Chris' (Previous) Daily Journal
January 14, 2010, Key West, Florida
Much to our amazement and happiness, we were upgraded to a larger cabin at check-in yesterday. Absolutely lovely - it even has a walk-in closet (small, but still larger than we are used on to other cruise ships).
We ate a quick bite of late lunch and explored the ship. Everything is convenient - we are on deck 10, the next deck up is the buffet restaurant and swimming pools. The internet cafe is on 7, along with the dining room.
We then attended the reception held by Cruise Specialists - there are nearly 100 people on board who booked through them. They gave us each a great travel bag and a lightweight fleece jacket, plus delicious snacks and beverages of our choice.
We always request the late dining for dinner, so our seating time is 8pm. Our tablemates are a delight - one couple from Vero Beach, FL and the other couple from Auckland, New Zealand. Since we had just visited New Zealand last March, we had fun talking with them about what a good experience we had there.
Well, sleep was a bit elusive...we woke up at 2am and since we were having internet problems yesterday evening, we proceeded to the internet cafe to check email and John was able to post some updates to worldatlas.com. Then, we organized our cabin a little better. Finally, about 4am, we decided to take a nap. Back awake at 6am and up for the day.
We still were missing one bag, so John tracked down our cabin steward. Then, the big quandary was: Do I want the bag found before we go into town? Or, shall we assume it's just missing and I will need to replace all the shoes? Well, the bag was found...darn, the luck. There goes the shoe shopping!
Key West is our first and last stop in the U.S. We have visited Key West several times and always enjoy the variety of attractions, restaurants and people-watching opportunities.
Key West is the southernmost point in the U.S. - and we were appreciative of the warmer (only slightly) temperatures than we have experienced this past month in Texas and Florida. Today was mid-60's, which is about 10 degrees cooler than normal.
We were only in port from 10am to 6pm, so made good use of our time - beginning with a trip via taxi to a computer repair shop. My six weeks old HP laptop decided to go on the fritz - and unfortunately, the repair shop could not fix it...they suggested taking it back where we purchased it, getting our money back and buying a different brand. So, when we get back to the USA, we shall do that. Fortunately, we've learned our lessons from past travels and came prepared with four laptops. One down, three to go!
After we finished with the computer repairs (or lack of) we wandered around downtown and Old Town, taking pictures and enjoying the local color. In addition to our ship, one of the Royal Caribbean ships was in port, so Old Town was quite busy. Lots of people riding bikes and scooters - too bad most of them don't know how to drive a scooter!
Great lunch at the Roof Top Cafe - our taxi driver recommended it.
The Key West roosters were really out today! There is quite the controversy regarding the chickens - you either love them or hate them. The roosters were brought in by pioneers and Cuban cockfighters and are considered to be part of the island's quirky charm.
But, the people who hate them say the flock has grown beyond charm. There are approximately 2,000 on an island that measures 2-by-4 miles. The haters say they are noisy and dirty and may be a threat to human health.
Those who like the roosters want them left alone.
A big apology to all the Parrot Heads - no, we did not go to Jimmy Buffett's this time - we've been there before.
After more walking around, we decided to head back to the ship. We are looking forward to another pleasant evening with our dinner tablemates and hopefully, a very good night's sleep. The next two days are at sea as we make our way to Santa Marta, Colombia.
We just added a new Key West page to worldatlas.com, including a map.