Focus On Fun Travel

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Miami FL...What to do for a day

     As I mentioned in my last post, Barbi and I needed a vacation from our family vacation.  This being interpreted means, sailing together on a ship for 7 days.  Not just any ship, but on a ship we have never been on before.  And to equal the importance, on a cruise line it has been 10 years since we have experienced.  The Norwegian Epic was our next adventure.  This is the largest ship we have ever been on, which debuted just last year.  This ship is longer than Cowboy Stadium (Yes, the whole stadium..end to end), though it does not hold 80,000 people.  The Epic is 1,081 feet and holds 4,100 passengers. To some extent, I would agree with John Heald that the exterior of the ship is not the most beautiful of designs, but it is very unique.  That is to say, fits well within Norwegian Cruise Lines mantra..."Freestyle Cruising".  This ship has 19 decks, and it is an engineering marvel that she does not tip over.  Anyone who chooses to experience her will find a boat load (pun intended) of fun, excitement, and yes..even relaxation.

     This was a "working" vacation for us, as we were here for seminars provided by Norwegian while aboard the Epic, to bring us (Other Travel Agents) up to speed on all things Norwegian.  But before we boarded the Epic, Barbi and I arrived a couple days early and camped out in the DoubleTree At Biscayne Bay Hotel.  A couple days before arrival, the DoubleTree alerted us that they would upgrade us to a balcony suite for just another $20.  We agreed! Gee, who wouldn't?  Getting there from the airport was a quick and easy taxi ride of $27.00, though we thought it was a flat fee of $24.00. We gave him $30, said thank you, and headed in. The DoubleTree must really love us, since they upgraded us to a Jr. Suite, not just a balcony. And what a room it was, there on the 8th floor, eating warm fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, the size of the palm of your hand!  We were facing north with a side view of Biscayne Bay. There was a 50" LCD TV, Fully stocked Mini Bar and Snacks (You pay extra for those), sitting area, and a large bathroom with a 10' double sink area.  The Balcony was about 15' in length with windows from the room the entire length.

     The DoubleTree was not in the middle of downtown Miami, but was convenient enough by hopping aboard the FREE MetroMover just a block walk from the hotel.  The MetroMover would take you to many stops in the downtown area.  It is best described as an elevated electric bus. Each car on a rail would hold 30 people or so, and is a favorite ride of all kinds of people, homeless or not.  We hopped off at the Freedom Tower stop, which is 1/3 mile from the well known Bayside Market Place.

     Walking to the place where all want to shop was leisurely, and only took about 10 minutes, since we had to stop and cross at the busy intersection of Biscayne Blvd and 5th and 6th Streets, which also is the intersection of the Port of Miami.  Ooh! Crazy idea.  Let's walk to the cruise ship!  There is a sidewalk that runs along the whole north side of NE 6th Street, leading beside the American Airlines Arena, over the bridge, and right into the port.  EASY!

     Bayside Market Place really has a little of everything.  the picture above was taken beside a really large Hooka Bar.  There area all kinds of food outlets, mostly on the second level.  If you want to have a little Cuban food, here is a convenient place.  Barbi found a Starbucks, which she insisted we have breakfast the next morning.  She loves their muffins.  I really enjoyed wondering around Art By God, a unique art gallery, where you can find trophy animals on the walls, full size fossil specimens hanging from the ceiling, jewelry, animals skulls, and lots of other things.  Honestly, I thought it was really a cool shop and I would go again and just stare.  Don't take your kids in here.  Touching and breaking would be a bad thing.  I got the impression I was constantly being watched, as if I was going to grab and run.  There are all the other favorites here, like Bath and Body works, Footlocker, Victoria's Secret, Hooters.  If you forget something important, you can find it here, then have lunch at Bubba Gumps.  You can relax at the Bayfront Park right next door.  While we were there, a concert was going on at the amphitheater there at the park.

     The Doubletree has lots of shopping opportunities as well.  Eateries galore.  Walk out the back doors, you will find yourself at a marina where you can hire a boat to take you fishing or a tour of the waterways that are so prevalent around Miami.

    Miami is a vibrant city with lots of culture and history.  We really only spend 1 day there, but I would love to go back and explore some more.  If you go there, or have been, feel free to share your favorite spots and places that should not be missed.

We Are Here For You

No comments:

Post a Comment