Our Cruise Jan. 1999
Cruise dates: Sun., Jan. 10 - Sat., Jan. 16, 1999
Travelers: Don & Betty Skari and Richard & Nan Becker
Sailing dates: Mon., Jan. 11, 4 PM – Sat., Jan. 16, 8 AM
Ship: M.S. Tropicale
Stops: Grand Cayman and Cozumel
Cabins: E62 (Don & Betty); E64 (Richard & Nan) Empress Deck
Cruise Lines: Carnival
Cruise Cost: $2,248 (this included plane fare and one night in motel)
Tropicale Ship Information
Gross Tonnage 36,674 gross tons
Dimensions Length 660 feet, Beam 85 feet
Cruising speed 20 knots (23 MPH)
Swimming pools 3 outside Total officers & crew 550
Guest elevators 8 Decks 10
Guest capacity 1,432
Sunday, Jan. 10, 1999, began with the alarm waking us at 3 AM. Everything was packed, suitcases locked ready for cab to airport.
We boarded NW flight No. 738 at the Minot airport headed for MPLS. The plane was right on schedule departing at 5:10 AM. Richard and Nan had exit seats, so they had a lot of feet room and a chance for a nap. We discovered on the plane that Mark Luther, his wife Judy and daughters Nicole and Sarah from Minot were also booked for the same cruise. Our flight was about 1 ½ hour late arriving at gate 75. Now it was to head to gate 14 to catch our flight to Tampa, FL. Our flight No. was 444. The plane was to leave at 7:05 AM. About the time the plane was to depart the pilot came on telling us of a flat tire. About 1 ½ hour we finally got off the ground. Arriving in Tampa right on schedule.
We checked into the Marriott motel at the airport. Don and Richard found the lobby area after dinner to relax with beverages and watch some football playoffs. Nan and Betty went shopping. The weather was very nice after leaving the cold in ND, so soaking up some sun was also enjoyed.
Mon., Jan. 11, found us up early and having breakfast at Friday’s in the airport. Then to find our bus for the trip to the cruise ship port. This became time consuming checking in with the customs people. We had our birth certificates and proper ID, so it went pretty fast. The Luthers had packed a suitcase with just refreshments, so they had to sweet it out at the customs station. Mark didn’t seem to be too concerned. We boarded our ship the Tropicale around 12 noon for our 4 PM departure. Betty was challenged by the security people during the putting on of our life jackets. What a laugh it was.
Tues., Jan. 12, found us at sea all day. We spent time resting in the beautiful sun and people watching. The casino opened at 12 noon and Betty and Nan were there in line. They claimed they won, but never would tell how much spent. This evening was the Captains Party night. Everyone was dressed up for pictures.
Wed., Jan. 13, up at 6 AM. We needed to have breakfast and be ready to leave the ship at 8 AM. We caught a small boat for our ride to shore to checkout the Grand Cayman Island. On the island we caught a glass bottom boat for a tour. We walked around and bought souvenirs. That evening we attended some shows and did some dancing in the Islands in the Sun Lounge.
Thurs., Jan. 14, again up early having breakfast and ready to port at Cozumel. Here we walked around and ended up to far away and tired, so we rented a cab for a ride back to the ship. Then we boarded a small boat to head for the snorkeling area. Don was the only one of our group to go snorkeling. Free beer, Margaritas and sodas were available on board. After snorkeling we headed to a sandy beach for some sun and relaxing. Temp in the 80s. Enjoyed burgers and drinks. At 10 PM our ship departed Cozumel headed back to Tampa.
Fri., Jan. 15, we sailed all day with no stops. Time spent in the sun relaxing with beverages and snacks.
Sat., Jan 16, up by 6 AM getting our luggage out our door by 6:15 AM. Then it was down for breakfast and to watch our ship headed into the Tampa port. We departed our ship around 10 AM. This time going through customs was a piece of cake. We found our bus and headed to the airport. After arriving at the airport and checking in we had a six hour wait for our plane departure at 4:30 PM. This was our last chance to soak up some FL. Sun. It was a four flight to MPLS. Our plane in MPLS had problems, so we waited for another plane. Arriving in Minot around 10:45 PM we found Heather (Skari) Gillihan waiting for us. Temp in Minot was in the 20s. Great week with our best friends.
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