A Veli awesome walking tour of South Beach


(Remember the “Evan more adventures”? Well, I found a new friend name pun.)

Most of the guys on the team (yes, almost five months in and I’m still the only girl) have been on ships for hundreds of years and spend all their free time in port on board sleeping, or going ashore to steal free wifi from K Mart. Veli, however, is on his first contract and still thinks it’s fun to go exploring. I, therefore, as someone who still has a soul, took it upon myself to show him South Beach. I feel that if you’ve been to Miami and you haven’t been to South Beach, you haven’t been to Miami. Someone had to take him. 


It took some coordination. Getting off the ship is the hardest part. First, we had to ask our supervisor to orchestrate our schedules so that we both were on ‘debark’ on the same day. (I’m still convinced that that’s not a real word. ‘Debark,’ Ew!)  That gave us the most amount of time off the ship that we, as Cruise Staff, are ever likely to get on Embarkation day. Then, after we finished directing the guests off the ship (by about 10:30 am), we had to dodge a number of other bullets and jump some hurdles: Prepping balloons for the welcome aboard show, prepping the studio lounge, drawing money from the ATM, and just when we thought we were done, Guest Services calls and asks if my travelmate can be available to translate for a guest who only speaks Russian when I didn’t even know he spoke Russian! (Veli is Turkish.)

The rest of it was easy. If you only have a few hours to see South Beach, there are two streets you have to see: Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive.  Here’s a step by step guide to getting half of that right:

1. Get the eff off the ship

2. Hail a taxi - Ask the driver to take you to Lincoln Road



3. Take pictures



4. Shop. (“H&M” sounds funny in Turkish) 

5. Walk to the beach

Rodrigo Flamingo on South Beach, Miami


6. Stop to admire the architecture

7. Decide you want to live there 

8. Swim



9. Make friends with the locals / or the newly relocated from New York

10. Conspire to find and marry Latin people with green cards so you can live there too (and be married to Latin people which also seems nice)

11. Try to find some 

12. Fail

13. Sing the “I’m in Miami, Bitch” theme song. “Dooo-do do do-do do-do”

14. Go in search of Ocean Drive - but first: food. (Ideally cheap food)

15. Ask for directions from the newly relocated from New York (i.e. bad idea)

16. Walk 15 minutes in the wrong direction. 

17. Buy a coke and get proper directions from a nice Latina in a pharmacy. Ask her if she has any marriageable family members in our age range. Her english is not that good. 

18. Walk 15 minutes in the right direction

19. Stop and take pictures with Miffy the Bunny and Hello Kitty (who are in no way actually related but originate 20 years apart from different countries on different continents, just by the way). They are crying in the direction of some Ferraris and other fancy cars that you would only see in the movies and not in real life, except it is real life and therefore you have to take pictures of Veli in front of them (on his phone - so I don't have copies to post here but, take my word for it, if you like cars or if you’re materialistic like that, you would be very impressed. - And if you like cute animal characters from Holland or Japan and fancy cars you would be very very impressed.)



20. Get back to Lincoln Road. 

21. Buy (cheap) food. 

22. Go back to the beach (where you just were) and eat it.

23. Start walking in the right direction and get caught in a spontaneous torrential downpour. 

24. Take shelter under a palm tree.

25. Get drenched under a palm tree.

26. Join the masses fleeing from the beach - Because even though everyone was just swimming, they don’t want to get wet?

27. Take shelter under a roof and run into one of the guests you just spent the whole week entertaining and you never thought you’d see again because what are the odds?
(Who though attractive and single, is also Canadian and not Latin, and it snows there, so you move on.)

28. Try to go back to the ship but the taxi won't take you there because you (and everyone else in the whole city) is drenched. 

29. Find a taxi that will take you and realise you are about a block away from Ocean drive as you are heading back. 

Our House from the Taxi

30. Get back to the ship early after the sun has come out, the clouds have all but disappeared and any evidence of the bad weather has almost completely dissipated. 

31. Emerge from the Taxi looking like a drowned rat still humming “I’m in Miami Bitch. Dooo-do do do-do do-do”




In other news:


I’m no longer an “F”ing muster station leader
I really enjoy not being a muster station leader. In general I am not a good leader but an effing amazing follower, or in this case, I’m “B”-ing an amazing assistant muster station leader. They had to rearrange the Cruise Staff so that our port manning colours didn’t clash. Surprisingly, I didn’t even have to throw any Spa girls overboard to be demoted. (I was tempted though.) At least the whole experience has reminded me how much I like not being in high school.

I got my haircut 
Remember when I got my hair cut by a Latina in Miami who only knew five English words? -  The wifi password: “Hair, one, two, three, four, cinco”. Well, I went back to her because I like living on the edge and the password is still the same! 

I FINALLY made it into the finals of the Celebrity Dance Off
(Yes, that’s the name of the competition formerly known as “The Ultimate Dance Off”, previously known as “The Ultimate Dance Clash”, and before that known as “Dancing with the Stars”.) And I finally made it into the finals! It’s true! There are even witnesses!



My partner was not only easy on the eyes but also an ex-professional dancer. Dancing with him was a prize in itself. And yes, that shirt came off. This is the first time I’ve made it that far this contract. I can’t remember when last I made it that far on any contract actually. The cruise staff known as “the horny chihuahua” won it again as he does every week. Fortunately, he signs off before me so if I could just convince Sebastian (my partner) to come back, next time we could win! - That would be my second victory in 2.5 years. 


20 cruises down, 6 to go 
Songs about putting your hands in the air played at our last glow party: 5


               
               



            

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Sharon Waugh

Sharon is a writer, cruise ship entertainment host and freelance unicorn wrangler. She is currently taking a break from her seafaring adventures to explore some more landlocked locations from her homebase in Johannesburg, South Africa. She likes to photograph a plastic lawn flamingo 'Rodrigo' on her travels because it seemed like a good idea ten years ago and 53 countries later, it’s probably too late to turn back now.

 Sharon greatly dislikes reading 'travel blogs' by people who are just rephrasing press releases or composing lists like '15 ways to travel the world for cheap', specifically formulated for SEO, with absolutely no evidence that the writers have ever left their bedrooms. (This is not one of those blogs.) Sharon also dislikes bigotry and referring to herself in first person, apparently.

To find out more about Sharon and Rodrigo’s travel aspirations read this.

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