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Carnival Dream sailing of October 20, 2012 (part seven)

Carnival Dream
Carnival Dream
Stephen Mencik

Sailing of the Carnival Dream


Our sailing finally made it into Port Canaveral a day late due to Hurricane Sandy, as described in part six. After retrieving our baggage and clearing customs, we caught a shuttle bus to take us to get our rental car. From there it was off to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The tours there are very educational and if you take one of the special tours, you can go into the Vehicle Assembly Building. That building alone is worth the trip just to see how massive it is. It could hold several of the Saturn V rockets that powered the Apollo missions that went to the moon.

We spent a good part of the day at KSC and then headed toward Orlando to catch our flight. We decided to get a bite to eat before going to the airport and stopped at a local pizza shop in a strip center. I Love NY Pizza had really good pizza and garlic knots. I wish we had something like this in the Anne Arundel County area. While we were eating, we received a call from Southwest Airlines informing us that our flight was canceled and rescheduled for Monday. Since we were so close to the airport, we went to the rental car office there to extend our rental. Then it was off to find someplace with free WiFi so we could look for a hotel for the night.

We ended up at the Travelodge Inn and Suites on McCoy Road. They had a decent room, decent rate, and free WiFi. The next day we received another call from Southwest telling us that all flights Monday and Tuesday were canceled, and we were now stuck in Orlando until Wednesday. In part six I mentioned that I could have booked a different flight for Sunday that went through Buffalo, NY. I'm sure glad I didn't book that flight, as we would have been stuck there. No offense to Buffalo, but I'd much rather be stuck in Orlando. We again had to extend the rental car and also extend the hotel.

One lesson to learn from all of this is that you should always bring more of your medications than you can possibly expect to need when you go on a trip. While I had taken one extra day's worth, I was not prepared for 4 extra days. Fortunately, I was able to get in touch with my doctors and have them send a 10-day prescription to a pharmacy in Orlando so I would have enough until I got back home. Another lesson is always to have travel insurance. Once we got back home, we were able to file a claim that repaid us all of our added expenses including the hotel, rental car, and meals.

Finally, on Wednesday we tried to get back home again. We went back to I Love NY Pizza and tried their calzone and cannoli. Both were awesome. We promised to write about them in our review, and though this is much later than I planned, I've now honored than promise. This time we went to the airport, returned the car, and were able to catch our flight. I'm not sure whether we were more happy to be home or Jean's parents were happy we were home, so they could finally leave and go home to South Carolina.

All in all, it was a great trip. It was not the first time we were affected by a hurricane while on a cruise, but it won't stop us from traveling then. We already are booked on the Carnival Valor for the sailing of September 29, 2013.