Nov 08 ~ Day #182
Budget to date
Total to date
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Current Location: Davie, Florida
Today’s Total Expenses: $51.47
$10.00 – cab from cruise port to TriRail
$5.00 – TriRail
$15.00 – cab from TriRail to pick up our car
Accommodation: $31.47 (camping)
Miles Traveled Today:
Road Miles: 15 (Fort Lauderdale to Davie, Florida)
Sea Miles: 3871.2 (3364 Nautical Miles – La Palma to Miami)
Train Miles: 28 (TriRail Miami to Fort Lauderdale)
Disembarking in Miami
Our ship had actually arrived in Miami late last night, so the disembarkation process was able to start very early in the morning – 7:00am!
If you wanted your luggage taken off the ship for you, you needed to have it outside your stateroom door the night before.
Fortunately, we were traveling with backpacks so when we disembarked we were able to carry all our luggage with us and not have to wait for our group to be called. People that had put their luggage out the night before had been sorted into groups and had to leave their staterooms and wait in designated areas for their group to be called. We could get off when we liked because we could take our luggage with us.
Long Line Up for U.S. Customs and Immigration
After a leisurely breakfast, we headed back to our room, picked up our loaded backpacks, a carry-on bag and our laptop computer, also in its own bag, and headed to the gangway to leave the ship.
The line up for customs and immigration was HUGE!
Standing there with fully loaded backpacks got pretty tired after the first half hour. Mine wasn’t too bad as it is actually smaller than Geoff’s. However, Geoff has a bad back and just standing around is difficult for him. But, standing around with a heavy backpack was just too much. He needed to take his backpack off.
The line was pretty bunched up so I had to ask the people behind us to back up a little bit so Geoff could actually get his backpack off.
We then edged our way up to Immigration for the next little while, pushing our luggage along bit by bit.
Best U.S. Immigration Officer EVER
Some people may not know this, but the immigration lines that say U.S. Citizens can also be used by Canadians. That’s because Canadians don’t need to be finger printed or have their photos taken.
So, as we got closer to the front of the line, I mentioned to the person that was directing people to various immigration officers that we were Canadian.
We were immediately whisked out of the long line and right to an available immigration officer.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I never like dealing with government officials. You never know what they’ll be like. With some people, if you put them in a uniform, they feel like they have to be officious and obnoxious.
Well, not this guy. He was smiling and happy and pleasant.
As he scanned our passports he actually started joking with us. And then he said, “Oh, Wait a minute. We can’t let you through too fast. We can’t have any Americans thinking that Canadians can get through the lines faster than they can.” And he then started to tap his fingers on the counter and whistle. Then he said, smiling, “I guess that’s long enough.”
We told him that this was our best experience ever and he said he thought Canadians were great. He said, “I’ve never gotten any attitude from a Canadian.” And, after a short pause, a little smirk passed over his face and he said, “Of course, that could have something to do with the fact that I carry a gun!”
We all chuckled. Geoff and I thanked him again and we were on our way. He had even marked our card so that we didn’t have to stop at Customs.
Before leaving Florida in early September we had prepaid our camping fees so we didn’t have to worry when we came back. The receipt was a little cryptic, though, so I had said to the manager, “You had better be here when we get back.” And he had assured us that he would be.
Well, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, he wasn’t there any more.
It took a little sorting out but the new management accepted the receipt (that goodness we had one and that we’d kept it) and all was well.