True-Life Adventures: Disney Cruise, Day 3

Monday, September 30.

KEY WEST

My journal says that I had a “quiet breakfast in Triton.” It’s good that I kept a journal, because I don’t recall anything about that breakfast.

A plus about Key West: phone service had returned. It’s part of the U.S., after all. Florida, in case you’re wondering. And this marked the first time I’d ever set foot on Florida soil, in spite of many opportunities to do so. Someday I will make pilgrimage to Orlando. One guess what I’d find of interest there.

My efforts to get my fellow travelers up and out early did not end well. Officially we could leave around 9:15. Unofficially people were leaving a lot earlier than that. Our departure time was 11:30. Our party immediately ended up splitting, though, with Mom and I disembarking together and Sister and Friend leaving at some other time. Hilarity ensued.

The thing about our Key West dock was that it was at a Naval station, which meant that everyone was at the mercy of trams and shuttles, because no one could walk through the station. No one could take photos of it, either. Before I learned this, I took pics from my room. Later we learned that Disney’s poor docking situation was a result of not having as many ships in service as, say, Carnival, which had about 30 ships in its fleet to Disney’s 4. So in this case Carnival has the biggest d– anchor.

As Concierge types, we’d had the option of pre-ordering whatever excursions we liked, such as tram tours and so on. I was tempted, but opted for none of them. They were, after all, not complimentary.

Key West is very old and must have many picturesque areas and gobs of history, but ultimately Mom and I ditched any tours and visited the local Aquarium on our own. I also had great interest in the Shipwreck Museum, which illustrated Key West’s early years as an extremely wealthy city, thanks to shipwreck salvaging. Mom grew bored with the historical reenactors’ speeches and was done with the museum much earlier than I was. Given that we all had to be back on board by a certain time, and all of us were capable adults, even Mom and I split up to pursue our separate interests. In my case it was walking around and taking lots of pictures.

From my journal’s notes on Key West: “Known for Spring Breaks, tourists, Ernest Hemingway, Harry Truman, gay carousing and open containers of alcohol.” Seriously, they actively encourage the last item. Maybe the penultimate one, too.

And here are the pics!

But first, this is from Day 2, in the theatre after watching Monsters University. Please forgive the lack of flash.

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KEY WEST ARRIVAL.

Carnival was already docked at the prime spot. Across the way was an island most likely occupied by rich folk. Accessible only be boat, it looks like.

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The view down as we docked, then returning the favor at sea level.

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The Aquarium. Not its main entrance, but its beachside one. Meanwhile, above the nurse shark tank…

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Mom loves turtles, so… You’re welcome, Mom! Also, a Sponge Man to remind us that Key West is all about collecting sponges these days, in addition to being a, um… popular Spring Break location.

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Exterior and interior views of the Shipwreck Museum. You might wonder about that tower?

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Salvaging precious metals and gems was not as common as things like rum, sugar, molasses, tobacco, cloth… and pianos.

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The first staircase has salvage captain’s names on the risers. Where do the second stairs go? They go up.

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The 65-foot tower, plus shots of Key West from it.

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Downstairs in the theatre. It used to be a cistern.

There’s a signpost up ahead… ! And apparently even coffins don’t escape salvaging.

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Hey, I can get this close to a lizard, I don’t pass it up! Nor, apparently, a statue memorializing wreckers.

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The local Museum of Art. Because of course it is. And one of many, many, many wild roosters/hens, strutting around like it ain’t no thing.

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This was just before entering the naval station and having to put the camera away. I wanted to get a shot of the Coast Guard cutter in front of a luxury cruise ship, and I did!

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ALL ABOARD!

If you’ve read this far, thank you, and I’ll inform you that on the same day was a Concierge reception at 4:30. This seemed like a reasonable time, except that getting back on board from Key West was an unreasonably difficult task. First, long lines to wait for a shuttle, then even longer (and slower) lines to get back on board. You had to go through security and.. Well, it was just slow.

I made it back on time for the reception and saved a booth for the others, in case they made it. Aside from fancy food and food art, there was also a visit from “Captain Mickey,” who posed with people at their tables. I have better pics from the ship’s photographer but don’t have them scanned, so this is from my own camera.

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Later the others arrived just in time to get a group shot, which still needs to be scanned before I can post here. Here’s some of the food art I mentioned.

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Dinner was at Animator’s Palette. Pictures and a brief description were in Day 2’s recap.

Coming up in Day 4: Castaway Cay!

About herdthinner

Writer and artist who pays the bills with another job
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