Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cruising to South America, Part 2, leaving Ft. Lauderdale

On the morning January 6th we left the luxury hotel for our new home, the Seven Seas Mariner.  With lots of buses and well coordinated movements about 700 passengers moved on-board after clearing security.  Each passenger gets photoed and issued an id card containing your cabin information and personal identification.  Your passport is collected and held for the duration of the cruise.  At first I didn't understand the logic of taking passports but it became clear the first time you went ashore for any length of time.  When the ship pulls into a port in a foreign company, your passport is stamped for that country and your passport is given to you for the duration you are on shore.  This method keeps you from having to clear customs every time you enter a country.


As part of the boarding process we passed through a 'receiving line' of the crew.

 We're given a glass of champagne as we enter the ship, met our purser and then escorted to lunch at the Compass Rose Restaurant.  Lunch was a beautiful array of small dishes to choose from along with more champagne or wine.
Compass Rose Restaurant

Linda at lunch

Anna at lunch

Our cabin
 After lunch we're escorted to our cabin where we found our luggage, a bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice and 2 glasses.
Our cabin

Anna with champagne

Enjoying the cabin

Linda with champagne
View from the balcony
Full moon on the harbor as a sister ship pulls out of the harbor.

As we pulled out of the harbor we were given a rousing horn blast by other ships.  It was a beautiful full moon night and our balcony gave us a wonderful view of the ships as we departed.  We would be on the ocean for the next couple days and would have a chance to explore the ship.

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