We went to the breakfast buffet at the hotel (link in previous post). Not as nice as the one we go to in Fort Lauderdale, but it was okay. I insisted we stay at a hotel with a hot buffet as the places with just a cold buffet never have things I can eat. After realizing the senior woman I had seen at Denny's the night before was a hurricane refugee, I noticed there were quite a few others that probably were too. The TV was on to a news channel and there was some big police chase in Miami and the suspect had jumped into a pond/water catchment area. (Do not have your sound on when you click the link. The website is not very good and an ad keeps starting up. It's the BMW ad over on the right side of the screen, not a popup window, so it's hard to figure it out). All these cops on land and in a (big) boat with their guns pointed to this guy treading water and trying to hang onto a concrete wall. Apparently at some point after we left, the cops shot and killed the suspect.
Even though I had gotten and email saying our embarkment time was pushed up to after 1pm, we took the early shuttle to the port. While waiting in the lobby, we started talking to others waiting. Or, rather, one woman started talking to everyone. Her name was Erika which we thought was funny because she reminded us of our daughter's friend Erica's mom, who is also super friendly. This Erica was originally from the west side of Toronto but had been in the States for a long time. Her and her husband were going to be surprising her sister and her husband who were going on the cruise with another couple from the Toronto area that they had met on a previous cruise. Even though the ship isn't really all that small, it's fascinating how some people just seem to show up everywhere...more on them later :)
We pulled up infront of the Celebrity terminal, which I believe is the old Royal Caribbean terminal. At least looking at these pictures, it's the same roof. The driver unloaded everything and put it over with the luggage the porters were taking. Rob had to rush over to get our documents. We used to keep one carry on, but since we didn't have any wine this time, we just took my tote bag. I don't remember if it was when we got there or when we were leaving, but one porter said something along the lines of "First give me $20 and you'll get the best treatment for your bags" (I don't remember exactly; he was just calling out to all the people, not addressing anyone in particular). That really put us off, since there were signs, very clearly saying that tipping porters is optional.
There were already a LOT of people there for check in. It was a little slow, but the staff was great towards people with mobility issues. We soon noticed how young we were, though there were still lots of other young people (like Erica and her husband, Bobby). We were expecting to have to wait before getting on the ship, but there didn't seem to be a large lounge area and we walked right on. I noticed an older couple with matching t-shirts from Carnival Cruises "I survived Hurricane Irma". LOL.
They offer you a drink (Mimosa? Wine?) when you board. And then they come at you asking if you want to upgrade your drink package. EVERYWHERE you go, "Have you upgraded your drink package yet?". At first, we said we didn't have a drink package, which prompted them to start selling us a drink package. So we smartened up and just said "Yes, we did". Then there was the raffle outside the art auction place. We decided to find the buffet, I think. Or maybe we headed outside first. According to my pictures, it was a little under an hour between the picture above and this picture below, so I suspect we headed up to the grass right away. Maybe the buffet wasn't quite ready? We noticed as we went up the elevator that the hallways to the cabins had doors closing them off. On other ships, you could at least go down the hall to find where your cabin was, but not on the Equinox. They open the doors once ALL the rooms in that hall are ready.
So one of the marketing highlights of this ship is that it has "a lawn" of real grass. Yes, it does. Did we use it like in the website? No. Every day a portion of it would be closed off. You can't take chairs on it. So unless you're taking part in the organized croquet or other activity, what can you do? Oh, get a blanket and have a picnic? Never saw anyone do that. Don't even know where you'd get the blanket or picnic basket. Maybe the upper categories. Never saw anyone sunbathe though it's not something I do so I wouldn't go looking. I was often looking for a chair (not a lounger) in a shady area, yet you can't take the chairs onto the lawn. The glass blowing studio is at one end of the lawn, so it isn't always peaceful there. There are also two strips of lawn on either side of the ship, but one of them is a smoking area. The chairs are right up against the path alongside the lawn. Cough cough. While we found the lawn "pretty" and it was cool (temperature and fun) to go barefoot on it, it was a huge area of the ship that just didn't get used.
