ABOVE: Pinkish sunset clouds on the horizon
BELOW: People on the rock jetty started waving at the ship; I waved back!
ABOVE: Our ship starts generating waves toward the shore….
ABOVE: Hotels and/or condos facing the port
BELOW: Waterfront homes; the one on the extreme right is under construction.
ABOVE: Stay tuned, something interesting is about to happen on that little beach…
ABOVE: A church by the sea
BELOW: Another ship, called SeaEscape, twinkles in the twilight.
ABOVE: Moving out to sea
ABOVE: Pretty little sail boat
BELOW: It’s a working port
Oh wow, it’s a DRAW bridge!
That’s the bridge you have to cross to get to the Sheraton Yankee Trader on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Sunset from the veranda. The ship has started to move at this point.
After the safety drill, I went back to the cabin to hang out on the veranda for set sail. These are from the camera phone.
No, not really. This was the safety drill. Unfortunately, our meeting place was on the side of the ship with the broiling hot setting sun. It seemed like we were trapped there in our sticky life jackets for freakin’ EVAH! I like how you can see my arm reflected in the sunglasses (I took this pic myself).
ABOVE: When you walk off the Viking Crown deck to find a place to smoke, you find yourself overlooking the basketball court and the miniature golf course.
BELOW: The front of the Viking Crown lounge overlooks the pool
Dee and Ellen, with Cathy
ABOVE: That’s about one quarter of Glo, followed by Kimball and Carol
BELOW: Michelle, Sandi, Cathy’s back, and a little bit of Susan’s face
ABOVE: Carol, Kelly, Wendy and Mary
The Mango Lava Flow was exceedingly sweet – too sweet even for me. But it sure did look pretty in the glass!
Someone is always trying to make out with Deb on these Moose trips….
Glo stands ready to digitally capture any misbehavior for posterity.
OK here’s where we pick up from when Blogger started rejecting the photos last Monday.
Behind the main pool area is the Solarium, which has a couple of hot tubs, a bar, and a “quiet pool”. This area is pretty much adults only, and the deck chairs are cloth-covered in this section. Loved the statue; will find pics from the other camera and post them, too.
Horrible internet access on the ship. Each page would take several minutes to load. Other multiple problems + the cost of paying by the minute for slow load was the reason that this blog didn’t get done at all, never mind in real time, during the cruise.
We all had the best time!
Here’s my game plan. I will first go through and comment on the pics that already got loaded (it worked until about 1PM on set sail day, Dec 3rd). Then, I will start captioning the rest of the photos I took, and I’ll start sending them to the blog from Picasa. Be patient, I have 5 days worth of photos to get through.
Started getting error messages while taking pics of the ship. Something about exceeding the number of posts without doing a captcha. A WHAT? Called Bro. No. 2 and gave him my credentials to log in and poke around. He found some discussion on a newsgroup indicating that there was a problem with picture posts today. Anyhow, the WI-FI on the ship is slow and expensive, so I’m going to have to develop a strategy for doing most of the work offline – maybe put them into Picasa on my laptop, with captions, and then hitting the blog button? I dunno. Just wanted to let y’all know I’m not slacking!
We’ll be leaving the port soon, and then it’s on with the Lodge Ladies Cruise!
Okay, let’s see if this works…… an uploaded image.
I must solve a “CAPTCHA” error before I can post any more pictures…..
…… I hope this works!
Across from Port Everglades
This is the last shot I was able to blog here before the Blogger photo issue described in a subsequent post.
I began to run all over the various levels of the pool deck taking photographs.
First drink of the cruise – not the last by any means!
This is the view out the “windshield” of the pool deck. Those windows open to let the breeze come through.
Drink Of The Day can happen here! You get them in a glass shaped like a wine glass, which you get to keep. There were, I believe, four colors – blue, amber, green, and red. I did not collect them; would be just more stuff to squeeze into my luggage.
Looks maybe Mayan or Aztec to me.
I guess this is the ship’s official logo – it overlooks the pool deck (Deck 11)
Up on the pool deck, waiting for the cabins to be ready.
