Northern Transatlantic Cruise Live Blog: Day 1

Today started the beginning of our 19 day adventure across the pond that starts in Copenhagen, Denmark where we will embark on a 14 night Northern Transatlantic cruise back to the New York City.  

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We started the day at 6:30AM with a goal to leave our home by 7:30AM.   We needed to leave pretty early because we had a flight at 10:00PM out of JFK in New York City which is a 10.5 hour drive away.  If we left at 7:30AM that we would arrive at JFK 4 hours prior to our flight leaving.  This gave us a good size buffer for any issues that could arise.

I’m sure you are wondering why we chose to fly out of JFK given it was a 10.5 hour drive away.  Well we had several multiple reasons.  One of which is that we found a one way direct flight on Norwegian Air, a low cost European carrier, from New York City to Copenhagen for $911 for all for of us including luggage.   That alone made it worth the drive. The fact that the cruise ended in New York City made it a no brainer.

We always pack the car the night before so that the morning of our departure all we had to do was wake up and feed the kids breakfast and go.

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Kendall, the packing queen, managed to get our luggage down to 2 full size bags and a carry on and one stroller for our family of four.  This also included pull ups and wipes for 19 days.

Prior to leaving we did have to drop off one of our dogs, Gipper,  at the kennel before we left.

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We then made a quick stop at Lucy’s favorite restaurant, “Chik-away” also better known as Chik-Fil-A.   We got Lucy her favorite food “Chicken and Bread” which is also known as “Chicken Minis.” To many, myself included, this is also known as the greatest breakfast food of all time. 

We then got on the road and started our 10.5 hour drive to JFK.  We had just made this same drive three weeks ago when we took a cruise out of NYC to Canada/New England.   You can read about that trip in our previous live blog here.

Unlike our last drive,  we were in much more of a rush this time as we had a flight to catch, and did not have time to do much photography.  The scenery was beautiful as always, with the beautiful rolling green hills serving as a backdrop.

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We made a quick stop at a gas station in Maryland.

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Kendall right after leaving the bathroom noticed her phone had fallen out of her pocket.  She rushed back in less than a minute and her phone was nowhere to be found.   I immediately called her phone and it went straight to voicemail and when using “Find My IPhone” indicated the phone had been turned off.   I don’t get too angry about many things,  but this level of dishonesty was definitely unsettling, especially given the speed that they turned it off with no attempt made to locate the owner.  Either way,  there was not much we could do about it so we trekked on.

The rest of our drive for was relatively uneventful, except for the several hundred times our children decided to sing “Baby Shark”.  For those of you not currently in the heat of parenthood, “Baby Shark” is the new “Wheels on the Bus.”  It’s a breakaway hit, and as far as I am concerned it is headed for the Billboard Top 100 shortly.  You can listen to it here, but be warned, if your child were to hear it than you may never here another song again.  I would love to meet the man who created this song and thank him personally.

We eventually passed through Pennsylvania and New Jersey and made our way toward New York City.  

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We were making decent time,  but had to make a couple more stops than expected.  Even with the extra stops we were slated to be at JFK by 7:00PM, which was still 3 hours prior to our flight.   However, things started to get a little stressful as we approached New York City.  Anyone who has driven here knows just how confusing it is and how fast exits come up.  With so many roads so close together GPS can become confused quickly and with bumper traffic rapidly appearing and disappearing it was very easy to make wrong turns.  

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Unlike making a wrong turn in a small town where it will cost you a minute or two,  in New York City those wrong turns can be 20 minute ordeals.  Several missed exits, wrong turns, expletives, and “recalculatings” later and we were suddenly slated to arrive at almost 8PM for our 10PM international flight.   At JFK that would be cutting it pretty close.  Thankfully,  we got a text that our flight was delayed by an hour and that gave us some breathing room.

At least on the way to JFK we did get to see a beautiful sunset.

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We eventually arrived at JFK at about 7:40 PM and quickly unloaded the car.  We hopped on the shuttle that drove us to the train to the terminals and got on the train and road it to Terminal 1.

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Flying with children can be very difficult at times,  but there are rare occasions where it can work to your advantage.  The check-in counter line at the airport can be very long.  Standing in line with for an hour with kids and luggage is pretty much a nightmare for any parent, and I believe the airlines know this.  Hence, while never guaranteed and totally random, we have lucked out on occasion and been pulled from the line.  We have then been directed to the front of the line just because we were traveling with young children.  Today, thankfully, happened to be one of those days and we were directed to bypass the check-in line and go straight to an agent.  We were also allowed to bypassed the security line as well.  Traveling with kids is hard, however, on a rare occasion there is a small perk.

After security we decided it was time for dinner.  JFK is not exactly known for the their spectacular food options, and Terminal 1 is no exception.  After security there were only 2 restaurant options.   A small pub serving American food and and an even smaller Sake Bar.  Otherwise, snacks from Hudson News and grab n’ go deli style options were all the food options one had. 

We decided to go for the pub food, The Local @ JFK.   

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We ordered two small flatbread pizzas, pretzel sticks with cheese, and a draft bud light.  It wasn’t bad but I wouldn’t call it great either.  It always pains me to eat at the airport as the total for that little bit of food was $57.50 including tip.   That’s airport pricing for you.

We got to our gate only to learn that our flight had been delayed by another hour.   We just decided to hang out in the terminal until we finally started boarding at 23:15, which was an hour later than our original departure time.

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We finally boarded the 787 Dreamliner.  Since the 787 sports a 3-3-3 seating arrangement, Kendall ended up sitting with Zack and Lucy in the middle of the plane while I was across the aisle to assist if needed. 

This was our first time flying Norwegian and I must say I was impressed.  Despite Norwegian Air being a value carrier all the seats had an in seat entertainment system and the seats were actually pretty comfy.

Kendall got the kids settled in for our 7 hour hour flight from JFK to Copenhagen.  We finally took off right at midnight and shortly after the kiddos thankfully fell asleep.  Unfortunately,  Kendall being the pillow, did not get much sleep on the flight.

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Tomorrow we awake on a plane about to land in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Read about Day 2 here.

If you enjoyed this live blog feel free to read our previous live blogs:

Western Canyon Tour

Canada and New England Cruise

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