This is the first of several instalments on our 23 day trip to Ireland, UK and Atlantic crossing back to North America. So I am starting by our return home.
Returned home, our last stop was New York City the Cruise Terminal in Brooklyn. We arrived in NYC on the Queen Mary2 at 05:30am, the ship docked opposite Governor’s Island and the Tip of Manhattan Island with the new tower replacing the World Trade Centre lost in the clouds. The Captain had stopped the ship first in front of the Statue of Liberty so we could get a few good photos of this famous monument. It was the first time I saw it in person despite having been to NYC many times.
Statue of Liberty at 05:30am as the Queen Mary 2 docks at the Cruise Terminal, Brooklyn.
We then left the ship at 12:30 an hour later than scheduled due to the fact that US Customs and Border inspection only had 9 Officers instead of 17 to process 3000 passengers, it took 5 hours to complete this process of going through Customs for all passengers. I just thought that this type of obtuse management of tourists by the US Customs is an abuse. Passengers coming off an expensive Ocean liner being inconvenienced is in fact killing tourism and giving a poor first impression of the USA. All passport information had been available to the US Authorities 8 days in advance. Many including ourselves who had planned to spend the day in Manhattan decided to simply go directly to the airport. In heavy choking traffic on poorly maintained roadways, we made it to LaGuardia with 90 minute to spare before our departure for Canada. It is unfortunate because I had not been in NYC in 22 years and now it is unlikely I will ever return, too much of a hassle, not worth it.
The flight to Toronto was uneventful, though I find Toronto Airport an unpleasant experience. To be fair Canadian Border Agency is no better and grossly understaffed, 4 officers to handle hundreds of travellers at the Security check point on the second floor for connecting flights. The flight to PEI was fun, passengers mostly from the Island returning home, it seems that everyone knew everyone else on the flight.
So after a day of line ups in Customs and airport security circus, it’s for your safety don’t you know, this is what our lives have become, cynicism and inefficiency is a virtue, we made it home safe and sound, quite happy to be here in our own beds with our puppies.
All this said, it was a wonderful trip, thanks to Will who organized it all and made it a success, it was another great trip like so many he has planned in the past. We can say that it was the celebration of our many years of adventures together. Thank you Will!
At the Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland.