Mitsugirlys graduation getaway cruise

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#1
OH
24,074 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I figured it's time to get this review started and I have been working on getting some of my pictures together that I want to share for the review. This might not end up being the best review (like my others), but I'm going to try hard. I have had so much going on this past month...finals, graduating nursing school, moving the following week and then the cruise the week after. It has been non-stop for me and my family and I'm just exhausted and drained. I still in the process of trying to get my house together and somewhere along the line I need to study for boards and...oh yea, probably get back to work since I haven't been for a month now.

This Getaway cruise was supposed to be the cruise of a lifetime. We booked this cruise when NCL offered the special of pay for the first 2 cruisers and the 3rd and up were free. I figured I would convince as many of my kids to go, and their families, that I could. I managed to get 3 of my 4 kids to book with me (and their family) and I was so excited. I was going to party like a Norwegian to celebrate my graduation!

I'm going to copy and paste from my previous review a "little about me".



A little history about me, for those of you that might not know me around here:

I’m 48 and have been cruising since the late 80’s with my first cruise being with NCL. I took a break for a while after the 90’s (with RCL) and did not start cruising again until 2010. We now try to cruise at least twice a year. I have been on the Epic, Spirit, Pearl, Star, Jewel, and Carnival's Dream. I have been very limited as to the times that I can cruise because of being a Nursing student (since 2010) and I just graduated in May. I work at the local hospital (since 1984) and work in the emergency room (which also happens to be a trauma hospital). I am a mother of 4, 3 adult children (27, 25, and 19) and a perky 6 year old. I am a grandmother of 4 now, 2 are basically the same ages as my 6 year old (grandson is 3 months younger than my daughter and granddaughter is 7 months younger) and have 2 new grandchildren 3 months and 2 months old. Yes, they keep us on our toes. So, I’m young at heart and love to have a good time.

Our youngest daughter has been cruising with us since she was 3 years old and now has 6 cruises under her belt and she's as hooked as we are on cruising. She is willing and can do just about anything we do from ziplining, snorkeling, the animals, jumping off 2 stories into the water and so on. If you have read any of my other reviews....well, she just amazes us with her fearless abilities.

I am laid back, not too hard to please, enjoy cruising and try to have a good time no matter what. I have a quirky sense of humor (as does my husband) and I tell my stories through my eyes, my experiences, and my opinions of the cruise and ports. I realize that everyone has a different experience (even if they are on the same cruise or at the same excursion) and everyone has a different level of tolerance or views of what their “perfect” cruise is. We are all unique in our own way and that’s what makes the world a great place of diversity. I don’t expect everyone to agree or disagree with my views. When I research a ship or a port, I do EXTENSIVE research to find that perfect place for US. I take everyone’s reviews into consideration, but yet with a grain of salt. I like to form my own opinions and experience things for myself. My reviews are just to share MY experience and I try to be as helpful as I possibly can to others by explaining things and showing as many pictures as I can so that others can get a feeling for the place.


Now, to start with our Getaway cruise...I have to say this was probably the worse cruise experience I have had so far. Not really the fault of NCL or the Getaway. The Getaway is a BEAUTIFUL ship with so much to see and do. The staff is amazing as always...bloopers did happen along the way, but what made the cruise experience not the greatest this time around were issues that happened to us along the way...from the beginning, to the cruise, to the very end. Sigh.

I am going to apologize in advance. I did not get the pictures I normally do of everything on the ship. I did not take the time composing my pictures as I normally do or taking the pictures of things I know cruisers on here would ask about. I will be the first to admit, I should slap my hands for being such a failure this time around. I did not experience a lot of things on the ship. If you don't see it in my review, we didn't/couldn't do it. I just came back from this cruise with this feeling of emptiness, frustration and wanting to just stomp my feet, cry, and scream "I want a do-over!!!"

So who cruised this time? My husband and I with our now 6 year old daughter Sakari. My oldest daughter (Kendra-25), who usually cruises with us at least once a year, and her bf and my grandson. Kendra just had a baby 3 months ago, but left her at home with family this time around. My youngest son (Kolin-19) and his girlfriend of 2 years (that lives with us) also came along. Kolin has only cruised once, back on RCL when he was about 6. Kolins gf was a cruise virgin (but I think we have her hooked now).

