Today was our first port of call, Key West. I have been on over 100 cruises and this is my first time to Key West and I was so excited. So what can I say about it, it could be classified as slightly strange, but what a great place. Now when I say strange, please consider that the annual event "Freak Fest" was taking place, so there was a lot of nudity and costumes walking around in addition to a naked bike ride and lots of other events! Why don't I rewind and start from the morning.
As we pulled into port, I enjoyed looking at the cute city nestled against the harbor. We passed a few private islands on our way in, and people welcomed us with waves as we pulled up next to the dock. Tied up right behind us was Royal Caribbeans Empress of the Sea's.
I decided to do Key West on my own, as many had told me that it is an easy place to walk. As I exited the square, we were docked right in town next to Mallory Square. I exited the ship and walked through some of the shops before heading to the the Truman Annex and Harry Truman's Little White House. For those of you who don't know, the Little White House was built in 1890 and served as headquarters during the Spanish American War, WWI and WWII for the Key West Naval Station. President Truman liked the spot so much, he used it as a vacation home for 175 days on 11 different visits during his presidency, and it became known as the Little White House. Many presidents since him have stayed as well. If you pay the tour fee, you get to see all of the rooms, I decided to just walk through the free areas before proceeding down the road towards the Naval Station.
As I walked down the street, I admired all of the homes, I am guessing old Officer's Quarters that have now been converted to private homes and townhouses as well as a few bed and breakfasts. I was told that the homes range from $1,000,000 to $30,000,000, and decided to hold off on a down payment. The homes were magnificent, so quaint and quiet of a neighborhood where all of the residents were friendly! I proceeded to the Harry Truman Park which housed an old Coast Guard Ship with a museum onboard. This day there was also a local farmers market set up, so I walked through the booths and tasted some of the products. I then proceeded down the road to the Naval Station and the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park and Fort. The Fort was full of history and I enjoyed my time there prior to to proceeding down to the beach. After listening to the waves a bit I proceeded back to town, it was hot and humid this day (about 89 degrees and VERY humid!), the sun was blaring so I stopped for water and gatorade many times! I enjoyed walking around the town and enjoying my time in the shops. I probably spent about 4 hours walking around and enjoying the locals while getting my 7 miles of walking in!
Having the Freak festival town sure added a little color and a lot of skin (I won't include those photos!). For those of you who have not cruised to Key West before, I would totally suggest it. I am looking forward to my next cruise here and cant wait to come for a long weekend!
After boarding the ship I enjoyed some time at the relaxing pool prior to my dinner in Toscana. For those of you who have not sailed on Oceania before, the speciality restaurants are included, but reservations are recommended. They do limit some of the rooms to one visit per cruise to make sure everyone gets a chance to enjoy. Toscana means Tuscan, and just as Tuscan cuisine evolved from rich family traditions, many of the recipes here originated with the mothers and grandmothers of Oceania's own Italian Culinary Staff. All of the food is presented on elegant, custom-designed china by VERSACE! The masterfully prepared dishes exemplify the essence of Tuscany and celebrate Italy's culinary passion.
I started my meal with the calamari, an appetizer portion of lobster risotto and then moved on to a full lobster with pasta and finished the night with a piece of caramelized cheesecake! Please make sure to try Toscana on your next cruise.
Following dinner I retired to the Insignia Lounge to catch the end of Michael Minors show who is a entertainer, singer, ventriloquist and impressionist!
Day # 2 is done and tomorrow is a Sea Day!