Monday, April 28, 2014

2014 Carnival Breeze Southern Caribbean - Day 9 - Disembarkation

Sunday, March 23, 2014 - Good-bye, Breeze!

We had an early departure time of 8:15 AM. Max and I decided to eat breakfast in the dining room because it was convenient to our room and allowed us to avoid the craziness of the Lido Buffet with suitcases.

When we were finished in the dining room, it was past our scheduled time of departure, but when we arrived in the atrium, we learned that they were a little behind schedule. Our timing was perfect, though, because we were the next group to be called, and were able to walk right off the ship without waiting in a long line.

Since we didn't have a lot of bags, we didn't need a porter (with my family, we always use a porter). The customs line wasn't very long. Max was in front of me (usually he gets behind me for things like this), and when the officer took his passport and asked Max where he was born, Max was unprepared for that question. "Uhhhhhh....." He looked at me, and I was thinking come on, Max, you can do it! "Ohio." I really wanted to laugh. After that, the customs officer gave him a bit of a hard time. "Who are you traveling with?" "Her." "What did you buy?" "I bought a watch..." "Did you buy that watch?" (pointing to watch on my wrist) "No, not on this cruise." "Where is the watch you bought?" "In my suitcase." "Okay, you're good."

After clearing customs, we found our car in the parking garage.

Miami



Today, we were in port with the Norwegian Epic!

Miami

They have kiosks by the elevators in the parking garage where you can pay for the ticket. It cost $160. The guy in front of me was having trouble with the machine because it wouldn't take $100 bills, but it also wouldn't give him back the $60 in $20 bills that he had put in. I was able to pay with a credit card, but it was confusing because you put the credit card into the same slot where you put the ticket in. Well, my credit card worked, and the machine printed me a receipt, so I took the receipt and my card and left.

What I did not know was that I had to wait for the ticket to come back out (of the same slot I had put my credit card in)! So I drove on and was behind the guy in line who had the machine take his $60, but not the $100 bill. After he got through, I pulled up and showed the lady at the booth my receipt. "Do you have your parking ticket?" "No, I put it in the machine." "You were supposed to wait for the ticket to come back out." "I didn't know that." "Well, normally you would have to go back to the machine and hope that no one else has taken your ticket." By now, there are at least 8 cars behind me, so the only way I am moving anywhere is if she lets me through the gate. Luckily, her manager was still in the booth with her because of the guy in front of me, so he went to the machine to check. "It's not there." "So what do we do?" "Well, we are going to check some things. Give me the card you paid with." She was able to confirm that I had paid for the parking ticket and let me through. Thank goodness.

I have a few issues here.... if taking the ticket is so important WHY is it not written on the machine IN BIG RED LETTERS???? She said "normally," indicating that this is not the first time this has happened. Obviously, it's a problem.

I would recommend that you don't pre-pay at the elevators. Just wait and pay as you leave. However, if you do pay inside, make sure that you wait for your ticket.

We finally got out of the parking garage.... now if only we could figure out how to get out of the terminal!

Miami

The signage there is rather awful. I feel like they must not have many people park at the port... perhaps most take cabs or park elsewhere.

I made Max take photos as I navigated the labyrinth called the Port of Miami.

Miami

Hello, Epic! (aka "Frankenstein of the Seas") Hideous on the outside, but a pretty great ship on the inside!

Miami

Miami

Good-bye, Breeze!

Free from the port at last!

Somewhere in the Miami area, we missed a toll road... twice. I got a bill in the mail from Sunpass which billed me for the exact same toll coming and going that we didn't pay. Obviously if we missed it both times, it wasn't a noticeable toll. The charge is only $5, but I really don't want to pay it on principle.

It was Max's suggestion to go to Disney for lunch. I had really wanted to stop at Disney on the way to Miami, but we decided that we wanted to just keep driving. I didn't really consider grabbing lunch on the way back, but Max wanted ESPN Club during March Madness.

Disney's Boardwalk

Disney's Boardwalk

I was really bummed last year when they changed their menu because they got rid of my favorite, the Homerun Hot Dog. I figured it was time to try something new. We both ordered PB&J burgers which sound really weird... but they are amazing!! I highly recommend.

Disney's Boardwalk

Disney's Boardwalk

Disney's Boardwalk

Disney's Boardwalk

We for a brief moment seriously contemplated spending the rest of the day at Disney and delaying our return to reality a little longer....

But then we realized just how crazy that was (not to mention, I didn't have my annual pass with me).

So we got back in the car and headed back to South Carolina, ending our fabulous spring break..... and favorite spring break ever!