No, we're not talking about the clothes stuffed into our rollaboards, but a myriad of details to contend with as we get to the final countdown before we fly out of Bellingham this coming Tuesday morning at (ugh!) 6:00AM Daylight Saving Time.
Our trip actually starts tomorrow in a sense. We're driving to Bellingham Airport to pick up a rental car. We'll leave our car in the garage and drive the rental car to the airport very early Tuesday morning.
While we have a reasonable 75-minute connection to our Fort Lauderdale flight, we noticed with some concern that at least two recent BLI-SEA flights have been significantly delayed. We called Alaska to see if we could fly to Seattle Monday night and stay over, but that doesn't fit the "same day change" policy so we'd end up paying several hundred dollars more for that privilege.
Instead, we'll keep our fingers crossed that the little Q400 plane will deliver us to SEA in time. If not, there are a few alternatives to explore, and we could still manage if we arrived the following day. It wouldn't be fun though.
Once landed at Fort Lauderdale, we pick up a rental car and drive to Miami, picking up Tom and Ellyn from their DEN-FLL flight if time permits. Otherwise, we'll meet them at our hotel.
Next morning, we have early appointments at a nearby Walgreen's to take free PCR tests. The results of those could take as long as 72 hours, so the next morning we're taking another round of free tests at Walgreen's, Rapid NAAT tests. Those results should be emailed to us within a couple of hours.
We learned along with a lot of other cruise customers that Bermuda, where we're due to dock several days into the cruise, demands a completed authorization form that includes both our vaccination records and a negative test. A further complication is that Bermuda demands three specific types of NAAT tests that Walgreen's does not document. Brian spoke to a Bermuda government employee who checked with her supervisor and claimed that they would accept the Walgreen's test, but we have nothing in writing.
If necessary, we can pay to take tests elsewhere and Oceania is offering paid tests at embarkation as well. It's been, shall we say, interesting to plan.
Once aboard, our cruise itinerary looks like this.
|Friday, March 18||Miami, Florida||Embark 1:00 PM||7:00 PM|
|Saturday, March 19||Cruising the Atlantic Ocean|
|Sunday, March 20||Cruising the Atlantic Ocean|
|Monday, March 21||Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda||8:00 AM||5:00 PM|
|Tuesday, March 22||Cruising the Atlantic Ocean|
|Wednesday, March 23||Cruising the Atlantic Ocean|
|Thursday, March 24||Cruising the Atlantic Ocean|
|Friday, March 25||Cruising the Atlantic Ocean|
|Saturday, March 26||Cruising the Atlantic Ocean|
|Sunday, March 27||Cruising the Atlantic Ocean|
|Monday, March 28||Lisbon, Portugal||Disembark 8:00 AM|
That's a lot of sea days. We like sea days!
We'll follow up shortly with an outline of where we're planning once we disembark at Lisbon.