I was up at 5:00AM and watched the ship sail into port.
At 6:00 AM, I went to the Windows Café for debark breakfast. It wasn’t crowded but the pancakes and waffles were moved into the kitchen. I put my pancake order in along with an order of scrambled eggs. I had a small bowl of Rice Krispies and Special K while I waited for my entrees. The eggs (about four of them) came quickly but they tasted like meat (I guess the skillet was not clean – yike). I didn’t eat the eggs and I had to check to see what happened to the pancakes. The waiter who always takes the short orders for eggs went back into the kitchen and in a few minutes came out with the pancakes. I had them with cottage cheese and jellies. Because it was debark day, the coffee was not flowing like it does on a regular morning. I finished quickly and put together a lox plate for Ellen.
We are in Group Green 3 - Transfers to Miami International Airport. I don't think they were calling groups; people were just getting off at their designated time. You can do that on a small ship, I guess.
At 8:00 AM, we disembarked the ship and did the long walk to the terminal, found our bags, and then through Immigration (which was fast) and then out to bus #3 bound for MIA. The bus left for the airport around 8:45 AM and the short ride let us off at the United Terminal. It wasn’t quite the United Terminal which was around 2000 steps away. We found it and I used the kiosk to print out baggage tags (free on our Marine tickets) and boarding passes.
We quickly went through TSA pre-check and found our gate, H12. We settled in away from people and near chargers or plugs until it got close to our boarding time – 11:45 AM. MIA was pretty crowded, so I was in my airport safety gear.
Our flight, UA1983 –scheduled to depart 12:15 PM - had come in early from Chicago and was at the gate being readied.
We were in Priority Boarding (maybe because I upgraded our seats with a United Credit Card). We were in 7A and 7B (Port bulkhead middle and window) – the fellow on the end wore a mask the whole flight as did we. We boarded on time and took off on time.
We ate items we had taken from the ship (lox and tuna mini-sandwiches) and I had them with an orange juice and a coffee (very yummy).
The flight (2 hrs and 45 minutes – although it always takes longer) was relatively smooth although our pilot turned on the seat belt sign several times at the slightest turbulence. Our plane, an airbus 319, has only two bathrooms (in the rear of the plane). I also discovered that T-Mobile has some arrangement with United which provides free WiFi to certain customers. I put in my mobile number and voila free WiFi. A nice perk.
Our flight path took us over Midway Airport
and the Fermi Lab Collider.
We touched down in Chicago around 3:20 PM and got our bags pretty quickly.
Danny was kind enough to pick us up and soon we were home.
Would I take this cruise again - probably, because of the Panama Canal transits (made more interesting by David Roberts) and the ports (with the exception of Salaverry, Peru). The cabins were quiet and comfortable, the crew and service were great, and the food was OK most of the time (breakfast was the best meal of the day even though it was practically the same every day for me).
Thirty-two days is a long time to be away. Good to be home.