"" Writer's Wanderings: Where's Aruba?

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Where's Aruba?

 Usually I catch you up here on what happened the day before but this is going to be a little of both. We woke up this morning (Saturday) expecting to look out and see Aruba. There was just water out our veranda view so we turned on the TV to get the view of the front of the ship. Water. I laughed. "Maybe we're on our way to Bimini." 

Well, I got that right. Bob was on the Cruise Critic thread already and found a post that said we all had letters in the slot by our door that said we couldn't stop at Aruba. I checked and there it was! 

The letter says that even though we were cleared to arrive in Aruba with all services paid for in advance and no reasonable risks or claims against the ship, local officials informed officers that we would not be permitted to dock. According to the letter, they had appealed, even citing humanitarian reasons but to no avail. So they are now forced to conclude the voyage in Bimini on Monday (a day and a half later than we were scheduled to disembark). 

It goes on to say that we will be ferried to Fort Lauderdale arriving around 9 pm, and offered an overnight stay at a local hotel. After that we're on our own. They have offered to help book flights if we don't have air travel with the cruise line. Bob has already managed to change our Aruba flight and rebook us for February 1. 

Every cloud has a silver lining. We get an extra day and a half on the ship enjoying warm sunshine. We don't have to stress over the worry of flight delays (we were to stop in Dulles) because of the East Coast storm. Hopefully our driveway will be clear of snow by then and there are a few less days to spend in the cold before we can return for our other cruise. The people I truly feel sorry for are those who made arrangements to join a Regent cruise that was due into Aruba on Monday. Maybe with the extra time and the availability of cruises out of Fort Lauderdale and Miami, they can snag something else.

As for us, we just want to go home and take a couple of deep breaths, unpack all the extra things we didn't need because of the canceled cruise and look ahead to the next cruise.

Last night we got to enjoy a special dinner at the Stardust Supper Club. Our first opportunity to book it was canceled and we were happy to get a card in our room confirming that the supper club would go on. We dined on caviar, asparagus soup, beef Wellington and a rich chocolate mousse dessert. All of that while listening to various ship's entertainers and the show band singing and playing wonderful dinner music. It was very pleasant and worthy of a black tie night.

The evening's show featured Crystal On Broadway. We've seen it several times but I could see it again. It is a combination of vignettes from Something's Rotten, West Side Story, and Rent. After the show was done the Cruise Director, Rick Spath, asked all the entertainers to come out on stage and then he had most of the crew march through the theater as everyone honored their hard work to keep us happy. 

It all culminated with a video and the "What A Wonderful World" song by Louis Armstrong. Lots of tears from Crystal cruisers who are deeply in love with the cruise line. Little did we all know that in the morning we would be handed another day and a half to enjoy. Well, most will enjoy. I'm sure there are some who are extremely upset. For us? It fits our philosophies about travel attitude and expecting the unexpected--although this has really been weirdly unexpected.

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