Saturday, December 13, 2014

2014 Dec. 6 night Carnival Freedom cruise: Key West; Grand Cayman; Cozumel

Out of the blue one day, my sister-in-law, Jane, told me that my brother said she could go on a cruise with me.  He pretty much had to say that since he was going to Vegas with "the guys".  So I didn't hesitate to start checking on cruises.  I looked for the best deal I could find with the most interesting itinerary leaving out of Ft. Lauderdale.  So after some searching, I came up with this 6 night cruise on Carnival Freedom going to Key West, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel.   The rate was  something like $700 for the 2 of us for the beginning of Dec.  It wasn't too long before my sister heard about our cruise and wanted to join us.  At that point I wasn't too thrilled with the idea of sleeping on a bunk, so found an inside category with fold down couch (it even had portholes) for just a bit more.  Then I started working on talking my daughter into going.  Even took a Halloween special that let me book an inside room for myself for something like $580---with the hopes of talking Angie into joining us.  I even caught another special to upgrade to an ocean view room for about $50 more and it included a $100 obc, so I took it.  Then I was able to get $50 obc for owning CCL stock.  My sister had sent in for the credit for her room, so this way we both got our stock obc.  Wasn't until after Thanksgiving that I finally talked Angie into going and added her to my room.  With all that settled, all we had to do was wait until Dec. 3rd to roll around and meet up with Angie in Ft. Lauderdale.  The cruise wasn't until the 7th, but airfare was cheaper going in the middle of the week and Angie lives there so we figured we could freeload off of them for a few days.  That almost worked out.  Unfortunately, or fortunately considering who's looking at it, Josh got really sick right before we arrived, so Carolyn, Jane and I stayed the first 4 nights at the Wyndham Palm Aire.

2014-Dec. 3-7  pre-cruise S. Florida stay:

2014-12-7 embarkation day:

2014-12-8 Key West:

2014-12-9 Sea Day:

2014-12-10 Grand Cayman: 

2014-12-11 Cozumel:

2014-12-12 Sea Day: 

Our time went rather quickly.  We also went to a few art auctions.  Carolyn even bought a painting---which she actually paid for, then later went and rescinded her payment.  But we had a good time visiting.  I live in St. Louis, Jane in Illinois, Carolyn in Oregon, and Angie in Florida; so it was nice having a chance to catch up.  It looked like it was going to end wonderfully and we would go back to our merry little lives.  ----Until Ken tried to check Carolyn and Jane in for their flights.  Jane's went ok, but Carolyn's said call the airlines.  She first called it from the ship.  That's when she found out her flight was changed --- to a 7am flight---obviously she missed that flight!  Josh picked us up and we went back to their house.  Carolyn spent the next 2 or 3 hours on the phone yelling at Cheap O air, USAir, AAmerican air, the whole state of Florida?!, and us.  I was happy to have the break to drive Jane to the airport for her early evening flight.  Carolyn had to buy a new flight for the next morning leaving at 7am for about $280 more dollars.  Sounds like they actually used her fare for the flight she missed and waved the change fee, but she was still demanding she shouldn't have to pay since she wasn't notified.  At this point, I was astounded that she hadn't actually checked her flights before the trip!  I assumed everyone who's flown more then once knows to do that now!  She was still on the phone when I got back.  Fortunately Angie and Josh had a Christmas party to go to so they got to escape a lot of the turmoil.   I was staying there for a few more days, so I got up at 5am and took Carolyn to the airport.   Then I needed those extra days to decompress!   

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