South by Southeast late 2018 - early 2019 travel blog

passport queue

finally on land


honor guard

Originally this cruise was scheduled to head right to Miami. Now we are docked about 45 minutes drive away from where our motor home has been waiting for us in Titusville. We considered just getting off here, but RCL makes you pay extra to get off the cruise a day early; they really don’t want you to do that. RCL has just opened a new cruise port in Miami and they have opening day jitters. With a ship this size a little glitch can cause passengers to miss their flights home. Therefore, we went through immigration here, which will make getting off the ship quicker tomorrow. For many passengers this was an opportunity to visit NASA or head to Orlando and its theme parks for the day. This made no sense for us. We spent four whole days at NASA last time we were here and we can drive ourselves to Orlando in less than an hour. So we had another day to chill and pretty much have the ship to ourselves. We were not complaining.

As feared the passport control people were overwhelmed by us. We waited 1-½ hours to get off the ship and go through. Non-Americans faced a much longer queue and processing interview. We could see people around us who had tour tickets who must have been seriously delayed by this. While we weren't in a hurry, we were meeting up with a good friend from home who is currently camped where our motor home is. He drove here to meet us and we went out to lunch and caught up with all his news. By the time we had a long chat and wandered around the port, it was time get back on and enjoy our last few hours here.

It feels like we should be thinking about packing and heading for the airport tomorrow. The packing will take place, but we will be transported with our luggage to the Mariner of the Seas, which is also berthed in Miami and has invited the ninety of us that are sailing on to a nice lunch. By the time we are finished eating, our bags should be in the cabin and the cruising can continue. Hopefully, that will all go a bit smoother than the immigration check today. The difference we will be that RCL is organizing all this rather than the US government.

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