If you haven’t noticed, Travel Shop Girl has been on the road quite a lot lately. After my fantastic family cruise on the Celebrity Summit, I was home only for one day. The remainder of that cruise information will be up shortly, but in the meantime, here’s what I did. I left for four days in Mexico to tour some great properties in Playa del Carmen, which that information will also be up soon enough. Above is a picture to whet your appetite until I am able to post those pics. But from Mexico I flew to Miami and met my friend, Anna, to start a brand new adventure.
I had flown on American Airlines from Cancun to Miami and after clearing customs and grabbing my bags, I followed the signs to ground transportation. However, be aware that hotel shuttles are not on the lower level, but on the arrivals level. I called my hotel, Springhill Suites Miami Airport South, and my shuttle was there in a relatively short amount of time. This particular hotel has a cruise package that includes free transportation from the airport to the hotel as well as to the cruise port, but their shuttle will also take you to some of the nearby stores such as Publix or CVS. We stopped to pick up a few people who had gone shopping at these stores before arriving at the hotel. I checked in and was in my room within only a few minutes.
My friend was arriving from Dayton after 11 pm so I thought I would utilize the few free hours I had to get some work done. Since she was flying into Fort Lauderdale and not Miami and it was late, we learned that the shuttles would have a surcharge and so she took a very expensive $85 cab ride from the airport to the hotel.
The next morning we were considering breakfast with her friend who was also going to be in Florida, but by the time we figured out that wouldn’t work, we realized we had made a mistake. Yes, we forgot to find out what time the shuttle to the port would be. Turns out I called at 10 am and the shuttle was leaving at 10 am. We hadn’t even packed so we knew that was out of the question. As we were leaving our room, Anna realized she had left her sneakers at home so we opted to take a cab to the port and then to stop along the way at Burlington Coat Factory to pick up a pair of sneakers. The cost of the cab to the port along with waiting time was $36 or the cost of three great drinks in the Molecular Bar onboard the Celebrity Reflection. Definitely need to stay more organized in the future.
The funny part of all of this is because I cruise often, I should know better about staying organized. I always check in online well in advance, print off my boarding information, and put it aside with my passport. Anna had done part of the check in process, but not all of it, including her credit card information, so we headed to the business center at the hotel and printed off the form. Because she hadn’t entered in her card information, she had to at the port, which took a little extra time, but wasn’t a total fail. Thankfully, since I am an Elite member of the Captain’s Club on Celebrity, we were able to check in rather quickly and head onto the ship.
|Looking toward Bistro on Five and the Martini Bar|
|Oceanview Cabin 3121|
|Fitness Center deck 12|
After lunch we went exploring around the ship to see what was available, including the fitness center on deck 12. A large spa is on this deck as well as great fitness center with adjacent rooms for classes including spin classes and yes, TRX classes. We immediately signed up with Ellie, one of the fitness employees, for both TRX and boot camp. I’m sure I will regret this decision later.
We had tried after lunch to make reservations in the specialty restaurants, but unfortunately, people decided that they needed to cut us off continually. They are offering a few specialty packages including an unlimited dining package, a five-restaurant package, and a four-restaurant package. We opted for the four-restaurant package for $125 per person and it offers you one night each in Murano, Tuscan Grille, the Lawn Club Grill, and Qsine. By the time I was able to finally make reservations, most of the tables for two were gone. This is another reason to book early and to book online once you are registered because you will get the best dining options available.
|Kristian suiting Anna up in her Lawn Club Grill apron|