We were signed in as we entered the restaurant and then found a table to sit at while we waited for our departure group number to be called. Once called, our group walked to the Martini Bar to wait for a few minutes. It was also here that they handed out some comment cards to fill out. Our group was called once again, and we then walked down to the gang way to exit the ship. It was a short walk to the large prefabricated building where we had checked in for the cruise 11 days before. Inside the building we needed to located our luggage, collect it and then proceed to where the busses were parked. At our bus, plenty of staff were there to load the luggage in the cargo holds of the bus. The whole bag collection and exit setup was well organized and quite quick and easy. We were on our bus and moving before 8:30am.
As on the trip to the ship at the beginning of the cruise, the Celebrity representative onboard played tour guide here and there as we travelled towards Aeroporto Leonardo da Vinci di Fiumicino. The area that the bus stopped at the airport was quite busy, so there was a slight delay getting all of the bags off the bus. The process was hampered by some of the passengers getting in the way of the Celebrity staff trying to deal with the bags.
The check in and the security screening at the airport went very quickly, so we had a leisurely time before our 12:30pm scheduled flight. Without lounge access on this leg of the flight, we spent most of the time browsing in the shops - and did find a few nice things to bring home with us. Closer to the time of our flight there was some confusion about the gate numbers for a few flights, including ours, which required some walking back and forth between two areas in the airport. It may have been happening more times before we arrived, because there were some clearly agitated passengers. With the changes also came the news that our flight was going to be delayed - and it ended up being about a 45 minute delay. We left the crowd to walk around a bit more, returning not too long before the flight was called.
When our plane did take off it took a route that would lead us over the Port of Civitavecchia, and from our location on the plane we did get a nice view of Celebrity Solstice as we fly over it. It was one of those bittersweet moments - and was easy to imagine the excitement and anticipation of the people boarding the ship that afternoon as we had done ourselves on June 15. Sigh. The flight itself was smooth, and without any connection worries the delay was meaningless to us. In the end there was no delay, with the flight crew making up the lost time on the way to Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson Airport and we arrived almost perfectly on time at about 4:15pm local time.
Clearing customs and collecting our bags was reasonable quick and we went straight to the limo stand for the ride home. Timing probably wasn’t the best, considering we left the airport in the throws of Friday afternoon rush hour in Toronto. A reminder for us that life and work did go on while we were having a wonderful vacation and forgetting about all that normal stuff! But alas, it was now over.
WHITEonline is the digital home of Gary & Linda White. We’ve been married since 1980 and live just outside Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Linda was born and raised in Toronto while Gary was born in London, England and moved to Canada at the age of 11. We enjoy travelling and taking photos while we travel. WHITEonline provides the opportunity to share some of our photos & experiences.