Alarms started going off at 4am because we needed to be able to arrive at the airport early enough to get our bags checked and through the TSA before the boarding time. Kelly drove with us to get all our bags to the airport. Betty/Gramma had her car put in storage for the trip. Excited, we started the trip and our four airport stops. When we checked our bags, we asked the United Agent if they would transfer all the way to Quebec City. She said, Yes! I asked about the customs check in Toronto, but she said the bags would be checked all the way.
The first plane took us from Amarillo to Denver. No problems, flight was on time.
The second plane was from Denver to Toronto, Canada. Our problems began in Toronto. We had one person tell us we had to get our bags and then go through customs to recheck our backs. Then we had four people tell us that we did not have to recheck because our baggage claim papers showed it all going to Quebec City. It was very confusing and United was NO help. They could have told everyone on the plane what to do but I think they assumed everyone already knew this detail. The Toronto airport could have had signs with all the steps listed in the correct order to get through customs and that might have helped as well. We decided incorrectly that the 4 were right and the 1 was not. Wrong! Later we found out that only United flights had to do this extra step. Flying in by Air Canada, all bags are checked through.
When we arrived at our “gate” which was a waiting room where we stayed for 2 hours waiting on our delayed flight with Air Canada to take us to Quebec City. A bus arrived to take us across the tarmac to our plane. Yes, we had to get off a bus and climb stairs to get into our plane. I had not climbed stairs to get into a plane for at least 40 years.
Finally arriving in Quebec City, we discovered our problem. Our luggage was still in Toronto. We contacted the airport personnel about the problem and they said it happens all the time. Really! If it happens all the time shouldn’t someone try to, oh I don’t know, try to warn people! The Holland American shuttle was waiting to take us to the cruise ship, so we had to go on with only our carry-on luggage. That made us very nervous about the future of the cruise.
We arrived at the ship at 9pm and passed through security with no issues. After a quick stop at our room, we got ourselves to the Lido deck to get some food. The original plan would have got us to the ship by 6pm and dinner would not have been a problem. As a result of the delayed flight from Toronto and the luggage issues, we were eating at about 9:30pm. The Lido only had the Pizza/Pasta area open because the rest was being setup for opening at 10:30pm. Phyllis was not able to eat that so we asked if a salad could be made for her. Glenn, the server, asked what she would like in the salad and got exactly what she needed. He was fantastic and it made the evening much better for us all.
Talked with Guest Services on the ship about our delayed luggage and gave them information from the Airport to find it and send it on. She assured us that they had 4 more flights from Toronto to Quebec City and most likely the luggage would arrive before they sail at 5pm the next day. She gave us some items to help until our luggage arrived tomorrow. I asked, “what if it doesn’t arrive before we sail”. She said it would be sent to the ship’s next port of call the following day.
Once again we have the carpet in the elevators to remind us the day of the week.
We are a couple who have started on a new adventure...