The Lido was opened at 6am, while the dining room opened at 6:30am for breakfast. We chose the dining room, of course, mainly because we wanted to say goodbye to our favorite waiters. It was a nice surprise to see Agung, who has been in training for headwaiter, greet us at the entrance. He looked mighty fine in his new dark suit and silver tie, finally being promoted to one of the four headwaiters. He is the perfect candidate for the job, although, he will probably be re-assigned to another ship in the future.
Our assigned debark time was 7:45am, which was obviously not going to happen. The ship was finally cleared at 8:30am, but only that fact was announced. The groups that were to go off, were not announced. Had we been waiting for that call, we would have missed it.
So there was no choice but to go down to deck three, and wait in the atrium lobby to get off. There was a "zero" count, where everyone on the ship has to go through customs and immigrations, including the staff. Finally, they called for the A and B and expedited folks to proceed. We were escorted to a waiting bus because we had prepaid transfers to the airport.
The good thing was that our luggage had been taken last night, and it would be delivered to the airport and put on our plane. We did not have to lug anything but ourselves and two hand carry bags each. This is a wonderful service.
There was some traffic that slowed the freeways, but nothing as bad as in San Francisco during commute time. Our bus driver was quite entertaining as he told stories and pointed out every major attraction in Seattle along the way. He was even funnier when he got to the airport, and politely cursed the cars and taxis that blocked the bus drop off point.
We had plenty of time to spare, since our flight was due to leave at 1:05pm. But it was still convenient to have the TSA approved line to go through the easy screening. The best part was not having to take off the shoes. We also have to admit, the screeners were most polite, and not grumpy as they can be sometimes. Another nice thing was having our boarding passes, so we did not have to check in at the main desk.
Around 11am, we found a real restaurant with a table for two. We shared an order of cheese nachos and bottomless sodas, knowing that there would be no meal on the plane. This early lunch would be the last of the "fun" food we would share for a while now. Usually, we order salads and keep meals pretty healthy. Time to go back to normal, unfortunately.
The flight was good and short….less than two hours. The skies were clear of fog in San Francisco, and the temperature had to be in the 70's. Not always the case in an SF summer. Since we were on Delta, the walk to get our ride was a little further away, at the far end of United terminals. Getting a luggage cart worked OK. And there are still courtesy phones in the baggage areas to make calls. Probably seldom used, they are great for those of us who do not have cell phones.
Our driver showed up right on time, but headed across the San Mateo Bridge, because he had another pick-up at the Oakland airport. Actually, we are so used to using SFO, we forget to check into Oakland for flights. Mostly because we choose to go non-stop, and those flights have not always been available in Oakland.
After dropping off the other lady in Concord, we proceeded out our direction, and found that our road had closed for through traffic just today. So we had the driver follow the detour signs, like "over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go" excursion. At least he will know the detour now that we have done it in the daylight. According to the sign, the work to repair the slide damage will take until mid-October.
And so much for another HAL cruise….always fun. One good thing about a summer cruise, is that we have already taken care of the wild weed growth, and did not come home to hours of mowing.
If all goes according to our plans, we will be taking the Eurodam back to Alaska for a week in late September, then staying onboard for a 17 day trip to Hawaii. That will be our first cruise on that class of ship, so it should be interesting.
Hope to "see" you all then, if you care to follow the adventure!
Bill & Mary Ann