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Christmas under the Caribbean Sun

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Florida and Bahamas on the Majesty of the Seas, December 2014 - Part 7

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Disembarkation in Miami

The next morning already marked the end of this short cruise. When we woke up, we could already see Miami’s skyline from our window.

222 Miami Skyline

 

We had enough time and went for a last breakfast at the Windjammer, while outside the day was dawning.

225 Miami Skyline

 

At about 8.45 am we also left the ship. However, with a certain sense of melancholy. It took 25 years until I got on the ship which was part of my childhood dreams and memories. Highly acclaimed highlight of Royal Caribbean and state of the art in ship-building at the time, she was now an old, albeit honorable lady and the last of her class with Royal Caribbean.

Worn out by short cruises, she spends her remaining days with Royal-Caribbean in the shadow of the big and modern vessels until she’ll be decommissioned, or rather sold. Somehow, she and the sight of her have accompanied me in Miami since my youth. The headlines at the end of the 80ies, when the Sovereign class was introduced as the world’s biggest cruise ship, surely were a substantial reason for my interest in cruises at all. I can’t exactly say why, but somehow the thought of this also made me kind of sad.

At the port we caught the rental car shuttle to MIA´s rental car center and picked up our car. The line here was a little longer than the one in FLL, but the wait was short thanks to free Wifi. This time only one car was available in the choice line – a new Toyota RAV4, which was fine for us.

Since we were close to the Dolphin Mall, we stopped there for a quick visit before moving on to Sunny Isles. There, we took our room at the Thunderbird Hotel (for almost 30 years I have had no. 334 ;-) ) and got ready for the evening.

Doug and Luis had found out about a Cuban art festival on Calle Ocho in Little Havana and asked if we wanted to join them. Of course, we did! So first we drove to their place in Aventura and from there all together to Little Havana.

228 Miami Little Havana

229 Miami Little Havana

 

There was a lively atmosphere in the streets - the art galleries were open, music came from the bars and people were dancing.

230 Miami Little Havana

231 Miami Little Havana

232 Miami Little Havana

234 Miami Little Havana

235 Miami Little Havana Domino Park

 

All this happened under the watchful eyes of Officer Rudolph – the red nosed police horse…

236 Miami Little Havana Police Horse

237 Miami Little Havana

 

We abode by the wise words above a street stall and lived and enjoyed the evening with our new and dear friends.

239 Miami Little Havana

241 Miami Little Havana

 

Our time with Doug and Luis was simply great. Already on the first day we met again, it was as if we had just left each other the day before. This night wasn’t different, we had a blast and everything was easy.

Doug is the best example for the adage that you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover. With his beard, his earrings and his tattoos he looks like he just got off his Harley Davidson. You can’t tell his age, but he is already retired. As an architect, he worked at MIA airport, speaks several languages, is highly cultivated and gentleness is his middle name.

Luis workes as a surgical tech at a hospital and his affability and joy of life are in no way inferior to Doug’s. Both seemed to enjoy our time together, too, as they made loads of suggestions about what else we could do together in the days to come. It was a real joy!

But first we went to a Cuban restaurant for dinner. It was one of those family run places, i. e. no chain like “La Carreta” or big business like “Versailles”... it was yet another different experience.

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