Now that everyone is back home and pretty much settled in, I’d like to be able to say Mike and Andrea’s wedding was great, but part of me would still like to know who the hell I can punch for everything that happened. What was supposed to be a small, leisurely gathering to witness and celebrate a new marriage was turned into a day-long rush-and-stop-and-rush endurance test. Royal Caribbean, who’s Voyager of the Seas was to be the site of the event, definitely bears some of the blame, but the complete lack of coordination and communication by the planning company Mike and Andrea worked with didn’t help.
The schedule as we knew it going in was we were to get to the Port of Galveston cruise terminal around 10:00, and would likely be onboard around 11:00, over three hours before the ceremony, allowing plenty of time for the families and friends to visit and walk around the ship, for the bride and groom to prepare for the big event, and for a certain toddler to take his afternoon nap. Long story short, we didn’t get on the boat until 1:30, and a number of delays and changes after that caused the ceremony to slip to 3:00, one hour before the non-cruising guests—everyone except for Mike and Andrea—had to be off the boat. Mathias never got his nap, the reception basically left time for photos and nothing else, and the officiator at the wedding even managed to accidentally swap Andrea’s name for… Lisa. (“She was holding the flowers,” was the explanation we got later.)
Both Andrea and Mathias get extra bonus points for the day, Andrea for holding it together despite the cavalcade of idiots running amok across her wedding day, and Mathias for dutifully putting up with a second long day of limited sleep time. (As many parents can attest, a sleep-deprived but patient toddler can be a rare combination.)
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Our experience trying to park our cars was kind of representative of everything that happened. We actually scoped out the cruise terminal the day before to make sure we knew where we were going, but upon arriving Sunday morning, with two huge ships in harbor and people everywhere, all bets were off. We dropped off Mike and Andrea and headed for the parking lot. Arriving there, we were told it was only for people on the ship, and we were supposed to park in short-term parking. We headed back to the terminal and couldn’t find the short-term parking, and, still believing that we were scheduled to board the ship in the next half hour, parked on a sketchy-looking nearby street (and by “nearby” I mean roughly three city blocks away). Upon getting into the terminal and checking through security, we found out the short-term parking was in the same lot as employee parking, it just wasn’t labeled as such. Not wanting to return to our SUV to find it stripped of its tires and devoid of our luggage, I left the terminal, spent 10 minutes driving through the line of cars in front of the terminal (again), negotiated with law enforcement on parking, and waited through the (now much longer) security line a second time.
The time spent didn’t matter, though, as we still had a full hour and a half before boarding. We just didn’t know that yet.
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In the end we were told there was a large Mexican tour group on the boat, and there were problems with many of their visas, and that boarding couldn’t begin until all the current passengers were “dealt with.” I asked why that wasn’t recognized when the tour group, was, you know, BOARDING THE FUCKING BOAT, but was told there was no way Royal Caribbean could have foreseen the problem. Right.
But, in the end, none of that is too important, as eventually we got to see this:
And, hopefully, in a few years everyone will be able to look back at the crazy events of the day and laugh.
I still kind of want to punch someone, though.