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Published: March 21st 2017
Today is the last day of our vacation and this is the last update to the blog. In summary, we had an uneventful day which was just what we wanted.
The Crown Princess arrived in Ft Lauderdale’s Everglade’s Cruise Terminal about 5:00 this morning. By 5:30 they were making announcements to have people report to the terminal and begin processing through US Immigration. Except this was a “crew only” announcement. The ship has been away from the US for a long time and the rules (maybe new ones – who knows?) say that all the crew needs to clear US Immigration. Since they were also needed to help passengers with our needs, they had to get ashore early so they could get back to work before we the passengers tried to leave the ship.
We got up at 6:30 and packed all the remaining items in our last bag and the backpack. Debbie & Craig had made us aware of an app for the cell-phone to make processing quicker through Customs, so we completed that app. Then we went up to the Horizon Court for one last breakfast. Actually we weren’t too hungry and just had a comparatively light breakfast. Then we went back to the cabin to pick up our things and say goodbye to Reynaldo (our steward). The last thing for us to do on the ship was to report to the Club Fusion to wait for our group to leave the ship.
We walked into the lounge just about 8:00 as they announced our Red-2 group should exit the ship. We walked off the ship with a final scan of our cruise card. The line of people inside the terminal was pretty long, but fortunately we were able to find our luggage waiting right where they said it would be. The crew was still working their way through their process, so the building was even more crowded than usual. We followed our long line until it split between US and Non-US. That moved us along but the place where the phone app was supposed to help was being used by the crew. So we worked through the regular line and finally got to the front. The ICE agent found we had already used the phone app so we did save a few seconds. And it should work again next time we travel.
We caught a taxi outside the terminal without any problems and were driven straight to the airport. Even with a good tip for the driver, it cost only half what the Princess Transfer would have cost. We got our luggage checked at the curb for the flight. TSA Precheck got us through their process fairly easily and we arrived at our gate about 90 minutes after we reported to that lounge back on the ship. We still had a few hours to wait before our flight, but we were in the home stretch without any problems.
The flight was uneventful although a little bumpy near the end. But we were in the very last row of the plane. Every seat was filled and we were pretty crowded. Our scrumptious airline peanuts and pretzels was a far cry from the ship’s food, but we are back in the real world again and those meals are just a pleasant memory now. We did arrive in St Louis ahead of schedule and the luggage happily came with us. Valerie and her kids picked us up at the airport and drove us back home.
So the trip is complete. We had a good time and saw a lot of interesting things. We made some more friends and that may be the best part of it all. But we are home again and will soon start planning for another trip next year. We hope you, our faithful readers, have enjoyed this saga and will tune in for another adventure when we send you another link in 2018.
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What an epic trip. Thanks for sharing the adventure!