Let’s See the World on the Viking Neptune

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It’s time to sail away on Viking and go see the world!

After a lifetime of dreams and two years of planning, we are finally on our way.  It was a crazy week of last-minute to-do’s, preparing for the cruise and getting the house ready for our renters.

From the posts on Facebook, we are all equally excited about this trip.  People are arriving in Ft. Lauderdale from all over the world.  We met a few Australians and New Zealanders who had been flying for two days and had not seen the light of day until they arrived in Ft.  Lauderdale.  Bob and I felt a little guilty and thrilled that we only had a quick 45-minute trip this morning.  We arrived on time in Miami this morning and were expeditiously shuttled to the La Meridian hotel in Ft Lauderdale.  Things could not have gone smoother today, which bodes well for our cruise.

What are we looking forward to most?

People often ask us this question, but we are just looking forward to the whole experience of meeting new people, seeing new countries, and experiencing new cultures and food.  We look forward to meeting fellow cruisers, learning from them, and getting to know the crew, who will take good care of us.  The crew will make the difference in a good time and a great time, and I trust the Viking staff to make it an exceptional one.

I have spent many hours looking at excursions, local tours, and diving opportunities.  We have already made changes, and I am sure we will continue to do so as the trip progresses.  There is a lot of uncertainty about the challenges in the Middle East and what that may mean to our itinerary as we approach that area.  However, we trust that Viking will take care of us and safeguard their very expensive ships, so we will go with the flow and enjoy it all.

Let the Pampering begin!

We decided to head out and get a mani/pedi as we did not have time to do so before we left. Then, we stopped and had a beer and wine in the hotel bar.A drink for the road with Kay, a fellow cruise mate from Dunedin, New Zealand, and spent an hour or so getting to know her and sharing a few stories.

We’ll have a nice dinner at the hotel tonight, get our things organized a bit better, and then hopefully go to sleep dreaming of the exotic places we will be going to.

First Stops:

First Stop is Cozumel, where I will dive on Christmas morning while Bob learns to cook something new, which is excellent!! I am going to forget how to cook on this trip. I already love it!

I have posted a bit about Cozumel, Cartagena, and Colon.  If fellow cruisers are interested, I have written a bit about each location’s culture, history, and geography, as well as a few travel tips on safety, the local water, and a few other important tidbits of information.  I have also listed the excursions for the day.  A currency calculator is available if you haven’t already downloaded an app.  I’ll add pictures and a summary of our stay after each stop.

 

So, Bon Voyage to us all!  I can’t wait to meet you.  Thanks to our family for watching the pups for us and helping us get ready.  We love you all.

 

Appetizers - El Torro

After the day, Bob and I headed to the El Torro restaurant at the La Meridian restaurant.  We enjoyed our dinner.  The cuisine features dishes with seasoning and tastes from a blend of Latin American countries.  It also features a tequila library in the front of the restaurant, offering tasting flights.

Beef Medallions-El TorroOur server was very professional and friendly and knew the menu extremely well.  I ordered one of theirRed snapper famous margaritas, and we had the fried Cameron appetizer and guacamole with plantain & taco chips.  Bob had red snapper with fried avocado, which was delicious, and I had sliced beef tenderloin over a creamy risotto.  Of course, we topped it off with an order of churros.