This part of the review will have to sections. The first section will cover disembarkation. The second section will cover what happened after disembarkation.

Disembarkation

We opted to do normal disembarkation this cruise. For the past few years, we’ve done self-assist, where we carry off our own bags. This time, however, we chose to have them taken off for us. They each have their pros and cons to them. I don’t like either method, but we have to choose…

Anyway, we met in our specified loung at 9:15 am. We ended up getting off at 9:45. Had we done self-assist, we would have met around 8:00 (or was it 8:30?). We probably would have been off much earlier, and the rest of this post wouldn’t have existed. I don’t like pondering over “what ifs” though.

So after we got off the ship, we went to the warehouse area to find our luggage. We were in section 1, which meant we were not only the first section off the ship (after self-assist), but we were right on the end of the luggage area. So it would be easy to find our luggage right? Wrong. We found two of our suitcases immediately. The second two took a while to find. Actually, our third piece of luggage was brought to us by a very kind passenger. He must have seen it misplaced in another section, and brought it over to our section, asking if we were there. We were and we claimed our third suitcase. Still one left though. And guess whose it was? Mine… Go figure. So my parents are looking for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, I’m standing with our luggage just looking on impatiently. Finally, one of my parents returns and I proclaim that it is my turn to search. Needless to say, I find it right away. It was right on the end of section 17. A porter said that the luggage can get misplaced sometimes, especially if your luggage gets taken away on separate crates. That’s probably what happened to my suitcase.

What Happened Next…

Anyway, we made our way to customs, breezed through that, and now it was time to head home. Right? Wrong again. We make it to the elevators. There are two elevators: one that goes down to level 1, and one that goes up to level 3. (We are on level 2 in case you didn’t figure that out.) We have to go up to level 3, the parking lot. Level 1 takes you to the taxi line/pick-up area. The lady standing by the elevators says that one elevator is for up only, and the other is for down only. Don’t you know it, we’re standing in the “down” line. I tell my parents we have to get in the other line. Of course they either don’t hear me or they think I’m nuts. So we get on the down elevator. These are big elevators, because they’re meant to hold a lot of people with a lot of luggage.

So, the elevator goes down, and everyone except us gets off. So it’s the three of us and the elevators attendant. We begin to go back up and the elevator buzzes signaling we have reached level 2. There’s a slight pause, and the buzz starts again. Only this time it doesn’t stop! We look at the rear of the elevator to discover the alarm has gone off. (The fireman symbol is lit up.) So here were are, stuck on an elevator, just the four of us, with our luggage in hand ready to go home. A couple minutes go by and nothing happens. My mom is panicking, while everyone else remains calm. The attendant calls for help, but no one answers. We press the alarm bell button quite a few times. Eventually we hear people outside the front door. As it turns out, we were aligned with level 2 the entire time. But it’s not over. The alarm is still going off, and we’re still on the elevator, at least 15 minutes later. We ask the attendant if this has ever happened before. Her reply: “I don’t know. This is my first day.” Lovely. (Not that an experienced attendant could really have done much more anyway.) A few more minutes go by and the alarm turns off. A couple more minutes later, some fingers appear in between the front doors. They’re finally trying to get us out. The pull and pull at the doors. They’re jammed shut. The alarm starts to go off again. Then all of a sudden, the elevator jerks. The rear doors open, to a wall. A little bit later, they pull at the front doors, and they finally open. A half hour later, and we’re off the elevator!

Needless to say, we took the escalator up to level 3. And as it turns out, we could have taken up to begin with, despite the “no luggage” sign on it.

And after a three hour trip that should have only been an hour and a half, we finally make it home safe and sound.

That is my story of our departure. One more review and maybe another photo post, and then I’ll be done. Promise.

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