Today, we flew to Miami to board Azamara Quest. We landed in Miami about an hour late, American Airlines...enough said. When we arrived at baggage claim, we sought out the Azamara representative, as instructed, for our transfer to the ship. Unfortunately, there must have been a mix up in communication, because our names were not on the transfer list. After debating with the rep for a couple of minutes, and even showing her an email stating that we had a transfer, it was clear that, if our names were not on her list, we were not getting a transfer. She offered to sell us a transfer for $29 pp, but we decided to call Mr. Uber instead. Within 3 minutes of submitting a request to Uber, our Toyota Prius showed up, and we were on our way to the Port of Miami! Have I said lately how much I love Uber?
Our Uber driver had a little challenge finding Pier J at the Port of Miami. It is the one that is across the street from where the big ships dock, sort of behind Royal Caribbean's offices. But, with a little help from us, he was able to navigate through the port and drop us off at the correct location. We dropped our two checked bags with the porter and proceeded inside to the check-in desk. It was about 2:30 when we arrived at check-in and there was no line. We walked right up to the desk and within five minutes, we were stepping on board Quest where we were greeted with a friendly "Welcome Home" and a cold glass of sparkling wine.
We were informed that our stateroom was ready, so we proceeded up the stairs to Deck 6 and forward to our Veranda Stateroom (6016). We were not inside the stateroom for 2 minutes before Edwin, our room steward, showed up to greet us and welcome us "home". Edwin assured us that he and his assistant would take good care of us and asked if there was anything else we needed. Rickee inquired about more clothes hangers, and within a few minutes, Edwin returned with a handful.
Welcome Home Greeting
Evidence of the ship's dry dock experience was found throughout the stateroom. While the "attached" furnishings appear to be original, the carpeting, wall coverings, bedding, and furnishings have a fresh, new and more modern appearance. The bathroom is still small, but has been fitted with new faux wood vinyl flooring and wall coverings.
We did not have a lot of time to spend exploring the ship before the mandatory muster drill. Our muster station was the Cabaret Lounge which, by the way, appears to be untouched by the recent refurbishment. Fortunately, Azamara has dropped the requirement for guests to take their life vests to the muster drill. Basically, it is a demonstration by crew members of how to put on the vest along with safety announcements. A good policy. During the announcement from the Bridge, Captain Vilhrino reminded us that, in an effort to prevent the potential spread of germs (like Norovirus), crew members do not shake hands with guests. Instead, they use the Azamara Fist Bump as a greeting. Good idea.
After the drill, we wasted no time in trying find out if the ship was going to be offering the NFL Divisional Playoff game between Dallas and Green Bay on the ship's television system. Unfortunately, they were not. This was an opportunity for me to try out our new Dish Network Dish Anywhere™ technology. Basically, I was able to use my cell phone to connect to the ship's WiFi, then the Dish Anywhere app allowed me to view LIVE TV from my receiver at home. Amazing! We spent most of the evening in The Living Room on Deck 10 watching our Cowboys sadly lose to the Packers. We will talk more about The Living Room in a future blog post.
After the disappointing Cowboy loss, we decided to make it an early night. We stopped by Windows Cafe for their Italian Buffet and enjoyed a quiet meal before heading back to our stateroom.
Tomorrow is our first day at sea as Azamara Quest sails towards Cartegena, Columbia.