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MITSUGIRLY sails off into the HORIZON-review & pictorial


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6 hours ago, silvercrikhix said:

It appears in lightly colored funky font on my iPad Pro. Sorry but it sucks to try & read. 

Same thing on my iPad. Very hard to read. 😩😩

But very excited to read this review! Thanks in advance for doing it!

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HI all!


mitsugirly ~ so glad to have found your review before you got too far into it!

Wow, 2018 was a year of change for your family!!

Congrats on buckling down & almost being finished your degree.

Looking forward to your pictures. I've been sailing NCL lately, just did the Panama Canal on Bliss in Nov.

Missing Carnival.


Merry Christmas!


~ Jo ~ 😊

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Yah...I always get excited when I see a review from you; excited for you and your family, and also excited to follow along.  Congrats on finishing school! And congrats too on your new family addition.

Looking forward to following along.  

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On 12/24/2018 at 10:03 AM, fyree39 said:

It's funny because the past few weeks I've been cruising around CC looking for one of your reviews. It just felt to me like you were due for a cruise vacation.  And, look!  Here you are!  


I just want to thank you sincerely for your wonderful and detailed reviews.  They are so, so helpful.  I know reviews take a lot of time and you sure do go the extra mile.



Overdue for a vacation. hehe

Thanks so much for your comments. It does take a long time to do these reviews but I enjoy them.


On 12/24/2018 at 10:19 AM, GMRPHRN said:

OOooh! Love your reviews! Looking forward to more.



Thank you.


On 12/24/2018 at 10:37 AM, billfish said:

Nice to see you back   We will be on the Conquest in February doing three of these ports  ( no Dominican ) .  While we have been to other ports several time  there is always something new to explore.  


Bring it on


I love this itinerary! Also love DR, so if you ever get a chance to go there...try it out.


On 12/24/2018 at 10:47 AM, deladane said:

Welcome back Kim!  I've been wondering what you are up to lately, knowing that you usually take an end of the year cruise 🙂  Congrats on (almost) finishing your degree!  You should plan another cruise to celebrate when you graduate!! hehe Thanks for taking the time to write your review, I look forward to reading along!


We will definitely have one planned by Spring Break like we always do and that will be my official graduation celebration cruise for sure!



On 12/24/2018 at 10:54 AM, fyree39 said:

I was 48 years old when I went back for my bachelor's degree.  I worked a full-time job, a part-time job and went to school full-time.  I know exactly what you mean about absolutely hating school sometimes.  It's going to feel SO good when that last class is done, done, done.



Yes, I can't wait until I'm completely done. I have no intentions of going back after this. I'm just going to enjoy life!


23 hours ago, Jamman54 said:

Hey Kim! Looking forward to another one of your fabulous reviews! 😀


Thanks, Jamman. Glad to see you here.


23 hours ago, AKR2011 said:

Welcome back!! I have missed seeing you on the boards and am excited to read your review! Take your time and enjoy the holidays with your family. We'll all be here anticipating your posts 🙂


Thanks and glad to be back (at least for a short period).



22 hours ago, SenatorsFan said:

Great to see you back, Kim, you have been busy this year! :classic_biggrin: Congrats on being almost finished with school.

My DH and I sailed Horizon in Oct. and had a blast,  I hope you did, too. I'm looking forward to all the details. And, Merry Christmas to you and the family. 🎄



Hi Heather! Good to hear from you! We definitely had a blast! Merry Christmas to you too!



22 hours ago, bakersdozen12 said:

Yay! I can’t wait to read your review!!!! I was just thinking that it’s been awhile since we have had a Mitsugirly review. Favor, though: any chance you could not use the funky text? It’s extremely hard to read from the mobile version of the new site (see screenshot).






I'm so sorry about the funky text. I didn't realize cc had changed things up in here. It looks fine on my computer...but on the phone...YIKES! I'll definitely be changing that up!



22 hours ago, Shaded Lady said:

Weird- it doesn't appear in that font on my computer or my phone! Maybe it's a setting on your phone?


It's weird on my phone (iphone) but not on the computer. I wonder what's causing that?


22 hours ago, bakersdozen12 said:


No, it’s not my phone. All other posts appear normal. Someone explained why it does this in another post, in very technical terms that I don’t understand, but it’s basically the font that she’s using that converts in a weird way. 


