Saturday, December 7, 2019

Oct. 30, 2019 Bye Splendor, hello Singapore airport

Waiting on the shuttle bus to the airport with just a handful of people so far. I was out of my cabin before 7a.m. Dragged and pushed my luggage to the Lido and had some breakfast. Then went to deck 3 because nobody could hear the announcements with the din in there. Fortunately 3 was the departure deck and a lucky guess because it can be other decks depending on the tides and stuff. I had a hellova time handling my two suitcases; they each wanted to go different ways. Once out of there it was a long walk into the terminal and out the other side and then to find my shuttle.

Yippee i'm on my bus and it's just after 8 now and all i'll have to do is figure out how to get through the airport and to my gate. My flight isn't until 12:55 so i'll have lots of time. Maybe i shouldn't be so confident as i know how things can get messed up and plans can change.

The airport is so big here, huge and beautiful and maybe even easy to find your way around in it if you're young and smart and healthy which doesn't include me, lol. This bacterial infection is causing me to cough and then i worry and then i hyperventilate so it's not that easy.

I was so grateful for Linda and her hubby who were passengers on the ship but i hadn't actually met them before. They and their entourage waited for me at different points making sure i got on the train to another terminal. At one gate something went wrong and i don't know what, maybe i was randomly picked. Whatever, the guy at this point seemed suspicious of me and i was held up for quite a while, answering alot of questions, showing my passport and they even asked for my ships card which luckily i still had in my purse. I was under suspicion for something but you understand and don't ask questions, just stay calm, let them do their job and co-operate and do what they say and soon everything will be ok.  I was fingerprinted, photographed and finally let go after the guy in charge took his merry old time checking me out. By then i was so tired of standing and walking i asked about getting wheelchair assist. Don't laugh, remember i've got this stupid bacterial infection and the meds the Dr. had given me yesterday had caused some grief. Needless to say i wasn't going to take those pills on flying day and probably wont even after i get home either because that sceneria was brutal and painful.
My new friends had waited for me! I was surprised and so glad they did and it was totally unexpected. To save the airport employee from having to get somebody to push me in the wheelchair Linda offered to do it. She and her family were so kind and considerate to volunteer to look after me as they did. They pushed me along for a very long way and then at one point i saw that we were coming up to a bookstore and as much as i hated to hold them up still more i did ask if they minded if i ran in to grab a couple of magazines and they graciously said go for it! Off we went again and they were so much fun and a pleasure with their wit and generosity and determination to make sure i got to my flight. They figured out where we needed to go and i'm not sure if i would have been capable of figuring it out on my own because it seemed complicated to me.

We were almost at our gate when Annie came walking towards us from there. She said there was nothing of interest near our gate, not even food nearby and that she was going to the snooze lounge and asked if we wanted to go there too. I said i did but my new friends chose to go a different way and so Annie took over the drivers place of pushing me and off we went. Meanwhile we passed so many interesting things, this airport is not one anyone would get bored in thats for sure! It was quite a long way and into a glass elevator where we went down a floor and there was the snooze lounge nearby. Several people were already snoozing but there were lots of loungers so so we each got one to lay down on and had a little snooze. Annie set her watch for a wake-up call in 20 mins and when it rang we got back on the road, uhhhh, carpet which i liked alot as she pushed me on it. It had an awesome pattern and last year i had taken pics of a different awesome carpet in there that was real cool too. This aiport is amazing and you could spend days admiring it and all it has to offer. You could vacation in there! There's tons of interesting food venues and all sorts of interesting amazing things to look at. There's even a swimming pool and an amusement park, an adult slide to another level, and all sorts of stuff for kids but they wern't on our route.

Soon it was time to get on a beautiful big Cathay Pacific plane and as i walked through the first class section to get to my second class seat i saw Linda and her family sitting in there. They were obviously well to do and the nicest, kindest, most considerate helpful people i've ever met. Shows to go you, you just never know who people are. I am humbled and forever grateful to them for their kindness to me and i hope i can pay it forward somehow, sometime.

Before we flew off i found a different thing on the tv that i'd never seen before. I could see the planes wheels on the tarmac so i left it on that channel wondering what that was all about. We took off and i was able to watch our take off from a totally different and better viewpoint than the one you get at a window. The camera is installed under the belly of the plane! It was literally awesome watching this from my aisle seat as immediately we were out over the bay and there were ships everywhere by the dozens, maybe hundreds, freighters, cruiseships, container ships, and all sorts of ships and boats. It was the most beautiful sight i've ever seen. I had wished that i'd grabbed my camera and taken a pic but i was so mezmerized i didn't want to miss a second of seeing what i saw, it was that awesome!
In retrospect i know it wouldn't have been good if i'd taken that picture because my camera has a pop up flash and the sound of it along with that flash of light probably would have scared the passengers so i'm glad i didn't do it. I'm probably the last one standing with that pop up flash and people wouldn't know what the heck had happened. Yeah, i really do need a new, not a phone, a camera!