So I will get my first round of pictures downloaded and get on with the beginning of my review. I hope you all enjoy it, even though I feel like a complete failure this time around.
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NCL:
EPIC studio SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
CARNIVAL:
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination
BAHAMAS: Great Stirrup Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Freeport: Paradise Cove
BARBADOS: Boatyard
BELIZE: Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Island Shark Ray Alley Goffs
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Bay Snorkel Park Tobacco Bay St Catherines Beach Achilles Bay Jet Ski & boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Bay Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue Kay
COZUMEL: Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion IslandPalancar
GRAND CAYMAN: Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK: BOHIO Governors
HALF MOON CAY
JAMAICA: Sunset Hilton Rose
ROATAN: Little French Key LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
ST KITTS: Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN: Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS: Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki
TORTOLA: Baths
#2
Deep East Texas
2,100 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
YEA! I'm in! Sorry things did not go as planned. Hope your next cruise is better.
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#3
RI
986 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Can't wait to read the review. So sorry it didn't live up to what you were used to and expecting. Do not call yourself a failure, I know any review by you will still be more interesting and informative than 1/2 the other reviews out there.

And as a side note, congrats on the graduation That is quite an accomplishment
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Jeff

Now I know this Joe down in Mexico He went there to work on his tan For years hes been plugged into blenders and songs They call him the Twelve Volt Man---Jimmy Buffett




Upcoming Cruises:





6/13/2015 NCL Gem - 8 Day Bahamas and Florida Cruise with the family to celebrate dad's 70'th birthday. First Aft Penthouse

10/15/2016 NCL Gem - 8 night repo cruise New York to San Juan. 2 bedroom suite with mom and dad.

Past Cruises
2/19/2006 NCL Jewel - Western Caribbean
6/17/2007 Caribbean Princess - Eastern Caribbean - Honeymoon Cruise
12/4/2010 NCL EPIC - Eastern Caribbean
11/11/2012 NCL Dawn - Western Caribbean
4/27/2014 NCL Dawn - Repositioning Tampa to Boston - First taste of the suite life.
1/22/2015 NCL Pearl - 11 Day Southern Caribbean - Scuttled by NCL for a music charter
#4
Plymouth County, MA
1,146 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Can't wait for the rest of your review!
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Susan & David











Future:
10/27/2017-NCL DAWN - Boston to Bermuda - 7-days
01/20/2018-NCL ESCAPE - Eastern Caribbean - 7-days
04/21/2018-MSC SEASIDE - Western Caribbean - 8-days
11/09/2018-NCL DAWN - Eastern Caribbean - 9-days
02/23/2019-NCL BLISS - Eastern Caribbean - 7-days

Previous:
03/25/2017-CARNIVAL SUNSHINE - Southern Caribbean - 8-days
12/03/2016-NCL ESCAPE - Eastern Caribbean - 7-days

11/27/2016-NCL SKY - Bahamas - 5-days - (Platinum)
02/27/2016-NCL JADE - W. Caribbean from Houston - 7-days
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10/29/2013-ROYAL PRINCESS-Maiden Caribbean Voyage - 5-day
04/06/2013-NCL EPIC-E. Caribbean (35th Anniv) (Suite-Life) -7-day
12/04/2011-CARNIVAL VALOR - Exotic W. Caribbean - 7-day
11/30/2008-CARNIVAL FREEDOM - W. Caribbean - 6-day
04/17/2006-RCCL-BRILLIANCE - Panama Canal - 11-day
10/12/2005-RCCL-JEWEL - Bermuda/Eastern Caribbean - 10-day
01/22/2005-CARIBBEAN PRINCESS-Mother/Daughter Cruise - College Graduation - 7-day
01/08/2004-CARNIVAL LEGEND-Exotic Southern Caribbean - 8-day
01/04/2003-RCCL-NAVIGATOR - W. Caribbean - Family - 7-day
02/12/2000-CARNIVAL TRIUMPH - Western Caribbean - 7-day

#5
OH
24,074 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
So here we are, 3 families so excited to get this cruise started and it was hard to sleep the night before. Since I had so much going on the previous 2 weeks with graduation and moving, I waited until the last moment to start packing and didn't finish until the day before we were supposed to leave. SO NOT LIKE ME!! I'm a planner!

