Probably if the captain had put the peddle to the metal, we could have sailed from Halifax to Boston overnight, but we were grateful to have another relaxing day at sea to pack and enjoy the ship's facilities one more time. As we came south the sky was bright blue and the temperatures got back into the summer range. Usually cruise ships are anxious to get you off ASAP, so they can clean up your mess and get themselves ready for the next onslaught of passengers. But the first folks scheduled to get off had an 8am departure time and we began to feel concerned whether we would make it to the airport for the 11:15am flight home. If we didn't catch that nonstop flight, the rest of our choices involved changing planes and waiting around. We knew that the airport was near the cruise port, but we had to go through immigration and customs and find a taxi. We are still traumatized from the time we came into New York along with three other large ships and there were hardly any taxis. That time we schlepped our bags into Manhattan to flag a cab and almost missed the flight. We've never landed in Boston before and didn't know quite what to expect. You never know how long security lines are these days.
We were surprised to hear that the immigration officials planned to come onboard and process us there. We would hand in the customs forms as we got off the ship before we collected the luggage. Maybe they knew how expensive it is in Scandinavia and assume none of us bought much. That was certainly the case for us. The ship had a nicely arranged timetable, giving folks like us with earlier flights a place in the front. But our fellow passengers chose to line up whenever they felt like it - way too early - and my heart fell as we got in the long, long immigration line. But immigration processed us very quickly and we stood in another line waiting to leave the ship. We waited and waited and waited. The rumor was that some of our fellow passengers hadn't bothered to go to immigration and we all had to be processed before we could get off.
The folks in line ahead of us took pity on us and let us butt in when we were finally released. We raced into baggage claim, loaded up and raced to the taxi line. There were few cabs there, but only a few of us had made it out. So the bottom line was that we got to the airport in plenty of time and had the usually efficient Southwest Airlines experience. When the plane came in to land at Midway, the pilot found that another plane was on our runway, so we had a scenic tour of metro Chicago before touch down. If we had sat near the window, we would have had some great photos of Navy Pier and the skyscrapers. Our friend Barb was waiting for us at baggage claim and the adventure was over.
Now to return to life at home and finish conquering those last few time zones.