Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Oct. 20, 2019 a visit to Guam

What a crazy night. I fell asleep with the lights on and woke up because the phone was ringing and my watch said it was 9 oclock.I thought it meant it was 9 A.M. and that i had missed my excursion or maybe someone calling to tell me to get out to the bus asap. It took me a minute to figure things out; it was 9 in the evening! I'm turning into a different person on this cruise, a strange unusual person who i don't know and who sleeps in half hour increments.
Once i figured that out i was ok i went back to sleep only to wake up every hour or half and this repeated all night. By 5a.m. i was exhausted but could sleep no more so played my game and wasted yet more of my points and i think i'm down to almost half of what i had built up over a very long time; i'm talking years! It's discouraging but i figure the only way to handle it is to continue playing and maybe it'll all come back. The stinker is that the more you bet the more chances you have to hit a million or two which you'd think would help but then you keep making those big bets and it gradually gets eaten away. The next thing i know is i've lost a lot and i'm poor again and have to bet small which doesn't give much payback and is a little boring.

When i opened my curtains i saw the pilot boat beside us guiding our way in to the dock. Off in the distance were many other watercrafts both large and small. I had hoped to be on the side facing land but no, i got the opposite view. It would be awhile before we'd dock but i decided to to go to the designated area and be first in line.
I got ready and headed for the Black Pearl restaurant where i have to see the immigration/customs officials before going on my day trip. I presume a boat had already brought them to the ship; probably on that same pilot boat. As usual i got lost again trying to find the Black Pearl. Just when i think i've got it i end up in the wrong place. I've never had this problem on any other ship but this ship is crazy and i don't know what to do with it! At one point i thought i'd found it but it turned out to be the Gold Pearl and they're not even close together.

Once i found the place i saw millions of people milling about everywhere already. Everyone wanted to get the formalities over with so that when the ship docks they can get off first.  The first thing i had to do was find out where the end of the lineup was and it was a long trek with switchbacks. Turns out the end was very close to near where the beginning was. Then the guy in the lineup ahead of me tried to convince me that i was in the wrong lineup and that i had to go somewhere else to get a sticker on my key and he showed me his sticker. I usually believe know-it-all people with instructions but decided not to trust this guy because i had been under the impression that this was the lineup to get the sticker so i stuck with my spot while he insisted i was doing wrong to stay. For some reason i never saw him again but i'm pretty sure that he had stood in the same lineup twice to get a sticker that he already had.
The cruise director was making announcements which were hard to hear or understand because of the din of so many people. At one point he said everyone in a family had to be present to be seen by the officials and people were instantly irate because they had stood in the lineup while their partner or kids had gone for breakfast. Then after all the families had panic attacks he announced that only one person per family had to appear. It was the most bizarre, crowded stressful confusing debarking routine that i've ever seen and equivalent to the embarking scenerio in LA to get onboard.

This sort of thing doesn't happen on most cruises and especially unheard of on cruises that stop at a port every day or two. Having said that i remember that all the other ships i've been on except a different Carnival one use the showroom as the meeting place and there's never a lineup. Passengers are all seated waiting to hear their excursion number and when it's called just those people get up and walk in single file to the gate. Such a huge difference and why didn't Carnival do this? Well, the showroom is very large but it's on 3 levels so maybe that's the problem.  Too bad but it seems that alot of ships are being designed this way now a days.
I met my friend Leeanne and her husband on a couch in the lobby and there was enough room for me to squeeze in. Eventually i was able to debark along with them as we were on the same bus on the same excursion. So a couple hours later the whole thing was done and and over with and the throngs of puzzled people found their way out and enjoyed their excursion but i'm sure nobody is ever going to forget the crazy way they went about it.

Our tour guide had all sorts of facts and legends to tell and she was very good and i liked her. She pointed out her elementary and high schools, where she lived and things about her family. She said there's still a lot of live bombs in the jungle areas that could go off if a person stepped on one or sat on a large one and that people are advised to never touch one. Her own grandpa had picked up a small one and it blew 3 fingers off his hand.