Our flight was to leave at 6:30am out of Columbus, so I was up and getting ready with last minute packing and getting the family in motion at 3:30am. Since there were a total of 8 of us this time around, my daughter had a pull a car off the car lot (her boyfriend owns) that was big enough to haul all of us and our luggage to the airport to drop us off.

We booked with Southwest, as we always do, since it's always cheaper for us with pricing and the first 2 bags are free with each passenger. HOWEVER, this is the first time that we have ever booked a flight straight from Columbus to our destination both on the way there and on the way back. WOO HOO. We have always had a connecting flight and a lay over between flights. I was excited because this meant that we would arrive in Ft Lauderdale around 9:30 and be able to spend the day walking around, getting things we needed (soda) at the store and swimming in the pool. Plenty of relaxation and time to build the excitement for the cruise the following day.

We (my husband, myself and 6 year old) have always flown when cruising UNLESS my oldest daughter goes, then we drive (her bf has had this fear of flighing and is convinced we will all die in a crash if he boards). After our last "adventure" of driving, I vowed (as I always do) to never drive again. But this time I meant it. I feel so drained and anxious when having to take 2 days in a car with that many people to do it again. No way! I told her this time I'm flying with or without you. You can drive and take 2 days and I'll be there in 2 hours and 45 minutes. Meet ya there! So she convinced her bf to fly. WHAT?!?

Since this was her first experience with flying, she had no idea what to expect or how everything works. The night before we made plans...I would be at her house at 4:45am and so would our "driver". The suburban was to be packed ahead of time and we would only have to put our luggage in there and off to the plane terminal by 5am. Check our luggage in by 5:30am and check in with security by 6am for a good 1/2 hour leadway to get on the plane.

We arrived at her house to find that 1) the suburban was not packed yet. 2) KENDRA and family was not packed yet and the entire household was in an uproar. Kendra discovered that she couldn't find their birth certificates that she just had in her hand the night before. When we arrived, I could already tell this was not going to go well. We started packing the suburban with all the luggage we could find, transferring car seats over for the little ones...and of course a lot of pacing and nail biting. We had to drag out luggage to look for the birth certificates with no luck. It was pushing 5:30 at this point and I was half tempted to put my luggage back in my car and head to the airport to meet them there.

She finally found the birth certificates and we all piled in and off we headed to the airport in a racing frenzy. I tried to explain to her over and over the "time frame" of having to check in luggage and ourselves with security and this could be a lengthy process depending on how many other people were checking in at the same time.

We arrived and got in line at the luggage counter outside the terminal only to find that once it was our turn, they informed us that we would have to go inside to check our luggage in because we had to be there 45 minutes before our flight times to check in out there.

We headed inside and gasp... the lines were rediculous. My heart sank and I had "this feeling" that the morning was only going to get worse. After checking in our luggage, they were tagged with the bright YELLOW tags that said LATE ARRIVAL, notifying the entire world that we were losers. I felt like hiding my head in shame at that moment. They explained that our luggage would NOT arrive with us on the plane and would be coming in later. This is where I turned to my daughter and gave her that "mother look" that you give your child when you are in public and they are misbehaving when they are young! Of course what I got was the "How was I supposed to know?" Um, because I have been telling you our timeframe, that's how. You can't arrive late!

Then we headed for the security line as quickly as we could. It was a little after 6am at this point and the lines were long. For some reason they pulled us over to the express lane (the lane where you don't have to take off your shoes or anything) and I was a little relieved. However, we were "dinged" as the "lucky ones" to get "checked" randomly...which meant we ended up having to take our shoes off and walk into the xray machine and the whole 9 yards. GACK! This delayed us even more.

