By WALLACE IMMEN
The party hearties had already been bellying up to the Red Frog Rum Bar and its twin, the BlueIguana Tequila Bar on deck for a while by the time I joined them as Carnival Liberty prepared to sail away from Miami for a week in the western Caribbean.
The DJ on deck fired up a Jimmy Buffet medley. It’s five o’clock somewhere; wait a minute — it’s five o’clock here.
There’s a lot to explore on the big Carnival Cruise Lines ship fresh from an upgrading in dry dock that added new lounges, food options and entertainment, but we’re on board for a week and I’ll get to sample them all. The party’s already started here, so why not join in.
There’s probably no better place to get a panorama of Miami than the top deck of a cruise ship in the port. And it’s tough to resist the attraction of trays of rum punches, margaritas and buckets of beer being offered up by smiling waiters on this Fun Ship.
The drink of the day was “Red’s Remedy,” that promises to “make you go numb” with mix of dark rum, coconut rum and a bunch of tropical juices. Hey, not bad at all. But it seemed like it was having more effect that I expected:, weren’t we heading toward the city rather than away from it?
The ship’s bow seemed to be aiming straight for the high rises that surround Biscayne Bay when we suddenly stopped and started a stately 180 degree turn in the bay. Most of the time, ships turn around before they dock in Miami, but Liberty hadn’t this morning when it arrived, and the turn gave passengers an extra treat on our way out of town.
We lined the railings waving to passengers on other ships as we made our way along the narrow channel out to sea, passing the palm shaded mansions and marinas that make Miami famous.
Here’s a quick peek at the view of the sights as we waved adios to Miami and start a trip that will take us to Cozumel, Mexico; Belize; Roatan, Honduras and the Cayman islands. We’re all day at sea tomorrow and we’ll see what’s new with a clearer head.
Sure, I’ll have another.