Getting Ready to Go!
Columbus Travel Blog› entry 1 of 11 › view all entries
Over a year ago, our group decided to take a cruise to somewhere warm and sunny during the middle of Ohio winter. Having previously cruised the Western and Eastern Caribbean and the Bahamas, we chose a Southern Caribbean cruise itinerary. By booking early, you have the advantage of more room choices and better deals. Working on a budget, our group of five (me, husband, daughter and son-in-law, and son-in-law's father) chose adjoining cabins of deck 3 of Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas. Though not the first choice of all travelers, the itinerary was intriguing - leaving from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Roseau, Dominica; St. George's, Grenada; Margaretta Island, Venezuela; and Oranjestad, Aruba.
We chose to make our own flight arrangements. Delta Airlines out of Port Columbus, Ohio offered the best price 6 months in advance. This proved to be a good choice booking early as prices rose in the interim. My husband and I have also used the cruise line air arrangements, but found them to be a little pricey. You don't receive the transfers and guarantees, but as seasoned travelers, we felt the cheaper prices were to our liking, and we could find our way around. Due to the possibility of bad weather and delays, we scheduled the flight down a day earlier than the ship sailing. This allowed us peace of mind getting to the ship on time! Our daughter arranged for a hotel room in Santo Domingo.
So, off we go! Due to the early arrival time at the airport, we stayed the night before at the Baymount Inn with shuttle service and long term parking. The Baymount is a very reasonable hotel, clean and adequate. A continental breakfast is included and was very well stocked with a variety of breakfast items. You can eat in the small room with tables and chairs or on the go as we did. Please note: The Baymount does not have roll away beds, so we were a little cramped for bed space with five in one room. Also, our neighbors in the room next to us were loud making for a restless night, but when you are leaving the next day for a great vacation, you tend to overlook these things.
At five thirty in the morning, the line for the Delta ticket counter offered a short wait. Because our destination was international, online check in was not an option. Security was not a problem at that time of the morning. The hour and a half before our take off was more than enough time. Not many stores or restaurants were open that morning. We found our gate and waited. Boarding by "zones" as indicated on our boarding passes was a very smooth process. There wasn't a long wait to find your seat, store your carry on luggage, and get comfortably seated for the hour and a half flight to Atlanta.