2012 Cruise Post 1: South Beach

Our adventure began in South Beach….we flew in to Miami last Saturday evening.

DT and I discovered South Beach on our first cruise three years ago.  It’s filled with boutique hotels, fancy shopping, and posh restaurants that we are generally way too underdressed for.  And the beach….well, of course the beach.

Last year’s cruise left from San Juan, Puerto Rico.  That was fun to explore, but we were excited to get back to familiar So-Be turf.  A pedestrian mall on Lincoln Road is the place to be for bustling nightlife.

We hadn’t eaten all day, so first thing’s first was a return visit to Pizza Rustica for dinner.

Pizza Rustica

PR slices 1

PR slices 2

PR hoagies

Their “slices” are more like “entire pizzas” and we very clearly had forgotten that when we each ordered two of them.  Umm, they covered two plates?!  To-go box, please!

Tomato basil

Mine: Tomato Basil with whole wheat crust

shrimp pesto

DT’s: Shrimp al Pesto

We left with stomachs satisfied and a guaranteed midnight snack for later.

5 Napkin Burger had opened its doors since our last visit….it was a great, open space and we grew some roots there.

5 Napkin Burger

(We’re looking a little travel weary.)

We stopped by Zeke’s Roadhouse, a little beer joint along the Lincoln mall we also stumbled upon in 2008.  It’s cash only, with a bunch of beers from all over the place on hand.  It was that night the Blueberry Beer Mystery was finally solved.

Background:  DT and I had a blueberry beer at Zeke’s three years ago and could not, for the life of us, remember what it was called or where it was from to search for it at our local liquor stores.  We thought we discovered it in Cape Cod, but no.  (Although, unbeknownst to me and before last Saturday’s confirmation, it was a beer I enjoyed at an Iowa City establishment last October.  I sent a text to DT with a photo of the bottle, as he was not with me at the time….he did not respond because he was doing boy football things.  Anyway, I know that was what I ordered, and I apologize for this mostly-unrelated tangent.)

blueberry beers

Anyway.  We ordered both of their blueberry beers for our taste test.  It was indeed, without a doubt, Wild Blue.  It smelled just like blueberry pie, sweet and so flavorful….but one bottle goes a long way.  The Long Island Blueberry Ale was good too, but had a starkly contrasting taste to the very apparent blueberry-ness of Wild Blue.

Well, now that that mystery is solved, on with the vacation!

After a fun night out in So-Be, we took a walk along the water the next morning.  Our hotel was a couple of quick blocks from the ocean.

South Beach beach 1

Miles upon miles of beach….

South Beach beach 2

DT and me, South Beach beach

What a beautiful morning!  The water and sky were so unbelievably blue.  Like both of our shirts.

Then it was off to the ship!

In our experience, the cab ride to the port, checking in, and finally boarding the ship are so goshdarn exciting.  We are like giddy schoolchildren at lunchtime, it’s pretty silly really.  But the vacation is just beginning, everything is so fresh and new and dang!  Let the fun begin!

Here’s a happy man ready to hop aboard:

DT walking aboard

And here are the aforementioned giddy schoolchildren:

DT and me walking aboard

As tradition dictates, the first fruity drink of the cruise is had in the lobby bar:

first fruity drink

Then we were off to explore the ship.

Another tradition is taking a picture on the deck before we leave.  This year we wore our fleeces – it was a bit breezy up there!

annual photo before we leave

We set sail at 4:00.

setting sail 1

Departing the canal

leaving Miami

Goodbye, Miami!

On our way, YIPPEE!!  As giddy as can be are we!

on the way

We weren’t able to get into our room right away, but when we were, DT had a little surprise up his sleeve.

We typically book a room on a lower (if not the lowest) level, on the interior side of the hallway (i.e. no windows).  Basically a closet with a bed, a few drawers for storage, and bathroom.  We spend so little time in the room during the trip, it seems silly to have much more than that when we’re on the beach or roaming the ship.

But this year, we had a chance to upgrade, and sneaky DT probably ruined us forever from having a lower level, interior room.

We got a balcony.  On the ninth floor.




I must have said “Honey, I can’t believe you did this!!!!” a hundred times, I was so surprised!  We felt so spoiled to actually have a view like this from our room!

balcony view

reflection in door

We spent so much time on that balcony….reading, enjoying cocktails, watching the water below, checking out the scenery first thing each morning and sunsets at night.  We kept the door open every night so we could hear the ocean….it was awesome and such a treat!

The cruise had begun!


2 Comments on “2012 Cruise Post 1: South Beach”

  1. Jennifer says:

    I love the photo on the dock! So beautiful. Also, I tried Wild Blue over Christmas and it is yummy, but one bottle is for sure enough.

  2. yennilb says:

    Such gorgeous photos! Looks so nice and sunny. And the room! With a balcony! Definitely looks worth it. 🙂

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