Today our Norwegian Epic cruise comes to a end and we are all flying home from Barcelona to various destinations. When I woke at 5:30 am we were already docked.
The view from the balcony was the Barcelona hillside once again.
The disembarkation information we received yesterday included what dining venues were open and the hours so we all met at Taste Restaurant at 7 am. Walk off passengers could leave as early as 5:30 am and people who had their bags handled started disembarkation at 6 am.
The breakfast menu today had no specials and was slightly pared down. My brother’s favorite fruit wasn’t available so he had grapefruit instead.
Afterwards we grabbed our carryons in our cabins and said goodbye to our room stewardess.
Elevators were at a premium so my brother and I walked down to 6 and met the other two who caught an elevator. It was a short line off, then an even shorter wait for our bags to be unloaded.
The bad part was the car service wasn’t there. The driver showed up 15 minutes late with the excuse that traffic was heavy but it didn’t seem that busy this Sunday morning plus he didn’t seem to know how to exit the port.
We got to the airport and headed our separate ways: Sister M to Air France; me to United and the other two to British Airways.
I got into the line for people who already had boarding passes as I’d checked in with the app but needed to check my luggage. The line was super slow as only one person handled the line and four were taking care of people without boarding passes. I ended up moving to the other line and they merged the two. It was very frustrating and took 40 minutes.
Then I got into the security line which didn’t take too long but no one was explaining the rules. My backpack got pulled because i didn’t take my iPad out (not required in the US at the time) and I had to physically go back and put the iPad in a tray, put them both on conveyor belt and walk through the metal detector again. This time I was randomly selected for extra screening. Once all my things came through I had to have the swabbed and cleared before proceeding.
The gates to the US were very far away (actually the end of B terminal. It already had a long line of people waiting for passport control to open. It didn’t open for about 10-15 minutes. While waiting I had a text alert that the flight was delayed 25 minutes. (We ended up pulling away 1 hour late).
Then once we went through passport control, we were able to get to the gate where we waited again in lines. I had boarding group 4 and there was no over head space near my seat. People were very bad about storing their things and the flight attendants were not monitoring at all. I found space 6 rows back by moving things around so I could get my cpap and roller bag stored; my backpack was under the seat in front of me.
United operated a 767 plane for this flight and the seats were in a 3-3-3 configuration. I used miles to get my ticket and then paid for economy plus so I would have more room on such a long flight. I selected an aisle in the middle section that way I would be less likely to have to move for others yet could get up anytime I wanted. That strategy worked.
Once we were up in the air the flight attendants served a beverage and snack first.
Not long after we were served lunch (and by this time I was hungry).
I selected the chicken and rice. I think the other option was a pasta. The food was good but would have preferred a green salad to a couscous when we had so much rice in the main dish. They served beverages again to enjoy with the meal.
After this was cleaned up we had were served bottles of water and dessert which was a container of chocolate gelato. It was very good but pretty soft.
I know we had another snack a hour or two before landing but didn’t take pictures and it’s already escaped my memory! All in all it was a good flight in economy once we got started and I entertained myself with movies across the ocean into Dulles.
I have Global Entry so getting through immigration/customs was easy. It took a very long time for our bags to be unloaded as it seemed there were many flights arriving from Europe at the same time.
Some of my fellow passengers missed their connections due to the late takeoff and delay getting their bags. Once we got the bags we had to drop them and go through TSA screening again.
I had won passes to the United club on a blog giveaway a couple of months ago and used one here at Dulles.
It was very busy when I arrived so I had to sit at a coffee table in one of these chairs but I grabbed what became my dinner (soup, salad, cheese, crackers and brownies). After a peaceful hour here, I headed to the gate for my San Diego flight which was uneventful.
Traveling is great but it’s always good to come home. This is the end of this trip but I’ll post a final thoughts recap next.
If you missed the other parts of the recap the links are below.
Next Vacation: Barcelona and Norwegian Epic
Barcelona Flights and Lodging Plans
Norwegian Epic: Port Call Plans
Traveling to Barcelona
Barcelona Day 1
Cava Winery Tour/Taste
La Sagrada Familia
Epic Embarkation Day
Epic Sea Day
An Epic Visit to Naples
Two Epic Hilltop Towns
Specialty Dining: Moderno
The Epic San Gimignano
San Donato Farm
Epic French Riveria: Cannes and Nice
Epic French Rivieria: Eze and Saint-Paul de Vence
Specialty Dining: Cagney’s Steakhouse
Palma De Mallorca