I won't be using a different font after this.


22 hours ago, silvercrikhix said:

It appears in lightly colored funky font on my iPad Pro. Sorry but it sucks to try & read. 


I agree! It does suck to read!


22 hours ago, bakersdozen12 said:


I believe it happens any time someone changes the font from the default font to a special font. It’s the one thing about the new mobile site that makes me miss the app. 


It's yucky for sure.


22 hours ago, ZoeyVictoria said:


Same here.  I can’t enlarge it enough on the iPad to be able to read it.  Does anybody know of a fix on the readers’ end?


I'm going to repost it in regular font for those that can't read it.


21 hours ago, aztekpm said:

It's nice seeing you back on the boards and looking forward to your review!


Thank you!


20 hours ago, amyjoy202697 said:

So glad you are another review! I am on the Horizon for Thanksgiving next year (yes, a long wait sadly).


Thanks and you'll love the Horizon!


20 hours ago, cruisequeen4ever said:

Yay, another awesome review of yours! Congrats on being close to the finish line! Could you please change the font? It’s super fancy cursive and really light color, making these old (37 year old 😆) eyes have to strain. 


Merry Cruise-mas! 


Very close to the finish line and I can't wait! I'm definitely changing it. Weird it does that on phones.


20 hours ago, silvercrikhix said:

Following along...looking forward to the Horizon in February. This may tide me over until then!! 

Thank you so much for all the time and consideration you put into your Reviews!! 


Thanks for the comments and hope you enjoy the Horizon in February.


19 hours ago, nessz79 said:

Following along.  We've considered the Horizon but have heard mixed things about Vista class ships.


I haven't really had a chance to read up on the Vista class ships (since I really hadn't considered them before sailing the Horizon) but we loved it!



19 hours ago, heffy2 said:

Wohoo, can't wait for this one!





19 hours ago, smurfm69 said:

 Congrats on finishing school!  We are doing this itinerary on the Horizon in May so I have been looking for reviews of this cruise.  I'm extra excited to read your review because you do such a great job and have great pics as well. 


Thanks and I'll be finishing my last class next semester but it's so close! I hope you have a wonderful time on the Horizon in May!


18 hours ago, apcci2 said:

LookIng forward to another one of your reviews. 



Thank you


15 hours ago, Love-to-ride said:

Following along, our next cruise isn't till 2020 😰 this should tide me over till then..


Whoa! You have a bit of time but it's worth it.


15 hours ago, blarko said:

Same thing on my iPad. Very hard to read. 😩😩

But very excited to read this review! Thanks in advance for doing it!


So sorry about the font. It will be changed.


14 hours ago, Umbrae Noctem said:

Looking forward to your review. I'm also going to Curacao, and Aruba later next year.


Love Curacao and Aruba!! 


14 hours ago, retiring soon said:

HI all!


mitsugirly ~ so glad to have found your review before you got too far into it!

Wow, 2018 was a year of change for your family!!

Congrats on buckling down & almost being finished your degree.

Looking forward to your pictures. I've been sailing NCL lately, just did the Panama Canal on Bliss in Nov.

Missing Carnival.


Merry Christmas!


~ Jo ~ 😊


I seem to be away from NCL lately and doing Carnival a lot (and even a Royal Caribbean) and I'm missing NCL these days (especially the beverage package lol).


14 hours ago, LuCruise said:

Yah...I always get excited when I see a review from you; excited for you and your family, and also excited to follow along.  Congrats on finishing school! And congrats too on your new family addition.

Looking forward to following along.  


"Almost" finished...one more class and thanks for following along. I appreciate the congrats and comments.



14 hours ago, tulipcityfamily said:

We sail on the Horizon in 18 days and visiting the same ports. Looking forward to reading about the beaches you went to in Aruba and Curaçao. 


Well, I know I probably won't have my port days for Aruba and Curacao done within 18 days, so anything you want to know just ask. Most people like to head tothe  Palm Beach area in Aruba, but I enjoy Arashi and toward Boca Catalina for the snorkeling.

doing an excursion to DePalm Island is super cool and amazing snorkeling there with all the food and drinks included plus an awesome SeaTrek walk. The most amazing place to snorkel there is Mangel Halto.

