Saturday, 03 February, 2001

Day 7: Back to the World

We docked about 6:00 this morning, and they had everybody off the ship by about 9:00.  As with the arrival, departure was well planned and well executed.  We kissed our luggage goodbye last night after dinner, claimed it in customs this morning, and then loaded it onto a truck headed for the airport.  We were at the airport by 8:30.  My only complaint is that our flight didn't leave until 12:20.  It sure would have been nice to have an earlier flight.

I'm really amazed that they can turn that cruise ship around in 12 hours.  They'll start boarding passengers about noon today, and the ship will leave port at 7:00 pm.  In 12 hours, they offload passengers and trash, empty the holding tanks, take on food, water, and fuel, restock the bars and restaurants, replenish other consumables, and generally make the ship ready for the next 7-day cruise.  The amount of stuff they have to do in those 12 hours is frightening, and I'm amazed that they get it all done.

If you get a chance to take a cruise, do it.  It's one of the best vacation values going.  The food is superb, the service is unsurpassed, and it's a lot of fun.  Debra and I have sailed with Holland America and with Princess, and highly recommend both.