Day 10, Sunday, 3/25/01
|This was our last morning on the Disney Wonder, and our sojourn home.
A lot of this is kind of off topic, but hey, it's travel related.
I give up. There was a night when there was a deck party. They had some great live music, and served some nice deserts on deck. Patti, Nick, Jan, Me, and Debbie were all there, enjoying the music and the extra deserts. Nick, however, was a little pouty because he wanted to go to the lab. I just can't remember what night this was, and it doesn't seem to fit with my notes about any of the evenings. Maybe we were there an extra night, and I forgot. Regardless, there was lots of dancing and big fun.
I left the dramamine by my bedside table. Probably got thrown out, but maybe the next guy needed it. I never did, but I felt close a couple of times.
We had one more great meal for breakfast at Parrot Cay. The last morning
breakfast is at the same restaurant that you had supper the night before,
and it is a sit down meal, not buffet style. They are definitely trying
to move people through getting off the ship quickly, which is why they
pick up your luggage the night before. The breakfast was very early, but
worth getting up for. The food was good, and the restaurant is very pretty.
It was great to see Wesley and Steven one more time. We gave them their
gratuity envelopes for the trip, and stressed what a great contribution
they had made to our cruise.
As I mentioned, they had spirited our bags off at 11 p.m. on Saturday night. This is a little clumsy, as you only have your day bag in the morning. But, it all worked out OK. Our bags were sitting waiting for us as we exited the port building. There is a nice independent porter service that will help you get your load out of the holding area and onto the bus to the airport.
We had a nice bus ride to the airport. Everyone was tired and the trip was quite and uneventful. It's good that the cruise line buses are more comfortable than the ones that take you around WDW property.
OK, I didn't really do it, but I felt strangely guilty afterwards. Hats off to United Airlines for the way they handled what was for some people a bad situation, but turned out to be a good one for us.
We arrived at the airport several hours before we were scheduled to fly out. I had planned it this way (I made the airline arrangements myself, who knows what AAA would have done?). I'd rather hang around the airport than take a chance the cruise bus would have been late for some reason.
But, when we reached the ticket counter, the agent told me there was a flight leaving within an hour, and suggested we try to go standby. If it fell through, we'd just be back on our original flight. No risk, and we might get home earlier.
So, we went down to the gate. This is where it gets really weird. There were a bunch of people trying to standby on this flight. It seems there was another flight canceled because of engine trouble, and United was shunting people to this flight.
Well, no big deal. Just an extra confusion factor. When things had calmed down a little bit, I went to talk to the agent at the gate, so that we would be certain to be on our original flight.
There was a guy in front of me, who was not real happy. It seems that he may have been on scheduled for the flight that was canceled, didn't make it on standby for the next flight, and was now getting stuck on our original flight. The agent was doing everything she could to calm him down.
When I got to the counter, I really did try to explain that we weren't originally on either the early flight or the canceled flight. But, I think she was in a calm people down mode. Somehow, we ended up with 5 travel certificates ($100 off our next flight for each of us), and five meal vouchers (a free lunch for each of us at the airport). I wasn't even upset to begin with.
By the way, I joined United's frequent flier program when we got home. I was thinking about it anyway. After all, United runs nonstops from Denver to Orlando. Where else would I want to go? More importantly, I am convinced that I can save more money by using a frequent flyer program and just booking whatever flights United has available than I can by scouring the Internet for cheap tickets. Especially since we have also joined their credit card program, where you get a mile for every dollar you charge to your credit card. And there was a companion certificate for joining the program, so our next trip has one free ticket and $200 off, as long as we go on United. Kind of hard to beat, even with a rock bottom Internet deal.
So, we napped, hung around, I worked on my trip notes. Jan and Nick played cards with a deck she bought for him in one of the shops. Everyone was tired but relaxed and happy.
We were upgraded to economy plus for the trip home (part of the compensation the agent at the gate was throwing at me), but I didn't think it was all that much better than economy. Slightly more legroom, I suppose (something I'm always sensitive about). Patti and Nick were sitting next to me, and were both sleeping most of the way. Debbie was across the aisle with Jan, and she didn't seem like she was able to doze off. This is one long flight.
Recall that on Saturday, we were swimming in 75 degree turquoise water under a perfect blue 85 degree sky. When we landed in Denver on Sunday, it was snowing. It made the fresh memory of yesterday's snorkeling all the more sweet.