This week’s travel story contest is from Melinda Smith!
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The Cruise That Went Up in Flames!
In January 2000 we took a Caribbean cruise.
On our third night out, we heard people yelling “fire”. A steward was posted in the hallway confirming the fire, stating it was under control. Not reassuring!
The ship was dead until 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. We should have been in Jamaica then. We limped into Montego Bay. Little information was given. We were told to pack our bags and leave our cabins before noon. It was hot inside and windy outside. With nearly 1200 passengers in a confined space without food, water, or sufficient toilet facilities, tempers flared. We finally docked around 3:30 p.m.
At 5:30 p.m. we left the ship with instructions to locate our luggage and board a bus. After filing onto a Jamaican bus, we endured a harrowing ride to the airport.
After standing in line for over an hour, we obtained tickets to New Orleans. Then more waiting! With uncontrollable children and tired parents, boarding calls were barely heard. We walked nearly a mile to board our 747 outside around midnight. One woman suffered a stroke and was left behind. Another refused to board. She was diabetic and had taken her medicines but didn’t eat. Once she drank some juice, she settled down and we took off.
We rushed through customs in New Orleans at 2 a.m. to board a bus for a hotel. The cruise line would pay for one nights lodging. The bus started to pull out but the driver felt something wasn’t right. We got off that bus and onto another, finally getting a room around 4:30 a.m. The desk phoned at 9 a.m. to inquire about our length of stay. Since we were awake, we grabbed our bags, checked out, got food, drove home, and spent the rest of the week at home alone!