OK, so going from the ghost town known as the financial district of Miami to the port where we embarked on the cruise, it was a rude awakening.  There were so many people, of all shapes and sizes, with so many pieces  of luggage, of all shapes and sizes.  It was as chaotic as Grand Central Terminal Station.  The general clientele was similar to the crowd that goes the mall for fun, or the mob that commutes by the underground NYC subway system.  For a second there I thought, is this a refuge camp or is this a vacation???? 

Being in such a state of shock and disappointment,  I just wanted to grab another turkish pide from Pasha’s (hands down the best thing I ate on this whole trip), and fly home. 


Finally we embarked.  The ship was giantic.  The enormous interior was impressive and so festive.  We saw that there were 14 decks with all kinds of amenities.  The picture shows the Royal Promenade.  My brother was loving every second of it, which made me feel a lot better.  The novelty factor was temporarily uplifting. 




The eating had begun at the pizza parlor and at the cafe.  It was fun to walk up to the counter and grab anything you want and not having to pay…but this was hardly enough for seven days of entertainment : (  My brother inhaled a couple of slices of pizza and enjoyed a few slices of pastry, and thought that his sister was an odd bird. 

We got into our cabins–whoa, time travel back to the 80’s–pastel colors, sea shells, and floral curtains!  How could this be?  The ship was built only last year!  It didn’t smell like the Pure Room.   Luckily I had booked a balcony room.  I stood out there, looking at the Miami skyline.  My brother continued his glee and thought that his sister was not totally wrapped in her head… 

Wistfully, I stood on the ship that hadn’t started sailing, momentarily suspended in station but yet buoyant.  I plotted to head out on a plane at the next port of call and go back home.  But four days later…