What a relief – my laptop has been returned after going missing somewhere at check-in. The staff couldn’t have been more helpful but it was a worry – apart from anything else I would have had to use the icafe (Deck 7) rather than being able to write from the balcony of our deluxe verandah stateroom, where I can’t get enough of the balmy air and wonderful, soothing expanse of ocean. I met my cruise companion, Kim in the Miami Downtown Hilton after a long flight from Sydney via LA (and long queues at the airport for security), to find out there’d been a triple-shooting at the building next door to the hotel that afternoon. An interesting start to our adventure … The following morning we took a cab ($20) to South Beach (SoBe), where we strolled along Ocean Drive photographing the wonderful Art Deco buildings and relishing being total tourists. You can eat a gargantuan breakfast for just a few bucks (no wonder there’s such an obesity problem – mind you, my own is developing rapidly) – we shared a plate of french toast that was lavishly slathered with the thickest cream and about half a pint of maple syrup. The cruise terminal was a mere $15 taxi ride from the Hilton – and finally we met a cab driver who was friendly. The embarkation process was quick and easy (you do it all online before you go to speed things up) and how delicious to sink a late-afternoon cocktail at the Mast Bar before the crowds gathered for the 5pm sailaway.
Vote in this year’s special Readers’ Choice Awards
No doubt 2020 will go down in cruise history as the year of the pandemic – a once in a generation event. And this year’s Cruise Passenger Readers’ Choice Awards will reflect it.