We have used Cruise Connection, run by the ESCOT bus line, several times in the past to travel to and from the ports of Ft Lauderdale and Miami. Easy and convenient, the service picks up customers at local locations along Florida’s west coast and brings them directly to the port terminal. They bring you back at the end of your cruise as well. Our problem was the bus line was just restarting as were the cruise lines themselves and there was some confusion on whether they would run a bus on the days we needed transportation. Running a first class bus service from Florida’s west coast to the ports depends on customers, and when we called for reservations were first informed they weren’t servicing our area for Celebrity cruises. After several phone calls the situation changed and we were in business. Neighbors graciously agreed to take us the local bus stop and everything was in place.
Perhaps the pressures and constant conflict about the COVID pandemic just wouldn’t let us relax. We were concerned about every little thing, especially after we later missed a call from Cruise Connection asking us to call them back as soon as possible. This was on the weekend prior to our departure and did nothing for our nerves until we found out they had simply moved our scheduled pickup time back an hour. That made it a little easier for our wonderful friends, at least.
The huge, cross country tour bus had seven passengers when we got on, and we stopped only once to pick up two more for the ride to Fort Lauderdale. An indicator of things to come. The trip across the Everglades is always fun when you don’t have to drive, and I don’t mind letting someone else do the task while I sit back and watch traffic.
Port Everglades, the name of the port in Fort Lauderdale, was under a massive rebuild the last time we were there and I had no desire to fight the madness, but all that is in the past. The port is modern and easy to negotiate, I could have driven and parked in the parking garage almost across the walk-way from the terminal. Personally, anything to ease getting on board is my choice and using Cruise Connection is one less thing to worry about.
Five minutes after arriving, we were in the terminal showing our passports and COVID papers and test results. We were slightly ahead of our scheduled arrival time but it created no problems. After receiving our cruise identification cards and passing through several staging areas, we were walking up the gangplank to our next cruise adventure.
We were surprised by how empty the terminal was. It appeared COVID had dampened everyone's desire to cruise. We would soon find out.
More to come