Thursday, December 3, 2015

From Cruise to Winter in One Day

Norwegian Escape Back in Homeport

Cruises Inc., and CruiseOne held their 2015 National Conference onboard the brand new Norwegian Escape from November 14-21, 2015.    We were among the more than 800 people in that group that were lucky to be sailing this new ship for the first 7 Night Caribbean voyage from Miami. 

It was a gorgeous day in Miami as we awoke to the view above, as seen from our mini-suite balcony. Checking the weather forecast back home in Chicago, we learned about a major Winter Storm that was already in progress.    It would make for a very long day, but for now, we enjoyed the view.

 Settling in at MIA Airport

We selected one of the last disembarkation groups from the Escape, which still meant we were off the ship before 10 AM and at the airport about 15 minutes later.   We had a 3:20 PM flight so we had decided to camp out at American Airlines Admirals Club.   That would be the best decision we made that morning.

We kept monitoring our flight and it was still on time, which surprised us since the snow was falling at the rate of an inch an hour back home.  Eventually the flight would be cancelled and we'd need to be re-booked.   Four agents in the Admirals Club worked on getting us re-booked.   Finally, they were able to reroute us via Orlando.  The only problem was that we had to leave right away and race to the gate.  They called for a ride to the gate and we made it in time.    There were many more delays before we'd ultimately get off the flight in Chicago, including just short of 3 hours on the tarmac waiting for a gate.

click images to enlarge
Winter Accommodations ORD

This was the scene at O'Hare International Airport at about 12:30 AM.   We considered ourselves lucky to be at our final destination and not having to spend time at the airport.

We still had another long line to go through - since our flight was cancelled, our luggage wasn't on our re-booked flights.   It took about 30 minutes or so to get an agent to track down our bag, but after that it was off to get our car from off-airport parking and then finally drive home.

The Morning After

We dug our way into the driveway at 2:30 AM - not exactly the way we wanted to end our fantastic cruise.   Finally, 12 hours after getting on a plane in Miami, we were in our house and ready for bed.

The next morning the sun was out and shining brightly on the 12 inches of snow that had fallen the day before.  You can see that it had been a chore digging our way into the driveway, especially in the dark of the night.

We were happy that this winter storm was after our cruise and not when we were flying to Florida.   This was a significant amount of snow this early in the season.   You never know, which is why we build in buffer time for flights to the cruise port and always travel with travel insurance.   There were several potential insurance claims that fortunately we didn't have to make.   Insurance would have covered trip delay, lost luggage, and even a hotel room if we had gotten stranded.   

Watch for more posts about our cruise as well as photos on our Norwegian Escape Shutterfly Page.

#FriFotos is Back !! this Friday

This Friday #FriFotos returns to Twitter hosted by @_frifotos A new theme is featured each week plus #PhotoHour Friday 7pm GMT for photographers to discuss & connect. The theme for the first week is #Winter so we thought this would be a fitting story to share about the theme.

@ChrisPappinMCC#Winter travel can be challenging, but getting away to somewhere warm is worth it. Just be sure to plan for delays and insure your trip so that it can be worry free.
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