Once we were done with security, I looked at my watch and it was 6:25am and I felt the sudden urge to puke! We RAN....YES RAN, in our socks to the terminal to only arrive and see the plane was backing up and leaving. I just wanted to sit there and cry. My daughter and her family didn't arrive for another 10 minutes. Now you talk about wanting to crawl in a hole and hide while other people starred at us with that "Did you really miss your plane?" shame on you! look.

This is the first time I have ever missed a flight or even came close. I had no idea what they do from here. Did we have to purchase new tickets and pay thousands of $$ at the new rates now? We talked to the attendants at the counter and they explained to us how they would see if there was any room on the next plane heading out, but there was a good chance that we would all have to split up on different flights to different places and we would be on standby for seats that weren't full from not being booked or people like us (do they really exists?) that miss their flight. This meant that we would not get to sit together and this also meant that our young children probably would not be sitting with us on the plane and would be forced to sit with a total stranger. This also meant that it would no longer be a straight flight to FLL, but we would have to do a connecting flight and do the same routine over once we arrived there...on standby, being split up again on different planes at different times.

The next flight heading out was at 10am and they would be able to probably put 3 of our party on it. Then another 2 of our party on the next flight after that, then the other 3 some time around 6pm. Everyone should arrive in FLL by 9:30pm they said. My heart was breaking. If my daughter could cause this much damage on her first flight, how was she supposed to know what to do during connecting flights without us? Or even my son and his gf, who both had never flown before either? I was playing out the worse senerio in my head and already had us pegged for missing our ship as well and probably never seeing our luggage again.

Well, I guess it's time to sit down and put our shoes back on...we weren't going anywhere for hours now!
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NCL:
EPIC studio SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
CARNIVAL:
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination
BAHAMAS: Great Stirrup Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Freeport: Paradise Cove
BARBADOS: Boatyard
BELIZE: Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Island Shark Ray Alley Goffs
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Bay Snorkel Park Tobacco Bay St Catherines Beach Achilles Bay Jet Ski & boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Bay Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue Kay
COZUMEL: Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion IslandPalancar
GRAND CAYMAN: Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK: BOHIO Governors
HALF MOON CAY
JAMAICA: Sunset Hilton Rose
ROATAN: Little French Key LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
ST KITTS: Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN: Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS: Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki
TORTOLA: Baths
#6
SW OHIO
1,810 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
OOOOHHHH...love Mitsugirly reviews. This one sounds like it's not starting off very well, though. Can't wait to read more.
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#7
Frozen Tundra
8,030 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
So at this point did you kill Kendra? I think I would have.
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NCL Spirit: New Year's week Dec. 2009-'10 NCL Getaway: May 2014 NCL Epic: Nov. 2014
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#8
220 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
Ouch!~

i can see how that puts a damper on the vacation!

it's certainly one of those lesson learned kind of things so what when your daughter gets older she can say the same thing to her kids =)

hopefully the trip gets better!
#9
England
428 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
I can't stand the suspense....more please
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#10
Houston TX
1,488 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by LrgPizza
So at this point did you kill Kendra? I think I would have.
My thoughts exactly! OMG I would have been SOOOO mad!!!
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SHIP FOR BRAINS
#11
Steeler Country
1,261 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
First, congratulations! Second, thank you for doing a review! Third, I hope your next vacation is everything you need it to be to make up for this one!

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
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Kim
Find a beautiful place and get lost.


COUNTDOWN TO NEXT CRUISE


ON THE HORIZON
April 27, 2019 Symphony OTS

THAT SHIP HAS SAILED
10-23-2016 Harmony OTS - TA Barcelona to Ft. Lauderdale Splendour OTS 3-28-2016 Arabian Gulf/Dubai NCL Escape TA 10-29-2015 Southampton to Miami Quantum OTS TA 5-2-2015 Cape Liberty to Barcelona NCL Epic Western Med B2B TA 10-22-14 Rome to Barcelona to Miami NCL Breakaway 9-21-2014 Bermuda Vision OTS Repo 11-13-2013 Miami to Panama Oasis OTS 10-05-2013 E.Caribbean Allure OTS 05-19-2013 W.Caribbean NCL Epic TA 10-21-2012 Barcelona to Miami HAL Westerdam 09-13-2009 Alaska Inside Passage
#12
OH
24,074 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by LrgPizza
So at this point did you kill Kendra? I think I would have.
She is still alive (believe it or not and one of the first post on my husbands facebook was "Back from vacation with the wifey and the entire family made it alive as well"

