After a relaxing morning, we tackled the traffic to Port of Miami. The most recent time I was here, it was on the Star Legend which is a small ship without a dedicated, fancy terminal.
Today? Sailing out on Symphony of the Seas, which is one of Royal Caribbean’s behemoths. This particular class of ship is somewhere on the bottom of my list as far as sailing choices – but it was the right price, right route, and right time frame. So here I am. Royal now has a dedicated terminal; just like several of the other lines. MSC is in the process of building theirs near the end of the line. There are three ships in port today – and the Disney ship looks small in comparison to Celebrity’s and Royal’s entries in the competition for cruise passengers.
So anyway – this is the route.
Where was I? Oh yes, dropping my bags was easy. Check-in? Total and complete disorganization. No way to clearly figure out where to go and what to do. After the usual security, everyone was dumped into a lounge where there were agents running around with portable scanners doing the check in. Yes, there was a counter, but no one was there and no way to let someone know you needed to be checked in, much less any way to establish a check-in order.
After hanging out for 15-20 minutes, boredom set in. There was a middle-aged dude next to me in a wheelchair. No he wasn’t in line. Why? Well, he had had his wallet stolen. Phone and passport weren’t with the wallet but his COVID test was. He had additional test kits in his luggage but that was somewhere.
I looked at him – this is no problem, and I pulled out the second test kit from my set. It has an expiration date of 22 March 2023. Might as well help a fellow traveler. Less than 15 minutes later, he had a photo on his phone documenting the negative test and one of the agents came back to finish his check in. I managed to get checked in at the same time.
And then we waited. The assistants who move wheelchairs in the terminal can’t push chairs onto the ship, so he had to wait. And wait. Promising to find him later, I finally went and boarded the ship. I am on Deck 12, it is a bit of a hike up which I did after checking in to my muster station –
I will leave you with the view from my balcony…