Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Caribbean Vacation - Day 13 - Debarkation Day/ Lago Mar Day 1

Click here for DAY 1DAY 2DAY 3 , DAY 4, 
DAY 5 , DAY 6 DAY 7 ,  DAY 8,  DAY 9,
DAY 10 , DAY 11
or DAY 12 

Also, HERE is my tour of the Carnival Victory

Christina and I were both up at 5:00AM. We have no idea what woke us up so early, but we stayed up anyway. We went out on the balcony and we could see we were approaching Miami (darn!)
It was still really dark outside. We stayed out there and watched off the side of our balcony as we came closer to the port.

We thought this giant sign was kind of cool as we went past it. I ran in and got my camera and got a pic just in time. 
It was really peaceful as the ship was slowly gliding through the canal. 

The sky got brighter as we pulled next to the dock. 
It was so cloudy, we didn't get to see the sunrise that morning.

A police boat escorted us into the port

After we pulled up to the dock, a lot of workers got busy. Trucks pulled up to the ship and did various things. Forklifts took big crates of luggage off.

Miami looked really pretty from our balcony.

When it was a reasonable time in Kansas City, I called my Sweetie. It was so good to finally be able to talk to him again. I let him know we were OK and that we had pulled into Miami.
He had to work that day, so he would call me later that day and we would be able to catch up.

It started raining so Christina and I went back inside the cabin. We were both hungry so we went up to the lido deck to get breakfast.

Holy Moley it was so crowded at the Lido Deck buffet this morning. People had their luggage and were eating breakfast and waiting around to get off the ship.

Christina and I went to the back buffet to find Hector. I wanted to get my last omelet from him, and Christina and I both wanted to say goodbye.

Good Bye Hector!! Thanks for making awesome omelets for me every morning!

I'm going to miss having this breakfast buffet every morning. It was small, but it had everything I wanted.

We carried our plates back to our cabin. It was still raining outside so we couldn't eat on the balcony.
We sat on our beds and watched TV while we ate.
We took our time. We wanted to try to stay in our cabin as long as we could. John wasn't going to pick us up until 10:00AM so we had plenty of time.

At 9:00AM, Carlos knocked on our cabin door. He told us we had to leave the cabin, because he had to get in there.
We knew we had stayed in our cabin longer than we were supposed to, so we told him goodbye and we would be out of the cabin in 5 minutes.

GOODBYE CARLOS!! Thanks for taking such good care of us morning and night, even though we didn't see you very much!

Five minutes later we left Carlos his last note and tip, and we took one last look around our awesome cabin.
Oh, how I loved loved loved this cabin!

 We still had almost an hour until we had to meet John outside, and it was still raining outside.
We decided to go to the casino bar one last time and have a smoke.

We hadn't seen Ari at all that morning, we guessed he was already on his way to the airport to go to Indonesia.
Too bad we didn't get to say goodbye to him. He was really sweet.

We didn't see our Canadian balcony neighbors that morning either. The last time we saw them was on the tender boat to Grand Cayman, so we didn't get to say goodbye to them.

It was really empty on the Promenade deck. There were a few people sitting around with their luggage, and a few people walking around, but not much going on at all.
There was no band playing music. There were no bar servers. Everyone was so gloomy.

We sat at our favorite spot at the bar and had a smoke.

We didn't stay too long.
Around 9:30, we headed down to the Lobby on Deck 3.
Almost everyone had already gotten off the ship by then and the Lobby was pretty empty too.
We dinged our cards through the machine one last time and we were off the ship.

So sad. My cruise is over.

Into the port building, down the long escalator, and into the baggage claim area.
We found our bags right away.

We got through the customs line pretty quickly, and then we were outside.
It had stopped raining by then.

As we walked out, Carnival gave us a reminder not to gloat

Our timing to get off the ship was perfect and John was there to meet us within 5 minutes.
We perked up quite a bit when we saw this pull up for us!


We were happy to see John, and he offered to take a pic of us before we left the port.

