I was up an hour or more before everyone else on our last full day. I went down and grabbed a coffee to go from O'Sheehans and got some Bailey's for it from the bar. I packed up some stuff and went aft to get a deck chair at H2O and read for a bit but it was still being cleaned I think it is open 6am to 7pm for adults only and then wide open to all after that. It was roped off for cleaning so I sam back a half hour later and there had been lots of people there ahead of me to mark their territory. They have umbrellas in stands at various places on the deck but there are less than a dozen. Those chairs are always taken first but keep in mind that the staff will take them down if they feel it is too windy or whatever. While I was picking a lounge chair the staff came by and took down most of the umbrellas where people had laid out their towels.
We all did the Haven for breakfast. i had the eggs rancheros and the kids had their usual steak.
We got our interim account bill and in reviewing it I saw about of $100 worth of Arcade charges despite having the ultimate arcade package. My wife asked about it and they took care of it and reprinted the bill. i was expecting a hassle but there was none. Thank you NCL. The last day was just a lazy day of reading, shuffleboard, waterslides, cocktails and the arcade with the kids a few times. The Miss Getaway contest was in the afternoon but it was really crowded, so I just treaded water in the deep end and had a great view! It was fun and in good spirit. We did some wings in O'Sheehans and played some more buck hunter and sonic basketball after that followed by a few day dreamer's daiquiris on the patio at sunset. Very nice.
After packing we headed off to one final dinner in the Haven and then did some shopping and a final cocktail before bed. It really was a great trip. We planned to stay on the ship until around 9 or 930 (I think you have to be off at 930) the next day as our flight was not until 4 and welcome had too much luggage to go anywhere before hand. We usually just walk off ourselves but as we were in no hurry we put out four bags with the provided tags outside our door before bed.
DAY 8 .... Heading Home.
The next morning was just a matter of showering and packing our carry on. We had our last breakfast in the Haven around 8am and then went back to the cabin to chill until they came to kick us out, which was at 8:45... when there was a knock a the door. We took the hint and dropped out stuff in the Haven and went for one last walk around. Our internet ended some time during the night. We came back to the Haven and were walked down and off the ship shortly after 9am.
Unlike when we got off the Haven in NYC from the Breakaway, once off, you get in line with everyone else to go through customs after you grab your bags. Last time we got walked to a priority line but in Miami there were only three officers so we had maybe a 10-15 min wait. The cabs were just across the street. We needed a mini van so we had to wait. While waiting some guy came by who I think tries to fill the vans dropping people off... Not sure if that is really allowed but he said $35 buck and we were cool with that and we did not have to wait so we walked the 15 feet to the other side of the drop off/pick up island and we were at Miami international by 9:40am. Air Canada is the LAST and I mean the LAST departure space in Terminal/Section J (I think). Unfortunately on arrival our flight was listed as being delayed by and hour or so and we could not check in for a few hours and that time kept increasing. I think they finally let us check in around 12:30. Thank kind of sucked as there was very few places to sit at that end of the terminal and all of the food and retail is about a 5-7 min walk down to the other end. Jack did some homework and we got the kids a snack. As you know, they almost always allow you to check you carry on for free at the gate to free up stowage space. But here in Miami they gave you that option at check in. They also had you check the size of your carry on in the provided apparatus.
Once through security there is a food court and some shops and lots of seating.
We flew on points and so our flight selections going back to Toronto were limited. If we do this again and cannot get a noonish flight, I would either rent a car for the day or spend the night in Miami to avoid the rather long day with the kids in the airport.
Landing in Pearson lead to a quick and easy line through customs and our luggage was one of the first off for a change and we are home north of Barrie by 10:20pm.
It was really the best family trip we have had and if not it was a close second. The extra $2400 for the Haven two bedroom upgrade was well worth it. The food was great. The staff were great. The activities were plentiful and fun. An A+!!!
If you read off this, I hope you found it helpful. I do this as a process each time to help book the next cruise which I am presently doing. I hear that the away ships are going to be refurbed soon. They are amazing condition given that there are scheduled for dry dock I am told... so I expect they will be even more wonderful once that happens. Great Great Great vacation!