I have been lucky enough in my young life to have traveled to many different places in the world. However, no vacation has been more memorable for me than the trip my parents were supposed to take to Europe to get on a cruise. Just when our plane was about to leave from Pittsburgh to New York, we experienced a 2 hour delay due to weather. There were to be no worries, however. The flight attendants insured us: “If we can’t leave, the planes out of New York won’t be able to leave either.” When we got to JFK after possibly the longest flight ever from Pittsburgh to New York, we went to our designated gate to get on our flight to Europe. When we got there, we found something very precarious however; there was no one at the flight counter and no one sitting at the gate waiting to get on. We expressed our concern to a woman at a nearby counter. Her answer was really quite simple- the plane we were speaking of had left some two hours ago. However, we could not simply get a flight the next day to the same destination; since we were to board a ship, our desired destination would change every day. Alas, the agent we spoke to at JFK did not seem to understand. She kept insisting that our tickets could only be traded in for a flight to the same place. No other destination was possible. As my parents tried to explain the scenario, she got ruder and ruder. We were finally able to get a flight to the second city; we would miss the first day of the cruise. This meant that we would be spending the night in New York. We slowly went to the luggage claim and stood, waiting for our luggage. However, it never came. As it turns out, our luggage was enjoying our cruise without us. So there we were, stuck in New York without Luggage and with no available hotels in the area. Exhausted, we were able to find a hotel in Brooklyn. We waited for the shuttle at the designated area for one hour. Then two hours. We called again to find that the shuttle had gone to an area upstairs while we were downstairs. Finally, after a third hour, we got to the hotel. We stayed the night and woke up energized only to find that our waiting list status did not get us onto the flight. So one more night in New York in a different hotel. One less night on the cruise. One more night of being offered Chinese food and Pizza flyers by the hotel (the only places open at that time in the day). The next day, we finally were able to leave. While no flight was available to our desired city, we found a layover. As we arrived in the city, very sick and tired from a long flight, we waited for our taxi sent by the ship. As my father found a bank, he realized he didn’t have his credit card. He came back to get it from my mother, only to find the ATM, along with the rest of the city, had gone on break. Luckily, he was able to get money from another local ATM. The taxi driver picked us up and asked us how the cruise had been so far for us. My dad responded calmly, “I don’t know. We haven’t been on the ship yet.” We spent that next day onboard sleeping. Luckily we booked a 13 day cruise.
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