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Old March 13th, 2007, 01:34 PM
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Default CruiseMates Virtual Cruise- Daily LIVE from the Brilliance

Brilliant Cruising
Pre-cruise
March 25/07
Due to a business meeting in Miami scheduled for last Thursday, Mrs. Kuki and I had 5 pre-cruise nights in Florida.

Normally, for Miami hotel stays I swear by Priceline, and can generally score a terrific downtown hotel like the InterContinental or the Hyatt for between $60 and $100. For this trip, with it being spring break in some parts of the country, and a number of major events going on in Miami (PGA tournament, Tennis tournament, music festivals, etc. I had no luck at all. As we were flying into Ft. Lauderdale, we settled on the Embassy Suites Hotel on 17St. If we were going to be overpaying for a hotel we thought we may as well get the complimentary breakfast, and complimentary afternoon happy hour as well.

The extended stay in Florida was good in that we got to visit, and have dinner with several of our friends whom we’ve met via CruiseMates. We also got to visit some of our favorite restaurants, and a few uncalled for shopping trips. Even though both of us swore there was nothing we needed, we somehow seemed to return to the hotel each day with shopping bags.

Though the temperatures were pleasant, we encountered a fair bit of rain during our stay. If the weather had been better, I’d have taken the opportunity to get in a couple of golf games. But with the rainy days, and knowing my favorite activity-- cruising-- was coming up, I admit to getting a bit antsy.

Now, with only one more sleep before we get to board the Brilliance, I am READY to GO!

We have a car that we rented when we arrived. In the morning we’ll be loading the luggage, and driving to Miami. The plan is for me to drop Mrs. Kuki and the luggage at the pier, then I’ll be returning the rental car to the Hertz drop off at the Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel (this was pre-arranged, and there’s no extra drop off charge). From the Marriott it will be about a $10 taxi ride to get me back to the ship, and the start of our latest cruise adventure.

We'll be reporting daily along with pictures, and if possible, video. Hope you enjoy cruising with us. Any questions, just post them!
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