Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Day 0 (July 6, 2019) – Cunard Queen Mary 2 – Transatlantic (New York to Southampton) – Travel Day

We had booked a direct flight from Salt Lake to the New York area. With a choice of several airports, we ended up choosing to go to Newark, NJ because it was a little cheaper and mostly because we could get into New York at 4:23pm EDT. We got to the airport at about 7:30am, checked our bags with the skycap, and made it to the Sky Club to hang out until our 10:00am departure. At 9:20, we headed to the gate (D4) and noticed that the doors were not open. Bob went up and asked and found out that the crew was delayed on their flight from Reno. They would be arriving around 9:30 and thus our flight was going to be delayed about 30 minutes. It turned out that our scheduled departure changed to 10:50am.

After boarding the plane and settling in, we were informed by the captain that it had gotten so hot in Salt Lake that the plane was too heavy for takeoff and they were going to have to unload some cargo from the plane. To top that off, there were storms in the east that was going to require us to go on a more southern route. In addition, Newark had decided to institute Air Traffic Control (ATC) delays and slot us into a landing time. So, we were going to hang out and not actually take off as planned.

After a bit of waiting, they reopened the doors and the gate agent came on and told the crew that we were going to have to deplane. Newark had been temporarily shut down and our slot was pushed back even further. To make matters worse, the airport needed our gate, so we had to all get off, take our carry-on luggage and wait in the gate while they moved the plane.

We went back to the Sky Club and hung out for a bit, but they didn’t have a whole lot of information on what was happening, so we decided that we’d better head back to the gate. Upon arrival at the gate, we found out that we were now departing from the gate across the hall at D3. Our assumption was that they moved the plane from D4 to D3. Crazy!!!

Eventually we were allowed to re-board at 11:55am. As we were settling in, we asked if this was the same plane (it was the same configuration), but it turns out it was a different plane (we don’t know why). So, they were reloading all of the luggage and the catering, etc from the original plane. Once it was all squared away, we left the gate and headed to, wait for it, the de-icing pads. Yes, Newark still would not let us depart. So, we went to the de-icing pads and just hung out for more time. They even shut the plane’s engines down to conserve fuel. We sat there for about another hour.

So, it finally happened, we were allowed to finally take off and leave with an expected arrival time around 8:15pm EDT, or nearly 4 hours late.

The flight was uneventful, with a few bumps from the storms, but nothing exciting happened (which on an airplane is always good). We arrived, collected our luggage, and called and got the car and driver that Julie had arranged to take us to the Fairfield Marriott in Brooklyn (the ship was scheduled to depart on Sunday from the Red Hook Cruise Line terminal in Brooklyn). The cost for the ride from Newark to the Marriott was $66, but with $29 in tolls, and a tip, we ended up spending over $100 to get to the hotel.

After getting our bags to our room, we went out to find a wine store and some place to get some dinner (yes, it was after 9 pm). We found the Brooklyn Barrel wine store and bought some bottles to take on the cruise. We then stopped at the LBK Pizza shop and got a pizza to take with us back to our room.

The pizza was quite good, although the crust was a bit floppy. We understand why New Yorkers fold their pizza, it is so it holds together better. It was quite tasty, but as we said, floppy.

After that, it was sack time (we re-watched the first half of the Bohemian Rhapsody movie about the band Queen).

Today, we walked 9,007 steps and 4.05 miles.

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