Saturday, January 7, 2017

Independence of The Seas & Post Cruise

December 8 2016
Fort Lauderdale

Since we were a late # to be called off the ship, we knew we could sleep in. You don't usually need to be out of your cabins till about 8.30(and can certainly stretch it out, since everyone else will be out of theirs, your steward can be working on those first LOL)  Got up around 8.15 and got dressed.  Left the cabin by 8.45 and went up to Windjammer - but it was already closed! We headed down to the Promenade but they only had muffins and donuts etc.  I grabbed one and we went to the Champagne Bar (I think they are calling it R Bar now?) and sat and waited to have our # called.  

I was checking my email and received a notice that they were going to release my cabin block for Harmony!  So I started sending out texts to the family to let them know we needed to get these cabins booked.  I also called Group Res and asked them to extend the release date.  They said they only were due to release the interior cabins and we still had another 7 days before the balcony cabins would be released.  

So while I was on the phone with them, I paid them the rest of the deposit balance I owed (deposit is $500 for a group booking - I had moved $100 over from a booking I changed) and then I also booked Mom/Judy for their cabin.

When our # was called, we headed to get off the ship.  We decided to get a porter; its so much easier when in those long lines for customs.  While we were grabbing our luggage, he asked if we had the Mobile Pass app; I said I did and was already set up, but Laurie didn't.  He asked if we had been in the same cabin and we said yes.  So he said "add her to yours!" so he had us follow him to the Mobile Pass line and while we were walking I am trying to add Laurie.  We got her added and were the only ones on the MP line!  It was a breeze - we answered all the questions on the app and then one of those scannable boxes comes up on your phone.  The customs agent tells you to place your phone on the scanner, you wait a few seconds and the scanner light turns green and you are done! From the ship to the cab, it was only 20 mins!

We headed to the Embassy Suites to check in - we figured the room wouldn't be ready so we had brought our bathing suits off the ship in our carry-on in case we just needed to just store our luggage.  However, our room was ready!  (I was thinking it was a Sat, but it was only a Thursday and they wouldn't have a lot of cruise pax that day)  We went up to the room with our stuff, got settled, relaxed a bit and then changed into bathing suits and headed to the pool.

It was a little cloudy, but it was warm and still quite nice out.  We were hungry since we didn't have much breakfast so we sat by the cafe and had some lunch outside.  I got a delicious turkey club sandwich and Laur got a chicken sandwich.  After we finished eating we found a quiet spot on the corner of the pool deck and parked ourselves there.  It was nice!  We relaxed, snoozed etc Sometime later we decided we needed a frosty beverage and were disappointed that there was not any wait staff - we went inside and ordered Pina Coladas (and were bummed that we couldn't use our SeaPasses!! lol) 

Around 4 we headed up to take showers, as EB has a FREE Happy Hour from 5.30-7.30 (every night!!) with drinks and snacks.  So we wanted to check that out!   We went down and wow, it was crowded!  We didn't even think that many people were at the hotel LOL  They had a few wines and beers, and few well liquors and a "Drink of the Day" which was a Bahama Mama, and was delicious!  We got drinks and found a table then went back for snacks.  Pita chips, hummus, popcorn, pretzels .. what! 

We had already planned to go to Carrabba's for dinner .. we love the food and it was right down the road!  Its also becoming a tradition for Laurie and I :)  We walked as it was only a few blocks away (and helped to make room from drinks and snacks LOL)  Laurie saw that there was a table open outside so we asked for it "because we can" (be sitting outside for dinner in December)  It was a delicious dinner and we were stuffed!  I think we waddled back to the hotel.  Went up to the room to relax and go to bed.

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