Thursday, September 9, 2010

Traveling From Portland to Orlando for our Caribbean Cruise on the Dream

The only drawback I have ever found to cruising is the travel it takes to get to the port. Today is a perfect example. We live in Portland, Oregon and we will cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida on Saturday. You will note that in the lower 48 that is close to as far as you can go.

Conventional wisdom, and in this case I believe it whole heartedly, maintains that you should get to the port a day early just to compensate for any travel problems along the way. In order to get from Portland to Port Canaveral on Southwest Airlines, which we used because we had free tickets, we left Portland at 9:15 AM and arrived in Orlando at 9:15PM. If we headed directly to Port Canaveral, we wouldn’t arrive until 10:30 or so. Then we would be up bright and early to sail the following morning.

We opted to break that up into one day of travel to Orlando and then on to Port Canaveral tomorrow so that we will have time to relax before the actual cruise.

Now, for a travel day, things really went smoothly. The town car to take us to the airport was right on time, the traffic moved quite well through rush hour, there were no lines at curbside check-in, short lines at security (Bill didn’t even set off the metal detector), time to get coffee, organized fast boarding and an on time departure. All was well. We arrived in Kansas City early.

It is an easy airport to grab a cigarette outside and a bite to eat. Again going back through security was quick. Another flight, to Orlando, which landed 15 minutes early. Luggage all arrived and then we got a taxi to the hotel.

The taxi was a whole different kettle of fish. We told the driver where we wanted to go and it was “no problem, mon!” And then the driver promptly got lost. When I asked the clerk at the hotel how long it would take us to get there in the morning, he told us 7 minutes.

Our taxi ride was closer to 25 and a lot of it was AFTER Bill called the hotel, got the address and the driver plugged it into his GPS! He even stopped at another hotel for directions. Ah well, we are here and that is what counts!

I booked us a room at Amerisuites at the Orlando Airport and it is just like all Amerisuites everywhere, clean, comfortable and courteous staff. They even had a menu for an Italian Restaurant that delivered our dinner to the room.

So, the first leg of the adventure is over and it is off to the leg 2 tomorrow.