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   Cruise Travel - Millenium Cruise

Day 8 - Wednesday, January 5, Ft.Lauderdale, Florida

by Joe Koshuta, TravelPage.com

January 5, 2000 - Greetings from Ft. Lauderdale, here's what happened today:

Well, it had to end sometime. After packing our bags last night and putting them out in the hall for pickup we caught a few hours of sleep. We docked early this morning in Ft. Lauderdale and began preparations for our trip home.

The first stop was the Frans Hall Lounge to pick up our boarding passes for our flights home. I tell you this is one area that continues to improve with each cruise. I remember a few years ago how we spent hours sitting around in the public rooms waiting to get off the ship. Then once we got to the airport we still had to check our bags and get our seat assignments. How things have changed.

We waited in line for a few minutes, but when we got to the table with the airline representatives they had our boarding passes and baggage tags ready. All we had to do was attach the tags to our bags in the customs area and then get them to the airline baggage truck which was waiting pier-side. From their they were transferred to the aircraft and the next time we saw them was on the baggage carousel at our home airport.

After we picked up our boarding passes we still had time for one last meal in the Rotterdam dining room. Our children had eaten most of their meals in the Lido restaurant so this was a nice change for them and a relaxing way to spend the last minutes on board the ship. After breakfast we headed up to the lower promenade deck to wait for them to call our disembarkation number. Minutes later our number was up and we walked off the ship, picked up our bags, dropped off our bags, and headed to the airport.

On our way out we stopped by the front office so the kids could say good-bye to their baby sitters for the week. As on our previous trips with Holland America, the front office staff were great with the kids. The children looked forward each evening's "pajama party" and they were asleep each evening when we returned to the cabin.

Our trip home was uneventful and we are beginning to look forward to our next cruise. This was the first cruise for about half of our group and I am happy to report that they too are talking about where they want to go on their next cruise. Overall, it seems like the group had a great time.

Over the next few weeks I will continue to report on our experiences and fill in the areas that I didn't have a chance to cover while I was on the ship. Keep checking back for those updates.

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Description: Experience the beautiful ports of Nassau and Royal Caribbean's private island - CocoCay on a 3-night Weekend Getaway to the Bahamas. Absorb everything island life has to offer as you snorkel with the stingrays, parasail above the serene blue waters and walk the endless white sand beaches. From Miami.
Carnival - 4-Day Bahamas  from $229 per person
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NCL - Bermuda - 7 Day from $499 per person
Description: What a charming little chain of islands. Walk on pink sand beaches. Swim and snorkel in turquoise seas. Take in the historical sights. They're stoically British and very quaint. Or explore the coral reefs. You can get to them by boat or propelled by fins. You pick. Freestyle Cruising doesn't tell you where to go or what to do. Sure, you can plan ahead, or decide once onboard. After all, it's your vacation. There are no deadlines or must do's.
Holland America - Eastern Caribbean from From $599 per person
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Description: For centuries people have traveled to Europe to see magnificent ruins, art treasures and natural wonders. And the best way to do so is by cruise ship. Think of it - you pack and unpack only once. No wasted time searching for hotels and negotiating train stations. Instead, you arrive at romantic ports of call relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the world.
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Description: Sail between Vancouver and Seward, departing Sundays on the ms Statendam or ms Volendam and enjoy towering mountains, actively calving glaciers and pristine wildlife habitat. Glacier Bay and College Fjord offer two completely different glacier-viewing experiences.
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