For Curacao, we have only been twice and scuba dived both times. But the beach we went to this time was beautiful! Cas Abao. Check it out.


13 hours ago, MzShae said:

We did this itinerary on the Vista in 2017. It was one of my favorite cruises. I would love to go back to Curacao and Aruba.


I love Curacao and Aruba too!


11 hours ago, Clarasgrandma said:

Doing this itinerary for the first time on the Breeze in 2021!  Can't wait to read your review and take notes for our trip!


I hope you have a wonderful cruise on the Breeze. It's been my favorite Carnival ship to date


3 hours ago, MSseawind said:

What a wonderful Christmas surprise.  A Mitsugurly review!!  You made my day, thanks so much for all the time you take to do this.  


Thanks so much for the sweet comment. I hope you enjoy the review.


1 hour ago, crewsweeper said:

Definitely following this one.  We're same ship, same itinerary in January. :classic_love:

And a Merry Christmas to you and your family.


Thanks and Merry Christmas to you too! I'm not sure how much I'll get done by the time you leave though.

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Well hello everyone! I'm back! I know a lot of people have been probably wondering where I have been...it's been a hectic and complicated year for me. 


So many things have happened this year and I just needed a break. I deactivated all my social media, removed myself from the internet and computer (other than turning in homework assignments and tests) and completely changed life up as it was known around August.


Everyone knows I've been in school for a while to get my bachelors, but I have been slacking on my classes over the year(s). Well, I put my mind to it that I was going to get my butt in gear and finish. Last year I only took 1 class in the spring and decided to take the summer off (because it's the only semester they will allow you to take off and not be penalized). Well, I enjoyed it so much that I also took the winter off...which meant come this year, I had to reapply to my school and that meant lots of paperwork. I took my spring classes, summer classes and just finished up my winter classes. I have 1 more class to go and I'M DONE! Finito, adios school, completed. This last class I just finished lasted from August until the week of my cruise...nutrition! Uh! I have been avoiding it like the plague. I'm the most un-nutritionalist (is that a word?) you will meet. LOL  It consisted of anywhere from 5-12 quizzes weekly and 1 test weekly. Then there was 2 "mid-term" tests and a horrible 2-hour final. Whew! I'm proud to say I passed with a 96% and it's all behind me.


My youngest son just bought a house (I'm such a proud momma but I'm missing him terribly since he's been gone), my oldest son just had another baby (that makes 7 for me now-I'm getting old), we sold one of our businesses (the skate/bike shop) and have been doing a complete remodel on our kitchen. It has been hectic! I'm sure there's a lot more but I'm jet-lagged and can't think at the moment.



Anyhow, we normally take a November cruise (which actually used to be a December family cruise but we stopped doing that a few years back because it was one of the busiest times of the year for our store and the hubby complained about missing out on all the sales during the Christmas season that we pushed it back to November) but with my hectic class schedule, we decided not to go this time. Then, of course, out of the blue, Kendra starts talking about a Christmas cruise instead. We started scouring the internet and booked last minute (less than 30 days before the cruise) on the Carnival Horizon. I liked the ports we would be going to (all repeats for me but 3 new for Kendra) and a new ship! I didn't have much time to get myself too excited or research ports but we managed to pull it all together quickly.


Since Kenny had just had a baby Dec 10 (was due Thanksgiving, but she decided to cook a little longer), he wasn't able to go. Since Kolin had just put a large down payment on a house, he wasn't able to go. That meant it was just us and Kendra and family. The day we were leaving on the plane, Kendra's fiance backed out. His dad has been in bad shape the last 2 years, but has progressively become worse. They put him on hospice the week before and didn't expect him to make it to Christmas. I'm glad to report he's still with us at this time. However, Billy didn't want to be away on a cruise if something was to happen. This meant that Kendra was now cruising with TWO kids...on her OWN! If any of you are thinking this scenario through...you know this can't be a good thing. LOL  I'll jump ahead and report that when Kendra's plane landed last night, she didn't even make it home before dropping both kids off with their Aunt Chrissy (who was the one who cruised with us one year to Bermuda). Kendra said she's now on vacation!


So, this is the beginning of our cruise.  This was an 8-day cruise sailing out of Miami to Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Curacao, and Aruba!