I actually haven't talked to her since we parted at her house after the cruise until just now. She just called to find our her "cruise bill damage" and how much she and her bf owes me.
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NCL:
EPIC studio SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
CARNIVAL:
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination
BAHAMAS: Great Stirrup Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Freeport: Paradise Cove
BARBADOS: Boatyard
BELIZE: Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Island Shark Ray Alley Goffs
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Bay Snorkel Park Tobacco Bay St Catherines Beach Achilles Bay Jet Ski & boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Bay Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue Kay
COZUMEL: Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion IslandPalancar
GRAND CAYMAN: Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK: BOHIO Governors
HALF MOON CAY
JAMAICA: Sunset Hilton Rose
ROATAN: Little French Key LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
ST KITTS: Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN: Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS: Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki
TORTOLA: Baths
#13
California
7,127 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
My head is spinning as I am reading your review. I felt like I was racing around. Can't wait for the next installment.
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#14
Steeler Country
1,261 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Originally posted by Susie51
My head is spinning as I am reading your review. I felt like I was racing around. Can't wait for the next installment.
Same! Took a deep breath after! I'd like to think the worst has passed.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
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Kim
Find a beautiful place and get lost.


COUNTDOWN TO NEXT CRUISE


ON THE HORIZON
April 27, 2019 Symphony OTS

THAT SHIP HAS SAILED
10-23-2016 Harmony OTS - TA Barcelona to Ft. Lauderdale Splendour OTS 3-28-2016 Arabian Gulf/Dubai NCL Escape TA 10-29-2015 Southampton to Miami Quantum OTS TA 5-2-2015 Cape Liberty to Barcelona NCL Epic Western Med B2B TA 10-22-14 Rome to Barcelona to Miami NCL Breakaway 9-21-2014 Bermuda Vision OTS Repo 11-13-2013 Miami to Panama Oasis OTS 10-05-2013 E.Caribbean Allure OTS 05-19-2013 W.Caribbean NCL Epic TA 10-21-2012 Barcelona to Miami HAL Westerdam 09-13-2009 Alaska Inside Passage
#15
Queens - New York
2,211 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
OMG what a terrible start
Can't wit to read more
CONGRATS!!
Safe sailing
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MSC Divina 9/2/17
Norwegian Breakaway 10/8/17

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12/29/2016 Norwegian Pearl NY EVE Panama Canal
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#16
1,917 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
OMG I can not wait to here more. We leave on Friday with my Nlaws (extremely high maintenance)

We are also flying out of Columbus on Southwest but we have a 1:30 flight since we live in Dayton and have a medical ice vest so security always takes forever. Not to mention my inlaws luggagepoluza
#18
Frozen Tundra
8,030 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by mitsugirly
She is still alive (believe it or not and one of the first post on my husbands facebook was "Back from vacation with the wifey and the entire family made it alive as well"

I actually haven't talked to her since we parted at her house after the cruise until just now. She just called to find our her "cruise bill damage" and how much she and her bf owes me.
I read a review you did of a Carnival cruise. I believe it was this same daughter who didn't get out of bed when you were supposed to be disembarking. So yeah, she might still be alive, but I sure as hell wouldn't vacation with her again, since this irresponsibility seems to be a habit.

Sorry your cruise started out like this! I know how much you love these trips. I hope we get to hear about lots of bright points.
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RCI Voyager of the Seas: Feb. 2001 Disney Magic: Dec. 2003 Disney Magic: Feb. 2005 Disney Magic: Dec. 2006
NCL Spirit: New Year's week Dec. 2009-'10 NCL Getaway: May 2014 NCL Epic: Nov. 2014
NCL Escape Transatlantic: Oct. 2015 NCL Escape: May 2016 NCL Breakaway: June 2017
Coming Soon: NCL Escape: May 2018
#19
OH
24,074 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
So it was almost 10am and the next flight was due to go out. We are all anxiously awaiting to see if there will be any seats available and if so, how many. They told us that it looked like there would be at least 2, maybe 3 seats and we needed to make a decision on who will be going for sure and who will be waiting behind. I jumped right on that and said "We will be the first ones to leave" (meaning myself, hubby and daughter)...since this wasn't "our" fault after all. However, after thinking about it, since both of the other 2 families were "flight virgins", we decided that one of us should stay behind to fly with them so this scenario didn't replay itself. So Sakari (our 6 yr old) and I boarded along with my son Kolin.

