It was with high expectations that we sailed on the new NCL Epic. What really intrigued us was the innovative features of this ship. An ice bar, Blue Man Group, solo cabins… Now this seemed like a real change from the typical cruise ships. Curiosity really got the cat, so we packed our bags and headed to Miami.
We attempt to discover the port city when we go on a cruise. Many of our fellow passengers seem to know the port cities only from what they see on the way from the airport to the cruise terminal.
Because we arrive a day prior to cruise departure when we are flying, we explore different areas of the home port. In this case, we checked out Miami.
The Biscayne Bay Marriott is located quite conveniently to the cruise terminal. In Miami, it is impossible to use public transportation to access the terminal, so where we stay isn’t so important. We have easy access to a taxi anywhere in the area. The Marriot is nearby several eating establishments, including those onsite and it is just a few blocks away from the People Mover, which could take us to the downtown area if necessary. In addition, there is a nice boardwalk behind the property where we could enjoy a pleasant stroll.
With everything updated in the hotel, we found our stay at the Marriott enjoyable. We especially like having a room that allows us a view of the ships at the dock. It adds to the excitement of departure.
We had heard about a new bike scheme in South Beach and being cyclists, wanted to take advantage of that option. We hopped in a bus over to South Beach and found a Deco Bike, a custom made cruiser with a large handlebar basket. On these flat streets, the single speed contraption was quite adequate for exploration. DecoBike has many stations scattered around South Beach, so it is possible to ride a bicycle, return it to the station, go to the beach, shopping or eating; and then retrieve another bicycle and continue riding around the island.
We ate breakfast in South Beach, cycled around for awhile and then decided to head back to Miami to gather our belongings and head to the ship where we planned on a late lunch.