Saturday, January 03, 2009

Cruise: Homeward Bound

We never saw Jenna and Michael, or Nin and Peter this morning -- they were off the boat and to the airport long before we even got up, I think.

Everyone has to be out of their stateroom by 8am (and remember that we've already given our luggage to the porters) so we rushed up to get breakfast in the buffet before we met our disembarkation group at 9:15. We ran into my Dad and Pat at breakfast. They are Elite members, so they have a special lounge to wait in, and since their flight is later in the day from Miami, they had an hour or so to kill.

We were off the boat at 9:15, picked up our luggage (which has already been screened or xrayed or whatever it is they do to it) and sailed through customs and out into the terminal to find a taxi.

What a MADHOUSE. Busses from the airlines, busses from the cruiseline, five thousand people trying to get off the boat and to the airports -- and another ship on the other side of the pier heading our direction, too. We waited in a taxi-rank, which supposedly would let five or six taxis line up -- but they were being hailed long before they got to the taxi line, so they never actually arrived. People were just walking up past the ranks and flagging down a taxi on their own (it seems to be every man for himself when you get off!). It was very frustrating. Next time, we'll hire one of the private cars -- can't be more expensive than a transfer, I imagine, and having someone specifically waiting would be useful.

Well, it wasn't really necessary this time -- our flight doesn't leave until late afternoon, so all this foofaraw right now is just to get out of the way. We did finally get a cab to the airport, checked in our luggage, and then stared at each other for awhile....yeah, I want to spend seven hours in the airport. Hmph. We got in a taxi and went to a nearby mall, had lunch, wandered around a bit, and didn't come back until about 2:30.

Our flight is delayed about an hour (others were delayed 2-4 hours, depending on where they were going) and it was absolutely packed. Once in Atlanta, we had a bit of dinner and went off to wait for our flight back to Denver. It, too, was late. But - it also had upgrades available so we have about a microsecond of discussion and upgraded to first class, figuring we could sleep better on the way out. We got on the plane...and then sat for almost two hours at the gate while they got more fuel (because of weather conditions), let on more passengers, etc. We just enjoyed the free drinks and settled in to sleep once we finally took off.

Home at 1am. And to bed.

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