We woke up before my alarm went off at 8am. It's funny really. Every time we've been particular about when we had to wake up, we set my alarm, chose a ringtone that would be loud enough, etc. And every time, at least one of us was awake before the alarm sounded.
We each got dressed for the day, then we packed up the morning bits, and swept the room for left-behinds. We had paid a service charge per day but decided that our housekeeper deserved more, and by definition our butler and concierge were not included in the shared tips. We found Tita to give her a present personally, then went up to breakfast with the other tip money, in case the concierge was still there. He was already arranging debarkation, so we enjoyed our last breakfast on ship. I had my favorite fruits & yogurt, and ordered steak and eggs. Flar had the same entrée along with his grapefruit half and grapes. Every time we ate at Cagney's for breakfast, lunch or dinner, we were always greeted by one particular server who remembered our names after our first meal. She noticed when we chose to eat breakfast elsewhere, and seemed to look forward to seeing us. She was the one server I wanted to tip additionally, so Flar gave me money for that.
After breakfast, I filled out our customs form and wrote thank you letters to our butler and concierge to put into envelopes with their tips. Then we saddled up our carry-on luggage and moved on out. Our cabin was an aft balcony, and the VIP debarkation took place next to the Stardust Theater, nearly all the way forward. At first we attempted the promenade deck, but the regular debarkation line completely blocked passage from aft to mid. So we rode up to the deck above ours, and wound our way past all the service carts in the endless passenger hallways. The housekeeping staff was very busy turning over the ship for the next set of passengers, yet each one stopped and wished us safe travels, thanked us for sailing with them, and hoped to see us soon.
Once we made it to the front of the ship, we simply walked out, through the guest card swiping and onto the gangway. Our longest wait was in the line for customs, which was really not too long. The Miami terminal was much nicer today than two years ago, when we went from the ship to the Big Room of All Luggage and had to locate ours, find the customs agent, then walk out into the Florida sun to guard our bags while Flar got his car. Today, we went to customs straight from the gangway, then down an escalator to carousels that were clearly marked according to baggage category. Porters found us, packed our bags up on a cart, and then hailed us a cab. Amazingly, the standard shaped cab held all our luggage. That trunk had to have a tesseract in it.
Throughout the morning, we kept seeing other passengers that we had met during our cruise. I got to introduce Flar to both of the couples who teamed with me for the Quest Game Show, and we stood in line for customs behind a couple who went into the mud volcano with me. It was almost like everyone on the ship knew me. ;)
Our cab whisked us to The Savoy South Beach, right on the corner of Ocean and 5. It's a great location, since we both love just walking up and down the sidewalk in front of all the cafés along Ocean. After we cooled off a bit in the room, and made phone calls home, Flar went off to the beach and I took a bubble bath. When he came back, he cooled off a bit, and then we went to Ocean Drive to select a restaurant for lunch. We picked Lazio's, a member of the Bongos chain of Cuban restaurants. I had a great sandwich, and Flar had a spicy looking shrimp dish. We lingered over our food and watched the passing parade.
When we got back, Flar napped and wrote my LJ Idol entry. After that, we went swimming together, then dressed for dinner. We ate at Prime One Twelve. The place was packed with people, but we got a table after only 45 minutes at the bar. You would think that 14 days on a cruise ship would have put us in shape, but oh my those portions were huge! Matt treated me to chocolate martinis while we were waiting, and the combination of yummy drink and delicious was absolutely soporific.
Tomorrow morning, we fly home to Kentucky.