Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ft Lauderdale, FL

26 Feb 08

Ft Lauderdale, FL
(aka Port Everglades)

Now I really feel at home! Ft Lauderdale is very familiar to me, with Mom and Guy having the Beach Place timeshare there. Not to mention I was just there in Jan when I went to MTN before I left for the ship.

Anyway, I spoke to Mom at about 7.30am and she was so excited – she had been out on the balcony of the room (facing the ocean) and she had seen our ship come into port! I think she was chuffed that she just happened to catch it – especially knowing her “baby girl” was on it, coming in to see her :0)

She was due to meet me at the port at about half 8 – but when I went to go down to meet her, I was told crew couldn’t get off till half 9! I went to see if I could get the exception, being that I had MTN “work” to do (going to the Coast Guard office in Miami) but I was told NO (not by the ship – but by US Customs!) The effers .. hello?!?!? I am an American you dummies. Hey-ho .. so I went up on the Promenade (Deck 4) and went to see if I could see her .. turns out she was waiting with some other crew guests so I saw her! It was funny .. here we are 100 yds from each other .. she behind a fence, me stuck on the ship and us waving frantically at each other.

About quarter past 9 I went down to Deck 2 to the crew gangway to start a queue – I was going to be one of the first off dammit! A few others had the same idea, but I was about 3rd in line. 9.30 came and went and then Captain decided he was going to “pull rank” and find out why we still weren’t off :) He really is a cool guy! A few minutes later, we were walking down the gangway – woo hoo, go Captain! Mom was waiting for me on the other side of the fence where they were letting us off. So of course, hugs and kisses and then off we went to Miami. I had to go and submit my MMD application with the Coast Guard (MTN would like me to work on the NCLA ships, so I need this card to do so) After we stopped at Walgreen’s to get passport photos, we got down to the office in Miami at about 11am. I had to queue just to get in the building – yikes! Turns out it is a Federal building, so you had to go through security. Anyway, got upstairs and started the process; was done in a little less than an hour and then we headed back up north towards Ft Lauderdale again.

I needed to go shopping to a Wal-Mart – I knew I would be able to get everything there. Mostly I needed toiletries and some bits and pieces but I also wanted to look at shoes (found nothing I liked) as well as tops (same). However, Mom brought me (from home) quite a few tops and 2 prs of shoes, so I think I will be ok. After we finished there, we headed back into Ft Lauderdale and met up with Cat (who was at the Galleria mall) for lunch. We went to PF Chang’s – yummy!!! Mom and Cat had never been and they were impressed!

It was now 3.30 and we wanted to get back to the ship so Mom could get onboard and I could show her around. I took her to my cabin first so we could drop off the shopping bags as well as the 2 carry-all bags she brought of things of mine from home. She couldn’t believe how small my cabin was! :) I then took her on a tour through-out the ship – from top to bottom (skipping decks 5, 6 and 7 since they are only pax cabins). She enjoyed it I think. Actually she might have been overwhelmed that there was so much on a cruise ship :P Funny, since I am on a smaller ship than I will be the next contract. (or probably any other contract ever!)

Unfortunately, it was time for Mom to leave :( So at 5.15 I walked her down to the gangway (the wrong one according to the Port Officials) and then I walked her into the terminal. We hugged and kissed goodbye and she said “ Get your life straightened out, get this out of your system and come home!” Well that made me cry .. it still makes me cry just thinking about it. I do miss home – but as I think about it, I love what I am doing. I think I would love it even more if I was on a fun ship – I love some of my pax, but when I think of cruising, I think of Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Young people, kids, etc. So I definitely want to give it another try on another line. My first choice in Norwegian. Just have to see what is going to be available when I am done with this contract.

That’s it for now – I will write again soon :) Net is supposed to be “ify” at best on the Atlantic crossing, so if you don’t hear from me for a few days – that is why!


Kippy said...

Sounds like a nice visit with Mom. How are your feet doing? Hope the new shoes help. Love reading your blog. Keep it up. Have fun crossing the 'pond'.

Kelly said...

You can tell you're on a British ship with how much you now use the word 'queue', lol - so cute!

So glad you got to see your mom, I'm sure she misses you like crazy but I know that this is really a fun stage in your life.

Hopefully you get a contract with some younger pax and things will be a little more lively for you. I bet it will be weird though having new pax every 7 days instead of a couple months.