Cruising day 8 – Ft Lauderdale

1 March 2015

Wow, it was a quick week and also a quick month, it’s now March. Just a few weeks more before we head north again.

We got off the boat in Ft Lauderdale to meet with a cousin and her husband. They’ve lived in the Lauderdale area for awhile and offer to give us a tour.

The Lido Deck food area was mobbed with people trying to eat before they got off the boat. So we opted for the formal sit down breakfast in the Manhattan Restaurant. There is something nice about a served breakfast.

Time to get off the boat, and it turns out our travel skills have gotten sloppy. We’ve been able to get off the boat and be on the streets in moments. Welcome back to the USA, it took us almost an hour to get through Immigration. I’m not sure why we needed to do that since we all got on the boat in Ft Lauderdale, security was pretty tight at all the ports and we are all coming back here. Your tax dollars in action.

Once on the street we were good to go. First up was a quick ride through Miami and then to South Beach. The Art Deco buildings with their great colors and “eyebrows” over the windows was very impressive.

We cruised the length of the main South Beach area, a mob of people, antique cars, modern luxury and super luxury cars, people out watching people and people out to be seen. Luxury hotels turned condo and hotels famous from the 50′s with their view of the bright blue Atlantic. All I needed was my Sonny Crocket linen jacket (I already had a t-shirt on) and I was set to re-enact Miami Vice.

We were able to score an amazing parking place about two blocks from the beach. We headed out the hard packed sand (from all the cars driving on it) to the edge of the water. And even though it’s the first of March, the beach was full of people enjoying the day. We had been warned about the topless bathers, and there were a number (both male and female) out and about.

Lunch was at the favorite sidewalk cafe of our hosts the Clevelander. Lots of people walking by and glances our way, could it be we are people to see? With the cool sea breeze, good food, cold drinks and great conversation, South Beach was the place to be.

Sated and very happy we headed north to get a quick tour of Ft Lauderdale. We know from our limited driving around that Florida traffic is a crapshoot. We were in and out of traffic a few times, never really seeing what was causing the problems.

We turned into Ft Lauderdale to cruise the beach. We got stopped by the drawbridge at the southern end, near the cruise terminal. While we waited, the car next to us popped their hatch and the passenger was digging out water bottles. He saw us watching and offered us some. We declined, and once the hatch slammed shut we saw the North Carolina plates. “Ahh, that explains it, Florida residents would never do that” said our host.

We crawled along the beach and our thoughts went to when does spring break start. About a mile later we found out, there was a fraternity flag (Omega Tau Budweiser) flying on the beach with about 200 kids around it. Spring break starts in March.

After gawking our way down the Ft Lauderdale beach we got back to the boat just at our 3PM boarding time. We just made it to lifeboat station just in time to be counted.

A Princess boat left ahead of us. Rather than the normal horn, they play the staring notes of theme to “The Love Boat”.

Sunday night was the start of a new week, so the dinner menu starts recycling. We both had seared sea scallops. Susan had roast chicken with quinoa pilaf, I had very rare prime rib and a huge baked potato. Key Lime Pie and little pastries ended dinner on a high note.

The show tonight was an introduction to the musical acts that we will see in the next week. It was pretty good, the shows aboard have been well done.

Towel creature tonight is a frog. Not our stewards best work, but pretty cool.