They applied for their visas about a month back. As we were getting dangerously close to the start date of the cruise, we got increasingly worried as they hadn't received their visas. This was a couple of days back. Dinesh visited the Canadian consulate in Seattle where he stays. No luck. They said there was no way they could find out except by sending an email or a fax. They did both. No response.
We immediately got onto a call and started planning for the worst case that they did not receive their visas in time. Chetan found out that they could actually fly in to the place where the ship would dock on the first stop which was in the US so they would not need Canadian visas and they would also disembark at the last stop before getting back to Vancouver. The downside - they would be able to be on the ship for only about three and half days! This would also cost each family about $1,600 more for the flights. But what could we do? We had no choice.
We decided to wait until Monday and then they would book the tickets.
What I construed as the universe's whispering had by then turned into a full-blown loud message! What was this? The Canadian government's way of telling us we're not welcome? Right from the beginning of this plan, things did not go smoothly. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong! However, the one thing that was positive was that in the end, things always turned out fine. Like with my friends' Canadian visas.
This morning I received an email from Dinesh that read:
The visas are approved!
I have Yogita's and my passports in hand. Chetan's and Pavithra's passports are in Express mail expected to arrive at my house tomorrow. We are now unblocked to do next level planning of how we will ENJOY the freakin' vacation.
Seriously guys, thanks for all the help.
PS: And a note to myself about starting earlier moving forward.