Magic on a NCL Jade Cruise: Getting There

an airplane parked at an airport
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Trip Index:

Getting there
Hotel Review: Hilton Rome
Taking the long way to the port
Review: Jade Penthouse Suite 10166
Day in Olympia, Greece
Day in Piraeus, Athens Greece
Day in Kusadasi, Turkey
Hotel Review: Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet
Day in Naples/Pompeii, Italy
Hotel Review: Hotel Holiday Bolsena

Sometimes the flight is just as exciting if not more than, the actual destination or rest of the trip. This was not one of those times.

I was on a paid United ticket in coach going from Chicago to Milan and although I’d been waitlisted for a Global Premier Upgrade to clear, by the time I got to the airport I wasn’t holding my breath. The upgrade list had gone from showing 3 seats available in business to zero, so when I got in line to board I was pleasantly surprised when the agent handed me a new boarding pass and said that my upgrade had cleared and I was now in the first row.

If I had wanted to sleep it wouldn’t have been easy, since the crew left the curtain open to the galley most of the flight and there was lots of noise and hustle and bustle not to mention the bright overhead lights. I worked on the flight and didn’t sleep at all but definitely appreciated the extra space.

Once I arrived in Milan, I collected my baggage (yep, I actually checked a bag this time!) and made my way to the Alitalia counter where I would be checking in for my flight to Rome which I had booked using Delta miles. I was tired, but excited. I was almost there!

I arrived at the Alitalia check-in counter at 8:40am after the transatlantic flight, barely able to keep my eyes open. There were three agents that were each busy with a passenger, and I patiently waited until it was my turn. I wanted to check-in, go through security, and find a nice quiet place to sit down.

DSC01013Comfy chairs

Finally it was my turn but the agent told me to wait until 9am, as it was too early to check in for my flight. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to check-in since the flight was within 3 hours, but the agent was done with me and turned to help someone else before I’d even stepped away. I had nowhere to go and there were no chairs in the area so I just moved to the back, stood, and waited.

DSC01010Alitalia check-in counters

At two minutes to 9, I suddenly came out of my sleepy haze and realized that two of the three agents had left and the third was packing up to go. She avoided eye contact as she grabbed her purse but I hurried over to her. She said that the other agent had been incorrect – check-in for my flight wouldn’t be until 930am and that there was nothing she could do. She disappeared and I was left standing there thinking, “why? why? Why can’t I check in?” 930am came and went, and the desks were empty and silent. For those readers who are now wondering, why? why? Why didn’t you use online check-in or the kiosk? – I tried. I went online, and also tried the kiosk. For some unknown reason I kept getting an error that asked me to check in with an agent at the airport. Ha.


I managed to stay awake until 9:50am, when the agent for Economy finally opened her lane.

I checked-in, found a quiet place to sit, and then took the flight. I was finally in Rome, ready to start the vacation!

Next up – Hotel Review: Hilton Rome

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