Day 1: Miami, FL

Bayside Marketplace, Miami

The following day we ate breakfast. While getting ready to leave, we saw on the news that a boat wreck in the Port of Miami had closed down the port, delaying all the cruise ships.

Not knowing what to do, we left the hotel at 9:45am via Uber as planned. We had the driver drop us off at the outdoor mall, Bayside Marketplace, by 10:30am. A ton of other cruise passengers were dropped off here as well. We kept our luggage with us, even if it was a pain to roll it around everywhere, and found a picnic table covered to park for a while.

While we waited, we were entertained by a sweet little girl, her baby brother, and her mother (selling boat tours). The little girl, Ashley, couldn’t speak English, but communication was straightforward. She was 3 years old, and her energy reminded me of Willow, our granddaughter. We played with rocks by stacking them.

Dewayne and I got hungry, so he went to Bubba Gump Shrimp company to get us something light to eat (it was so hot outside). The chicken salad I ordered wasn’t much of a salad, with only two tiny pieces of chicken—and they added croutons after we told them not to.

The Port of Miami

After a huge rain shower and Ashley chatting our ears off in Spanish, we hopped on a free trolly at 5:30pm to the port (1.2 miles away).

We found where we were supposed to go (after several tries and the wrong terminals). We got in line behind the others and waited in the hot sun. It was super humid outside, and after about 30 minutes, I saw people and kids start to seek shade (not much of it, really). The line stopped moving. We were roasting.

That’s when it is me. I got stomach cramps, chills, and then super dizzy. I was going to be sick! I hobbled up to a port attendant nearby and asked where the nearest restroom was. He pointed me toward a blue bathroom sign at least a football field length away. Desperate, I picked up my pace and got into a stall just in time to be sick. Afterward, I reached up for some paper and saw there was none. I was too sick to panic. Suddenly, a sweet woman gave out paper towels under the stall doors, and I gratefully took that and managed.

A full-blown argument from a couple right next to us had me cringing. Tempers everywhere were rising. At this point, lots of people are sitting on the concrete, including me.

Dewayne just chatted with a guard. Said that no one boards till everyone is off the ship. Apparently, some people getting off have to wait for their luggage. Explains the frustration. Some kind soul bought a bunch of pepperoni pizzas and bottled water and started distribution within the crowd, starting with the children, then older adults. Dewayne managed to get a piece of pizza for himself, though I couldn’t eat pizza, which was fine because I felt so ill.

During six (6) hours, the cops had to come out three times to break up fights.

I’m unsure where the fault lies with all the sick and affected people. Still, it was unfortunate what happed to over 30K people during those long, grueling, hot hours at the Port of Miami terminals. I look back and wonder why there weren’t some emergency plans for things like this. I do hope this situation has encouraged companies to be prepared.

Around 12:30am, all the passengers from the previous cruise were off the ship, and we boarded. Food was being served by blurry-eyed staff. I couldn’t eat. I was so tired. I took a shower in our room and crawled into bed. Our luggage had yet to be brought to our door. I fell asleep around 1:30am and awake at 2:30am to the sound of the Seascape horn blowing. The bed swayed. We were moving! I slipped back into unconsciousness.