After rolling into my hotel as a hot a sweaty tourist with 2 large suitcases and a raging headache, I showered and took off on foot to start discovering all that New Orleans had to offer at 5pm on a Sunday. Too see my adventures getting here take a look at Adventure is now… and for a bit of background on me check out Solo Female Traveller on the Move
This post is updated after each step and then uploaded once I reach any Wi-Fi signal.
My journey to the other side of the world began very early on Saturday morning. My very first flight departed at 6:20am. This meant I had to be at the airport by 4am, which in turn meant leaving the house just before 3am.
At around 1am I received a call from Qantas staff advising that my connecting flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles has been delayed an hour. The trip hadn’t even started yet and already plans were changing. This delay shouldn’t have too much of an impact as I have a 3-hour window in LAX before my connecting flight to Chicago.
Flight One – Auckland to Brisbane
Made great time to the airport. Had the traditional al maccas breakfast and tank juice before wading through security and dosing my gate. My flight was delayed three time before we actually took off. Supposed to depart at 6:20, it was pushed to 6:40 and then to 7am before we finally departed.
I think I got about an hour of sleep before breakfast was served. Fairly average scrambled eggs and baked beans with sausage and hash brown. I did quite enjoy the lemon muffin though. I then decided to watch how to be single which had me alternating between laughing out loud and crying quietly – definitely do not recommend to watch in front of other people.
Flight Two – Brisbane to Los Angeles
Arrives into Brisbane at around 9am. First purport was get somethings. To munch on. I decided to get a boost Caribbean green juice smoothie and some BBQ pork buns for lunch. I then visit the transfer desk and got my seat changed from a middle seat to an aisle seat. I had originally hoped to get a row to myself but there were no free seats on the flight.
After sorting food, I headed down to the departure gate. After we were advised of 2 more delays I asked about my connecting flight but they didn’t have any information. But they did need to put my visa information in the system. The flight itself was pretty uneventful I watched several movies: sisters, joy, and wild. They were all quit good. I cried in almost of them. I got a couple of hours sleep before breakfast.
Flight Three – Lax to Ord
Landing in Los Angeles was minor lily stressful because I was waiting for information on my connecting flight and we landed at just before 8am with my next flight departing at 9:05am. I was advised at the gate that I had been rebooked and I would find out more at baggage claim.
Side note: passport control at Lax is really smooth. If you’d been into the USA in the same visa and passport before they let you check min at these machines which prints you out a receipt which you take to CBP officer and they wave you through.
After I picked up my luggage I got my new flight details. I had been rebooked on to an American airlines flight departing LAX at 2:15pm and arriving in Chicago at 9pm. So this wasn’t going to work because my Train was departing at 8pm an hour away from the airport.
So I lugged my luggage up to the recheck desk where a lovely lady got me rebooked onto a virgin America flight departing at 10:30am and arriving at 4:0 pm. New ticket in hand I checked in my luggage and went in search of terminal 3 to check in for my next flight.
The lines in the terminal were ridiculous. I wanted to change into fresh clothes and get some Starbucks for my flight but there was a line 20 people long for each activity. So I choose bathroom and instead of getting completely changed I changed my shirt and reorganised my bag in the waiting area.
I arrived into Chicago airport, I was on the lookout for a cell phone store to pick up a sim card but I couldn’t find one unfortunately. But I was feeling pretty time conscious because I still had quite a way to go to get to Union station and catch the train to New Orleans. At this point I’m running on around 5 hours of sleep over the last 2.5 days.
Get all my luggage and I start following the sign to the CTA trains to the city signs. I bought a ticket to the train and it was $5, I only had $10 notes and the machines don’t give change, so I tried to use my Qantas cash card but it wanted a zip code for the transaction and I had no idea what that was and it wouldn’t accept so in the end I used my MasterCard visa to pay for the ticket. All the trains from the station are the blue line heading to forest park. The stop I wanted was Clinton and was I think 15 stops away from the airport (approximately). Once I arrived at the station I heaved my luggage up the stairs and wandered along the street till I found Union Station. It was after 6pm by this time and I still hadn’t found a cell phone store.
My First Official Contract with Disney Cruise Line finished on March 30th 2015. I had extended my contract by 3 days so that could stop working on a Castaway Cay day, which means I boarded the dream in a foreign port and re-board the dream on my tourist visa instead of my work visa.
