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Cruising on Star Princess, Part 2
Cruising on Star Princess, Part 2
We arrive at our hotel in Fort Lauderdale
We have arrived at our hotel, following our journey down the Florida Turnpike, after having left our home, Tropical Dream Villa. We are on our way to pick up a cruise in Fort Lauderdale, and after a long day we are feeling pretty tired, so it’s good to see it in the distance.
It’s always difficult for us, as villa owners, to stay in a hotel. When you are so used to the space, privacy and amenities of a villa, sharing a hotel room is no great fun, but at least it is only the two of us. We park the car and go inside to inspect the room. The girl on reception is warmly welcoming, and we are soon opening the door of our room. It is large, and very clean with a good bathroom, and most importantly, internet access. Paul goes to get the cases out of the car while I unpack the laptop and try to get on the internet. A frustrating half hour later I give up on wireless and use the Ethernet cable. That’s the time when I wish I was back in our villa where I have high speed wireless internet ‘on tap. ’ I manage to check my emails and talk to my son on Skype, which is good. He is bit miserable that he is not with us, as he, like us, loves cruising, but he is at university. This is the first time we have been cruising in the Caribbean without him, and I have very mixed feelings, but WE have to fly the nest eventually!
Now I need to find a supermarket to get another SD card for my camera. I like to take lots of photos so have decided it’s quicker and easier to buy a new card this time. We ask reception about shops and they are quick to suggest driving to a nearby K-Mart, just around the corner, so we get in the car and drive the short distance. A helpful young assistant shows us what is available and I buy a card at a great price. I also buy some re-writable DVDs in case I want to burn the photos onto them. We return to the hotel with a few goodies, and then realise that we need to take the car back to Dollar at the airport. We have decided that we don’t need a car tomorrow as we will only get up, have breakfast and get a taxi to the port, so we are dropping it off this evening. We get back into the car and drive to the airport, a short distance away. The car hire depot is in a special building, opposite the main terminal, so we drive up the ramp and find the Dollar drop off.
The car only takes a few minutes to deliver, and we walk over to the terminal building to wait for the shuttle from the hotel to pick us up – wrong decision! We walk to the far end of the terminal and out onto the pavement where we are directed even further down the pavement to an area where various shuttles and taxis are spilling out passengers and collecting luggage and new passengers. We see every hotel shuttle –except ours! It is hot, and the fumes are affecting my chest – Paul disappears off into the terminal to ring the hotel, and the receptionist assures him the shuttle is on its way. We wish we had got a taxi straight away, but you know what it is like, you think the next shuttle just HAS to be yours, don’t you? Nearly an hour later, when we are ready to give up, we are relieved to see the hotel shuttle drive in. We jump inside where we meet another couple who are also going on a cruise tomorrow, though not on ours. They are embarking on Sun Princess, and we exchange views on cruising, and Princess cruises in particular.
The shuttle drops us at the hotel and we just have time to wash and freshen up before we decide we need a meal – in all the excitement we have forgotten how hungry we are getting. The hotel shuttle driver is outside and says he will drop us round the corner where there are several restaurants. He has some young and excited Americans who also want dropping off, and soon we are all on the way to TGI Fridays. It’s heaving. Absolutely packed. We sit and wait for a table, and after a few minutes we are escorted to a booth. We are, by now, famished, and wait hopefully for our meal to arrive. Again, we wait and wait and finally ask if we have been forgotten. Magically, our meal appears almost instantly and we tuck in. We are feeling pretty tired and want to be up early in the morning, so we walk back to the hotel. Its pleasant walking in the warm evening and by the time we have reached our room its time for a shower before we drop exhaustedly into bed.
We can’t wait for tomorrow, when we will be embarking on Star Princess at the start of our cruise!
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