Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Holiday: Cruise to America - Day 10: Port Canaveral

So, here we are in Cape Canaveral almost a day ahead of schedule due to some nifty seamanship by the Captain! In reality, we think they got the timings wrong in terms how long it would take to get us all through US Immigration (in our experience, they’re very, very, very fussy) AND fit in all the all-day tours – so they ‘stepped on the gas’.


Blue skies at last!

Anyway, the day began with (an early, even for us) 6.30am visit to the Gym before breakfast in the Britannia Restaurant. Then it was simply waiting for our Deck to be called, and then onto US Immigration ashore – and the joy of queuing! Weather-wise, it was slightly cooler than expectecd (21C), although it did feel warm and the sky was a deep blue. I wouldn’t say we’d got to the stage where we’d been carving the days at sea in the wall, but it felt good to see land – any land – after all this time!


Welcome to Port Canaveral

Actually, the whole process of getting into the USA wasn’t too bad. Our Deck was called well-ahead of the published time, and the queuing, once we got to Immigration, was well-handled. The Immigration Officers were very welcoming too! You’ll just have to take my word for all of this, as our paranoid American friends don’t allow any photography/mobile phones/video whilst waiting to be processed. The only very slight hold-up was that their computers went down just as we were being photographed and finger-printed.

Afer passing through Immigration, the Yanks had helpfully laid on another English tradition for us, to make us feel more at home – ANOTHER queue!
Sad smile

This time, it was for the shuttle-bus that would take us to either Merrit Mall or Cocoa Beach - or both. We waited and waited… and then waited some more, before the couple in front offered to share a taxi with us and another couple to get us to the first stop – The Merrit Mall. Perfect timing then, as just as we got into the taxi, the shuttle bus arrived!
Baring teeth smile

The Mall was more Tesco-inspired than Waitrose, but there were plenty of shops and we did spot a few bargains…

…and (perhaps more importantly) there was an eating quarter that offered everything from Subway rolls to freshly cooked pizza. We looked for the longest queue (hopefully, a sign of popularity) and that turned out to be “Chick-fil-a” (catchy name huh!) serving a wide range of wholesome junk food - from soup to spicy burgers.


“CHICK-FIL-A”

It wasn’t a gourmet’s paradise, but it filled a hole and was very tasty! We then had a final look around the shops (it had an iMax!) before heading out to the front of the Mall where we had originally arrived by Taxi, to wait for the Shuttle-Bus. After no sign of the Bus, Ann’s sixth sense suggested that maybe the Shuttle pickup point was somewhere else. Having convinced her that she was mistaken (always a risky move), we hung about for another fifteen minutes. Then, quite by chance another couple emerged from the Mall in mid-conversation with a local, and we overheard them being told that the pickup point was the other side of the Mall! Ooops!
Embarrassed smile

We headed for the correct place and pretty soon, the area filled up with others from the Ship. We must have waited another 30 minutes, but eventually the Shuttle-Bus arrived. With elbows suitably sharpened, we climbed on board, and after dropping-off and picking-up at Cocoa Beach, we were soon back to Immigration ready to re-board Victoria.

Immigration took no time at all, and we were quickly on-board, soaking up the Sun on our balcony, all helped along by an afternoon cuppa and some low-fat cakes!

The slight downer on the day was that our planned bespoke tour of parts of Miami on Friday (that would also to take us to Miami airport – and home) had been cancelled due to lack of numbers - but the Tour Desk did at least offer us transport back to the Airport.

Tonight is informal and we joined Denis, Janet and Malcolm in the Britannia Restaurant for our penultimate meal. We gave the Theatre a miss (the Magician’s back!), preferring – or fave - the Commodore Lounge.

Tomorrow is an all-day tour of Kennedy Space Center, and then, that’s the holiday over!
Sad smile

Back to reality next week - having to cook our own food!
Winking smile