November 29th, 2010

journey

Miami and A New Cruise Begins

This morning at about 5am, we docked in Miami. It was still dark out when I went up to the boat deck to call Chelle, and we got to talk for over an hour, because I finally had cell phone signal. Yay! AT&T Wireless Internet on my iPhone! I can't describe how awesome it was to spend a day connected again to the outside world.

At 7am, I went up to the Looking Glass lounge to get through immigration - they gave me a photocopy of my passport, which I'd need to exit and enter the port. Then it was down to breakfast, where I said goodbye to many of the passengers who I'd been chatting with for the last several days. It's hard to make so many friends only to have to see them go, but I'll have to get used to that. After the goodbyes, it was time for waiting.

The waiting was partly so the passengers could leave the ship, but also because we were going through Coast Guard inspection, which is very thorough. The last part was a crew drill where we ended up out on the boat deck in our life vests, and although we didn't all get in the lifeboats, all three boats from the starboard side were launched. We ended up passing with flying colors. At last, around 1pm, we were able to leave the ship. However, we needed to be back by around 3pm, so there wasn't much time to spend in Miami. We just walked across the bridge from the port to the city, and visited a CVS (among other things, I got chocolate covered cherries!), and then Cody (one of the sax players) and I went to Chili's for lunch. After a big yummy hamburger, our time was pretty much up. So it was back to the ship for us.

I played my usual 6pm show at Windows Cafe for the new crowd (and went over pretty well), and dashed downstairs during a break to rehearse my number with the band for the Welcome Show. Then I finished my show, ate my dinner, and then it was time for the show. I did "Stand By Me" once again, backed by the Orchestra, which went very well, then I went around to the back of the theater to watch the rest of the show. There, I ran into Victor, my predecessor on the ship, who is going along on this cruise with a friend as a guest. We ended up talking guitars and went down to my cabin (which used to be his) to show each other stuff on guitar.

After Victor took off, I went back upstairs to catch Dan's last couple of piano numbers in the Mosaic cafe. Afterwards, I chatted with a few guests for a bit, and by then it was nearly midnight. Exhausted after a very long day (embarkation days are always a flurry of activity), I stumbled back to my cabin.

Tomorrow: Sea Day