MITSUGIRLYS JEWEL OF A CRUISE review and pictorial
Day 8: Going Home
So here we are...the end of our cruise. Insert the biggest sad face ever here AND the biggest happy face as well for a much needed cruise and break from life.
We woke up Sunday morning and headed out to the balcony in my undies. Oops, I forgot, we're in port. I darted back in quickly and got dressed.
Ok, starting over...out to the balcony. Everything looked wet like it had been raining. Well darn. This seems to happen whenever we return to NOLA from a Christmas cruise.
I looked the other way and it seemed as it the sun "might" be trying to come out in the distance.
Boy did I turned out to be wrong in this case.
The taxi's were all lined up and ready to make their $$.
I watched for awhile and reflected on what the day was to bring. Then I noticed this pulled up to the Jewel:
We decided to head up to the buffet for breakfast...our last breakfast. I felt like it was our last meal ever (or at least the last time we would be able to feast for a week like this any time in the near future).
We looked over the room one last time. The hubby double checked. We grabbed our bag and took one last look at our balcony and S-L-O-W-L-Y shut the door behind us. :tear:
We headed up to the buffet and it was hopping just like any other day and again without even more food. We leisurely ate our breakfast. We were not in any hurry to get off the ship since our flights didn't leave until after 3pm. It was raining by then.
Once we were done with breakfast, we decided even though it was raining, we were going to head out to the pool deck for a little while to relax one last time. It was very chilly. Then it started pouring...then the lighting and thunder started. I have to say it was probably the loudest thunder I have ever heard. I don't know if it was because it was bouncing off the high buildings down town, or because we were up high, or it was indeed actually the loudest storm ever.
We quickly headed inside and decided it was probably time to leave. We wanted to meet up with our Epic friends one last time and they had texted me that they were in the Fyzz lounge. We met up down there and talked for a little bit. Originally we had all thought about sending our luggage to the port and exploring a little more of NOLA. But with the weather spoiling the day, that wasn't going to happen obviously.
We decided to head down and be "escorted out" to the VIP line. Our friends followed. We were off the ship in no time and picking up our brightly colored luggage that's super easy to spot. We walked up to the port security, handed her our customs form and she smiled and said "Have a great day." I have never had customs go this quickly or this friendly. There were no desk to come up to with some intimidating person sitting behind it glaring at you as if you were a hard core criminal. They were just standing there and waving everyone goodbye. Wow. Best experience yet.
We said our goodbyes to our Epic, now Jewel friends and got a cab easily.
We checked into the airport and after standing in line forever, we were told it was too early to check in and the earliest you can check in prior to your flight would be 4 hours. I was thinking it was an hour, but it's 4 hours.
The airport was PACKED and what I hate about this airport in NOLA is that it's so huge in length and width, but yet hardly ANY chairs. They could add so many more chairs in these areas and it would we so much nicer and prevent people from having to sit (or sleep) on the floor. The chairs that they DO have are the most hideous looking, uncomfortable, worst designed chairs that ever existed. I felt sorry for this guy, he could only fit 1 butt cheek on it.
Our Epic now turned Jewel friends text me and we met up again in the airport. Their plane didn't leave until after 3 as well. So, it looked like it would be a day of just hanging out in the airport and chatting some more.
After several flights left, we were able to take possession of some comfortable chairs and Sakari sat around and played with her new big friend. They played and he was drawing pictures for her on her notebook to amuse and amaze her. After awhile, I think she wore him out because he fell asleep. She quietly sat beside him continuing to draw pictures.
At one point our Epic/Jewel friend decided she wanted some coffee, which just happen to be at the OTHER end of the airport and in the opposite way of our flights. I had never been down that way before, so I was happy I went.
When we made it to that side, it looked really different. I couldn't believe how different it was. Now you know how I always carry my camera? Well of course I didn't think I was going to need to just to take a walk to get coffee with a friend.
The only back up would be my not so great phone. I know in this day and age people use their phone for pictures all of the time. However, for someone like me that is so into photography, a phone is a phone, a camera is a camera. I hate using a phone for pictures and the quality is horrible. But here's what you get anyhow.
They had a stage set up for music in a huge open area.
Around 3pm it was time for us to check in for our flight. Once again, we got to use the VIP line and whisk right to the other side with our shoes on and our computer in our bag still.
Once we arrived to our designation, we were informed that there was a delay because of the weather. The lighting and the storms were causing the planes to not be able to land...not only here but where our connecting flight was as well.
I have to say, the employees for Air Tran (which is who we were taking back) were very rude and cold. When I stood in line to ask a question she was really rude and instantly told me to sit down and wait because they had no idea how long the delay was. I told her all I wanted to know is if we had time to eat since we hadn't eaten since 8am. She mumbled something and shooed me away. We decided to go ahead and head back to Subway and grab a bite.
When we returned they started offering to reschedule people for the next morning flights because they had no idea how long it was going to be. We decided to wait it out. After all, it was pouring and nasty out so we wouldn't be able to do anything exciting if we were to get a room.
Luckily, our flight finally arrived a little over an hour late. We boarded the plane and hoped for the best. We were also informed (in the most negative way of course) that if we were to board the plane, it didn't necessarily mean that we were going anywhere and might sit on the runway not moving. Then of course once we made it to our connecting airport, we might be able to land...because of the same weather. So it was up to us. I understand they were being honest and giving us a choice, but it was just done in such a negative way and voice.
We were able to take off in between the lighting attacks and we were on our way. They did warn that there would be a lot of turbulence, but I didn't think it was bad other than when we were going through the clouds (which normally happens anyhow). It was beautiful once we made it above the clouds. It was like sitting on our balcony watching the sunset with the beautiful clouds and colors of the sun going away in the distance.
We were able to land with no problems and we remained on the plane for this connecting flight. I want to add that the staff on Air Tran doesn't hold a candle to the hilarious staff on Southwest. Southwest always has jokes and are some of the best people ever. Air Tran was dull and boring. No jokes, no anything. Sigh.
We were able to clear and we were off on our flight home. There was a time change (which I happened to ask one of the lovely flight attendants about if we had changed times yet... her reply, well first was to ignore me and the second time around was a "What are you talking about?!? Just what are you asking me?!?" Sigh. Ok nice lady, let me put it to you as simple as I can Blondie...It was ___ time when we left NOLA, WHAT TIME IS IT NOW??? Is that put easier for you to understand?" Yea, I'm a little agitated with her at this point and I wasn't afraid to let her know. (Other things occurred prior to this). So I got an affirmative on the time change and instead of coming in to our home town at 8:10pm, we were actually coming in at 10:30ish instead. Go us!
We arrived and was glad the day was over.
I will do one last post to summarize my thoughts of the Jewel and also of the cruise ports.
You are welcome to ask any questions and if I can answer them, I would be happy to of course.
I hope you have enjoyed my review as much as I liked sharing with you.