Passing Through the Portage

Passing Through The Portage


It was a cool and humid New York Summer morning. The light fog wrapped around lower Manhattan like a light blanket. The skyscrapers reflected off any sun that appeared through the clouds. The current pulled the small gentle waves of the hudson river under the bridge and out to sea. My family “prepared” the night before, packing up suitcases and bags, but we forgot the most important thing of them all, our passports.


The last day aboard the ship was full of fun and memories but when morning finally came it was over. We scrambled around the cabin, making sure no one and nothing was left behind. My family eat breakfast overlooking the New York skyline then went down to the main deck, bags in hand, to disembark. The line to just get onto the gangplank extended around the whole entire ship. I was greeted by an employee who took the card from my hand, and stated, “Thank you for cruising with Norwegian.” When it came time to hand the customs employee our passports there was a complete mood shift. Going through every suitcase we fell short of our way back into the country, our passports.


The terminal was fairly empty early in the morning. Other boats, smaller cruise ships were arriving for the next week of travel. The silhouette of the ships towered over the small, but crowded, city streets. My parents made several calls to my other family aboard but got no answer. The pier terminal employees didn’t want us to go back aboard because of security reasons, but we all knew that eventually we could leave.”Well, hopefully we can leave soon,” my Dad reassured my 5 year old brother. Receiving the call from my grandma was one of the most relieving parts of the day. Twenty minutes later we saw our grandparents approaching the customs podium with passports in hand. “I’m so sorry, how long were you waiting?” my Grandma looked sympathetic but happy to see us. “That doesn’t matter, thank you for rushing down here.” My mom sounded both tired and relieved.

My grandparents, parents, brothers, sister and I all left the cruise terminal, passports in hand, and made the long walk back to the car. Driving away from the the lower west side of Manhattan, the cruiseship was visible for a few miles, then faded away in the horizon on the drive back home. I’ll never forget the memories and fun I had in Bermuda, but even after waiting 2 hours in the New York Port Authority cruise terminal, I would do it all again to relive all the excitement of the vacation.

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1 thought on “Passing Through the Portage

  1. Michael,
    I really enjoyed the description you put into your setting. Right when I started reading I was struck by very descriptive words making the introduction to your story very convincing and making me want to keep reading.

    -Jake Forte

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