Well, it didn't get off to the best start, sorry to say. We get to the airport at around 6:30am, e-tickets in hand, and go off to the computerized check-in. After putting in the confirmation number several times with no success I finally saw a ticket agent, who informed me (after she input the number a few more times) that the etickets were for Sunday, April 16th, not for Monday morning. At that point, I started to freak out right there in line. I (stupidly) thought that April 16th was on a Monday morning, and I was also stupid enough not to check it before the weekend. The nice ticket lady said that they could put us on a flight that left at 3:55, and I promptly started to cry, blubbering that we were going on a cruise and that we needed to be on the boat by 4:30, and pleasepleaseohgodplease can't you put us on anything earlier?
Sean later said that he saw that whole vacation flash right before his eyes like a dying man. I, of course, felt like the dumbest ass in the whole world. I was lucky that I didn't curse and swear though-there were nuns next to us checking in and it would have been a no-brainer that God would get us for that one.
Luckily, the nice ticket lady gave us standby tickets for the 8 and 9 am flights, and booked us on the 12:30 flight. Don't worry, said Nice Ticket Lady, your luggage will be on whatever flight you board, so please hand over your credit card so I can charge you the $350 fee to change the flight and print out paper tickets (FUCK!). Then began the Great Race to the Gates to see if we can get on the flights. The first flight (at gate 81) was a no-go-overbooked, in fact. So, we run to Gate 120 (on the other side of the airport, naturally) to see if we can get on the 9am flight. And, we wait.
If anyone has never had the misfortune to fly standby, well....it SUCKS. The stress, waiting, staring down the other standby passengers aggressively, like the plane is a lioness in heat and you're horny lion; sending those "pick me" vibes to the attendant at the gate and shaking a human skull while doing a voodoo dance in front of the counter (okay, so that's just what I do). Not my idea of a good time. I'd rather have a colonic, to be honest (and my poop chute is an exit only, thankyouverymuch).
Well, that bone-shaking must have worked, because we got on the 9am flight. Seperated seats, of course, but who gives a shit. I of course, due to the laws of nature, get stuck behind this freaky woman who was asking everyone around us to change seats so she and her daughter could sit together. Naturally, nobody wanted to change (they both had middle seats), so she was bitching and moaning and slamming her back into her seat. At one point, as I was bending down to get something out of my bag, she sat back into her seat and hit me in the head. It wouldn't have been a problem if it hadn't happened again. Needless to say, she didn't like me much after I ripped her a new asshole.
We get to Tampa, make our way to the baggage claim area and wait like cows in front of the barnyard gate for our luggage. And waited. And WAITED. Finally, when we saw the same tired leather suitcase with the bright orange bow around the handle and the golf clubs go around for the 40th time, we figured out that our suitcase was MIA. So, off we trundle to the baggage area to file a claim, thanking our mothers silently for the reminder to pack extra underwear in our carry-on bag. But, lo and behold, our suitcase is sitting right outside the office-yay! Game on! We then find a cab and take the 20 minute ride to the port.
After this, the drama is over-really. Just the getting there was the shitty part.
We booked a suite for this cruise-not because I like to live above my means or anything like that. Honestly, it was cheap as hell-$800 per person for a suite with a balcony. Who am I to pass up a deal like that? Little did I know that there are some perks to these suites-namely, the ability to bypass the big snaking line and go to a special area to check-in. Whee-we were on the boat in 15 minutes! Let's unpack and hit the buffet and laugh at the people still waiting to get on the ship!
The weather was beautiful all week, the seas were calm, and I got a hell of a tan. Oh, yeah, and we fucked like rabbits all week-for some reason, tan lines seem to turn guys on. The room was nice, the balcony ROCKED (and yeah, Sean did moon me one morning as I was standing on the balcony, watching us plow through the Caribbean-I didn't have my camera though or else you'd all get to experience THAT). We sat with some pretty hilarious people, all of whom were from either NY State and Massachussets. And, we ate like pigs. Oh, yeah, did I mention the SEX!? Faboo. I'd forgotten what fun sex for pleasure is.
Our destinations were, overall, okay. Costa Maya was interesting (it's in Mexico, almost at the border of Belize), but Cozumel was kinda sad. We'd been there two years previously and it was hard to see the effects of Hurricane Wilma-one of the two concrete piers were completely destroyed, and there was a lot of rubble, trash and uprooted trees along the shoreline. We did some exploring, but mostly hung out on the ship.
Flying home was terrific-because we got to fly First Class. When booking the tickets, we bitched and moaned that the price of the airfare back to Newark was so damn expensive due to Easter Vacation. We then noticed that, for only $15 more per person we can fly First Class instead of Economy-woot! It was the best plane ride I've ever taken, and I'm spoiled forever. Booze in real glasses, a good meal on real china, dessert, hot towels for your hands, automatic comfort seats......ahhhhh.........it made up for........
Flying into a soggy, cold, overcrowded New Jersey airport. We were delayed in Tampa due to weather, then waited on the runway in Tampa for 45 minutes, then circled around Baltimore for a half hour before we got home. The Mother-In-Law and Big C picked us up and were late due to traffic, so we didn't get home until after 10pm. The kitties got lots of loving and we've been unpacking and doing the mounds of laundry ever since. So, it was a well-deserved rest.
Hey, did I mention that the sex was amazing?