As some of the folks that I know have told me in the past, they enjoy hearing about my days as I travel…so for the next week I will be writing about this trip…a Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Ship Cruise to Cuba and Cozumel…where I will be a Cruise Ship Lecturer speaking on Cuba. It has been fun to prepare, and I have learned a lot about Cuba and its history.
But, this trip started with my being in Tampa a day early…and after a visit downtown to see the City and the Bay area, I went over to Ybor City…a small community of Tampa that was founded by the Spanish and Cubans around the 1900 time period.Ybor City is advertised as a “little Cuba”…..and it does have many shops that, no doubt, will look like stores and shops in Havana…and we will see. In any case, it is a place of neat shops and restaurants and some Cuban History, including a couple of cigar making stores that you can go in and watch the process.
I got back to the hotel, after riding the public bus, HART, in and out of town….and this is the best way to get around….all day pass for $4….and very clean and fast. The bus takes you downtown past the old mansions and the new buildings….and beautiful areas with lots of trees and parks. Very pretty. Tampa itself is part of the larger Bay Area of about 3 million people, so this is a major area, and the Bay area waterways are very evident. Development has been well controlled around the Bay, and has capitalized on the River that flows into the bay…very impressive.
Returning about 3 PM….started to notice the build up of clouds, and within an hour started hearing the thunder….and the rain started. I had heard earlier that Tampa was the “Lightning Capital of the US”…..and for the next hour….I saw and heard all from my room, as this was not a rain that you wanted to be out in. I hear this morning that we got 3 inches of rain for the day…so, my welcome to Tampa was complete.
Today I take the Shuttle from the hotel to the Cruise Port, which is in the downtown area….so will get to experience the check in procedure for Royal Caribbean….our previous cruise ship experiences have been very good…so hope this continues. The Ship starts check in about noon…and then departs at 4 PM…or at least this is the plan..sailing overnight to Key West…where we will have our first day…and this will be a first for me to visit Key West, and am looking forward to this unique city, and area.
More to come, and enjoy the “new look” blog page.