Caribbean Cruise — 2019

Sunday, April 7, 2019 — Miami

Around 8:00 we left our cabins to disembark the ship.  It was pretty amazing that we were outside and calling for a Lyft pickup at 8:15.  They used facial recognition so we didn’t need to use our passports.  Anne booked us rooms at a Holiday Inn with beach access.  We arrived about 9:00 and it was great that they gave us temporary keys so we could use the pool and get to the beach, which was a short walk on the boardwalk.  The boys enjoyed the pool and also took a dip in the ocean.  Our rooms were ready early, about 11:00, and we decided to take a Lyft to South Beach (Jeff had already walked there) to see some of the Pride parade.  We were at the end of the route and the crowds were large and loud.  It seemed a little bigger than Minneapolis’ Pride parade but was very similar.  The boys were hungry before long and none of us had cell coverage to find a restaurant because of the crowd size.  We stopped in one called the Social along the route.  The food and service weren’t very good and three of us ordered a beer thinking we’d get a bottle but got a huge margarita glass that probably held at least 2 bottles.  From there everyone but Jeff and Barbara went to get a Lyft back to the hotel.  Barbara walked back with Jeff as he said it was about 2 miles.  It was actually about 3.25 and hot—each time Barbara asked ‘how much farther’ Jeff told her 1/2 mile.  She survived and was glad she didn’t have to walk any more that day to get her miles in.  B & J took a nap and the others spent time out by the pool or at the beach.  About 6:30 Anne called and asked if we were ready for dinner.  We were and walked to the nearby Fontainebleau where there were several restaurants.  We went to Vida, which had sushi as well as burgers, salads, etc.  The food and service were much better than the Social and the prices the same or maybe cheaper.  The boys got a gelato to eat on the walk back to the hotel.  It was about 9:00 by the time we got back so we did some reading before turning in.  Most of us had been in Miami before but just in and out of the airport.  It was interesting to see South Beach but it's too pretentious for our tastes.  Lots of expensive yachts and cars everywhere.

The pool at the Holiday Inn, Miami Beach

Fun in the Atlantic

Miami Beach

Pride parade

Pride parade

Lunch at The Social, Miami Beach

Versace’s former home

Along the beach

The Fontainebleau - nice cars

Electronic sushi menu

Dinner at the Vida at the Fontainebleau

The Fontainebleau

Monday, April 8 — Miami to Minneapolis

We rode the elevator down to breakfast with someone from Wisconsin. He said there was a big snow storm heading for MN & WI this week, just like last April—so that’s something to look forward to. Tonight is the championship NCCA basketball final so we should be glad it isn’t happening today. We had a good breakfast at the Holiday Inn and left the hotel about 10:00. There were no lines at the Sun Country check-in or security. Barbara’s left artificial knee sets off the scanner every time, but the gal in Miami did the least intrusive pat-down she’s ever had. The flight was a little bumpy but as pleasant as can be in coach where each passenger's space seems to be getting smaller every year. We arrived at the Humphrey Terminal a little before the scheduled time and the luggage appeared shortly after we got to the baggage claim. MSP is our favorite airport and we’ve heard good things about it from people who travel a lot. We had a chatty Lyft driver named Yassin who is from Kenya but has been in MN more than a decade. He said he, his wife and 3 children love MN. It’s always great to hear an immigrant say they love living in MN as we love it, too. We think we set a record for unpacking. We got home at 4:30 and by 5:00 Barbara had the first load of laundry in the washer.

We’re all glad we took this family trip together—it was memorable and B & J had fun watching Henry and Jamie enjoy themselves on the huge ship. They will be happy to get back to a smaller ship with about 1,200 to 1,400 passengers instead of 6,000. Anne said there were 1,800 children on our voyage—yikes! Kids on the big ships and scooters on the old folk's ships can be a hazard. We hope the boys will want to look at the blog in the future to refresh their memories of this fun spring-break cruise. The weather was wonderful every day, although a little hot and humid for Minnesotans. We’ll remember our nice cabin stewards Maria and Jim and the wonderful shows we saw. Maybe 50 years from now Henry and Jamie will look at the surfing videos and remember all the fun they had.

© JAY 2020