Last November, I took an impromptu trip to Jamaica to renew my passport. This was especially risky, because I had to travel on an expired passport to Jamaica, and then return on a semi-expired green card.
In the present political environment, and with all the hostility towards immigrants, I knew I was potentially setting myself up for trouble. But, as is the case with me, once a crazy idea sets in and I begin to think I can do it, off I go! It was so worth it.
Within a few weeks of returning safe and sound to America, I was off again on the Carnival Magic with family and friends. Day 1 and 2 were not particularly eventful, but nonetheless, they are the beginning of this adventure tale, and so, there we start.
Day 1 — Sunday, Miami
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Day/Night 1 on my first cruise: My morbid fascination with this effect at the back of the ship can't be healthy, but it's so beautiful 😍 . . . #ship #cruise #travel #travelling #travelvlogging #travelblogging #travelphotography #travels #instatravel #travelgram #instadaily #atsea #lifeatsea #travelholic
The drive to Miami from Atlanta was long. It didn’t help that I hadn’t slept in a day or two. Thankfully, I was not the one driving. We had decided to carpool and the guys in the group decided to take the wheel, while us women put our feet up.
I spent the first two hours crocheting (interlocking) my dreads and then somehow found the energy to fret with the drivers about the fact that we were cutting it real close to departure time.
Nevertheless, we arrived in Miami in time to board. It was a really, really long line, making us wish all the more that we could have left earlier. The sun pelted us, and having driven down from colder climes, we were not in the best clothes to withstand it. Lucky for us, the workers did pass out free bottled water.
When we arrived inside, I was ready to breathe my sigh of relief, but it was a breath taken too soon. Even though I had my extension letter from USCIS to accompany my expired green card, they gave me a proper shakedown. Two different officials looked at my documents and then I was sent to a separate line that was also really long. I watched as everyone else boarded the ship, while I stood there, having my legal immigration status once again called to question.
I was annoyed to say the least, but when the Hispanic woman who could barely speak English at the help desk questioned the authenticity of my documents, that quickly turned to fuming. After some back and forth, with a lot of tongue-biting on my end, they finally let me board the cruise ship. We were the last set aboard, but we had made it and ultimately that was all that mattered.
The first order of business was for our groups to find our rooms. I was sharing with my parents and finally got a taste of true tiny living with a ladder to my loft bed to boot! 😅 I actually really loved it up there. I never used the beds below, even when I had the room to myself, which was often.
Once we had put our things away and changed into clothing worthy of warm weather, we all returned upstairs to eat. This was my last shot of Miami before we left the port.
Day 2 — Monday, At Sea
The following morning, with the sun high and bright in the sky, we were finally able to take a good look around the ship and see what it had to offer. Despite my fear of open waters, one of my favourite things to do was going to the back of the ship and looking at the beautiful effect it had on the water.
Isn’t it one of the most amazing things you’ve ever seen? 😍 It sure was for me!
Naturally, sight-seeing wasn’t the only thing you could do on the ship. There were also pools, fitness centers, hot tubs, towering water slides, and of course, the buffets.
I had planned on trying this adult jungle gym they had set up, but I regret to say, I never did. We spent such little time on the ship, and when we were on-board, we were often too exhausted from swimming and snorkelling to go up there. Not one of us in the travel group made it up.
Even so, why close this post out on such a dismal note? Here is a shot of the beautiful sunset I caught that evening. There is nothing quite like a sunset in the tropics.
Next week, I’ll share my day at the beach in the Cayman Islands, including some underwater footage. Stay tuned!