Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

April 30, 2012

The Long Way Home

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 5:46 pm
Tags: , , , ,

The last full day of our cruise was a day at sea.  The ship departed Mexico Wednesday night around 10 pm, and all day Thursday was spent sailing back to Miami.  It was a day spent relaxing in the sun.


I tried to take pictures of the sparkly water around me.  This is the shot that came out best:

The previous night, we also found the last of the “towel animals” that cabin stewards often make.  Our towel creations were questionable as to what animal they were supposed to be, but they still amused us.  We found this fellow Wednesday night:

I made a few modifications with one of my souvenir cups.

I called him “Nessie.”

After our last dinner on board, our waiter for the week, Marlon, kindly posed for a picture with the girls.

We pulled into Port in Miami early Friday morning.


We had breakfast on the ship, then waited for debarkation.  The process of getting off the ship, claiming luggage and going through customs seemed to go rather smoothly.  It was the rest of our day that was not!

We considered looking into an excursion to pass the time before our 3:30 flight home, but none of the offerings seemed all that interesting to all four of us, and there was a concern about being back to the airport on time.   So, we prepared ourselves for waiting around in the airport for a long time.  In addition to the long wait in the airport, we had a long layover scheduled in Chicago and we were not scheduled to arrive back at our local airport until 12:40 am.

That day was made to feel even longer when we missed our flight, despite being in the airport about 5 hours ahead of time.  The gate printed on our boarding pass did not match the actual gate our flight left from.  While I realize now that it was apparently our responsibility to keep checking on gate numbers once we arrived at the airport, I was very disappointed in the customer service we received at the time we realized our error.  We were quite rudely re-directed to rebooking, where we were just barely booked on the next plane out, leaving 2 hours later.

Arrival in Chicago involved chasing all over the airport to find which gate our connection departed from, and then finding that flight was delayed an hour.

By the time we walked into our home in the wee hours of Saturday morning, I believe it was about 2:30am.  That was definitely  the long way home.  I swear I am not making this up, but as I drove the last half mile to our house, this song was on the radio:

With the exception of this very long day Friday (and into Saturday morning), this was a top-notch vacation for me.  How wonderful not to cook, clean, drive or make a more difficult decision than “what should I choose from the buffet?”  How awesome to experience the beauty of Key West and to spend time swimming in Mexico with one of the most intelligent mammals.  How perfect to have a vacation that contented each member of this family and hopefully created memories that will last a lifetime.

Thank you, Carnival Imagination!




  1. Wonderful writing Karen..as usual! The pictures are so beautiful. With the picture of the ship pulling into port, I felt sad for you all because your vacation was over, but then you mentioned hoping everyone will have memories that last a lifetime and I felt better. 🙂

    Comment by trish49 — April 30, 2012 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Mom. I think I’ll be planning for a long time about how to get on my next cruise. 🙂

      Comment by Karma — May 1, 2012 @ 3:01 pm | Reply

  2. What a wonderful vacation!! I love those little towel animals that the crew leave in your room, I got such a kick out of those!! Why is getting home always such an adventure? I could have written a BOOK just about coming back from my cruise!!

    Anyway – I’m glad that everyone had a good time, and that everyone made it back safely! 😉

    Comment by Photo By Holly — May 1, 2012 @ 9:12 am | Reply

    • Thanks Holly! It was a great time I’ll never forget. We are at the mercy of the airlines until we hit the lottery and hire our own private jets, LOL.

      Comment by Karma — May 1, 2012 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

  3. I think anything involving an airport guarantees a problem these days. This changing gates thing seems to be a new habit, and they seem to not feel a responsibility to make announcements when they do it. What a wonderful cruise you had, and your great photos will make the memories linger even longer. Great topic for a photo book, yes?

    Comment by Carol — May 1, 2012 @ 10:18 am | Reply

    • I might being doing just that, Carol. My sister gave me a gift certificate to an online photo service and I haven’t decided if I’ll get prints or make a book.

      Comment by Karma — May 1, 2012 @ 3:05 pm | Reply

  4. What great memories your girls will have! I’m sure that the family time was priceless. Now it’s time to look forward to Maine!

    Comment by Becky Sue — May 1, 2012 @ 1:23 pm | Reply

    • You are very right, Becky. I’ve got the count-down on to the last day of the school right now!

      Comment by Karma — May 1, 2012 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

  5. Ouch! That WAS a long way home! Glad everything worked out in the end. You are now well prepared for the NEXT cruise!

    Those towel critters are always a hoot! I bet “Nessie” appreciated the cold drink!

    On a cold and rainy day like today, I wish I was looking out over the clear blue ocean!

    Comment by milkayphoto — May 1, 2012 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

    • I’m sure I will be scheming for another cruise someday, hopefully not too far off in the distant future. 🙂

      Comment by Karma — May 1, 2012 @ 3:10 pm | Reply

  6. Hmmm. The buffet part sounds good. The magic fresh towels sound good. I’m glad you had a wonderful vacation. Just being able to relax and let go of everyday cares would be very good indeed.

    Comment by Gerry — May 1, 2012 @ 3:36 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Gerry. It was perfect for me!

      Comment by Karma — May 2, 2012 @ 4:14 pm | Reply

  7. Soon as I saw your title, that song just started running through my head. Take the long way home … love it.

    My favourite shot is the first one of painted toes resting on the ship rail.

    There are three parts to a holiday: the anticipation, the trip itself and the memories after. The trip itself is the shortest part. Who’s to say what the best part is though. Sometimes, years later, the re-living of the trip is so very special.

    Comment by sybiln — May 2, 2012 @ 12:44 pm | Reply

    • The trip itself was definitely too short! I hope I’ll have another to look forward to by the time these memories begin to fade.

      Comment by Karma — May 2, 2012 @ 4:15 pm | Reply

  8. To find a vacation that everyone likes is huge. Yes, Mom, cherish these memories as soon they will be harder and harder to come by. Wonderful set of posts about your trip and the songs which steered it by.

    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — May 3, 2012 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Scott.
      I am all too aware of quickly my daughters’ childhoods are slipping away!

      Comment by Karma — May 3, 2012 @ 3:13 pm | Reply

  9. That song has been running through my head since I saw the title of your post a couple of days ago. It’s good to actually hear it. Other than the last legs (the airport) of your trip, it looks and sounds like a wonderful cruise. I’ve found it difficult to get really good photos of sparkly water. You did good. And I love those towel animals. Cute. I should learn how to do that. It would make towels so much more fun. 🙂

    Comment by Robin — May 3, 2012 @ 2:31 pm | Reply

    • It is a very “sticky” kind of song, isn’t it? 😉
      Thank you Robin.
      Carnival actually sells a book in their gift shops about how to make towel animals!

      Comment by Karma — May 3, 2012 @ 3:14 pm | Reply

  10. Sounds like a perfect vacation. After hearing on the news all the disasters on cruises recently it’s nice to know they can still be wonderful!

    Comment by Dawn — May 6, 2012 @ 8:58 am | Reply

    • I hope cruises don’t end up with a bad rep, because it certainly was a perfect vacation!

      Comment by Karma — May 7, 2012 @ 1:53 pm | Reply

  11. I am glad you shared your wonderful cruise with us, Karma. I am humming the old “Love Boat” song. Liked the toe picture so much. OK, I liked lots of your pictures. Lots & lots. I want to go on a cruise, too.

    Comment by Kathy — May 6, 2012 @ 7:08 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Kathy. If you ever get the chance to take a cruise, I will say without hesitation, do it!

      Comment by Karma — May 7, 2012 @ 1:53 pm | Reply

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