Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – mid 70s - Sunny

We are back from our Grand Caribbean Cruise – 21 days of great weather and calm seas (except for that glitch in Cozumel). 

Wake up call at 6:30 AM because we have to be in the Equinox Theater at 8:00 AM to debark the ship with our group.

Ft. Lauderdale is sunny and warm.

 Ft Lauderdale 3-19 (Small)

The Seabourn Spririt I thinik (Small)

Seabourn Spirit – A future ship of ours?

The buffet is surprisingly not crowded for debark day and the offerings appear to be the usual (not abbreviated for the last day).  Breakfast is not that hurried and soon we are ready to leave the ship.

Check out is quick – I had a chance to wave goodbye to Ian on the way out.  We find our bags right away, move quickly through immigration, and soon we are on our bus (we have transfers) headed to FLL.  We arrive in just a few minutes and await our 1:00 PM flight about four hours away.  I spend the time blogging this trip and actually chatting a bit with passengers from the ship (attendees) who put me onto a cold case new to me.

WIFI is free at FLL (listen up ORD) so am able to check out that cold case (maybe for a future presentation) and catch up on e-mail.  The time passes pretty quickly – we have some lunch (lox and cream cheese sandwiches made from items from the buffer).  Soon our jet arrives ready to take us to Cincinnati.

Our chariot FLL (Small)

Our MD-88 is here

From our vantage point in the airport, we can see the Celebrity Equinox at Port Everglades.  The new passengers are just coming aboard and searching out the buffet.

 FLL and the Equinox (Small)

The Equinox at Port Everglades from the airport

Our flight leaves on time and the ride is smooth – Delta serves pretzels and cookies plus drinks on their flights and we still have a little lunch left over. 

Climbout FLLO (Small)

Climb out from FLL

Florida Everglades (Small)

The Florida Everglades

Cincy Airport (Small)

Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Regional Airport

The layover in Cincinnati is less than an hour so we hustle over to the new gate (we already have boarding passes) and we are good to go.

 Cincy our Chariot (Small)

Our mini-chariot awaits

Our flight boards on time and pushes on time and soon we are in the air.  I was skeptical about these regional jets but, except for the washroom (I have to bend over to use it), it is a relatively comfortable aircraft (leather seats and OK legroom) .  The other nice thing they do is “valet check” the carry on bags (the overheads on this jet are tiny).  There is no charge for this and your bags are waiting in the jet way for you when you leave the plane.

IMG_3975 (Small) 

Climb out over Cincinnati

The flight is very short – less than an hour so you can only get spring water and pretzels on this flight.  Soon, a very dreary looking Chicago appears on the horizon.  Fortunately, we had stored up some sunshine for just this situation.  The pilot does tell us that the temperature is in the 60s so that helps.

Approach dreary chicago (Small)

Lake Michigan and Evanston 

Final Approach  ORD (Small)

Approach to Chicago ORD

Racing another plane (Small)

Neck in Neck without another jet on approach

The landing is smooth – the weather looks OK.  I prearranged a taxi so there is no wait. 

We are going to Dova and Danny’s place for dinner and everyone will be there (what could be better than this following a trip of over three weeks).  The kids are glad to see us and it is good to be home.

Bottom Line:  A wonderful cruise…

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