Edited by mitsugirly
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  So everyone knows that my family is not considered "morning" people. Although I have gotten better since summer and not staying up so late.


We decided to book a late morning flight out of Columbus, flying to Ft Lauderdale (since that's where Southwest flies to instead of Miami). 


We packed the truck the night before and all we had to do was pull out that morning, head for a quick breakfast and we arrived in plenty of time.


It's winter here in Ohio and cold (in the 20's) but today it wasn't that bad (mid 40's), which was a nice change. Waiting for the airport shuttle bus was tolerable and in our minds, we knew sometime today we'd be living it up in the heat.





The shuttle arrived within minutes, so we didn't stand in the cold for too long. 




We were on our way and Sakari was super excited for this cruise.



We met Kendra and the kids at the airport and began our pre-flight ritual of Kendra sitting on the floor at the airport...




We boarded the flight on time, was able to get excellent seats all together, and was pulling out at 11:55am.


Sakari also has her ritual of touching the plane before boarding for luck.





Kendra immediately pulled out the electronics to keep the kids occupied.




Sakari starting drawing as soon as we were up in the air...of course.




It didn't take long for Kendra to say it was nap time...that girl sleeps more than anyone I know.








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Sakari has a new app on her phone for drawing. For those of you who follow my reviews, you all know she's an artist. Those that are new to my reviews...she's been drawing since she was 3 and her talent was noticed in preschool. She's very talented with her drawing and creating skills. She was tested several times over the last 2 years and has now been labeled as gifted. I'm so proud of her and it just comes so natural for her. She usually has such detail in her work that most would miss and she's really super fast at drawing too. She usually only uses pens, not pencils, and now this new app on her phone has become the "in" thing for her drawings most of the time. So during the cruise, I will post her pictures she did on her phone instead of her normal paper drawings...because that's mostly what she worked on during this cruise.


She absolutely adores her dog, Loki the husky, and most of her drawings consist of him. Well my sons ex-girlfriend Courtney (from previous cruises), her stepmom has a husky, which comes over for play dates. Sakari draws a lot of Loki and Sophie pictures...





We had a connecting flight this time (thanks to Kendra booking our flight last minute). We were originally supposed to leave Columbus at 11:15am. The flight was delayed. Sakari started to worry. Our last vacation, to Aruba, was also delayed and they ended up flying us to another destination...AND THEY LOST OUR LUGGAGE!!! All of them! The airline only gave us $150 to buy clothes and necessities, which think about it, that's not much! Sakari was starting to freak out thinking the same thing was about to happen. 


But as I said earlier, we pulled out at 11:55AM...so, still very late. They did inform us that they were holding the plane for us in Atlanta so no worries.


We arrived and ran to the next plane...only to find out that it was a FULL flight and everyone was waiting on us to leave. This meant no seats together...with 3 kids...which don't go over well. I hate when I have to pay $45 for the airlines to check us in automatically and be able to get good seats only to have something like this happen and not have any seats. Well...it gets worse... there's actually NOT ENOUGH seats at all! It was overbooked!! A very nice man traded a lady for her seat, which let me sit with Sakari and the lady ended up having to sit in the back seats with the airline stewardess in the jumpseat. I was so grateful and sad at the same time.


One thing I noticed this time around is the stewardess no longer comes around to inform me to put the face mask on myself first before putting one on my child in case of emergency. Oh my gosh! My child is growing up! She would now be able to put her own on! I'm feeling old.


We travel frequently...well, frequent enough to know all of the airline drills about safety, crashing, where the exits are blah blah blah. I'm busy playing a game on my phone when I hear "Thank you for those that have listened to our drill. For those of you that didn't...GOOD LUCK". LOL They are sometimes very witty with the comments.




We booked the Doubletree by Hilton in Hollywood Florida, basically right across from the beach. We were due to arrive early enough that we could squeeze in a little beach walking time. However, with the delayed flight...that didn't work out well.


This hotel is located at 4000 South Ocean Drive.


We had originally booked the Hyatt using Value Trips, which we have used before with great success. However, they usually respond within 3 days. I emailed 4x and tried to call 3x with no response. Just days before we were to leave, I'm in a panic to find another place. Two days before leaving, they emailed a confirmation...um no! I canceled and stuck with our Hollywood hotel.


