I have been sitting on the tarmac at Pearson for almost an hour with a “mechanical problem”, and I am beginning to wonder when we’ll be getting out of here. People are starting to talk about the new rules for airlines re passenger rights in Canada. It states they can only keep us on the ground for three hours plus forty-five minutes, then they must allow us to disembark. I don’t want to disembark! I want to get to my cruise ship!!
The captain finally announces that the problem was a fuel leak in one of the engines that was noticed by a baggage handler. A BAGGAGE HANDLER!!! Good for him for noticing, but aren’t there any mechanics around?? I am not sure I really wanted to hear the above, and looking around at the passengers, I’d say most are thinking the same thing. The captain explains that it is not uncommon to have leaks in cold weather and that we will push back from the gate, allow the engines to “warm up” and see if that solves the problem. It obviously did, and we were finally on our way. One hopes though, that the ‘new rules’ will not make airlines take chances. It makes me think, be careful what you wish for people!
After a lovely dinner in Miami at Bal Harbor with friends Jeanette Burnside & Ron Mitler, it’s back to the Fountainbleu Hotel for a good nights sleep in preparation for boarding Insignia the next morning. I was on the Around the World cruise in 2018, and so was excited to hear there would be at least 40 to 50 repeat passengers from that cruise doing the voyage again. I had no idea how wonderful it was going to be to see these people again. After boarding, there are lots of happy reunions and hugs and everyone including crew is happy to see everyone. It’s like a big family reunion, really special and warms your heart. You don’t spend six months with people and not have a lifelong connection with many of them.
Unpacking is another thing. Not so warm and fuzzy. Where to put all the clothes you brought along. What was I thinking!! Oceania provides “Luggage Forward” so they picked up my two large bags before Christmas and I was able to travel with one other and a carry on. The staterooms on Insignia are somewhat smaller than on larger vessels, so space is limited. But I managed to get everything away and paused to look at the new decor in my room. It is very soothing with tones of soft grey, giving the feeling of more space, and splashes of navy blue. The whole ship had a makeover about a year ago and it really is lovely. Also in my room was a lovely bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne and a bottle of red wine. Nice surprise from Oceania.
We depart Miami around 6pm, and start settling in for the evening. Next stop Key West. Another chance to look for Jimmy Buffett!! A “solo traveller” get together before dinner had 30+ people, mostly women, show up. I think that is the largest group I have seen. Hopefully the cruise industry will realize what a force we are and stop charging us almost double fares for travelling on our own. Pat Dawson from Arizona is on board with me and after dinner and a cabaret, we, like most people are ready for bed. The Insignia Production Cast is a group of young talented singers and dancers and Hooray!!! my favourite cruise director, Leslie John, is with us for the first half of the cruise, so all is well with my world.