Disembark is relatively easy and we are off the ship by 9:00 AM and on our way to the airport for our long wait for our 3:10 PM Flight to Chicago.
Miami has one of those soft-X Ray Scanners. Everything has to be out of your pockets – all you can have on is your clothes (no belts). The scan is quick and Star Trek like and then you need to wait to be cleared (I kept my eyes on my stuff on the conveyor while I waited). TSA must not have liked something on my scan so I had the complimentary and interesting pat down. It is quick but all people say it is.
About an hour to flight time our 757 arrives
Just as we are about to board, an announcement is made that the flight will be delayed an hour (ATC hold on traffic into ORD) and we would not board at 3:30 PM for a 4:10 PM Departure. We do actually board and push about 4:10 PM but only to park in the “penalty box” awaiting our turn to go.
At about 5:00 PM, we hit the runway and we are off. The flight is a little bumpy but OK. As we near Chicago, the pilot indicated that we will be holding for about 30 minutes about 150 miles from the airport. The revving of the engines about 30 minutes later indicated to me that he was moving to another holding pattern (indeed another 30 minutes) – touchdown was not 7:05 PM as announced. We finally left that pattern and the pilot indicated a preparation for landing. However, I did not feel the plane descend or employ flaps and slats. Sometime later, the flaps did deploy along with the gear and it was soup until the wheels hit the ground. I think we touched down at 7:35 PM.
In spite of all of the holding patterns, the most bizarre event was leaving the plane quickly through the port side emergency door, which, all of a sudden was open to the jet way (the door opened before I could get my stuff from the overheads). This was a first for me (coach folks leaving before first class).
It took quite a while for the luggage to appear but our cabbie waited for us.
We finally got home after 9:00 PM to find that a power outage had taken down our U-Verse system. A few calls to ATT eventually got the system back up an running.
What an ending to a unique cruise.