Same Old Same Old


Thursday February 17th, 2011 – Chicago, IL/Miami, FL/Grand Cayman Island

Back on the big boat. It would be a lot easier if it didn’t take so many steps to get there. Once again, I had to make it to O’Hare Airport for a 5:45am flight to Miami. Then, it’s an hour layover between my connecting flight to Grand Cayman and of course that gate is all the way on the other side of the airport so I have to walk to the tram that takes me there.

Then, it’s waiting in line to get on the plane, taking the flight, then waiting again for the lines in Immigration and Customs. Then it’s waiting in line at the cab stand to flag down a taxi to take me to the ship so hopefully I’ll make it on time and it doesn’t strand me in a foreign country with no gig and no way home. I’ve almost missed a ship more than once.

Today’s cab driver was a very nice lady, but if her cab ran like her mouth it would never need a tune up. Wow, could that woman talk, and it was non stop from the airport right to the port. I might have gotten three words in telling her where I was going, but that’s it.

By this time, I’m hot and sweaty and all I want is to get on the ship and take a nice cool shower and nap before the show. Nope. I still have to visit the Immigration office to drop off my documentation and get clearance to enter the port area to wait for a tender ship.

I have to show my passport to the security person at the gate, and he shows me where to get on the tender boat which takes me to the actual ship which I can see parked in front of me, but not near a dock. It takes a while for the tender boat to fill up, but it eventually will and then it’s another ride to get to the Carnival Conquest. Then, it’s a line to disembark.

It just gets to me after a while, and I know I’m not the only one. I’ve heard it from quite a few others who hate it too, but this is how it is. It goes with the territory and that’s that. Once or twice isn’t bad, but EVERY SINGLE WEEK of jumping through these hoops is maddening. Something always goes wrong in the chain somewhere, and it’s a nightmare.

My major malfunction today was I forgot my phone in my car at Jim McHugh’s house. I parked my car in his neighbor’s driveway and loaded my luggage into Jim’s car for the ride to the airport. I double and triple checked my passport, but I forgot about the phone.

This kind of stuff just happens. It’s 3am and I’ve got all kinds of minutia dancing inside my brain, and I’m trying to remember everything. It’s a major wonder I do as well as I do, and once in a while things slip through the cracks. This was one, and now I’m phoneless.

No, it’s not the end of the world, but it is inconvenient. I can’t use it at sea, but I will be in port for a couple of days and I’ll miss it then. It’ll have to wait, and I’ll get it when I get home. Keys, wallet, phone. Keys, wallet, phone. I check them but this still happens. Ugh.

Finally, I was able to get on board and get my cabin. Miracle of miracles, there’s even a window this time! It’s a small port hole, but I’ll take it. That’ll make a big difference as it allows me to at least know if it’s day or night. Here we go – another stint on the high seas.

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