Home Sweet Home(Porting)

It’s not as if the rude father/daughter tag-team who made my flight a living hell or the cab driver who tried to kill me by falling asleep behind the wheel were responsible for my becoming a fan of homeporting, but they sure helped reinforce it.

Let’s back up a bit, shall we?

As you might have guessed, I’m just back from a week-long vacation which found me flying from New Jersey to Orlando to spend a week (and a whole lotta money) at the legendary House of Mouse. It was a grand time filled with all kinds of highlights and hijinks, after which I reluctantly trudged to the airport… and was immediately thrust right back into the cold, cruel world that is modern air travel.

The aforementioned father and his daughter insisted that the aisle seat was theirs, despite my having a boarding pass proving ownership and them insisting they had “never been been given one.” To her credit, the awesome JetBlue flight attendant pointed out that they couldn’t possibly have boarded the plane without one, then looked up their information to find that — shocker! — they had not, in fact, booked the aisle seat.

Gracious defeat not being in their nature, the two proceeded to make sure I had the worst flight possible. Like a puffer fish, the daughter somehow expanded her already generously-proportioned body to twice its size. She also made sure to repeatedly “accidentally” push the buttons which would change the channel on the in-flight entertainment system I was watching.

After just over two hours of this, we landed and I managed to wind up in the cab of a narcoleptic who nearly got me killed thanks to his sleep-induced swerves into other lanes.

All of which brings me to the joy of homeporting.

While chatting with someone about my love of both Disney and taking cruises, hey asked if I’d ever considered combining my interests by taking a Disney cruise. “I’d love to,” I explained, “but they stopped sailing out of Manhattan a few years back, and that’s my home port.”

For me, one of the many joys of cruising is that when the ship — my favorite being the Norwegian Gem — docks, I’m home. No harried trip to the airport, no flight delays or unruly seatmates. It also means that I get to hang on to that vacation buzz just a little bit longer.

Sure, something will inevitably manage to burst my post-trip bubble, but it takes quite a bit longer than it does when I fly down to Walt Disney World and, almost immediately upon leaving the property, have to deal with everything that modern airfare entails.

So while I’m looking forward to my next trip back to Disney, I have to admit — even if it feels a bit like cheating on a longtime lover — that I’m even more excited about my next cruise.

Because to paraphrase that chick whose trip back from Oz was one heck of a nightmare, “There’s no place like your home port.”


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