The flight attendants immediately made an announcement for others on the plane to please give up their seat and sit in another one making room for a mother and a small child to be able to sit together. Some nice person immediately let us have his chair. So Kolin was the only one left sitting with strangers by himself, but said they were nice and they laughed at his story about his sister causing them to miss the plane.

Then....here comes Kolin's girlfriend. They managed to find a seat for her too. I did manage to notice that there were quite a few empty seats on the plane and I kept wondering why they couldn't put us all on the plane if there were this many seats?

Then right before they closed the doors, here come the hubby and my grandson. Oh gosh. Anyone who has read my reviews that involved my grandson will know that he's a handful. (Well, that's putting it lightly). Our daughter (Sakari) is so well behaved...until she gets around the grandson. We try to split them up as much as possible when out in public together because it is just chaos. Then here's my husband stuck with him on a long flight. I was both nervous and scared for Braydens life. hehe

So once again, the attendants made an announcement about giving up a seat for a family with a small child. Someone up front immediately gave up their seat and all was good...well, as good as you can expect at this point.

I'm still noticing that there are more empty seats...and I'm holding my breath with my eyes pealed at the front of the plane to see if Kendra and her bf are going to come around the corner. They didn't.

So off we went. When I later talked to Kendra after we arrived at the next airport, she said she was in tears when she sent Brayden on the plane with my hubby because she figured he would not get a seat with any of us and the plane would stop and Brayden wouldn't know what to do...get off or stay on and he would be lost in the big blue skies forever. Yea right. The hubby said when they said they had room for 2 more people, she eagerly pushed Brayden toward him and said "take him with you".

When we arrived at the airport (we ended up at Nashville, which it was 9:30 our time and only 8:30am local time since there was a time change), the attendants were aware of our entire situation already. They were keeping in constant contact with the airport at Columbus and the rest of our family stranded there. The communication went above and beyond IMO. Kendra knew everything that was going on with us from when the next flight was going out, how many of us might make it on that flight, where we were going, and what time we would get to FLL. The attendants kept us informed too about when they expected Kendra to fly out and where they were flying to. They were FABULOUS! I have to say that even during this horrible experience, Southwest made it a positive one for us!

They thought they would have us out on the 3pm flight and had some time to kill. My daughters plane was to leave at 10am. The attendants at Columbus thought we would be flying to Tampa next and be there at 4:10pm and they would be flying in to Tampa at 5:10pm...so eventually we would all meet up and fly into FLL together. However, we stayed close to the attendant, only leaving to make potty breaks and they informed us that they would be able to get 3 of our now party of 5 on the 9:15am flight. Here we go again getting split up. We made the quick decision for my hubby, Sakari and Kolin's gf to go this time around and I would stay back with Kolin for the next flight at 3pm. I gave the hubby all the necessary things needed for his arrival in FLL and the info on the hotel and sent him on his way. Kolin and I just looked at each other like "Ok, so what do we do for the next 6 hours?" They were making announcements for 3 "missing" people for the flight when they decided to go ahead and print me off a boarding pass, but they were still waiting to confirm a seat for Kolin. I stood at the gate telling them that if they didn't find a seat for Kolin, I would not be going either. I was not going to leave him behind by himself. They found a seat and literally had us RUN down the ramp to get on the plane informing us they were closing the doors.

I informed my daughter...who was still at Columbus, that we all made the flight and we would be landing in FLL at 2:50pm. We did manage to get the 3 of us seated together in the next to last row on the plane and then Kolin and his gf were split up by a couple seats right next to us. So good to go this time around.

