Despite having over 20 cruises under our belts, DH and I have never been to Aruba, Curacao, St Lucia or St Kitts, and have only sailed out of Miami once. This trip aboard the Norwegian Pearl would fix both of those things. Like all good cruisers should, we flew into Miami the day before the cruise. Points with IHG nabbed us a lovely bay view room at the International Miami. I didn’t bother with a car service or the Super Shuttle as I knew taxis would be plentiful. $30 got us to our hotel door.
Be forewarned that this hotel, while gorgeous, does charge a $10 service charge and tacks 18% onto all food and beverage purchases, so no extra tipping here!
I enjoyed a fantastic mojito at the pool bar:
and later we enjoyed some tapas for dinner at Toro Toro. There was a convention going on with about 400 Crowne Plaza employees. This made bar space a premium, but also made for good conversation. We even ran into a person who worked in sales at our local hotel. Small world!
After a very peaceful sleep, we were greeted by the sight of the Pearl across the bay:
By 10:30, we’d had enough looking at her, and grabbed a cab at the front of the hotel. $11 later we were dropping our bags off. By 11:30 we were being escorted onto the ship by our lovely concierge, Elvina. Our home away from home for the next eleven days would be our 2-bedroom suite.
After a fine sailaway in perfect weather, with a champagne toast or two:
We would end up at Cagney’s Steakhouse for dinner. This day also happened to be the birthday of a very good friend, and this was her choice. We all enjoyed our meals and a resounding chorus of “Happy Birthday” with a nice birthday cake completed the evening. It was a very nice start to our cruise.