You’d think a month later the last day would be easier to remember than the first, but some of the memories have already faded. I could have sworn we ate breakfast before leaving the ship, but Elle is certain we didn’t. I guess what I’m remembering is our breakfast on day 5 where I thought we skipped breakfast. Looks like we ate that meal after all. Isn’t memory a funny thing?
Here’s the timeline we can agree on: we woke up at a reasonable time and were surprised how little noise there was. On previous cruises they started with in-cabin announcements very early in the morning, but I’m not sure we heard one before leaving.
(Now I think some of my memory is returning). We decided to drive straight to our favorite ice cream spot in Kissimmee for lunch and dessert: Abracadabra Ice Cream Factory. Part of me wanted to get our last “free” meal on the ship, and part of me realized I didn’t need to eat right before eating an hour later. In the end, Elle went to WJ while the boys and I got ready. She brought back some bananas, cereal and a few strips of bacon. Most importantly, she brought me coffee!
When we got ready, we proceeded to the Promenade on the way to our designated waiting area. By this time we still hadn’t heard any ship-wide announcements, so we checked at the gangway to see if #8 was cleared to leave. The guy working the line said yes, and then he said “Hey Jackson!” Apparently he worked in AO at some point and recognized Jack enough to almost remember his name. How kind with all the kids he must see every week!
We walked off the ship quickly and were deceived by how little traffic there seemed to be. Once we turned the corner in the terminal, we saw how long the line really was. We wound up standing in the terminal for quite a long time, slowly shuffling towards the baggage hall.
We got to the hall and proceeded directly to area 8. We found the big, broken bag and attached two wheels so that we didn’t have to lug it to the shuttle bus. My bag was nowhere to be found. After we each took a turn checking out #8, I asked a worker who was moving bags around. He said our tag must have come off and it was against the wall, but a quick search showed my bag wasn’t among the 5-10 bags there.
We started by searching area 8 again and then slowly expanding the search area. Along the way we told a few workers who weren’t unhelpful but also didn’t put a lot of effort into helping us. It appeared in their minds the only reason a bag wouldn’t be in the right place is that we failed to affix the tag properly.
While we were searching all permutations of 8 (28, 38, etc.), we told another worker about our missing bag and the steps we’d taken so far. He immediately started searching the entire hall with us. With the three of us searching separately, it took about 15 more minutes to find the bag. Elle found the workers had left it in 53, apparently because 5+3 = 8. It was clearly marked with an 8, and there were no other numbers visible. Oh well.
By the time we found the guy who’d been searching with us, it had been over an hour since we left the ship. He said “let me get you out of here,” and walked us to the expedited line for customs and immigration. We got through there quickly and without any trouble. After we exited customs, we found the contraband table just outside the terminal building. We collected our extension cord and walked to the shuttle, passing all the lucky people lining up to board Oasis.
When we got back to Lots of Honor, The boys and I took the bags to the truck while Elle talked to the workers about the missing wheel. They passed her to a manager on the phone. Initially the manager said she knew about the problem from the previous week (wrong cruise terminal, not the wheel problem), but “it’s not like we’re going to go to another cruise terminal to look for a single wheel.” Elle said, “Well, you took us to the wrong cruise terminal initially….” The manager then offered to completely refund our parking fee, which covered the cost of the suitcase. Prior to this we weren’t sure if we planned to keep it or donate it, but this made donating it an easy decision.
On the way to Abracadabra we saw it wouldn’t be opening by the time we got there, and we just happened to be by our favorite pizza place, Marco’s. We went there for lunch and then headed home for a nap. As you can see from the photo, 7 days of fun at sea wore Jack out!
All-in-all we had a great time on this cruise and wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. Our two RC cruises are my favorite of the 7, and I hope we get to do more in the future.