VOV: Disembarkation & Traveling Home

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Below are photos of some of our favorite crew members. We hope we can sail with them again. They made our cruise very special. We will be sure to mention them specifically in the HAL survey that we will get once we get home.

We decided to go to the main dining room for dinner. We shared a table with two other couples who we’ve dined with before. Like us, they talked about how great this cruise has been and future ones that have been booked. I chose the lamb shank for my main course.

The main stage show was one of the BBC nature movies with the Ocean Bar band providing the backdrop music. Since we had seen the movie before, we went back to the Ocean bar and listened to the Ocean Bar leader singer perform with the Ocean Bar pianist.

It was soon time to call it a night and put our luggage into the hallway.

I had a very restless night. I finally just got up at 5:30 as we were pulling into the port. We were completely docked by 6:00. I was glad the Captain had been correct that we would still make it to Boston on time.

We went to the Lido at 6:30. It was very crowded which I expected. People did have the option to eat in the main dining room but unless you had the latest immigration / disembarkation time, you might not get to finish your meal if the service ended up being slow.

The Cruise Director started calling the different groups to the Immigration/Customs station at 7:15. US Citizens had to go to the main stage area on the 4th floor. Everyone else had to report to the dining room area on the 5th floor.

Our group was called at 7:45. The line to the main stage area snaked all the way down the hallway on the 4th floor. Guest Services staff had to keep people from breaking the line and directing them to the end. I was glad that they were there. I have been on a couple of cruises, (different cruise line), where the disembarkation process just got out of hand and nobody from the cruise line took control.

We brought our room key and our passport as instructed. We presented them to the US Customs official. He looked at them, looked at us, and said “Welcome Back.” A Guest Services person punched a hole in the corner of our room key to show that we had met with Customs. All done.

We went back to the room to gather our carry-on bags and our backpacks. Knowing the room stewards wanted to get in and start deep cleaning our room for the next guests, we took our bags to the 4th floor and found some seats near the elevators.

Our group was called at 8:15 to disembark. We went to the third floor and got in that long line to make our final exit from the ship. Once we made it out of the ship, the next challenge was to find our checked bags in the sea of baggage.

The baggage handlers do put the bags in the area that matches your group number but when the bags are all together, with people grabbing bags right and left, it is hard to distinguish your bag from others. I have some bright handle wraps on our luggage to try to help but the search is still stressful. I stayed with our carry-ons while Chuck waded into the mess to hunt for our luggage.

Once he found our bags, we had to get in line to get into the correct HAL bus to the airport. Once we made it to the front of the line, we told the person in charge that we were on Delta, and she pointed to our tour bus. I fully expected the ride to the airport to take an hour because of the tunnel closings for construction. After all, we had been warned numerous times about the potential problems and delays. The ride took 10 minutes. 🙄

We were also told that we would be dropped off at the individual airlines. Nope. We were dropped off at the departure bus area for one terminal. All the luggage was taken off the bus and we were directed to take our luggage up to the 2nd level of the terminal to find our airline. Not great.

Once we got to the 2nd level, we found the Delta area. The lines were long inside. Chuck watched the bags as I went outside to see if there was a curb-side Delta bag check area. There was one and it had no line, so we took our bags out there. One of the bags was 52 pounds and one was 49 pounds. I thought I was going to have to put on the sweatshirts I had bought. Luckily, the attendant let it go. I guess I need to bring my portable luggage scale next time.

We tried to get organized before going to security. Got my laptop and e-readers out of the backpacks. Chuck got his belt off and emptied his pockets into his backpack. We found the CLEAR line and moved through quickly. We had no issues through security and none of our bags had to go through a second inspection. Been a while since that has happened with our bags.

Our Gate was just right around the corner from security. The time was 9:35. One hour and 20 minutes from the time our number was called on the ship to being at the Gate. Not bad.

Our flight was on time. When we boarded, I was disappointed to see I was in a middle seat. When I booked the flight, I looked at the seat chart and thought I booked an aisle seat for Chuck and one for me across from each other. Either I messed up royally or they changed planes on me, and I forgot to check the seats closer to the flight date.

Oh well, it was only a 3-hour flight. I watched Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and that took up the majority of the flight time. We got in earlier than expected which meant that we could get on an earlier shuttle if it had room. Yay! It did.

Typically, our shuttle ride takes about 2 hours – a little longer if it has to make some drop-off stops along the way. Unfortunately, today there was a lot of traffic and construction and somehow our driver missed the exit, and we ended up having to turn-around. Also, at one of the drop-off stops, he decided to get something to eat and take a smoke break. When we finally pulled in at our stop, the shuttle we had originally booked pulled in about 5 minutes later. We saved no time at all. Not the best performance for this company.

We were happy that there was no issue with the car after being parked outside for all of those days. The ride home was uneventful with just a stop for some Krystals to take home since we knew there was very little food in the house.

I was happy to see that the lawn had been freshly mowed and we had no trees or big limbs down from the reported storms. Once inside, we were greeted with a stack of mail and a loud, unhappy cat. I could tell he had been well cared for as always, but he let us know that he wanted to go out and he wanted to go out NOW.

The unpacking and organizing, bill paying, grocery shopping, etc. could wait until tomorrow. We were tired from this long day of travel.

However, we thoroughly enjoyed our Voyage of the Vikings cruise on Holland America. We saw beautiful sites, had new experiences, met nice people, and made some wonderful memories – all that we love about travel.

Until next time –

Let the sea breeze blow your hair, let the sunset bring tranquility to your heart, let the distant places you travel allow you to explore yourself.” – Somya Kedia

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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