We scheduled a Lyft driver for 6 people and held our breath. We had originally planned on just getting 2 vehicles but the hubby put in 6 people and it said it was a $20+ ride, which was a lot cheaper than what we were coming up with on our phones. He claimed he has a discount code and let him book the ride for us. Our driver arrived in a nice 3 seater Chevy that fit all 6 of us and all of our luggage. He was very nice, very informative, and told us that he is normally a Lyft XL Luxury driver and we were getting a deal! (Which we were...I looked it up and it would have been over $100).


Off we went....only to arrive at some unknown place which wasn't ours. After telling the driver our hotel and address, we were nowhere near where we needed to go and on the opposite side of town and up north. UGH! The hubby had messed up the address and took us to NORTH Ocean Drive...not SOUTH Ocean Drive. Well, South Ocean was going to be another 30+ minutes away. Blah! Never trust the hubby to book anything again, which is why I usually take control of all the planning. LOL


We arrived at the hotel at 6pm and it was already dark. Marco, our driver, gave us his card and said he'd give us a lift to the cruise port as well.


We checked in and here's the hotel....


I absolutely LOVED this built-in shelf wall with ocean stuff on it...I now want one.
























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We arrived in our room and it was nice and spacious.










The only difference between our room and Kendra's room is that she had a walk in shower with glass and no tub.








I hear Sakari shriek with excitement "Come look mommy"...we had a balcony...which overlooked the pool that she has now discovered and can't wait to get in to. 




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Immediately the kids wanted to swim. They got on their bathing suits and we all headed down. It was 6:30pm. We were stopped and told that we were not allowed to use the pool and it was now closed. SAY WHAT?!?! Are you serious? It's only 6:30pm. They told us that we were welcome to sit around the pool or go to the bar around the pool and have a drink but the pool closes at dark. What the heck kind of rule is this???? I would have never booked this place had I known that. They tried to say that it was a city-wide ordinance and that no swimming is allowed after dark. Not even getting in the hot tub was allowed.  How ridiculous! The kids (and even myself) were very disappointed.










The pool area was huge (both the pool and pool deck) with plenty of seating and huts and everything all the way around it. It was super nice! Resort style for sure.

















They even have an easy entry, like a beach, at one end. Very nice.





Why was this area so lit up and pool lights and all if it's closed? It was just too inviting.


Along the waterfront were chairs lined up as well. It was very nice and a good place to hang out and watch the boats go by.









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We decided to head out and get something to eat.


There's a nice waterfall in front of the hotel.







There's also some type of area next to the pool that looks like it would be used for weddings or receptions.




Then there's a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating as well, right by the pool.





Directly across from the hotel was a path to the ocean and beach. We decided to walk down and at least check it out.



It was dark.












There were no lights on the beach and it was deserted. Not sure what Kendra was looking for...but the only light on the beach was her phone. LOL







Sakari drawing in the sand "Loki" of course...







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We took out our phones and turned on the gps to see where we could walk to get some food. "Left" Kendra said. Hmmm, should I trust her? I know I'm not giving this assignment to the hubby this time around. We headed to the left of the hotel and came upon a place called The Diplomat. It was a very nice area to eat and hang out at.


The kids sat down at the water fountain...Brayden being himself thought he would go for a swim and see just how long he could be in the water before his mom noticed him and yelled. This child I swear...























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We found a place called Bristols Burgers and it looked and smelled yummy in there. They also had a game room and both indoor and outdoor seating. We decided we wanted to sit outside along the waterfront. 
















We put our order in and it took quite some time for our food to come. There really wasn't very many people there either. There were a few people inside and one other family outside. 


The kids were already getting on Kendra's nerves arguing and she sent them away to the game room. The games are free to use. They had several video games, like Pacman and so on, then a driving game you sit in the chair, foosball and other things. At least it kept the kids occupied while waiting for the food and not fighting.


When our food came...holy cow! The burgers and especially the chicken was HUGE! The picture does not do them justice trust me.


















After dinner, we all headed to the game room for a little fun. The kids enjoyed it and so did I. It's been a while since I played Pacman, Galaxy and Donkey Kong. LOL


Kendra cheered everyone on.




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First of all congratulations on your academic achievement!!!!!

I must have missed your major.  What did you attain your bachelors in?


