Day 14 – Debarkation/Orlando

While I really haven’t been tremendously fond of the “freestyle dining”, I very much like the “freestyle disembarkation”. They don’t kick you out of your room. The pools, bars, and eateries are left open. You get to choose when you want to get off the ship. If you are carrying all of your luggage, you can leave anytime after 7:45. If you choose to check your luggage, you choose the time block that you want to depart, get the colored luggage tag that corresponds with that time, and go when they call your color. It was nice to have a stress-free finish to the cruise. My biggest complaint with cruises has always been that you are pampered all week and then kicked to the curb that last morning. It was wonderful to have a more leisurely transition back to reality. We met up with S&W for an early breakfast and then went back to our room and laid in bed watching TV while they went back to their room to pack. When they were ready, they called us and we met up at the gangway. We did stand in line for a bit because of a problem that shut down customs but it really was our easiest disembarkation to date.

My final review of the Norwegian experience: fabulous ship, accommodations, and amenities; first-class buffets; too-fancy-for-my-tastes menus; not-so-great service; superior disembarkation process. The entertainers were outstanding but I was a bit disappointed that the cruise director wasn’t part of the entertainment like on Carnival. Oh, and towel animals… a joke. Overall, a very positive experience and we’ll definitely cruise with NCL again. 

Outside the terminal, we caught a shuttle to the car rental location, upgraded our reservation to something big enough for two more people and their bags, and hit the road. The drive was full of fun conversations, stories, and laughs. We took our time, made a couple stops, and had a nice lunch when we got to Orlando. We then dropped our luggage at my sissy’s, found a hotel for S&W, returned the rental car, and crashed my cousin’s Halloween/anniversary party with strangers. Hopefully, S&W had a good time. It was one of my cousin’s best parties to date and we had a blast. Sadly, we left super early due to exhaustion from the long day and anticipation of another long day driving home tomorrow.