Sunday April 21st
Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth!
Goodbye Queen Mary 2
Previously on arrival in New York we have got up early, and rushed to the upper decks to watch us sail under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. This included an extremely cold and blustery morning in January 2011.
Not any more. As much as I love the thrill of sailing under the bridge, I discovered you could watch from your balcony in your bath robe, and retreat back in to your cabin if it starts to get a bit chilly. Today I went one better. When we sailed under the bridge at 5:15 this morning, I watched the scene from the comfort of our bed. No there wasn’t the spectacle and thrill of checking to see if we would fit under the bridge (we did), but I was warm and cozy (I do love those beds), and I fell right back to sleep again.
When we woke up we were certainly not at sea anymore. There was dry land right outside our balcony.
We had breakfast in the Kings Court with a great view of the Statue of Liberty, and the Manhattan skyline. Talk about food with a view!
Then the inevitable came, and we returned to our cabin, said a fond farewell, took some photos for a fellow traveler with a question about the bathroom cabinet.
and headed down to the Royal Court Theater to await our bus transfer to La Guardia airport.
Officially you are not meant to have a bus transfer if your flight is before 1:00, but the tour office felt that we should be able to make our 12:24 flight in good time, and a bus transfer seemed to be the easiest way to go considering our mounds of luggage.
We were off the ship at 8:30, and found our luggage with relative ease. They do not have luggage trolleys in Brooklyn (unlike Southampton), and porters are a scarce commodity. Luckily another couple who were going to La Guardia offered to share their porter, and so with a very over laden cart, off we headed to the immigration queue.
The line was ridiculously long, but somehow our porter (who was from Glasgow) managed to jump the queue (much to the annoyance of the crowd control ladies), and in no time we were on the bus. The problem was that although things had gone very smoothly for us, it was not so for the majority of our fellow passengers, and we ended up waiting for an hour for them all to get through immigration. Maybe we’ll take a cab next time. Still, we had a view of the ship, so all wasn’t bad.
There was very little traffic, and it only took us 45 minutes to get to the airport.
We thought it was a bit strange when the driver didn’t ask us which terminal we were going to as he placed our bags on the bus, but on arrival at the airport we found out why. The only stop was Terminal B (luckily our terminal). If you wanted another terminal, as did the majority of the passengers on the bus, then you had to take your luggage to the inter terminal shuttle bus, which would then transport you to your terminal. There was much unhappiness all around us, compounded by the fact that there were no available luggage trolleys.
Brian eventually found a trolley for us, so off we headed to the check in counter, leaving our angry fellow travelers behind. Not a good way for them to end their World Cruise.
We had been worried that our suitcases were too heavy, but they all weighed in at just under 50 lbs. They had not gained as much weight as we had feared. I resolved that I need to do more shopping next time. It’s silly to waste free baggage allowance.
Free of all of our baggage (they kindly checked our carry on bags for free), we headed to the gate. The TSA lady burst out laughing when she saw my passport photo, and then tried to apologize profusely as she continued to giggle as I gave her an angry glare. I wish I had been wearing my mask from the Masquerade ball.
We got to our gate, and realized our cruise was well and truly over. It has been a wonderful experience. I thought that Petra would be the highlight of the cruise, or else drinking champagne as we glided along the Suez Canal. But no, it was the Sagrada Familia that was the most memorable sight. I still tear up when I think about how beautiful it is.
I have been so lucky to have seen all of the things we did, and to spend 27 days with my love in life on the magnificent Queen Mary 2. Now to start planning our next adventure!