Second of all.




So detailed and I just love the pictures.


What a beautiful family you have.


Cannot wait for more.





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We headed back to the hotel and were in our rooms by 9:30pm. We decided to call it a night and just relax before going to bed...we knew it would be a big day tomorrow and we were all excited.


A can of pop is $2.66 at the front desk small store...for a can! Yikes! But I'm a popaholic so...I fork out the mulla when needed.


Sakari and I sat out on the balcony for awhile...AND WATCHED PEOPLE SWIMMING! What the heck? There were 2 couples swimming (probably in their 20's) and a family with 3 children swimming as well. Now I'm a little ticked at this point but too tired to put bathing suits back on and head down.


We watched t.v. for a little bit and decided to call it a night.




I sat the alarm for 9:30am but was bright eyed and bushy haired by 7:30am. I can never sleep well the night before getting on the ship.


I headed out to take some daylight pictures.



























Notice it says no swimming in this area but yet there are pool ladders on the dock coming out of the water (and there were several).







Now I came across this posted (for the hottub, but also by the pool)...pool hours 8:00am-11:00pm but yet down below says dawn to dusk.  Hmmmm!






The rest of the family was up by 9:30am and we were on the hunt for breakfast. The other bad thing about this hotel was that there's no free breakfast here. You had to go to the restaurant there (which was around $19 for an omlete) or find other means. Well, we happened to be next door to a gas station and Kendra decided we'd head over there and see if they had any breakfast sandwiches or donuts. That would tie us over until getting on the ship.


We were in luck! They had a variety of things to devour for breakfast at a much cheaper price. We headed back to the hotel with our goodies and wanted to eat outside in the nice warm air, but there were signs saying that we were not allowed to bring food or drinks into the pool area where all of the tables and chairs were. The hubby decided to park it right there as you go into the pool at the tables...which I knew was part of the restaurant and told him so but he said it would "be okay". LOL Once again, never listen to the hubby. We had taken our first bite and along came a lady "I'm sorry, I'm not asking you to leave, but you can not eat or sit here". Hmmm, Ok, the only part my family seemed to hear was "I'm not asking you to leave".... Then another guy came up saying we couldn't sit here...then another. There was absolutely NO ONE sitting out here! At that point the hubby got a little ticked and started complaining...we were unable to use the pool last night at 6:30pm but yet there were quite a few using it around 9:30pm and nothing was said, we are not allowed to bring food or drinks into the pool area and eat at the tables, a can of pop cost $2.66 and we paid over $400 for 1 night and now can't eat at a table outside that no one else is even in the area". The guy said "Well, we don't police the area of the pool and you are welcome to swim now if you want"....oh but you did last night and we were told not to get in and we are leaving today so there won't be any usage of the pool for us!! We finished our breakfast, cleaned up our mess, hanging onto the ladies words of "I'm not asking you to leave", and then went back up to our rooms to get ready for our ride to the port.


On our way back into the hotel, we looked up by the room and seen that Kam and B's elves and pets were on the balcony looking down at us. The kids got a kick out of that.
















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Once we were packed, we headed down to check out by 11am and called Marco to see what time he would be arriving. He had said the port was about 30 minutes away and I had a check in time of 12:30-1pm and Kendra's was at 1-1:30pm. We were in no hurry and he had told us the day before that he would be taking one family there that morning and would pick us up after that.


Marco said he'd be there around 11:30-11:45am and I told him no worries, we'd be waiting outside for him. He arrived at 11:45 and we were on our way to the port.





Marco said this hotel (the weird one) was the most expensive hotel in the US and designed by someone in Dubai I think? I'm not sure if it's the truth or not and when I googled most expensive hotel, nothing is mentioned for Miami so....who knows.




The cruise ships were in site! It's so neat they are over on the right hand side of us at this point....








Then into the tunnel you go, underneath the ships down in the water, and then back up on the opposite side. Sakari is still finding this very fascinating.




Here is a map of the tunnel and how it passes underwater and under the ships and to the other side. I can still remember before this was built. It just started operation in 2014 I believe. So prior to that, it wasn't there.




And now we are on the other side and the Horizon is in our view!! She's massive and beautiful. The Glory was also in port with us along with several other ships! It was a busy port day.







We arrived at 12:30pm.







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