Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Caribbean Cruise

I have not written a post in some time. It seems that other matters have taken precedence over writing, mainly focusing on health matters.

My wife and I took a Caribbean cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines Norwegian Cruise Lines,during the first week of December in 2014. It was to celebrate my 60th birthday which occurred in September of this year. We decided to take the cruise in December of this year because the temperature would be slightly cooler in the Caribbean and we would be past the hurricane season in the Caribbean.

We left on December 28th so that we could spend the night in Houston, that way we would be certain not to miss our boat in the morning. When we did our cruise of Italy we met a couple who missed their connection and landed late in Amsterdam, too late to get on the boat so they had to make their way to Toulon France as best they could to get on the boat before it left Toulon. We were determined that we would never be in that situation.

We parked our car at the Marriott Toronto Marriott Aiport near Toronto airport. They had a deal that allowed you to park for free at their hotel if you stayed at least one night. We asked them to reverse the deal so that we parked for free before our vacation and stayed the night when we returned. They agreed so that is what we did.

After dropping off our car we took the shuttle to the airport. While we were waiting for the shuttle we net an elderly gentlemen who was from Buffalo. He drove to Toronto to get a flight to Europe. He said that he got better connections through Toronto. It turned out that he owned a company that built industrial and commercial chimneys. At 84 he still worked in his business, constructing chimneys. He had immigrated from Germany after the war and started his company. He had worked in building chimneys all his life.

At the airport we ate the lunch that we had brought with us and checked in. The wait for our plane to Atlanta was long because everything went much faster than we thought it would. At any rate, we checked in and got on the plane. The flight to Atlanta was uneventful.

Things started out well at the Atlanta Airport  Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, but without realizing it, we were derailed by the pilot when we landed in Atlanta. He said that the time was an hour earlier than it actually was so we thought we had an extra hour, which we didn't. So, we took our time because we had two and a half hours before our flight, or so we thought. In reality, we only had an hour and a half. We bought a salad and ate it before going to the gate. When we went to the gate no one was there, we thought that no one had arrived yet. I went to the gate to ask about the flight. I was told that the flight had already left, we had missed our flight. I asked what we could do. The agent but us on standby on the last flight of the day at 9:51PM.

We passed two tense hours waiting to find out if we were going to get on the last flight of the day to Houston, not know if we would get to Houston that night. If we didn't get to Houston until Saturday, would we miss getting on our ship? We talked about spending the night at the airport because we would still be on the hook for the hotel in Houston. Finally, as the passengers were half way boarded on the plane, the agent called me, and said she had two seats left, they were not together but we got to the two last seats on the plane. My wife sat in the 12th row and I sat in the 26th row, right at the back of the bus. As soon as  I sat down I fell asleep. My wife spent the trip speaking with the woman beside her. It was late when we arrived in Houston, 10:30 PM Houston time which would have been 11:30 PM in Toronto. We were relieved and happy to be in Houston.

When we were in Atlanta waiting to get on the plane my wife was almost in tears more than once. I felt bad, this was no way to start off a vacation. I kept telling her that everything would be fine, we would get on the plane. As it turned out we did get on the plane and we did get to Houston on the same day. Still, this was no way to start a vacation.

We took the shuttle to the Marriott near the airport .


It was a little strange, we were the only ones on the shuttle so it did not take long to get to the hotel. The hotel was nestled away in a wooded area, very nice, very secluded, even though it was less than 10 minutes from the airport. we checked in after midnight and went to bed. We were exhausted.