MITSUGIRLY lets the BREEZE flow through her hair-Spring Break Review/Pictorial
Day 10 April 3: Getting off the Ship
APRIL 3-GETTING OFF THE SHIP AND FT LAUDERDALE DAY.
I have people ask me all the time how I keep track of what we do daily. Well, I have always taken a notebook with me and at the end of the day I jot down things before going to bed. What I can't remember from the day, my pictures should help piece things together. Let's be honest, my mind has been going for years and I'm lucky to remember what I had for dinner last night.
This time around I decided I would try using my "notes" feature on my eye-phone. I mean I would have it on me "most" of the time (talking to my kids back home, sending them jealousy pictures, checking my social media and our roll call postings), and I figured if I have my phone on me, why not use that as my notebook.
Then we might as well factor in that you can also just speak right into the phone and it will do all the typing for you. How much easier can this get? I know technology has taken over the world and has managed to make us all lazy, but if it's going to make it easier on me to take notes and get back to the funship, I'm all for it. Not to mention, my eyes are not good these days and for me to try to hit the right button on my phone and it spell corrects it to something totally different than I wanted, I have failed. Speaking comes much easier for me...unless I have had a few drinks. Then all bets are off.
However, I do struggle with the last day of the cruise...as in debarkation day. I ALWAYS forget to take any notes. It's always rush rush rush and I can't wait to get home, get the laundry done and put away and get settled in. I always think "pssh, it's the last day, I'll remember". Well honestly, I don't remember it all and it's probably the day I take the least amount of pictures. By then, I have been all over the ship, I have done everything I'm going to do, and what more is there to see right?
I need to get better at this because now I only have pictures to go off of from here on out.
On to our last day...
Just because it's the last day, and I'm in no hurry to get off this beautiful ship, doesn't mean that the galley is going to give me a break. Lot's of banging and clanging going on and I was up by 6:50 at least, according to my pictures.
We were "parked" already, but it was still dark out.
I headed upstairs to see what the weather was like and to get a few more pictures.
Daylight was quickly approaching.
All the boats in the marina were so pretty.
I woke the family up and I snapped a few more pictures from our balcony before heading in to the buffet.
A few more while I wait for the family to get ready.
Up to breakfast for our usual. Thank goodness for cooked eggs and bacon, even though it's the last day and a lot of people are trying to hurry and eat and get off the ship, they still manage to cook the food right! Kudos Carnival.
When we booked this cruise, we were really struggling with our flights home. SW would not have anything open at all some days and we were planning on just staying over night and heading home the next day. Then something would open. Then it would be an outrageous price. FINALLY we found something with a decent price (even though we don't pay for airfare, 2 of us still have to use points while the other is free, so it still matters).
The only issue is, the flight was not until after 9pm. What the heck are we going to do all day? That would be the latest I had ever waited on a plane to depart. I can't imagine just sitting at the airport all day. So we took to the boards here at cc for suggestions. I thought about an excursion, but didn't read rave reviews on the everglades tour and nixed that idea. I heard about the ferry. Nah, what would I do with my luggage? I'm not hauling that around. I checked into the ship transporting my luggage, that didn't work either because of the time frame.
So, the idea of renting a car was about the only option for us if we wanted to do anything at all and have the luxury of not being on any time frame.
So although we weren't in a "big" hurry to get off the ship because we had all day, we still kinda wanted to get to the airport to get our rental before the lines got too long...or whatever happens there. Idk, I have never rented a car from an airport and it's been years since I have rented a car in town for any trips. But that's what we decided would be best for us.
We wasn't really sure what time we were supposed to get called off but we were listening for the number instead of the color. I approached a worker who said we could have gotten off awhile back and off we went at 8:50am.
When we got down to get our luggage, there was mass confusion on my part. I had no idea where to start looking. This was not like anything I had ever experienced and since we knew that our luggage probably came down awhile ago, it had probably circled several times and then got mixed in with additional luggage from later times. But they had conveyor belts like at the airport. I had never seen anything like this at any other port or cruise line and it was strange to me.
We would later find that we were standing at the wrong "belt" to begin with.
The process of getting out of customs must have not been too long because we made it out of the terminal and onto the Thrifty shuttle by 9:29am and were on our way to the airport. This is a free shuttle from the cruise port to the airport.
Sakari made a "stick" animal while waiting on the shuttle.
Now like I said, I had never rented a car from the airport before so this was all new to me. I had no idea places within the airport existed like this. Like it's a whole other world within the airport.
They even come equipped with watch pigeons.
We checked in and we were told to "go this way and just pick a car, the keys are in the car" and pointed out into this huge parking garage.
The hubby immediately went for a turbo car. LOL
We put the address in for our destination on our phone and checked out, then we were on our way.
Now I do have to mention that when we were at the rental place, they ask, no wait, they "encouraged" us to add on the "toll package" because that way we could just zoom by the tolls in the fast lane and in the end, it would be cheaper than paying for the tolls. Also, they told us that the tolls would not take cash or credit cards. Um...then what do they take? I'm confused. So, we figured what the heck, why not.