The ride to Lago Mar Resort in Ft Lauderdale was about 30 minutes.
Christina and I entertained ourselves during the ride.

That's the pink Harley Davidson t-shirt I got in Jamaica. (JAMAICA!!)

We had never been to Lago Mar Resort, but I received a tip from someone on one of my cruise websites that this might be a good place to stay.

We thought it looked really nice from their web site and on different You Tube videos we found. They had great reviews on Tripadvisor.
We looked around at other hotels too, but something kept drawing us back to looking at Lago Mar again. 

Boy are we glad we picked Lago Mar!! 
This place turned out to be AWESOME!!


Pulling up to the front entrance, John drove the limo up under that awning to drop us off. It was a tight squeeze for that long limo to turn those corners but John did it.

Before we could even grab our backpacks, there were several hotel guys opening doors for us, and helping John get our luggage.

We walked into the lobby, and it was beautiful!!

We couldn't believe this floor!
It was made of little pieces of stone (marble??), like a big huge mosaic.
It was absolutely gorgeous

Justin was waiting at the desk for us. He was really nice.
He told us our room wasn't ready yet. We knew it wouldn't be ready that early. That's why we weren't in a hurry to get off the ship that morning.

Justin gave us a map of the property and told us to enjoy ourselves.
He told us he would hold our bags, and have them taken to our room when it was ready.
He said he would call us when we could come get our keys.
Sorry, I can't get this map to turn the right way, but you get the idea.)

The first thing we did was walk out toward the beach. We were drawn to the ocean.

It was a gray, cloudy was warm out, almost hot..............but it wasn't raining.

The beach was empty. We found a couple of chairs and we put our backpacks down and went to wade in the water for a few minutes.

The beach was full of sea shells, and we picked up some good ones.
The water felt great on our toes, the water was pretty warm. 
We sat in the chairs for a while and we decided we liked Lago Mar. This was very nice.

After a while, we walked back up toward the hotel and found a few chairs to lounge in.

We sat for a while and we both caught up on all of our emails and texts we missed throughout our cruise.

After we were both caught up on the latest news, we decided to walk around and explore Lago Mar a little bit. We felt like we were the only people there. We barely saw anyone while we walked around.

There was a really cool pool bar

A playground for kids

A few cool places to sit

Giant Chess

We saw lizards all over. There were really tiny ones, and we saw huge ones. 
This one was about 6 or 7 inches long

We were hungry for lunch so we went in the gift shop to ask someone what our choices for lunch were.

They happened to have a little diner just off the gift shop. 
It was perfect!

We sat at the counter and it was like an old fashioned soda shop. Christina had a club sandwich and chips, and I had a hotdog and chips.
It was just enough to fill us up.

While we were there, our waitress called Justin at the front desk to see if our room was ready yet. 
She was so sweet to do that.
It just so happened, our room was ready!

We paid the waitress and went to see Justin.

We had reserved a suite with a parking lot view (it was all they had when we booked), but Justin said he had upgraded us to a pool view. 
He gave us our keys and we went off to find our room.

We found it easily. It was close to the elevators.  

We walked in the room and we saw a long hallway with a few doors on our left.

The first door was our bedroom. We loved it!!

I had the bed by the window.

There was a door leading into the bathroom from the bedroom, and there was also a door to the bathroom in the hallway.

The bathroom was really nice too.

Back out in the long hallway, we found this cute little kitchen.
The kitchen was fully stocked with cups, dishes, silverware and anything else we might need.

And around the corner from the kitchen was a living room.

We had a HUGE balcony

And the pool view was awesome! It was a really pretty lagoon pool.

We were SO happy with our room!!! It was immaculate. And it was HUGE!

We decided we REALLY liked Lago Mar now.

Our luggage arrived within a few minutes. William brought it up on a cart and he also brought a small cooler full of ice. He filled our ice bucket up for us while he was there.
That was a nice touch!
William got a nice tip.

