to contaminate everyone’s meals! Can’t say I blame them.

 

We were each provided a menu with what we would be experiencing that evening.

 

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The wine was flowing the entire time and they provided a glass of champagne at the meal’s start.

 

This is one time where I thought I read that no cameras were permitted (because of being in the galley), but the chef didn’t have any issues with us taking photos. Well, guess who left their camera back in the cabin. Me….

 

Another lady took some pictures and offered to email them to me, but unfortunately, they haven’t arrived as of yet.

 

Executive Chef Joaquim Rosario Dias was an excellent host. He described each dish in detail and everything we tried was excellently prepared and very flavorful.

 

If I recall correctly, there were six other chefs that helped with the preparation and serving of each course. They timed it perfectly so everyone received their dishes at the same time.

 

He also at one point showed us what he did on a daily basis and what he was responsible for. In additional to the daily preparation of meals, he is also responsible for the ordering of all food for each cruise. He showed us a computer screen that had every menu option listed as far as how many were created, served, etc.

 

He also explained that the crew’s menus are created at the Miami head office, so there wouldn’t be complaints of not having enough of a particular country’s cuisine. With over 50 countries represented on board, it’s hard to please everyone.

 

Here were a couple pictures that they took and gave to us:

 

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If you have an opportunity to go to the Chef’s Table, please do so! The chef told us that he had a waiting list of 25 people, and he doesn’t do more than two nights on a typical cruise because it takes him away from the operation for 3 hours each time.

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Thanks so much for your detailed description and photos of DePalm Island and the Helmet walk.

 

I was here several years ago and did the Snuba tour. My DD and her BFF are considering the Helmet or snuba for our upcoming Breeze cruise and I am looking forward to sharing your review and photos with them to help them decide!

 

I hope they decide to do it. It was not cheap, but we would do it again! :D

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Great review and pictures. I did the Chefs Table on the Dream in March 2011 it was great we had a different menu but would love to do it again since they changed it. Butch was our CD on that cruise Love him.

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Great review and pictures. I did the Chefs Table on the Dream in March 2011 it was great we had a different menu but would love to do it again since they changed it. Butch was our CD on that cruise Love him.

 

Thanks. We did enjoy Butch. :)

 

Great review and pictures! Thank you for sharing your cruise adventure with us!

 

Thanks!

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11/30/2012 – FUN DAY AT SEA

 

We had another beautiful and hot day at sea. Its amazing the difference between the Caribbean sea and the Atlantic Ocean. We had very smooth seas this day and enjoyed the Serenity Deck as well as our own Cove Balcony.

 

Because of how our balcony was positioned between the two lifeboats, we would get several hours of direct sun.

 

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We really liked the Cove Balcony and won’t hesitate to book another one (hopefully the same number). It was quiet, private, and being that close to the ocean was great!

Edited by rtw68
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We went to the Motor City show that night, and had the following towel animal when we got back:

 

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It was hard to believe that our journey was almost over. One sea day to enjoy the ship and then they would be throwing us off!

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12/01/2012 – FINAL FUN DAY AT SEA

 

This morning was the only day that we had rain and overcast skies. We were just north off the coast of Cuba and the rain lasted until about 11:00AM.

 

We went to breakfast and then came back while it was raining and got our bags packed (sigh).

 

I did spend some time taking some more pics of the ship (the areas I thought I had missed).

 

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Here are some more pics:

 

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The Sapphire Dining Room:

 

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The Blush Dining Room:

 

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The Library Bar:

 

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Circle C:

 

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More pics of the Thirsty Frog Pub:

 

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The Coffee Bar (had great Gelato)

 

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Stairwell on Deck 2:

 

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Some outside pics:

 

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Towel animals at the towel hut:

 

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Lido Marketplace pics:

 

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Fun Hub station on Deck 10:

 

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I like this pic of the Atrium from one of the glass elevators:

 

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We had one last get together at the Thirsty Frog Pub. Gotta love that Thirsty Frog Red:

 

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Some artwork on the walls of the Thirsty Frog Pub.

 

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After we said our final goodbyes, we headed back to the cabin and this was our last towel animal:

 

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I filled out the customs form, put the tags on our luggage, and put them in the hallway.

 

One last sleep in our Cove and we had to leave. I hate that!!!

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12/02/2012 – DEBARKATION

 

Well, “that” day was here. Just seems like yesterday we boarded the ship and now we had to leave.

 

When we arrived that morning, the captain pulled the ship in without going to the turn basin first. The new pax would be lucky to be on the ship as it spun around.

 

Here was the view that morning:

 

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I think (hope) our luggage is down there:

 

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We got dressed, gathered the rest of our stuff and went to the Lido for one last breakfast before we left. We had Zone 12, wouldn’t be flying out today and weren’t in a big hurry.

 

When Zone 12 was called, we slowly made our way toward the elevators. As was typical we many times had to ride all the up or down before we were able to get to our desired level. No biggie as I wasn’t in a hurry most times.

 

We made our way down to Deck 3, which is where you board and leave the ship. There was a fairly long line that didn’t move for a while. As I mentioned before, Customs and Immigration has complete control of this process, and we just had to wait until they allowed more people off the ship.

 

This didn’t keep several people ahead of us from complaining about the entire cruise, how Carnival was handling everything, and how lousy their stay was. Really??? She was in her motorized scooter and didn’t have to stand the whole time, just saying.

 

I wanted to voice my opinion to her about her constant complaining and wish her well on the cruise-line-that-handled-things-better but decided not to.

 

After about 15-20 minutes, we were on our way off the ship. One last ding as the S&S card was read. The port of Miami has airport style luggage carousels and it didn’t take anytime at all for our luggage to make its way around.

 

A porter was nearby and it was well worth the cost of a tip for him to grab our bags, get us through customs, and get us to a cab. The whole process took about 10 minutes from the time we left the ship until the time we were in a cab speeding off!

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