Trying to get a better shot
Several decks of inside cabins have windows that look down upon the Royal Processional down the center of the ship. There were some parades down this area, on Deck 5, throughout the course of the cruise.
I remember getting drinks at this bar on Deck 4 with Deb one night, and the guy singing was DREADFUL.
Walked in to Deck 4, where this centerpiece rises several decks in the air.
Was not allowed to take pics between the first security check in and the ship. Here’s one of the lifeboats taken from the gang plank (which is sort a like a skyway between customs and the ship).
Got to Port Everglades and parked in the garage. Made sure I took a photo so I would remember where the car was upon returning!
Mary and I sat out by the pool for our morning coffee. Now it’s time to shower and evacuate the hotel room – CUL8R !
It’s still weird to me to see palm trees and a snowflake in the same place!
I still have not gotten over traditional Christmas decorations (cold, snowy) juxtaposed against Florida’s tropical backdrop.
We had seen some Christmas lights on the way to the restaurant, and decided that we needed to circle back and take some photos before heading into the hotel for the night.
No flash on the little camera phone, so these are dark and shadowy. However, I think that is Mitzi, Ellen, and Mary. Not sure who is lurking on the right – I think maybe Jody.
After dinner, Mary and I headed out to a different hotel, where a lot of the Lodge Ladies are hanging their hats for the evening. We found them and THIS CARNAGE out by the tiki bar. Sat around swapping family war stories for a few hours.
The waiter was asking us trivia questions about Forrest Gump. The last question he asked was “Mama always said you can tell a lot about a person by ….”. I thought it might be shoes, but I wasn’t sure. Racking our brains, I finally said to Mary, “you know what, call VB, he probably knows”. So here’s me while Mary is on the phone with VB.
PS – I was right, the answer was “by their shoes”.
Creole style, with jasmine rice and a sauce that was made of BBQ butter and Worcestershire sauce.
If you need your waiter to stop by, just display this one instead.
What you see if you request outdoor seating to dine at Bubba Gump Shrimp.
If you display this sign on your table, that means the waiter doesn’t need to stop.
… life is like a box of chocolates
There was some sort of club above this water feature; stairs go up from the street to a patio all lit up with twinkling lights.
There are all these open air places with throbbing music emanating from them.
We were walking down A1A to dinner, and I made Mary pose with this crazy pirate we saw.
Many of the hotels are set up with a small, three story or so section out front, on top of which is the pool and a walkway across the highway to get to the beach. The hotel tower is behind this section.
Not a lot in the way of shells. Tide seemed to be coming in, and I didn’t feel like getting soaking wet. Also, I forgot to put my shell-net-on-a-stick in the back of the car before we left, so I was at a real disadvantage. Water surprisingly warm!
Stopped at the bar by the pool for a drink.
There’s an elevator that takes you up from the street to the skyway and back to the pool.
This is the skyway that goes over the road from the hotel to the beach.
I think if I wanted to come back to Fort Lauderdale someday, I could probably use Starwood points to stay at this new W Hotel.
I’m standing across the street at the beach. Had to snap quickly between two-way traffic!
Hmmm, I wonder how enforceable this is during Spring Break?
Up on the pool deck, looking across the road at the beach.
This one goes between two towers of the Sheraton Yankee Trader
Most hotels are like three stories in the front section/adjacent to the road, and then the tower is behind it. On top of the short front section is the hotel pool and bar.
There are skyways all over the place between sections of hotels, and between hotels and the beach. You have to cross A1A to get to the beach, so it’s better to have a skyway and then an elevator down to street level than it is to have tourists holding up traffic and possibly going splat in the road.
Lots of Sheraton hotels leave FREE bottles of water in the room for Starwood guests – lucky me!
Rt A1A runs right alongside the beach, two (sometimes one) lanes in each direction, with hotels, bars, and shops lining the other side of the street.
Saw some cruise ships in the port on the way over the bridge to Fort Lauderdale Beach.
We’re getting close to Fort Lauderdale here. Deb saw this pic on the blog and thought I was trying to tell her something about highway closures – LOL! I just thought it was a cool piece of signage, with the sun rays on top and all.
All along Alligator Alley, there are these highway lights that are apparently powered by solar panels.