We arrived a day early and stayed in Miami just to be sure we didn't miss the boat. You never know what might happen on a 3 hour road trip.
It was still early when we got to our hotel so we headed over to "Bayside", a shopping mall of sorts along the water. The stores were nothing special (I was hoping for specialty boutiques), but the people congregated anyway as you will see in the pictures below. It is a beautiful area in the downtown part of Miami.
Before I get any further let me tell you that it is not a joke that we paid only $20.00 for this cruise and I will reveal how we did it in Part II of this post.
Here is a shot of one of the cruise ships in the distance that we took from the Bayside Shopping Mall.
This is the restaurant we chose to eat dinner. It is named Bubba Gump Shrimp Company after the famous movie "Forest Gump". The decor is all about Forest and what he did in the movie. There are also lots of shadow boxes displaying the various clothes he wore during the film.
The waiters are very friendly and outgoing and even quiz you on parts of the movie after taking your order. It's just a fun place to eat and the food is good. We decided to just have the clam chowder, but I have had their shrimp dishes before and they are quite good.
Not the best shot here of a band and people dancing near the waterfront. It was so crowded I could barely get a picture at all. This is also at Bayside.
Kids bouncing way up in the air and doing flips. Looked like a lot of fun.
One of the nices things about NCL is that they offer "freestyle cruising", which means you can go to their specialty restaurants (for an additional fee) and their main dining rooms anytime during the specified hours. You are not assigned seating so you can choose to dine alone or with a group. I think it makes it nice as sometimes you get stuck with people who are not very friendly or maybe you just want to kick back one night and eat in the casual buffet on the Lido deck.
This is our pilot boat helping us to get out of the port. See the guy with the gun? Port security is a serious business.
Again, we are still leaving Miami and
we thought these tall buildings were unusual in that they had cut-outs in the center. You can see it in the one on the right side of this photo. I am not sure why this was done as we were too far away to tell, but all three buildings had it.