Saturday, November 12, 2011

Nov 8th – Fort Lauderdale

After a dreadfully rough couple of days at sea, our second cruise ended in Fort Lauderdale, where we met up with some lovely old friends we haven't seen in a couple of years – Marty and Anita.

They took us on an excellent boat trip around Fort Lauderdale's canals and backwaters, where the millionaires and billionaires have their palatial homes. The extravagance and size of these waterside mansions was only rivalled by that of the opulent yachts moored here too. Fort Lauderdale is the biggest yachting centre in the world, and is home to some of the biggest yachts in the world – one we saw, not much smaller than our cruise ship, is on the market for a cool $200 million (what recession?).

Then, Marty and Anita took us to another US institution that we've never visited – The Cheesecake Factory. I would have ignored this place on the basis that I don't like Cheesecake, but it turns out that they serve virtually every type of food imaginable, and in enormous portions too. Fortunately, my stomach has been stretched by 3 weeks on the Silver Whisper, so I wasn't defeated by the gargantuan chicken burrito.

All too quickly, it was time to say goodbye before the ship sailed south to the Caribbean again, so we were loaded up with incredibly generous Christmas presents to get us in the mood for the festive season. From here, we go south all the way -the next cruise goes down the Brazilian coast and ends in Rio.