This time the weather forecast followed the forecasted schedule and we got exactly what was expected. Based on that, the captain could also decide to make the call and stay for the day. When we arrived things were pretty miserable with strong winds from the South West and a lot of rain around us. During the night the winds had been very strong here and thus the waves were still quite high. But shortly after 8 am. the rain was gone and the winds slowly started to abate. Making it possible for the shore tenders to come alongside and start ferrying the guests over to the Island. With a bit of a bumpy ride, but a very short bumpy ride.
The winds will continue to die down during the coming night and on arrival Fort Lauderdale it is supposed to be nearly wind still. So by next cruise the ship might be on a 3 day cycle which will help us dodge the strong a wind days in port. We will see, or better said the ship will see, as I will not be there.
I am transferring tomorrow to the Zuiderdam until March 19 and then hope to return to the Eurodam to continue my work here. The Zuiderdam has asked me to come over and help out with preparing for an inspection and as “higher up” thought that was a good idea, there I go. So tomorrow I will walk off the gangway, turn right cross the road and will walk straight up the Zuiderdam gangway. (After of course having successfully navigating security)
The Zuiderdam is on berth 21 and we are at the usual Holland America Line berth at 26. These berths get assigned by the harbor master office and if there are only a few ships in, then it is an easy gig. They all go to their own terminal and the only thing the harbor master has to do is to decide the entry sequence in such a way that it makes it as easy as possible for the pilots and captains to bring the ships in. Some – times that requires for a ship to arrive earlier than the captain had intended but so be it.
The lay out of the port of Port Everglades. Berths 7 to 15 are normally tanker docks and anything higher than 26 is normally for cargo ships and tugboats. 29 is also a cruise terminal but only used when it is very busy.
It gets more complicated when we have 6, 7 or 8 cruise ships in. Then ships are sometimes moved to other berths, depending on their size. With ships the size of the Oasis class, there is only one berth (nbr. 18, 17, 16) which can handle them and thus the whole setup has to be worked around them. Also a Carnival ship takes up 2 berths, 19 and 20 and if they want to have that berth then they have to come in before an Oasis Class and before a ship scheduled for 21. Once in, then it is very difficult to get out again as nbrs. 18 and 21 take up a lot of space from the middle docking basin. Princess is normally on 6, 5, and 4 and will always have one ship there. Then that leaves the rest. Holland America has medium sized ships compared to the big boys and thus we are sometimes moved to the other berths. 21, 22, 24, 25. Tomorrow there are only five and as a result the puzzle was solved as follows:
Ship Pilot Berth
Harmony of the Seas 05.00 hrs. 18 portside alongside. (Biggest cruise ship in the world)
Eurodam 05.30 hrs. 26 Starboard
Caribbean Princess 05.45 hrs. 02 Starboard
Zuiderdam 06.00 hrs. 21 portside (Smallest cruise ship in port)
Independence of the Seas 06.15 hrs. 25 portside
As you can see all ships are fairly early and that has to do with the fact that they all want to have the gangway out by 07.00 hrs. when CBP and Longshoremen are starting their regular day.
Thus tomorrow the Eurodam will finish her cruise at 07.00 hrs. and start embarkation at 11.30 hrs. for the next cruise. This will be a sort of “around Cuba” cruise, sailing via Half Moon Cay and then down to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The Zuiderdam will also call at Half Moon Cay at the same day but then dive into the south Caribbean to visit Oranjestad as their next port. I will let you know in the coming days how they will “dive south”.