Last Morning on Ship

April 29, 2017 Paul Groves

Day 111 of 111. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

The last morning on the ship was full of moist eyes and details with which to deal. Our “breakfast club” got a picture one last time. As we said good bye at the end of the meal, the fact that we were all going our separate ways hit home and emotions were running high. We had already packed our bags the night before and left them in the hallway where they magically disappeared. We also ran into one of the dancers from the stage shows who was nice enough to pose for a picture. I hadn’t realized he was so tall! He is Romanian and did not speak a word of English when he embarked four months ago but during one of the last shows, he actually sang a duet with one of the singers. Pretty cool.

We got off the ship and all of the luggage was organized in a huge space. Each piece of luggage was tagged with different colors and numbers. Our luggage was Green 1. We hired a porter who helped us locate and fetch our luggage and then helped us as we passed through customs. It was pretty easy since we really didn’t buy anything that had to be declared.

After getting through customs, we dropped off four suitcases and a box to a huge FedEx truck. These will be delivered home so we don’t have to worry about them! We kept a couple of small suitcases and a backpack and got on yet another bus. We were off to the Sawgrass Recreation Park, the Everglades. We boarded an airboat and drove around for about 25 minutes looking for alligators. We saw one from a distance as well as fishing birds, cormorants. The chance to visit and learn about this unique biome was really the fascinating feature of this excursion. The water in this region was only about a foot deep (it has just rained) and is actually a huge slow-moving river rather than a mass of standing water. After the boat ride, we saw some alligators a little more close up. Ron held a baby alligator for a few moments. This area in the park is a preserve where hurt or abandoned animals are kept and cared for. This is much like the Wildlife Waystation back near our home in Sylmar. After the visit, the bus dropped us off at the airport. For many, they were catching flights home. For us, we picked up a rental car and drove to Orlando.