NCL Encore Day 1 - Miami
With an early flight comes an early alarm but honestly on travel days the alarm is pretty exciting when it wakes me up. Being a Saturday morning, the traffic was a breeze to get to the airport. Security took a bit longer than normal even with TSA Precheck which is still some of the best money spent in my opinion. There was enough time to grab a little breakfast though before our flight.
The flight to Miami was non-eventful which is great. We took off on time and landed on time which exactly what people want. After waiting for our bags, we grabbed a taxi and were off to the JW Marriott Marquis which is our new go-to hotel in Miami.
Our room with upgraded view was ready and it was only a little after 12. We dumped off our bags and changed into shorts. It was in the 80s and it felt so hot to us. We walked to the Bayside Marketplace as we typically do when we arrive for lunch. We had lobster rolls at Mason’s and they tasted even better than last time. Of course, we had to get mojitos to toast our arrival in Miami as well from ODB (Other Daquiri Bar) which is right next door. Bayside Marketplace was hopping and the people watching is truly some of the best around. We walked around a bit before making our way back to the hotel in order to make our walk closer to two miles.
The concierge lounge was not open due to covid on our last visit so we went to check it out. It is a very nice set up and we each at a cortadito coffee which was delicious. It definitely perked me up. We grabbed a few sodas to have in our room for later and decided to visit the pool next.
The rooftop pool is very nice and was shaded when we got there. We both hopped up on this high bed type lounger that was loaded with pillows. It was perfect for relaxing. The pool wasn’t too crowded and when the sun appeared from behind a building, we were able to switch sides and be in the shade once again. Chris went to find a bar and ordered two cocktails that were delivered to our seats.
At 5:30, the concierge lounge serves hors dourves and has cocktails for purchase. We decided to see the offerings and we were delighted to find plenty of choices. They had cheese courgettes, chicken quesadilla cones, hummus and pita, shrimp cocktails, assorted cheeses and vegetables with dip. We each had a glass of pinot noir with our snacks while enjoying a fabulous view. We watched the Valiant Lady set sail on their Caribbean cruise and chatted about how we would soon like to try a Virgin cruise ourselves.
We were pretty full from the offerings which were all very good. I especially enjoyed the hummus and pita which tasted like it was from the restaurant, Boulud Sud downstairs. We saw on the sign that fruit and sweets were available later and decided that would be plenty for us for the night. When we returned, we only found oatmeal cookies although they were excellent.
The rest of the night, we watched some Seinfeld on Netflix and decided to get some rest after our early alarm. We had a 9-9:30 AM arrival time for the port so we would be up pretty early again. But just like travel day, embarkation day is another day that is always exciting for me no matter how many cruises I have been on.
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We love to travel and experience new places and cultures.