Caribbean Cruise travel blog

At the Mall

Mall Sign

Celebrity Edge

Caribbean Princess

Nieuw Statendam

Everglades Port Sign

New Statendam at Dusk


We lined up to get off the ship; we lined up to go through US immigration; we lined up to get on a bus; we lined up to get back on the bus; we lined up to go through security; we lined up to get back on the ship. Some lines moved smoothly, other were interminable.

We arrived at Sort Lauderdale on time with the instructions that, due to the noro-virus we had to vacate the ship between 10 AM and 2 PM to allow the crew to sterilize the ship. A complimentary shuttle was provided to take us to a mall if we so desired. This seemed a better alternative than sitting in the terminal building. The pier is situated in a commercial area, which, while quite nice, is mainly parking lots and office buildings with nothing to attract the tourist. We had also just spent a week in the area and did not feel we needed to see more. Our original plan had been to stay on the ship as far as possible only going off to deal with the formalities and use the, hopefully, speedier WiFi in the terminal building.

We went down and had breakfast then collected our things and waited till we judged it a judicious time to disembark. The line we joined move fairly quickly but then stopped on an announcement that, due to congestion at immigration, further disembarking would be temporarily suspended. So we stood ... We had been informed that there would be eight ships in port, so no doubt that resulted in the extra volume, but, as we saw when we went through, there were many unmanned desks that could have been utilized to speed the process. Inquiries as to whether intransit passengers like ourselves could avoid some of these lines brought the answer - no! We eventually were allowed to leave the ship and join the line for immigration in the terminal building. The officer barely looked at our passports and waved us through. We were directed to an area where the bus was to collect us. There was quite a crowd. One bus had just left and we hoped to get on to the next one. We waited quite a while for it to come and we did not get on it. It had seven broken seats and could not take every one. Eight of us with stickers for that bus did not get on, and one single person from further back won the lottery and was successful. We continued to wait, and fortunately that was not as long as the previous one.

The ride to the mall seemed longer than we had anticipated and longer than the mileage on the various signs seemed top indicate. I suppose we are used to kilometres and these were in the longer miles. We were assured that there would be a lady to meet us. Predictably, there was no one there. She did show up after a short while and gave us instructions regarding getting back to the ship. We went into the mall and stopped at the food court where I determined I had a WiFi signal, so I set up shop while Christine went shopping. The WiFi was really good and fast, so it did not take long to upload three day of data. I browsed the news and sent a few emails. Christine returned just as I was closing down the computer and we went along to a coffee shop she had seen in her travels. We had a snack and a drink then went along to Target where we got a few things, including medication for the cold that I had developed. Since I was recovering from one when we left home, I did not think I would catch another one so soon, but I did. We went to the appointed place for the bus and joined another line. We were among the last on the bus, though the next one drew up while we were boarding this one. There were apologies for the disorganization, blamed partly on the Super Bowl in Miami causing increased traffic and security at the port.

We got back to the port and had a lengthy line to go through security and an even lengthier one to get on the ship. This is only the second time we have done "back to back" cruise. The other one was out of Amsterdam on Celebrity and it seemed a much smoother process. Eventually we were in our room and watched the dock activity. The ships we saw were ourselves, the Koningsdam, The Nieuw Statendam, Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, Celebrity's Edge, which left as we watched and Princess Lines' Caribbean Princess. We got ready and went down for dinner. I did not eat much and as the meal progressed, I got progressively worse. When Christine finished her main course we left and went to our room. I lay on the couch and dozed and went to bed early.

We stop at Half Moon Cay again tomorrow and we may well just stay on board as we have seen it on Saturday and there is not a lot to do except sit on the beach.

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