Disembarkation Fun

As Jim mentioned, getting off the ship was far from smooth. We waited 2 and a half years wondering if we would ever get on the Epic, and most of Thursday afternoon wondering if we would ever get off! After docking at around 10am, the first calls for independent passengers to disembark went out at 11am. It was just before 12 when the first luggage colour (yellow) was called. Since we had out luggage (despite having left it outside our room 1 hour before the deadline) we went down at noon, expecting to walk off. There was a line of people all with their luggage stretching the entire length of deck 5. At this point we heard that US Customs had stopped any more passengers getting off due to congestion in the terminal. we bumped into Phil (Insidecabin) so we went to wait in the Courtyard. It was a LONG time (after 2pm) before any other luggage colours were called. We decided to walk off just before 3 and there was still many 100s of people blocking deck 5. Many more had decided to extend their holiday and enjoy the sun on the pool deck. The Garden Cafe had started to provide some small snacks.

All 3 hotel directors were doing everything they could to help the situation, but it was all fully down to the US Customs and immigration simply not being able to cope with the number of passengers. Bear in mind the ship had 3,452 passengers on board and could have around 5,200 when full. I expect the large number of non-US passengers was the issue.

We got through immigration and customs and out of pier 88 at around 4pm right at rush hour and joined a huge taxi queue. Trouble was no cabs were stopping. After 30 minutes we headed off to try our luck on another avenue and managed to grab one and reach out hotel around 5pm.

Currently sitting in the Oasis and JFK waiting to board our flight. Will post some final thoughts when we get home.


The end of an Epic journey

My last look at the Epic as we headed to the zoo that was created by US Boarder Patrol and Customs. They were clearing passengers so slowly that disembarkation had to be suspended several times to allow the backlog to clear in the Custom's hall.
It took me an hour from the time I took this picture until I reached the street and the car waiting for me. Perhaps the fact the government is broke was one of the causes of the delay. For the first time they made me pay duty on the 4 cartons of cigarettes I openly declared. With 3000 people backed up behind me that shut down the booth, walked me to the cashier, to collect the massive amount of $11.70. This is the first time in 25+ cruises they waisted everyone's time. In fact I have a friend who worked the airports for years for US Customs and the policy is not to waste the resources to collect less then $20.
I just had to laugh at the whole thing. They were not going to steal my joy from the last 10 days.
I have started shorting through the 960 pictures from this trip and once I cut them down to a reasonable amount I will come back here and post a link to them.
I hope those that stopped by this blog enjoyed it and appreciate the time that many took to the share a few thoughts from the Epic.


Captain ! Some of our Escape Pods have Escaped !

In order to dock on the starboard side, several of the escape pods had to be take off (since the stick out of the sides). They bob around like corks in the water with the slightest wake.

Almost there

We just squeezed under the bridge on our way to dock in NY. Some great views of the Statue on a lovely sunny morning. Not far to go to finally bring this ship to the US.

Turn out the Lights the Party is Over

July 1 1:11am

Just back from Fat Cats and my last set of Slam Allen.

Dinner for 20 at La Cucina after an hour of open bar. Now what did I have to eat ?

We have finally hit warm air and able to enjoy the open decks at night. We had renamed the Courtyard bar and grill Ice Bar II.

The only real problem with the weather was we were never able to enjoy the entertainment planned for Spice H20 or Posh.

Did I mention the casino continues to be very bad to me. Able to make large sums of money vanish in minutes.

The bags are gone and in 6 hours we should be in NY harbor heading for the Statue of Liberty.

It has been a great week but not without its drama.

The number one question would I cruise on the Epic again. The answer is yes. With only 3450 passengers onboard this week it will be interesting to read the reviews as the passenger count gets close to 5000.

The sad thing in 12 hours I will be back at my desk working.


QMII chases the Epic

We have the QMII hot on our heals into New York. She left Southampton on Friday is due to arrive a couple of hours before us so will pass us later tonight.

As for the 5-6 open bar, I've never seen so many people sit at a bar on a ship with no drink at 4:45 in my life ;O)