If you go to Google Maps (as of today) and look at Port of Miami, you will see a Celebrity ship. I don't know which one, but it looks like it has cabanas or something along the back sections on either side. That would have been nice!
Not sure if he wore that shirt on purpose, LOL. It was quite humid and hot, though very overcast. I think it rained overnight.
Some Miami construction. It's a pretty neat looking building. Want to see it when it's done!
I believe this was looking through a window in the Sky Lounge, hence the strange colours.
We found this hanging bed just before you go into the Solarium. It was neat, but I didn't come on a cruise to lay in a bed on a hot, humid pool deck. You'd also get a blast of cold air every time the Solarium doors opened. I also didn't feel very dignified trying to get on and off!
It still wasn't very busy, so I set up the camera and self-timer.
Blogger is giving me a hard time right now. I asked it to center this picture and it makes it disappear. This was a floating billboard. It just kept going back and forth through the harbour with different ads on the screen. Didn't they realize we were about to leave for 10 days? LOL.
The Quasar is on deck 4, across from Celebrity Central. This is different than the layout in the Celebrity book which is off course, generic to that class of ship, not individual ships.
Finally we were leaving. This Royal ship was also in port. At first it looked big, but as we went past it, it seemed much smaller. Enchantment of the Seas has about 2 076 guests, compared to the Equinox 2850-3420. It's Royal's second smallest class of ships, with tiny inside cabins (136sq ft compared to 150sq ft in the Freedom Class and about 174 sq ft on the Equinox). It does 3 & 4 nights Bahama cruises. Probably fine for that.
Next in line is the Carnival Victory. It has 2758 passengers.
Next up was NCL (Norwegian) Sky. It was headed for a 3 night Bahama cruise with open bar. Yup. It has 2004 guests.
I noticed as we past that they were doing their Muster Drill on the decks at the life boats. That how we did it on the first few cruises, but then it changed and our assembly stations were inside the ship in various lounges. My FIL questioned this (he was in the Merchant Marines for a long time) and was told that this way, the whole group could be guided to where ever would be safest. Previously, if your Assembly Station was on the side of the ship that was heading underwater....would you know where to go?
We past this British air ship carrier. I believe it might have been the HMS Ocean. In town to head towards the Caribbean for hurricane relief.
We saw the Fisher Island ferries and noticed that the ferry "heading home" was full of luxury vehicles. The ferry heading off the island was mainly work vans and older vehicles. I love seeing these little snips of social-geography.
Some more big boats in Miami. Don't know anything about them.
We noticed the boats in a marina were all lifted.
Not sure the Thriller boat ride is as exciting here as it would be in the Niagara Gorge.
We were at the aft and saw the pilot boat. Then we noticed a little fishing boat just like ours! About to get hit with the wake of a cruise ship...and Rob doesn't want to take his boat in Lake Ontario!
Look at that little thing! Ours is 16ft. Tiny! And in an ocean!
The bathroom. Again, lots of storage, more than enough. No hanging line in the shower though. And mind the step up into the bathroom.
We were excited to go to dinner. A little disappointing. Our table for two was separated from the next table by about 4". It was an elderly British couple who weren't very talkative. The service was very good, and the food was excellent. We were always in and out very quickly--perhaps partly because we had no one to talk to besides ourselves.
After dinner we went to the first show, which was Jim Colliton and "December '63" (a preview of their show later in the week). I'm not a huge comedian fan. He was funny. Just not really my favourite type of show. But "December '63"? What a fabulous show. I'm a little confused as to who's in the group though LOL. Their website shows five members, but only four are on stage, and two that were there when we saw them are not in those current pictures. Their Facebook page is great and there are pictures and videos from our cruise.
After that, I think we just wondered around a bit and went to bed "early". Cause, you know, we were on the "old people's cruise" :)