17 Jan 2013
What a thrilling day. Today starts our 74-day round trip Miami cruise, circumnavigating South America. We will visit 38 ports in 14 countries.
Actually things were more thrilling than we bargained for. Notwithstanding the fact that we travel internationally about half the time, we blundered Big Time. We accidentally brought our previous passports that have been replaced.
The commotion happened about 5:00 PM here. Fortunately it was only 2:00 in Las Vegas. A friend found the passports for us and went to FedEx with them right away.
The next fortunate thing is that our first stop (tomorrow) is in Key West, which is still in the U.S. so we are not leaving the country and FedEx is scheduled to deliver by noon.
There is one curve ball – On their site FedEx said they had severe delivery disruptions today because of bad weather at their Memphis hub. We’ll just have to see what happens. Worst case is we stay in Key West for two nights and catch up with the ship Saturday in the Cayman Islands.
15 Jan 2013
We are in Miami for a couple nights prior to embarking on a cruise circling South America on the Crystal Serenity. Crystal is having a “complementary” gala affair tomorrow night for those taking the entire voyage.
They put us up at the Marriott Marquis in a very nice room with a view of Biscayne Bay.
Another Barry tourist blunder - Last time we were here, about this time of year, was with Allyn’s kids. Searching for extra fun, I suggested an alligator sighting experience in the Everglades on an airboat.
Mistake 1 - I told them it would be hot and humid. (What do I know? I’m from Seattle). It was freezing. At the park I had to buy everybody overpriced sweatshirts and raingear for an hour of partial comfort.
Mistake 2 - It was both irritating and sad that we saw no gators. In chatting with the guide about our bad luck he said, “What do you expect? It’s cold this time of year. They want to stay warm. Come back in six months and you will see lots of them”
14 Jan 2013
Today we did a deep-sea dive, well maybe 12 feet, in one-man submarines. Envision jet skiing underwater at a dive sight while traveling 2 mph.
13 Jan 2013
I was just looking for a lovely dinner in Nassau and ended up with a great one that comes complete with an amazing history.
Food, service and ambiance were all top notch at Graycliff Restaurant, the first five-star in all of the Caribbean.
Wealthy pirate Captain John Howard Graysmith built the mansion (it’s a hotel) circa 1740. The location was selected for its clear view of the harbor where he could keep an eye on business.
The wine cellar, former slave quarters, is the world’s third biggest (over 275,000 bottles). It is a must tour after dinner.
One bottle is on the wine list for $200,000. It is a pleasant 1727 Rudesheimer Apostelwein from Bremer Ratsfeller in the "Rheinghau" region of Germany. It is considered to be the world’s oldest drinkable wine.
11 Jan 2013
Last night was dinner at Carmines. They have half a dozen locations including their newest one at the Forum Shops in Las Vegas.
They are famous for their humongous, yet tasty, portions. For our party of six we had only one serving of an appetizer, salad, pasta, main course, and dessert. It was plenty.
Check out the porterhouse we split.
The photo is complements of Tommy Vedes, a very good guy and poker player.