Donita and Sandra boarded the plane in Seattle. There was a stop-over in Phoenix for 45 minutes. This gave them a chance to get off the plane and “stretch their legs”. They also bought a sandwich as the airlines no longer served food onboard. They arrived in Ft. Lauderdale in the late afternoon. Imagine their shock when they see 200 lost bags from other flights at baggage claim! A guard stands next to the suitcases as people show their identification and receive the lost bags. They stay overnight and prepare to board the ship the next day at 2:00 p.m. Sandra and Donita show their passports and cruise documents to the customs officer.
Officer: You ladies were very smart to board the ship at this time. (He looks at their papers). Donita: Were there a lot of people here before us? Officer: Yes, we started boarding at 11:00 and 12:00 people have already been through the line. I don’t know why people think they need to be here so early. The ship doesn’t leave until 5:00 p.m. Your luggage will be delivered to the stateroom by that time. Sandra: Maybe they are just excited to get on this beautiful ship. Do you know anything about it? Officer: Yes, The Maasdam is a beauty! You’ll get more details onboard, but she is like a floating city. Here are your documents, just follow the ropes to the next agent. Donita: There sure are a lot of agents. Sandra: Maybe people have tried to sneak on the ships without paying? Donita: Like a stowaway? I guess that’s possible. Their might be lots of places to hide on such a huge ship. They continue to show their identification to 3 more agents, then step on the ramp leading to the ship. A uniformed officer greets them and asks a guide to show them to the cabin. The guide tells them their room is in a very convenient location. It is in the middle of the ship; near the elevators, the door to the outside deck and not too far from the laundry room. He slides the key card into the lock to demonstrate how they will open the door, then hands them each one.