Monday, March 8, 2010

Boarding and Leaving Ft. Lauderdale

As our shuttle bus from the airport approached the docks for cruise ships we could see a lot of these floating hotels sticking up above everything else around. This Holland America ship, the Rotterdam, will later park beside us in Costa Rica... with tales of tragedy on board. Stay tuned!

The only thing higher than this "Oasis of the Seas" was the red and white smoke stacks of the power generating plant. This is that largest new cruise ship everyone is talking about and it boasts it can accommodate 5,600 passengers... which is about two and a half times bigger than our Coral Princess, which used to be one of the largest. We learned later that on this trip we had 1980 passengers on board our ship, and a crew of 992, and it was the largest cruise ship to still fit into the locks at the Panama Canal.

I believe we counted eight cruise ships in the harbour when we arrived. We were across from the "Independence of the Seas..."

Behind us was the "Costa Antlantica," a smaller vessel.

From our balcony we saw dozens of shuttle buses bring passengers to the various ships.

As we were the first to set sail, there were lots of spectators on the bow of the Independence to watch us depart. I don't think there was anyone on our ship who was happier to be there than we were, after the ordeal we went thru to just fly there from Tucson.

Looking back we said goodbye to all the other ships...

And we said goodbye to Ft. Lauderdale. We would be more than two days at sea before we reached our next port on the "happy island of Aruba."

On the top deck I captured this photo of Shirley with our friends, Lorne and Gail Booth. Now those are happy smiles, eh?

When they asked me to get into the picture, they noticed I had not taken off the size tape on my new pants... so I held my leg up to help you see it. For this totally worthless image, you may have to click on the photo to enlarge it... but why waste your time?

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