On board!

 

We’re on board, the last few supplies are being loaded and we’ll be on our way shortly.

 

 

Allan and Jane drove us to the port, through the classy homes alongside the intra coastal waterway and the art deco districts of Miami beach.

 

 

 

There was no time to make a lengthy tour of the pastel coloured hotels and the beachfront properties but hey, we need to leave some things to see next time, don’t you think?

 

 

Soon, we began to see boats of all sizes.  Small, private yachts and motor cruisers.

 

 

Large ships, lined up alongside the vast cruise terminal, awaiting the arrival of excited families going off to the Caribbean for a week of fun and sunshine.

 

 

There was one absolutely enormous ship which was probably going to do the same.

 

 

Then, over the other side of the pier was a smaller, quieter presence waiting for us.  Hello Mariner!  We’ll soon be there!

 

 

Sure enough, we were soon on board.  There was no queue at the terminal and after completing some formalities, we were waved on board and joined Allan and Jane on the pool deck.  We’d arranged for them to join us for lunch and the four of us sat and enjoyed an hour or two together just as we have many, many times before. 

 

 

We did a quick recce of our home for the next couple of weeks, finding the layout of the ship slightly confusing because it’s a while since we sailed on Mariner.  We last said goodbye to her in Athens, nearly four years ago and in the meantime, sailing on her sister ship, Voyager, we’d forgotten the small idiosyncracies.  Our suite is huge and having waved our dear friends goodbye, we returned to it to unpack, shower and change for the must-do event of the afternoon.

 

 

The Lifeboat Drill.

 

 

I’m pleased to say how seriously this is taken; glad to think that the 450 staff are well trained to take good care of the 700 of us and didn’t mind spending 45 minutes listening, following and mustering on deck at all.

 

 

In the meantime, the other ships were leaving; tooting their horns to one another as they went.  We opened our champagne and looked forward to the next part of our adventure.

 

 

Bye bye, Miami.  Next stop Willemstad, Curacao on Tuesday!  Time to get ready for dinner!!

Life on the ocean wave

Suddenly, it’s our last day here