That time I went to Puerto Rico to take a cruise and then went home…without taking the cruise

Well…

On February 14th, I called a cab at 3:30 AM to fly to Puerto Rico to eventually cruise as an ambassador on Playbill’s Broadway on the High Seas 8. Get on the plane. Sleep most of the way because hey, it’s 5 in the morning. The flight is feeling a bit long at which point the captain informs us a storm is looming over Houston and everything is grounded. Not long after, he tells us we’re landing…in Austin!

We refuel and wait for the all clear at Houston and of course as I’m landing, my connecting flight to San Juan is departing. No biggie, they’ll put me on the next flight. And they did, but it didn’t leave until 11PM!!! So for 12 hours, I cry and try to stay awake, which makes me want to cry, but I eventually arrive in San Juan at 5:50 AM on the 15th.

Still with me?

I’d cleared everything up with the hotel so there was a room for me when I arrived and about 7:30am fell into a mouth open crusty eyed sleep.

The Universe was kind and I had 2 blissful days in San Juan! But the theatre gods said, “You made your Broadway debut in a show called Disaster. Let’s imitate some art shall we?”

I’d researched that you could travel to the Caribbean by sea with your passport card. Everything is going fine. I go to check in, sorry, two of the islands we’re going to are international territories therefore, you can’t sail with us. No cruise for ‘Cretta.

Devastated.

The ship puts me on the phone with the airline. Get my flight rescheduled for today the 17th. Charlotte neglected to tell me while we were on the phone that check in had closed at the airport. Get to the airport with 59 minutes to get through check in and security. Totally doable.

I am informed that I can not check in for the flight as you must be checked in an hour before departure. You had one job Charlotte! I will now be flying out at 2AM. When the airline rep asked me what my last name was, I almost threw up. I had to tell him to give me a minute because I felt a wail welling up inside me. What is this Valentine’s Day all over again?!?!?

So yet again, I’m that girl crying and playing video games at the airport for 12 hours watching time tick by so I can go back to New York 6 days earlier than previously planned. 😒

It’s mildly amusing at this point. Only mildly. I go outside to get some fresh air and soak up as much sun as I can before heading back to cold, dreary New York.

Next thing I know, this guy sits next to me on the bench that’s much too small for my butt. He’s crying. I’m concerned because I’ve been crying for the past 3 hours. His blue eyes are sapphires from his tears. He says to me, “I need you to make my phone say 7 o’clock. Can you call my mom and make sure she said seven. I’ll give you my passport.”

I. Am. NOT. Making. This. Up!

I look at my phone. It’s 5:42 PM. Ship sails at 6PM. Can I doctor this passport in the back seat of a taxi back to the cruise ship terminal in time to MacGyver leap onto the boat in the knick of time?

Nope.

So I say, “What are you talking about?” Then I’m like, he don’t know, girl. He wasted!! But he’s still crying and I totally understand cause I’ve been there…twice this week!

He says he needs to get to the Cayman Islands, but that they told him he can’t leave until 7pm. I’m like dude, chill, I can’t leave until 2AM.

Now it’s life story time. He’s lost everything including his wife. That he’ll never talk to her again. I don’t delve into his business. I just tell him he’s gonna be okay and I mean that. Then he says, “I love you.” And it sounds like he means it, so I sit profile to him just in case he’s one of those kissy face drunks.

Oh look, it’s 6:58! He stands up. Turns and shakes my hand. I love you he says again. I thank him. Now I’m amused. Fully amused. I thank God for the laugh.

It’s 7:22pm now and he hasn’t come back so I think I’m in the clear! SMH

Murphy’s Law is smacking me all up in the face right now. I was really looking forward to the cruise, but alas not this time. I’m safe and my friends have been so supportive, but I am definitely worn out and the mosquitoes are biting so I’d better sit inside now. Only 4 and a half more hours and I’m homeward bound…I hope.

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