Our Cruise -Day Five

Finally, the last day of our cruise. We didn’t realize that we could have sent our luggage to the airport ahead of us so we we headed off the boat with all our luggage at 9:30am to roam the streets of Miami until our 3pm flight. Now, this last day was almost as adventurous as the entire cruise and it only cost about $50. We asked our cab driver if he knew of a place that we could drop our luggage for the day. He recommended a hotel and drove us there.

We were approached by a couple of porters and we sheepishly asked if we could store our luggage there while we were hanging out at the beach. He leaned over and whispered, SURE, we just ask for $5 a bag and we’ll keep it here for you. I (Hannah) the skeptic looked at him and said, “this is totally legit?” He laughed and said yes. We proceeded to follow him into this BEAUTIFUL hotel and he asked the woman at the desk for a name of someone who had already checked out. I was given that new name and he said, there is a pool on the roof, showers, and beach deck chairs all for you “Miss Olin”. Ha!! We went to the beach and gave the lady our “name” and she gave us deck chairs, towels and an umbrella. It was very obvious that everyone was “in” on it because she winked at us. We found out later that her brother lives in Pittsburgh and she has attended our church!!

That was actually one of the more relaxing days that we had -I napped on the beach in my comfy chair and fed the seagulls. I think I’ve mentioned that I like animals right?

After our relaxing stay on the beach, we headed into Miami to a locals restaurant Las Olas Cafe -this was NOT your typical tourist place. They only spoke Spanish and I didn’t recognize anything on the menu besides rice. It was delicious. We had to get some change so we could tip the porters so we stopped at a little outdoor restaurant that had 30+ flavors of smoothies. We were told the price for a small was $7. Our jaws dropped open due to the cost but we HAD to make change so we bought one. I (Hannah) started sipping my new fruit smoothie, not really enjoying it. Something was wrong with it. Dale grabbed it -”um…it has alcohol in it Hannah, this is a margarita” Ha. We had a good laugh. My first drink and it was accidental. If I’m keeping tabs, I don’t consider that a real drink. I had 2 sips. Nasty to say the least. yuck. That $7 went down the sewer.

We headed back to the hotel with our change, showered on the roof near the pool, and gathered our belongings. It was a beautiful hotel -I highly recommend actually staying there -especially because of the customer service. It is called The Hotel of South Miami.

We made it to the airport just in time to find out that our flights were delayed for at least an hour and half due to weather in Atlanta. Wish we would have known earlier. We could have spent more time on the beach. We spent hours sitting on the Miami beach airport floor waiting for our flight. We were assured that all our connecting flights in Atlanta were more than likely delayed as well so we’d be able to catch them. ha. yeah right. We waited on the tarmac (sp) for yet another hour once we were loaded. Finally arriving in Atlanta, we called Delta the minute we touched the ground and tried to get seats on the next flight out. It took a 30 minute phone call while we were running to the next terminal to catch the flight we were trying to get seats on. We passed the Delta counter with hundreds of people waiting in line. We grinned as we ran past, still on the phone with Delta. yes! She got a seat….for Dale…She forgot to get ME a seat!! grrr….10 more minutes and Dale and I are standing at the desk asking the Delta woman if we were on the flight and the lady on the phone said, Yes, we were on! The lady at the desk said she’d put us on standby. I politely asked her to look in the system again -we were on!!!! The flight left in 15 minutes.

Needless to say, after our flight delays and craziness…we were ready for another cruise!

Another HOUR on the tarmac in Atlanta and we arrived home at 11:30 at night. Kudos to our friend Mark who came and picked us up and was on call the whole night. He even brought our dog to the airport.

Sadly, Lindy had to be put to bed after we’d already told her we’d see her after dinner. :( Our friends Matt and Hilary were patiently waiting for our arrival with Lindy and it just got too late. We arrived at their house and Lindy was sound asleep. She didn’t even know she was home with us until the next morning. We got some good pictures of us in bed. She was THRILLED to see us home and we were happy to have her in our arms.

So…if you are contemplating a cruise…we say yes! go for it!! And from what we saw…Royal Caribbean is much classier than Carnival (we saw our boats docked side by side and RC was clearly superior) and we’ve heard that Celebrity is classier than Royal Caribbean.

Things we wrote down to remember for our next cruise:
Take walkie talkies (cellphones don’t work)
Plan to tip your staff 2 nights before the end of your cruise (otherwise you have to use cash!)
If you don’t want to mess with luggage, send it to the airport early (look for the paperwork to do so)
Take more than one bathing suit


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