I had this page all ready to post PRIOR to actually living the day. After all, what could Possibly go wrong?
Almost everything. Remember a guy by the name of Murphy? Yeah…he was aboard this cruise as well and didn’t make an appearance until today.
Let’s start with simply getting off the ship. I mentioned a disembarkation time of 8 AM. Apparently, when US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) only provide 2 staff to handle the offloading of 2500 passengers plus about 1000 crew, that delays things. Who Knew?? Is there no-one in charge that can’t make a Sherlock Holmes deduction that, when restrictions are lifted, there may be an increase in overall traffic at border crossings? And then gear up for same?
I guess not. That delay ended up being about an hour. Fortunately our plane was not leaving til noon so we were ok time wise. And the airport is only 15 minutes away. So…all good.
We grabbed a bite while waiting, because West Jet (our ride home) doesn’t really give you any sort of sustenance for a short haul (3 hours Ft Lauderdale to Toronto) unless you’re willing to pay dearly. Finally onto the plane and off the tarmac without further incident.
You KNOW how that commercial goes….But Wait! There’s still more!!
Now we are at Pearson International. That airport that has received SOOO much publicity in recent months. I know this is not a great picture, but let me assure you. I did NOT overestimate the number of turns nor the number of rows. I likely underestimated. And there were THOUSANDS of people. Thousands!! The white space (mainly) had the terminals to fill out, electronically, your incoming declaration so you wouldn’t need to do it on paper. It then printed out a copy of your face (yep, camera attached to the device) and spit out a barely readable paper for you. So that reduced some time, but in reality, just added to the sheer number of people waiting to get to see a customs officer.
In desperation (I firmly believe) a more senior officer showed up and started just red-marking people’s printed paper and pushed them through. I coulda had 12 tons of coke in my back pocket and they would have never known. Never asked a question, just red-mark “Move on”…repeat….
And yes…there is one last little tidbit. After the 2 hours spent in the above corral, we got on to the plane. Then we got to spend the next 4 hours flying home with a guy that couldn’t stop coughing, couldn’t cover his mouth with the mask around his chin, and couldn’t use even his arm to stop the germs.
Hard to believe but that really wasn’t the worst part.
Today is THAT day. Always the Worst day of the cruise. Why? Because we have to leave this amazing home-away-from home. Say goodbye to all the wonderful staff and interesting people we have met on-board. Struggle with the realization our homeward journey will end with…snow!
This has been our longest cruise and almost our longest overall journey. Many firsts (crossing the Atlantic being a biggie) accompanied by some of the most fascinating sights, tastes, and experiences.
Is another cruise on the horizon? Most assuredly. Exactly when is difficult to say the least but it is absolutely there.
Possibilities? Well…the South Pacific has always had a definite appeal. So has Northern Europe (Norway, Sweden etc.) The eastern seaboard visiting Atlantic Canada and points south is right up there as well. There is no shortage and, as many as we have taken to date, the future is still in front of us.
A saying by many is “You only live once!” Not true. You live Every Day. You only Die once. So…Live every day. Do your best to empty that bucket list but keep adding to it so you will never succeed.
That’s what We’re going to do. We WILL be back here to entertain (or bore?) you with our adventures as often as they happen. Thank you for your patience. 🙂