9:45am, I’m sitting in the Crow’s Nest Lounge waiting for the Meet-and-Greet at 10am. Been a beautiful and warm day, temperature a balmy 71 degrees. I can’t see Key West yet, but it isn’t too far in front of us. We are scheduled to dock at 1:00 pm.
Back to Tampa. We ate dinner at the Hurricane Wings restaurant at the Ramada Westshore motel. They have 30 different flavors of wing sauce, from boring to stuff that would singe the hair off of your scalp. I settled on medium (I’m not too trusting) and it was fairly mild. If I eat there again, I’ll go one step hotter.
With dinner over, it was time to go back to the room. But I had one more thing to ask. Would it be possible to watch my favorite college basketball team (Gonazaga Bulldogs) in Florida? As it turned out, yes. The restaurant had the sports package that had every televised college basketball game in the country. So, 2000 miles away from the Pacific Northwest, I watched Gonzaga whoop up on a very good Pacific University team. Great day.
Next day, up early, excitement. Time to get ready. But…Praxy was gimping around. She had a horrible pain in her right leg, almost to the point she couldn’t walk. Oh man. Not good. I tried massaging her leg, and she tried stretching it out. A little better but not much. After a while she finally was able to limp downstairs for breakfast. It wasn’t terrible, so we packed up and loaded up on the van to the cruise dock. We were both concerned, would she be stuck in the cabin all trip in bad pain? Then, an idea hit me. maybe a professional massage on the ship.
We went through the check in, all went well. The passenger loading went the quickest and easiest of all of my three cruises. Easy to find our cabin, 358 on the lower promenade deck. We stowed all our clothing into the drawers and hangers and took off upstairs to deck 11 for lunch. Then, forward to talk to the massage people.
Of course they were up to it. And for a little more time and money, acupuncture, facials, manicures, steam rooms, gym, and beauty parlor. But there was an open house until 5 pm. Nothing to do but wait, so we walked around and found a few places to relax.
Maybe the warm sun would help. It did. We entered a little raffle to try to win a free massage, facial, acupuncture, etc. with no luck. At 5:15, her turn came up. The people were trying to talk me into a massage as well, but I declined. Not that I wouldn’t like it, but the prices were a little high considering I felt fine. So I walked out on the main forward deck and enjoyed the departure and the beautiful Florida sunset.
Something I’d never seen before, a dry dock. It didn’t look big enough for our ship, that is perhaps the reason the Ryndam was dry docked for several days in the Bahamas in late November. And…
The small aircraft airport nearby. A small aircraft taxied to take off and the timing looked like it might fly right over us. The plane held up, though. I’m thinking that aircraft are not supposed to take off when a ship is directly off the runway. In the distance (look carefully) are two cruise ships that left before us. The ship channel is a serpentine affair for several miles after leaving the docks near downtown Tampa. I hung around outside talking with other passengers until it was time to collect Praxy. She came out saying she was still hurting, but feeling a lot better.
We then took off to find some people I had met on the internet prior to our cruise. They turned out to be very nice, and we went to dinner together and spent the evening chatting.
Our stateroom is very comfortable and roomy. It lays about midships and it should be stable in rough seas. I’m halfway expecting a few bumps here and there. After all, it’s winter and the Atlantic ocean can get very boisterous from storms far to the north. But, we had an intruder.
I believe this is a scorpion. It looks lobsterish, but lobsters can’t flex their tails upwards. Another possibility would be a hermit crab. Whatever it was, it wasn’t spiny.
We went to bed hoping she would be better in the morning.