So...on to the tolls...there were NOT any tolls. Jerks. They totally ripped us off! They new we were going to FLL airport and obviously knew that we would not encounter any tolls.
Next thing. When I booked this car, I booked on line and the total price for the day from 10am-8pm from Miami to FLL for drop off was $42.12. I had to pay $25.71 down and had a remaining of $16.41 due at the time of pick up. So add the $25 for tolls (I believe it was), my total should have been around $41 right? When I turned the car in, they gave me my receipt and I didn't notice until later that they had charged me $80 ($79 and some change) once it was turned in. I have no idea where this extra cost came in and what about the $25.71 I had already put down? That means I paid $100 for the rental of this car for only (actually) 8 hours!! I have no idea what just happened, but it totally pissed me off when I got home and discovered this. Anyone else have this happen before?
So we drove to FLL and we had made plans to go to the Museum of Discovery for the day. We have a place here something like this (called COSI-Center of Science and Industry) and Sakari loves in there. We figured this was something like it.
We went to the window to purchase our tickets and would discover that if you are a Bank of America card holder, you could get your tickets for free!! I had no idea and didn't remember reading anything about this online on their site. I actually have 3 BOA cards, but left all but 1 in the car and I wasn't about to walk back over to the parking garage just to get it and stand back in line again. So, we managed to at least get 1 ticket free. Adults are $15 and children are $13.
The place wasn't open quite yet (opened at noon on Sunday) and we sat around waiting. Sakari discovered some little critters were running around and she was super excited about it.
Well this would have been cool...had it actually worked and was up and running.
OK EVERYONE...CHECK THIS OUT....
Ok, just wanted to finish up our day at FLL at the Museum, in case anyone is interested in going if they have a late flight. Most is just going to be pictures, so that you can see what the place has.
They opened up at 12 noon and in we went to look around.
One thing that did disturb me is that a lot of the tanks were really dirty and the water was cloudy and I couldn't get good pictures. Then there was a tank that the fish looked like they had some type of disease with marks on them.
This area was about building, learning and playing
Build your own house and construct the walls where you want them.
In case you want to have a farm when you grow up. Picking oranges
Once you pick them, they go on an assembly line and up to the store where it's dumped and the empty crate comes back for more picking.
The "Earth" section, learn about tornados, tidal waves, trash, recycling and so on.
Produce your own weather show and rain coming from the ceiling
Prehistoric area and digging for fossils. I think Sakari could have stayed in this area the entire time.
SPACE and PLANES/FLIGHT
Go on a trip to outer space, this was a simulated ride.
Daddy is not taking flight any time too soon with that cruise belly he has obtained over the last few years.
They had an entire "medical" area and how you body works and can you believe I only got 1 picture and that was only because Sakari didn't want to leave the ambulance? LOL
This area took up most of our time. It was very frustrating. LOL You get a card and you have to go around to different sections and do "puzzles". If you figured out the puzzle, you got a clue. You had to gather several clues and go to a vault and dial in what you think it was and if they vault opened up...you move on to the next area. Now the things it had in this area are all brain teasers or puzzles you had to figure out. I have to admit, a lot of them were hard and my brain was hurting my the end of the day. LOL
We decided to take a break and get some lunch. There's a Subway that is in the same building and that's where we decided to go.
I don't know how they do things down in Florida, but see this guy with the dog? Him and his dog were eating inside of the restaurant in Subway. Do they allow animals in the restaurants in Florida? It was weird. I guess he could have been a medical dog. But I don't think so because he was just off walking around and doing his own thing and people were petting him and I always thought you shouldn't pet a "working dog". So I'm clueless.
Another area was a dinosaur area with bones and fossils and it had gems and stones as well.
It was a good way to kill the day and give Sakari something to do instead of just sitting around at the airport waiting for our flight that evening. This place closed around 6pm, but we were done before that even though we took our time.
There is also an Imax 3D movie theater (it cost extra) and I would have loved to have gone, but there wasn't really anything that we wanted to see (Jungle Book was coming out, but they didn't have it yet).
Also, within the Museum there are several different types of simulation rides, but they cost extra money. I believe most were around $5 pp to do and I just couldn't justify a $15 admission plus $5 for each ride on top of that. Nope, no way.
Within the same "circle" complex at the entrance, they also had a gift shop. Sakari had her eye on a lizard (from seeing all the lizards walking around the place outside the building) and wanted it for her souvenir.
She was trying to convince this lizard to be it's friend. None of the lizards were having it and would scurry off when she got to close of course.
We hung out for awhile on the wall around the building, by the street, and listened to the music. They were having some type of activity across the street (like a ribs fest of something) and there were tons of people over there.
Then we decided to head back to the car. Here's the parking garage directly across the street.
Our little turbo chevy
We still had a little bit of time to kill, so the hubby decided to start looking up other skate shops on the way back to the airport and we were stopping and checking them out. He's always trying to get ideas for his store.
We made it back to the airport, dropped off the car, got charged some outrageous amounts, and headed over to the airport to wait out the rest of the day. We really didn't have much of a wait once we checked our luggage in, got our tickets, security and then found our gate.
We made it home safely around a little after midnight and it was a LONG day!