She told of how the reef that protects a lot of the beaches from sharks is formed and how the ocean water is warmer than the air sometimes. I didn't know much about Guam and thought it was small but it's larger than i had thought. There's all the high end hotels and resorts, stores like Michael Kors, Dior, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Chanel etc. and as well i spotted McD's, Burger King, IHop and then theres the malls too. It's like a smaller Hawaii.

We visited several points of interest and one was Lovers Peak, the place where a young couple in love had braided their long hair together and leapt off the highest peak to a watery death rather than to be married to others as their families had planned.
We stopped at a few interesting places and a Holiday Inn Hotel where we enjoyed a very nice buffet lunch and then took a vote on where to go next; either the mall or Kmart. We ended up at KMart. I thought they'd have a craft dept. or at least some yarn, string or thick thread but as it turned out nope, nothing of the sort there. I should have voted for the mall but who knew? The reason i didn't vote for it was because the Ala Moana mall didn't have any handicraft supplies and too late i found out that the Guam mall did!
This Kmart store is the last one standing in a U.S. territory and it's very popular. We were told that if a Walmart came there'd be no more Kmart here or anywhere. We were dropped off for an hour to shop and i did the entire store looking for the things i wanted. I had a couple things in my cart which as it turned out i didn't buy. The store was very busy with lots of cusomers and long lineups at the tills.At one point i asked an employee if there was a till that was for just a few items because alot of the locals were buying whole cartfuls of stuff and nobody wanted to get in a lineup behind them. She said to follow her which i did and she took me to a shorter lineup. Well, this lineup stood still without moving at all because the cashier was leisurely, slowly, carefully lining up and then counting the coins in her cash register and then she put all the coins in separate bags and walked away with them. I waited for a long time along with the few ahead of me but she didn't return and by then i had just a couple minutes left before my time was up and i had to get back to the bus before it left without me. It was a little disappointing but i had to walk away leaving the things i had wanted to buy in the cart. I had 2 pkgs of paper napkins, unusual colourful patterned tissue paper and a sack of candy to say bye to so it was a sort of weird experience but not really a big deal.
A lot of the passengers had purchased pop and i would have had some in my cart too but but i was worried about being able to carry it without knowing how far away the bus might be. Of course i can buy some onboard but it costs a lot more. I wonder where the locals buy their craft/hobby supplies. I hope it's local and that they do have hobbies and are doing crafty things but now i'll probably never know. If KMart is the most popular store there and they don't carry any art supplies then i really feel for them if they're not able to get things locally. Sadly noticed the same thing at the mall in Honolulu but then i'm sure Walmart has cornered that market.
The bus was parked waiting quite close to the entrance of the KMart which was nice. Anyone that comes back to the bus late usually gets an embarassing round of applause with sometimes a few jeers and if you're really late the bus will be gone and you'll have to return to the ship in a taxi. As it turned out for me there were a couple people not back yet so we waited patiently as everyone knew why it was taking them so long.
Back on the dock there was a local dance group doing their traditional dance and i watched for a few minutes and then climbed onboard the ship without further delay. It had been a lovely day overall but i tire very quickly and easily and have to be able to rest.
So i hung out in my room and watched from my porthole for awhile because i enjoy seeing the tugboat getting us going and then seeing the pilot jump off the ship and onto it. Then i freshened up  and went to the buffet for dinner.
My new friends Leeanne and Paul joined me and afterwards i thought of heading to the showroom to watch the hypnotist show but i found it difficult to walk, my legs and feet were sore and i was tired. I got some ice cream and and returned to my cabin and mixed some espresso into it in hopes it would give me some relief and energy but nope, it didn't work.
We are off now sailing for 3 or 4 days before getting to our next port which is Kota Kinabalu in Borneo. Thank goodness for time to recover and then i'll be doing the excursion routine all over again. It will be the ships excursion so it might be easier and maybe i'll get priority. I had purchased this one a long time ago, well before the private sellers popped up selling their excursions. The one i'm going on cost more, does less and doesn't include lunch. However, i decided to stick with it instead of cancelling and going on the cheaper one that does it all better because and i don't know why, fear of fate maybe. I hope i don't end up regretting my choice.

1 comment:

Linda G. said...

You captured some nice pictures in Guam.