I texted Kendra when we arrived in FLL at 2:50pm to let her know we arrived and she informed us that her flight had now been delayed unil 3:10pm. Then another delay until 4:30pm. They had originally gave them the offer to fly into Tampa or to fly to Chicago earlier, but there was only a slight chance of catching a flight out of Chicago any time soon in the day. They chose Tampa.

We went to see if we could locate our bags and I just didn't have a good feeling about finding them. I mean this couldn't be the end of our bad luck right?

We immediately spotted several of our luggage. The only luggage missing was mine and Sakaris. (Was there going to be a quick shopping spree for new clothes for me prior to this cruise?) After they all came out, we ask an attendant where we might go to find them and when she pointed out the area, I immediately seen Sakaris (can't miss it...bright purple with hearts all over it) and mine which was bright pink with hearts. I just purchased this luggage (since I've been using my prior luggage...black with bright pink poka dots all over it, since our 2010 cruise) because it has lost a wheel (thanks to Kendra), the bottom handle came off (thanks to a porter at FLL...Kendra was with us...see this pattern?) and the stitching had started coming undone.

First trip and it encountered some wear and tear:




However, we discovered that the hubbys luggage (which we also bought brand new this time around) was not exactly in the same shape it was when it left port Columbus. It was missing the front outer pocket and the front upper outer pocket was open with the hubbys "80's party hat" was sticking out.








So much for getting new luggage. We were just cursed this trip I tell ya.

We would later discover that the hubby was also missing clothes that I KNOW I packed and it wasn't in the outer pockets either!
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NCL:
EPIC studio SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
CARNIVAL:
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination
BAHAMAS: Great Stirrup Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Freeport: Paradise Cove
BARBADOS: Boatyard
BELIZE: Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Island Shark Ray Alley Goffs
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Bay Snorkel Park Tobacco Bay St Catherines Beach Achilles Bay Jet Ski & boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Bay Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue Kay
COZUMEL: Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion IslandPalancar
GRAND CAYMAN: Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK: BOHIO Governors
HALF MOON CAY
JAMAICA: Sunset Hilton Rose
ROATAN: Little French Key LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
ST KITTS: Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN: Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS: Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki
TORTOLA: Baths
#20
OH
24,074 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
So now it's time to call for our transportation from the hotel we booked at.

We were staying at Springhill Suites close to the airport and they provided free transportation upon calling them. We gather our luggage and headed outside where I continued texting my daughter getting updates.

She complained of how freezing it was back home and what do you think I did? I took every opportunity to snap chat her pictures of the beautiful sunny and warm Florida and palms trees, rubbing it in as much as possible.

Springhill quickly arrived to pick us up, but informed us they were at the "hotel pick up" area at the OPPOSITE end from where we were. We started walking that way as quickly as we could. They picked us up in a real nice extended Mercedes van that looked brand new and took us and a few others to the hotel.

We quickly arrived at the hotel and checked in. The service at the desk was friendly and our check in was fast. We managed to get 2 rooms next to each other on the 2nd floor.

Upon check in they also gave me 2 goodie bags for being a repeat "stayer" with them. It had pretzels, bottled water and oreos in them.




The lobby area and free internet computers there







Part of the open lobby and area where we would have our free hot breakfast provided by Springhill in the morning.




Now before booking this place, I had read several reviews on TA about them remodeling the place, so I was prepared for this. They still seem to be in the remodel stage, but it didn't bother us. I had read that you would hear a lot of hammering (we didn't) and that the elevators were constantly down (which we never encountered), but we had a decent stay.

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NCL:
EPIC studio SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
CARNIVAL:
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination
BAHAMAS: Great Stirrup Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Freeport: Paradise Cove
BARBADOS: Boatyard
BELIZE: Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Island Shark Ray Alley Goffs
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Bay Snorkel Park Tobacco Bay St Catherines Beach Achilles Bay Jet Ski & boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Bay Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue Kay
COZUMEL: Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion IslandPalancar
GRAND CAYMAN: Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK: BOHIO Governors
HALF MOON CAY
JAMAICA: Sunset Hilton Rose
ROATAN: Little French Key LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
ST KITTS: Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN: Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS: Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki
TORTOLA: Baths