So I wake up at 6am expecting to see Baltimore out my balcony. Instead I see the Chesapeake Bay...lots of it. It seems the Grandeur had engine trouble overnight and we are late. First it was 1 hour, then 90 minutes, and in reality it was 2.5 hours. We were supposed to leave the ship around 8am and instead left at 10:40am. But we had a 12:40pm flight so all was still fine! The GO shuttle was waiting for us and got us to the airport at 11:30am. Fine, right? But then the spectre of Delta rose - it being recently enhanced in a negative sense by merging with Northworst. Our flight to Detroit from Baltimore was an hour late, then two hours, which meant our connecting flight to home was not doable. And of course, there were no other seats to Huntsville today on any airline. So the gate agent at BWI gives me a choice - stay overnight here or in Detroit. I chose Detroit.
We finally board the flight to Detroit and I am not happy. But I upgraded to first class so that should make me feel better, right? That is until the guy seated next to me shows up and weighs about 450 pounds and crowds me in my own first class seat. Then he falls asleep and snores all the way. But wait! There's more! We land and when we get to the gate the jetway stops working. So we all stand there for 10 more minutes while they fix the jetway.
I go to the Delta Crown Club to avoid the crowds at the main Delta counter. This works since nobody is in line. The kind agent gives me boarding passes for a flight tomorrow and a voucher for a room at the Embassy Suits. Food vouchers too.
One might think this is the end to my saga, but no, it isn't. We waited for almost 30 minutes for the hotel shuttle and he stops at all the Hilton family hotels at the airport. We get to the Hilton Garden Inn and after a few minutes of waiting he opens the door and tells everyone to get off the bus and move to another bus.
What a day. I am sitting in the hotel lobby getting my fill of rum at the free manager's happy hour.
The Grandeur cruise was absolutely wonderful. Perhaps #1 on my list of cruises. No way I'd let the many shortcomings of Delta (really NWA in today's case) ruin my impressions of the cruise. We were all impressed with the crew, food quality, entertainment, and the general mood of the cruise. The food was the real shocker. Every meal was at least good and often excellent from start to finish. I don't know what happened but I am telling the truth - this is the first cruise in memory where I cleaned my plate probably 90% of the time, even in the Windjammer.
Captain Rob Hempstead is a rare character. I think his off-the-wall humor has infected the crew. Everyone was so relaxed and upbeat. The ship scored 100% on the Canadian health inspection in Halifax. The first comments made by the Captain in his afternoon report lauded the crew for this outstanding inspection report.
I'll have more later, but no I am not going to let the airline ruin my vacation memories.
Dave...I just got home and saw your posting...ouch. At least there is nice weather in Detroit today. I was just at the airport today at 3:00pm and had I'd known I would have bought ya a drink. Oh well have fun and try to make the best of it!
Well at least I can say I've been to Detroit for the first time. The hotel staff has been nice, encouraging me to buy extra things so I use as much of Delta's food vouchers as possible since the hotel can't refund any leftover funds. It is a nice day here.
I always like a lime slice in my rum and coke. Makes it seem healthy anyway.
Dave, What a day indeed! Sorry to hear of all these transportation problems. I hope the rest of your travels go smoothly. I'm glad you enjoyed your cruise, I've enjoyed reading your updates and look forward to your review.