I did this as one of my on-board friends and I went on a 1 week vacation to Orlando/ Disney world!!!!!!!
Cue 1 week of shopping and seeing friends and eating!!!
We caught up with some friends, we shopped and slept and tanned at Mickeys Retreat. It was a great end to a contract.
After Orlando I flew home to New Zealand where I spent a wonderful 10 days seeing friends and catching up on sleep and snuggling my favourite animal.
I then flew to Australia to visit my friend from the college program, we were proper tourists we visited museums and art galleries. Walked through botanical gardens. Drove to the gold coast and of course bummed around at home.
After Australia I flew home and visited my mum who has a new favourite animal as unfortunately Mary Jane had to be put down in March.
I had 7 weeks’ vacation all up. I finished up my time at home spending as much time as I could with friends and family, doing driving lessons and slowly packing my bags and counting down the days till I flew back to Florida.
Bye for Now
Ok so the day dawned somewhat brightish and earlyish, we were docking in St Maarten.
We had decided on breakfast at the enchanted garden at 9am.
Breakfast was surprisingly a buffet ha-ha, during which our waiter spilled a glass of water all over our table we all had good giggle and after breakfast spent a few hours chilling on board, this was because we had booked a tour but it wasn’t due to start till 12:30pm. So at around 11:45am we made our way through to the Buena Vista Theatre to await our briefing.
We arrived nice and early and spent around 20 minutes waiting for everyone else to arrive. We had booked the Under 2 Flags tour which was $29.00 per person and took us on a coach tour around both sides of the island. We stopped at a market place where we perused all the token souvenirs and bags and what not. We even chanced a look inside the mall, which was filled with various expensive stores with nothing overly interesting. I purchased some post cards for my collection.
We decided we were thirsty and so we stopped at a juice bar for some fresh fruit juice. Kat got a vitamin C juice which was deliciously tart as it had no added sugar. I had an island blend and Christopher had a Pina colada smoothie – no alcohol added. After which we boarded the bus again and headed for the rest of the tour.
Our last stop before the ship was at a famous carousel and Italian ice-cream shop. We all had a free go on the carousel and a scoop of ice cream, there were so many flavours it was really hard to choose but they let us taste a couple first. I ended up with a Bounty flavor, which tasted just like bounty chocolate bars.
After half an hour there we were dropped back at the port. Chris and Kat headed back to the ship and Michael and I window shopped at the port side shopping for around an hour.
i just want to apologize that none of these photos are in order.
Day four was pirate night, there was a lot of commotion happening with dance parties and pirates of the Caribbean themed shows and even fireworks. We had dinner at animator’s palate for the first time since we had eaten at Palo on the first night instead.
I must say that out of all the menus this was the one I was least interested in.
After the fireworks there was a dessert buffet at cabanas but it was also a bit average.
Saturday dawned bright and early suprisingly enough as i had spent an amazingly long night at a Cher concert.
cher was amazing, it was my first concert and i had the best time.
saturday consisted of last minute getting ready which took a lot longer than i wanted so i was getting pretty grumpy by the time we finally met up with Michael and got on the way to the port.
once we arrived at port canaveral we got all of our stuff out of the van, and christopher had his big suitcase sent to the room because its wheels were broken and it was full size suitcase. the rest of us (katherine, micheal, and I) gather our stuff and went through security and up into th line to check into our 7 day cruise!
I have been waiting for this day for years/months! and finally we were there, checking in to our adjoining staterooms on the Disney Fantasy for a 7 day eastern caribbean cruise. nothing but luxury and disney trivia ahead of e for days and days.
After arriving in the stateroom and getting our selves sorted with our new quarters:
After getting ourelves situated we started to roam around the ship that we would call home for a week.
We stopped by Cabanas on the 11th deck which we discovered has an amazing seafood buffett which we all stuffed ourselves with.
We then explored the ship for a few hours till it was time to pretty ourselves up for dinner at palo.
we gorged outselves on plates and plates of rich and delicious food for over 2 hours. the somalier talked us into buying 2 bottles of wine for the table, and our server plied me with as much prosciutto as my heart desired.
we had planned an evening of fun and roaming the ship after dinner but i had started to feel ill and mostly food coma, so we all went to bed to sleep off the amazing food we had all eaten.
that ends day one of my disney cruise
Just found this awesome blog, filled with amazing ideas which i am definitely down for
T T F N
Ta ta for now