We wanted to begin with some thoughts on downtown Miami.
Prior to 2007, our prior cruises in and out of Southern Florida involved sailing Port Everglades and staying in Fort Lauderdale. We had driven into Miami a couple of times on vacations but never stayed in the city. When Keith was young, his family stayed at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach. In 2007, we stayed downtown as this is where Serenity was sailing for the World Cruise and the pre-cruise hotel was the Four Seasons.
We couldn't get over the volume of construction which was well underway. Many buildings were torn down and replaced with high rise condominiums, apartments and office buildings. Often, we would have to cross back and forth on Brickell Road as sidewalks were closed due to construction projects. We never saw more cranes in a city until we visited Dubai for the first time in 2007. A couple years later when we returned several of the buildings were complete, some of them vacant and other construction projects were on-hold due to the financial impacts of the "great recession". Over the next few years as the economic outlook improved, vacancies turned to occupancies, construction restarted to complete buildings that were in various stages of work, and some new projects were started. Even today, there is some new construction but far less than in years past as so many projects are complete. On our last visit in November of 2021 sailing Crystal Serenity construction was taking place on many of the Brickell sidewalks forcing pedestrians to detour. This work is now complete.
Compared to 2007 there are so many more venues including restaurants, hotels, condominiums, apartments, offices and shopping.The downtown area is vibrant during the day and at night.
Another change we have seen over the years in this area is a far greater number of motorists who yield to pedestrians crossing the street. In 2007, you crossed at your own risk.
The one item that has not changed is when you walk one wants to look closely at the sidewalk. Why you ask? Well, some owners of dogs do not clean up after their dog. Enough said. LOL.
One of the things we enjoy about cities is walking and taking it all in and that is what we do when we visit Miami. In our younger years, we would go to the beach, but this is something we have less interest in.
Due to Anne Marie's situation, we have made adjustments due to Covid. On this stay rather than dining inside at restaurants for lunch and/or dinner we are getting mainly take-out to enjoy in the room, other than having lunch outside with others on Wednesday. Normally, we would go to the theatre, and as mentioned to some sporting events but not on this trip. In time, we'll do that again.
Despite this, we have enjoyed a great visit to Miami as we get ready to return to our favorite cruise line, Crystal, that we consider home.
We enjoyed another nice long walk this morning. We walked along a path from our hotel towards Brickell Key Island with beautiful views of Biscayne Bay. We crossed the bridge over to the Island. From there we could see many of the cruise ships in port. It doesn't get busier than today with nine ships in port.
For those who want to stay at the Mandarin Oriental we learned about the plans for the property. The reason that there is a detour as you walk around the island behind the hotel is the construction of a sales office to purchase residences. The plan is to construct a second tower which will have residences. Sometime in 2025 they plan to demolish the existing hotel and build a new hotel. We suppose all of this will take several years to complete.
Weather was nice with moderate temperature and a little less breezy.
Some photos from our walk including another area where we saw the name of Keith's former company; MCI.
When Keith went back in the afternoon to pick up something for Anne Marie he took a short video of what is being used to deliver meals. We've seen this in a couple of cities.
Tomorrow we return to Crystal Serenity to begin another adventure and create memories which will last a lifetime.
Anne Marie & Keith