This morning, Star Pride arrives in Aruba for the conclusion of our 9-day cruise.
Our two large pieces of luggage were tagged with black luggage tags last night and placed outside our suite. The "black tag" group is scheduled to disembark at 8:30am for hotel transfer, so we had time this morning for our ritual of disembarkation-day breakfast. By the time we arrived at Veranda, the restaurant was pretty crowded. There were no tables outside, so we found a table for two inside. A waitress brought us coffee and juice and we went to check out the buffet. Rickee and I both ordered eggs cooked-to-order at the egg station.
The breakfast buffet has anything you could want. There are all kinds of fresh fruit, cereals, breads, bagels, scrambled eggs, bacon, two types of sausages, beans, pastries and much more. By the time we finished breakfast, it was time for us to go to Reception to pick up our passports. Our passports had been stamped by Aruba Immigration and were ready for us.
The rest of disembarkation went very smoothly. Groups were called by tag color over the ship's PA system and, because this is such a small vessel, there are no huge crowds of people pushing and shoving to get off the ship. We left our suite when our group was announced and getting off the ship was a very leisurely process. As we exited Star Pride for the last time (at least on this journey) and walked down the gangway, the Captain and Hotel Manager were at the entrance to the cruise terminal to bid guests farewell.
After saying goodbye to Captain MacAry and Hotel Manager Marotos, we entered the terminal and quickly found our luggage. We then exited the terminal and boarded a motor coach for the transfer to our hotel. Windstar offers transfers to the airport, or to hotels for guests who are extending their vacations. When we originally booked our return flight to Miami, it was scheduled to depart at 9:15am, so we did not feel that we could get to the airport from the ship in time; therefore, we booked a night at a local hotel.
Our hotel, Renaissance, was the first stop on the transfer. We were in the hotel lobby by 9:00am but the room will not be ready until many hours later. The rest of our story really is about the hotel and Aruba, which is for another time. For now, we want to begin work on our review of Star Pride and reflect on the past nine wonderful days. Be sure to watch for our in-depth review of Star Pride on CruiseReport.com.