I want to talk about an unexpected vacation, a prize, so to speak. From out of the blue, into the blue… Last week David and I flew to Ft. Lauderdale, went to the perfect hotel to spend a gorgeous night and a superb day before boarding our prize: a week on the Costa Atlantica setting sail for the Caribbean.
The Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel:
Big problem: we only could stay for one day. Foolish planning our part. But it was a perfect time, just after a grand reopening following a multi-million dollar remodeling. The mode is in perfect harmony with sand and sea, with witty touches of beach (just steps away), and colors diversely blue as the ocean outside our window. One thing that needed no change is the gorgeous stretch of white Florida beach stretching out with open arms. This was a great surprise after a rainy night arrival when we just had time to enjoy a very fine shower and a good sleep on the superb beds. Imagine opening the curtains the next morning facing a beautiful beach as far as my eyes could see. This was a perfect pre-cruise destination.
Part of the Starwood group (including our honeymoon nest at Westin Maui), this Sheraton is minutes away from Fort Lauderdale’s downtown shopping and cultural center. Fortunately we had time to kick in the water and enjoy a long lovely walk on the endless stretch of sandy beach on Florida’s Gold Coast. After a refreshing lunch at the hotel’s poolside restaurant, we rather reluctantly said goodbye and took a car through the Everglades Port right to our ship. We enjoyed the ride peeking down the many canals to see the little yachts parked beside lovely homes at this “Venice of America.” What a nifty way to explore the 300 miles of navigable waterways.
However, it was now time for a nifty way to explore the Caribbean…
DATELINE MIAMI: As I write, I’m in the Miami Airport watching CNN to see if the Health Care Bill passes. We’re heading home from a whirlwind week of cruising the Caribbean, and then a relaxing weekend with Beth and David Bloom. The Blooms are the best couple we’ve ever met traveling, and it’s fun, relaxing and inspiring to be in their company. They treated us to a farewell lunch at the famed Delano Hotel, a décor dream. We miss them already… Now time to stop eating. The specialty club restaurant on the Atlantica had some of the best steaks and chops ever. It was only surpassed by their staff, especially Jeffrey Simion and Michael Mendoza. And in the main dining room, a senior gentleman peeled me an apple and gave us some lovely wine. I wish I knew his name because he was very caring and embracing. If you are fortunate enough to take a Costa Cruise on the Atlantica, please find him and give him a hug from me. And if your stateroom is 6240, give Fransisca our respectful greetings. This darling girl works so gently and peacefully and endlessly. She is to love. And our own personal angel was Melania Costanzo, the Roman Princess of Guest Relations.
A NEW TOLUCAN: The most fun people I met on this cruise were Steve and Ruth Nunes from Ferndale (up north). They told me that their son Tony is an upcoming actor and he lives in Toluca Lake. Destiny! A new pal via travel. So let’s all think a good future for Tolucan Tony Nunes.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve traveled to my dream spot in the world, Trunk Bay in St. John, and snorkeled in the clearest water over still white sand. The coral, with colorful fans waving, and the beautiful patterned fish, was spell binding. This was my favorite cruise ship tour and it included a nice boat ride from St. Thomas with a superb and witty host. We also visited the Bahamas and San Juan. Oh, after a nice day at sea, Captain Schettino, Master of the ship, married us again. He knew that the first trip we ever took was on a Costa ship, The Romantica, out of Genoa. My goodness, that was ten years ago. I can only hope you can experience this kind of vacation. Families and guests of all ages had fun designed to meet all needs. And the prices are very amazingly low; the trip amazingly high.
I’ll be glad to be home… We’ll talk.