As you can imagine – my day was a bit long and made even a bit more challenging by an early awakening and a three hour time zone change.
I normally sleep with the curtains open. At sea this makes absolutely no difference, it is not like there is anyone out there to look in my cabin. In the case of sailing into harbor what turned out to be a few hours early – it was the lights of Miami and the harbor that woke me. It was actually lovely. Instead of sailing in about 0600 it was more like right before 0400 when we started into the channel. Since my packing was long since done – the only thing I needed to do was get dressed quickly, check to make sure that my suitcase had been picked up, then head to the lounge and forward viewing area on Deck 12.
With the exception of one crew member, I was the only one up there. It was lovely. Unlike NYC, the weather was balmy and the wind hardly blowing. The view was amazing.
We sailed the whole length of the island where the cruise ships dock, getting rather close to the city
before turning in the basin at the end so that the ship will be facing out when she leaves.
NCL, like RCCL has a new terminal –
where we docked.
That was the fun portion of the morning. Other than the wonderful contributions from the Garden Cafe’s chefs who had coffee out early.
It wasn’t till 0815 that I was able to get off the ship, collect my suitcase and clamber on the bus to MIA. There were a few of us who were “independent” travelers, but the bus was already 3/4 full when I got there as a serious number of people had complete packages from NCL which included air, transfers, and cruise. After listening to a lot of tales about changed flights and other challenges, I think I was right not to go there.
At exactly 4 hours prior to my flight, I dropped off my suitcase and headed to security. In spite of having multiple security locations, I spent almost an hour in line. As it turns out, concourse G is one of the oldest at the airport. It has little to recommend it. Perhaps this is why SouthWest has gates there? In any case, I hung out till my flight was called. The two people with whom I shared the row were headed home to Austin. The woman said she picked my row because I was wearing a mask. (Note, less than 10 of us on the plane). Her MIL had just died of COVID complications and they had barely made it to Miami in time and stayed for the funeral. The woman had just retired from teaching school.
On time to Austin. Hanging out for hours. No luck at Starbucks there either when looking for the new location specific silver thermoses. Ah, well, it is not like I need more stuff…
Amazingly the flight from Austin to Oakland was only 15 minutes late in leaving and was not even 1/3 full. Everyone could have had their own row had they so chosen. After takeoff, I moved to the middle seat in mine and managed to stretch out and nap most of the way to OAK.
Miriam met me at baggage claim and gave me a ride home. That late at night (almost midnight at this point) I am just not willing to depend on BART. Unpacking will be done in the morning….