Well, we are officially back from our vacation. Overall, it was a great trip, except for the getting there and the coming back part of it.
It all began last Thursday. We had a busy day ahead of us and neither of us had started packing yet. The plan was to pack as quickly as possible after we concluded our errands, then try and get a few hours of sleep. Well, we got in bed around 9pm and we were like kids on Christmas Eve – there was no sleep to be found! After tossing and turning for 3 hours, we got up, showered, and stowed our luggage into the vehicle.
YYT to… YYT?
We have a 2-hour drive to the airport but we like to give ourselves lots of extra time when traveling because you never know when you may get a flat tire (spoiler alert). We left town around 1am and arrived on time at the airport around 3am. Once the ticket counter opened, we dropped our bags, got our boarding passes, and went through security. St. John’s airport has expanded since we last travelled and we were super excited to check out the new venues such as Yellowbelly Brewery and the Newfoundland Chocolate Company.
Unfortunately, we weren’t really in the mood for beer at 4am so we decided to grab hot chocolate at the Newfoundland Chocolate Company instead. I highly recommend it, but bypass the breakfast sandwich. As with most airport food, it looked good but tasted about 3 days old.
We boarded around 5am for our 5:45am flight, went through the safety demonstration, backed onto the tarmac and… pulled back into the airport.
I knew this wasn’t going to be good.
Our pilot informed us that there was a light flashing in the dash that wasn’t supposed to be flashing. Nope, this was not good. Standby for an update. Okay, so it’s an electrical issue. The part has to be flown in from Toronto. You need to deplane. Huffing and puffing, we all get off the plane and go to bag claim to get our luggage from our too-short trip. They informed us that we could go home (not an option for us!) as it would probably be 11:30am before the flight would leave. 10 minutes later, we are directed to go back to the ticketing counter, get meal vouchers, and new boarding passes. And 10 minutes after that, our plane is magically fixed and we need to complete the whole process over again. Boarding passes, security, re-board. Luckily this time we actually took off, albeit nearly 3 hours too late.
YYZ to FLL
Of course, this meant that we missed our connecting flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale. Luckily, WestJet worked while we were flying and by the time we arrived in Toronto 3 hours later, we had a new plan. The problem? It meant a 4 hour layover, a flight to New York, switching planes, then flying to Fort Lauderdale, arriving 9 hours after our originally scheduled time.
At this point, we had been awake for 24 hours but we tried to be optimistic about the fact that at least we were still getting to Florida that night. Some people weren’t so lucky and didn’t get flights until the following day. Folks, this is why you should always travel at least one day before your cruise!
Needless to say, when we arrived in Fort Lauderdale, we were exhausted. We had been awake for about 40 hours straight at that point and hadn’t eaten anything except plane and airport food all day.
After exiting the airport and being knocked over by a wall of humidity, we waited for our shuttle bus. By the time we arrived 20 minutes later, I was drenched in sweat and wondering how people survive in Florida in the summer.
We stayed at the Tryp Wyndham Maritime Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. I will write a separate review on the hotel but sadly, we had little time to enjoy it. We ended the night with more crappy hotel food, but at least they had popcorn!