Day 64, Monday, April 28, Disembark Amsterdam, Board Silver Star

The Crystal Symphony is in Kobe, Japan. The Crystal Serenity is in LaSpezia, Italy.
I set a wakeup call for 5 but actually awoke at 4:45 with lights far closer to the ship than I expected. When I got out on deck 15 minutes later the condos at the entrance to the port were behind us. I walked 7 laps (2 miles) and the lines went out about lap 4. I finished my walk about 5:50 and returned to my room to make some final online checks. The sun came up an hour later, largely hidden in a few low-lying clouds, but the colors immediately before sunrise were beautiful. The Coral Princess arrived in port about an hour after us.

My tag was Blue 3 with an estimated time off of 9:15-9:45. Some things about disembarkation went well and others not so great. A nice thing is that we do not have a deadline to be out of our rooms. What I would like to see improved is the information process. Numbers are called when it’s your turn but it would be nice to know what the different tags are and the order they will be called. As it is, all we know is pretty much “not yet” until it is actually your turn. Mine came at 10:15. I was quite lucky not to have a problem leaving the ship. I had been wearing an old shirt that isn’t coming home with me, and left it in the trash about 9:30 when I went to the Queens Lounge to await my final call. About 10 I realized that I did not have my room key. With a quick trip back to my room it was still in that shirt pocket. As we left the ship Hotel Director Henk and Cruise Director Gene were at the gangway with “thanks” and “farewell”.

The terminal was a bit chaotic. Most luggage colors were marked by signs but blue was not. There also didn’t seem to be much order to the numbers, once I found the blues, the 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s were not very well defined. I walked around for quite a while before locating my second bag. Customs and immigration, which I had feared, was a breeze. When I walked up to the line, every agent was busy but nobody was ahead of me in the queue. I was at the curb in about 5 minutes. It was about a 15-minute ride to Amtrak’s Fort Lauderdale station. The service there was a little less than I was hoping for, apparently with just one agent. My luggage is now sitting on a cart, and will not be checked until the final hour before the train leaves. I had hoped to check my bags and head out to McDonalds for wifi, so I’m glad to have been online before leaving the ship.

My train arrived on time and I was soon settled into my cozy home for the next 24 hours. It wasn’t long before I was in the diner for lunch, at a table shared with a couple from the Amsterdam who had done the full world cruise. The journey through Florida brought back memories, having spent many Christmases in Central Florida with my parents, first in Lakeland (the drive-in theater across the street from their mobile home park still appears to be open) and in Kissimmee, where my mom spent her final 10 years. Some things have changed, but it’s still very familiar.

The sun went down as we approached Orlando, and a steak dinner soon followed. We played cat and mouse with the schedule. When I called it a night about 10 we were about 20 minutes behind.

As a parting shot, I’m sure many things have changed while I’ve been gone, but some things are stubbornly stable. I was back on the Crystal Symphony when Flight 370 went down, and not too far from the crash site. Since then I’ve been halfway around the world by ship with many stops, but there still is no trace of the missing plane. May the families of the victims soon get some answers.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.