Let’s start at the planning for this trip which has its own drama. Our best friends from Georgia, Joe and Ammie along with their daughter, and her friend had booked a spring break cruise on the NCL Escape. We just had a great time on the NCL Joy, we thought it would be fun to book the Escape, not tell them and surprise them on board. We started thinking about fun ways we could reveal the surprise on embarkation day. Since we are cruise nerds, we found out lots of information about their plans and they were not suspicious. Three weeks before the cruise, the NCL Escape runs aground on a sandbar in the Dominican Republic. It was so bad they flew the passengers home and cancelled the next cruise. We were nervous our trip would be cancelled. It looked like it would sail the week before ours but it was cancelled the Tuesday before their sailing. Now we were really nervous. Monday night, it was leaked to Costco that our sailing was cancelled. We decided to call our friends and tell them so we could possibly do the same Plan B. They wanted to take the offer to switch to another NCL ship but we had tickets for Universal after our cruise so we did not. I had been researching options out of Port Canaveral since we had the threat of cancellation so I suggested the Carnival Mardi Gras. We were lucky and booked three inside Havana rooms only four days before the cruise.
We had a flight to Orlando at 8pm on Friday and I was nervous reading about the cancelations and delays people were having on the Facebook group. Our flight was showing on time and we had no delays. The drama, however would happen on the plane.
When we boarded the plane, there was a family trying to get seats closer together and a man who was offering to help. He ended up sitting in our window seat to help them out. He was talking a ton and seemed a bit drunk to me. When boarding was slow because of this woman not knowing which was her seat because this man “helped” them, he started getting loud and cursing about it. Chris saw his boarding pass and it was for row 36. We were in 15 and he was originally sitting in 14 because that’s “where they told him to sit.” We stood up and he moved to the aisle seat in front of me and someone else was supposed to sit there. A flight attendant came over and told him to wear his mask properly and use and inside voice. He didn’t stop cursing and she was asking where he seat was and he said here where you told me to sit. Chris and I were holding up fingers to say 36 to help her out which made her ask for his boarding pass. After she threatened to remove him, he finally showed her and she made him take his assigned seat. We were glad he wasn’t going to be near us for the flight.
The flight was calm until we arrived at the gate. The line wasn’t leaving the plane and the captain announced the jetway wasn’t moving forward. After some time, he announced they cannot move to another gate because they were all being used and they need to get a mechanic “from the city” as the gates are run by the city. Yikes, that didn’t sound good. The mechanic eventually arrived and was working on it. Then, we heard a familiar voice. The man from row 36 decided to make his way to the front of the plane, complaining the whole way loudly. After standing right at the front, he got very loud with a passenger in first class and I thought there was going to be a physical fight. It didn’t progress that far but he stayed up there to be the first one off. The jetway never worked and the captain announced they would hook up stairs. Finally, over one hour later, we jumped on to the stairs as it was about a foot drop. On the plus side, the suitcases were waiting at baggage for us.
We took a shuttle to the Courtyard Marriott and opened the door to our room around 12:30. The room was a standard room but it was clean and quiet. It is perfect to sleep so we can wake up for our driver to take us to Port Canaveral in the morning.