Ralph and I have cruised quite a bit over our 21 years together and we have found some really good deals along the way that I would like to pass on to you. I also want to share some of our highlights and pictures because some of you have told me you like to see them.
As a bit of a recap, our first day out of town was spent in Miami at the La Quinta Inn off La Jeune Rd. It is the best deal in town for cruisers because it offers reasonable rates that includes breakfast in the morning. They also allow you to park your car in their lot for free for the week and provide a complimentary shuttle ride to the port. If you were to pay for each of those separately it can cost upwards of 20.00/day just to park.
We had planned to stay in that evening rather than go out and find a restaurant so we picked up some of our favorite Gyros from a great little family run cafe in town and put them in the ice chest then transferred them to the fridge in the room. We microwaved them later and it worked our perfectly.
The following morning we had planned to eat and be ready for the 12pm shuttle but around 10:30 my husband started searching for the cruise documents in our luggage and discovered he left those behind ( gotta tell you, getting older is kinda scary) so he had to quickly contact NCL to ask what we should do in this situation. I was sure we were going to be heading back home as the security on these ships is getting stiffer and without proper documentation I just didn't know what might happen. Fortunately they said to just show up at the port with our passports and I.D and we would be fine.
We arrived at the port and got in line to get our "cruise card", which is a plastic card they give you that has your photo embedded in it as well as your credit card information. It is the most important item you carry the entire week of your cruise as it is used to get on and off the ship at each port as well as to pay for any extras on the ship.
Anyway, the gal took our information and went off to retrieve our new cards. When she came back she asked us to please follow her. I was thinking there must be some sort of problems as this had never happened before. We were escorted to the VIP lounge and asked to wait for one of the crew to escort us to our rooms. And then I knew. Ralph had upgraded our balcony room to something larger as a surprise for me. He had booked one of the Penthouse Suites and I was so thrilled!!
I went a little nuts and took a bunch of pictures of this fabulous room.
This is an overall view of the seating area and bed in the room. I spent all my time in the chair with the ottoman. The gold drapes on either side of the bed are on a track and will close off the bed to the rest of the room. It works great for us as I get up real early and read and have my coffee and that way I don't wake up Ralph.
We had a 32" flat screen TV that is on the wall facing the bed. We brought a few movies with us, including the Titanic (I know, maybe not the best choice).
This is the table and chairs adjacent to the bed. We had champagne and bottled water chilling on ice and waiting for us from the NCL concierge.
The bathroom was fabulous. If you have ever been in a regular-sized bathroom on a cruise you will appreciate the sheer size of this one. Here is the sink area that was completely separate from the toilet and next to the tub/shower. We had decorative jars filled with soaps, cotton balls and q-tips. Loved it!