We wanted to explore our hotel some more.
So we went out to look around again.
Just outside our front door, the front of the hotel faced a canal. There were houses on the other side.

Looking down we could see some fountains

And looking out from our front porch area across the canal

We went downstairs and out to the front of the hotel and looked around. The fountains were pretty.

Down on the dock by the canal

We went back through the hotel and around by the pool.
Look who was laying out

Another reptile thing.
We sure don't see things like this wandering around in Kansas City!

He was huge!
I'd say this one was close to 3 feet long

We left him alone and continued our exploring. We found the mini golf course

You might notice, we are wearing different clothes in a few of these pictures.
We actually did play mini golf that afternoon, and we took pictures. (it was free to play)
Apparently my little card thing in my camera was full and it didn't register about 20 pictures I took that day.
Christina and I came back another day and reenacted playing mini golf so I could retake the pictures

We also played shuffleboard, even though we had no clue how to play.
We used the stick thingies and we shuffled the round things back and forth down the cement.
I'm sure it would be a fun game to play if we knew the rules.

They had tennis courts, and they had racquets (rackets?) and balls we could use for free. We didn't play, but I would have liked to. It was really too hot to run around a tennis court.

This was more my speed that day

I loved the big chess board!

The details they put into this place were really nice. This was part of the floor going to the elevators.

This window had water running down it. We walked past it every time we went to the elevators to go up to our room. I loved this!
Later we found out the spa was on the other side of that window.

Back in the lobby, we took a few more pictures
The chandelier was HUGE

We went up to the balcony above the lobby so we could get pictures of the huge fireplace

These are the front entrance doors in the lobby.

After exploring, playing and picture taking, we were hot and hungry. We were ready for dinner, but first we stopped at the spa on the way back up to our room.

We both made appointments for the next morning at 9:00AM
Christina had an appointment for a massage, and I was going to have my nails done.

After we made our appointments, we went back to our room to figure out what to do for dinner.

They had a nice restaurant at the hotel. A copy of the menu was in the room.
We wanted to eat there, but neither of us saw anything we really wanted on the menu.

 We ended up calling room service and ordering burgers with cheddar/jack cheese and fries.

They were perfect!!

The food was very good and it hit the spot. We were both stuffed.

I was able to talk to my Sweetheart after he got off work that afternoon. He assured me all was well at home, and that he and our dogs were anxiously awaiting my return in a few days.
It was a really long time to be away from home, and talking to Tim made me miss him even more.

Christina and I decided to take a walk out on the beach as the sun went down.

It was already getting dark by the time we walked out there, and we couldn't see very well.
Neither of us had shoes on.
As we walked toward the water, Christina almost stepped on a huge crab, it was about the size of a baseball.
I yelled and pointed at it right before she was about to take a step

She jumped about a mile in the air, and did this funny jumping screaming dance across the beach.
It was hilarious!! She didn't step on the crab though!

We waded in the water and picked out pretty seashells.
We walked along the beach.

We didn't get to see a pretty sunset (it was behind us) but it was nice being on the beach as the sun went down.

We used our flashlights on our phones to light our way back up the beach in the dark.
We didn't want to do any more crab dances

We walked past the pool on our way back to our room. It looked really pretty at night too!

Back in our room, we found these really comfortable beds waiting for us. We were so tired, we had been up since 5:00 that morning.

We put our jammies on and watched TV for a while.

We couldn't sleep in too late because we had our spa appointments in the morning. 
After the spa, we planned to have a beach we knew we would have a very relaxing day.  

So far, we both really loved Lago Mar. It was a classic old hotel and it was in pristine shape. 
Everything was immaculate, inside and out. 
The place was kept up so nicely, it was hard to believe it was built in the 40's. 
It had a certain charm a comfortable feeling about it. Everyone that worked there was super nice and friendly. We were really glad we picked this hotel. It was perfect for us.

We were asleep by 11:00 that night. My bed was so comfortable and I slept so good that night.

DAY 14 coming soon!!

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