August 28, 2022

Day 5, The Drive Home

We are all ready to disembark the ship. Elevators are packed. I finally ride up to go down when I see a space for two on an elevator going the wrong way. The younger passengers lug suitcases down the 4 flights of stairs.

We all get to deck 4 at the same time. It is a madhouse. The line to the gangway winds all over the ship. Around the staircase, through the art gallery, back to the lobby and then through the dining room, back to the lobby then finally outdoors.

When we finally get in the terminal, passengers without passports, and there are hundreds, are being held aside. Those with passports pass through a facial recognition stop and are quickly passed without even a glance at our passports.

As always the shuttle bus to the parking is as far away as possible. We wait about 10 minutes for other passengers, there are only 3, then we leave.

The drive is short and quick, directly to the parking lot avoiding the residential tour we took on departure. I take Alyssa and James home, and then continue to Clermont.  Glad to be home I slowly begin to unpack. Another cruise in a little over a month. Seven days on The Harmony Of The Seas.

Day 4 At sea

The skies are partly cloudy and the seas calm as we head north towards Port Canaveral. Back to Giovanni's for breakfast. At most there are 4 people in a dining room that can hold 150 or more.  The food and the service is perfect.

The Captain's corner is well attended. We learn a few more details about the medical evacuation several days ago. Our course was determined to avoid several patches of heavy lightning, not a good air space for helicopters. A return to Port Canaveral was in the plan as option B if there were any issue in executing a helicopter transfer. Most decisions were made by medical and shoreside teams.

The ship is full with about 4200 passengers or 110% of double occupancy capacity. Since many cabins hold 3 or 4 passengers, sailing at over 100% is very common in the cruise industry.

Yesterday I had the misfortune of having to deal with customer relations. I was due a $50 on board credit, but it did not show on my account. The front desk person had copies of the  email confirming the credit, but was not empowered to make the correction herself. That needs to be done by the finance team.

After typing away on her keyboard for 20 minutes I was told that the credit should be applied by midnight. Yes, she was correct. In fact they called my room at 11:30 PM, awakening us, to tell me the oversight had been corrected. 

The broadway show Greece is playng in the theater this afternoon and again this evening. The afternoon show is well attended, surprisingly by many people bringing plates of food into the theater. A new experience for me on a cruise ship. Other guests eating pizza and various other items while watching a show.

To help put this in perspective, the beverage staff does not even push drinks in the theater like was common pre pandemic.

Dinner food was good, the 3 cheese tortelini was actually served warm. Of course my drink order was incorrect, but some things never change.

After dinner we head to the photo gallery to pick up our free photo. Ordering is easy, but it won't be ready until after 10:30, unlike most ships where they are printed and available in minutes.

The group has elected self assist and will carry all of our luggage off the ship instead of waiting for an assigned disembarkation time. I was promised someone will help me with mine.

Packing here is much easier than at home. Just keep putting things into the suitcase until the cabin is empty. No decisions to make. Luggage is packed, and tomorow it is back to reality.

The seas remain calm, as they have been all week, as we head north at 8 knots. A Carnival ship has been shadowing us since we left Nassau. Obviously headed to t he same port.