So, on my way to Hong Kong now for a few hours and then i'll get off and get on another plane to LA. I have to collect my luggage in LA and go through the whole process once again before getting on the plane to Vancouver. Yeah, i'm taking the cheap route; the milk run. It's going to be a long day.

It's now 4pm on my watch and not sure if HK will have a different time. I want to keep track of how long this journey takes. Last year i did the same flights and changed my watch to the local times when i was there. Result - no idea how long it actually took to get home.

Well, i lost track of the time and we landed, a lot of drama ensued, too much to go into here. Anyway me and some other passengers just barely made it to our gate in time. So now on American Air and just took off from HK at 7:20p.m to LA. I think it's about 12 hrs to get to LA and i'm already tired of flying but i have a window seat so maybe i can rest my head on it and get some rest. I can't believe i made these stupid arrangements. All the little bits are just too much. I should have spent a couple days in Hong Kong and then also in LA because this routine i'm doing just might do me in. Good grief, if i feel this bad already how the hell am i going to feel after 30 or more hours of it?

I forget what time we actually landed in LA but it was all sunshiny and bright. I realised that i wont know what time it is unless i change my watch to the local time and i'm too tired, coughing and my brain is fried and i can't do the math of how long it all takes.

The good news is i got a great agent at the LA airport and he took care of everything as he got me on two different shuttles and through all the formalities. He was a very hyper man trying to do everything right and his frantic jittery ways reminded me of Steve. He was also very friendly and he asked me things about Canada and he wanted to know if i was pleased that Justin Trudeau was voted back in. I said yes, that i didn't vote for him the first time around but that i thought he was doing a real good job and i was glad that Canadians had overlooked his little gaffoo and forgave him for the mistake he made when he was 20 years younger.

On the little puddle jumper plane now and it's 2 seats, aisle and 2 seats with maybe 30 people onboard and very different than any other plane i've flown on and frightening too. I'd much rather fly in a huge plane any day. My breathing has become alot worse, i can't stop coughing so i'm trying to do breathing excercises and stay calm and not think about it and after awhile i'm ok.

Just after 9p.m. now and less than 2 hours to go. Going to play my game before the battery dies. I forgot to bring the charger with me; it's in my suitcase. When will i remember all these innovations like being able to charge your devices on the plane. I'm thinking maybe there wont be a next time to remember but you know me; i'll forget all the crap and hard parts that happened and just remember all the good times of living on a ship somewhere far away in this big world.

My plane landed safely just after 11 p.m. and i was asked if i wanted handicapped assist and i said yes. I guess they forward that info on from airports. In the past i would always think i can do this, i'm home. Then all the passengers walk so fast i'm left in the dust with no one to follow. I knew there was going to be an elevator or two and theres tons of them and that means i'm gonna get lost. I rode on a little car to checkpoint number one and then a guy with a wheelchair drove me to the baggage claim.

At this point i really needed to go to the loo so i started towards it when i heard "oh, miss, is this your luggage?" and i couldn't believe my eyes; my luggage was there already. I think it must have come on an earlier plane because there was none coming down the chute for the other people on my flight. Another good thing to know about wheelchair assist. So, forgetting about the loo i just latched onto my stuff and then it was just a short walk to where my husband was waiting for me. He took over with the luggage and walked me out to the car and we drove off into the damp Vancouver air and i was on my last leg to home sweet home.

Until next time......

 On my way to the Singapore airport

 Very nice carpets throughout
 and glass displays

 Lovely Chinese display

Is the carpet awesome or what
This is my friend Annie

Friday, December 6, 2019

Oct. 29, 2019 The day to say goodbye

I was coughing all night and there was times when i couldn't get my breath. It was scary but i know what it means. I've had pneumonia on a cruise before, back in 2014 or 15 as well as 2 or 3 times it's reared it's ugly head immediately after i got home from a cruise.

I'm pretty sure i've got it again. I feel miserable and weak, my body aches from head to toe, i have a headache and i'm tired. When i cough there's no phlem....can't remember if that's good or bad, whatever, i feel like hell.

Yesterday as well as today workers have been working on the ship and i know as most passengers do that this isn't right. When a ship is on it's way to dry dock they shouldn't be jumping the gun and start working while there's still passengers onboard. But they do; i guess they're ordered to and unfortunately for me they're ripping out the old carpet in my hallway and laying new carpets with dust and smelly glue fumes lingering in the air. I wonder if that's what's making me sick. Another possibility is that while i thought the hall carpets looked in great shape apparently one of the issues is that there's mold around the edges caused by the showers leaking and they're all located against the wall beside the hallways. They've probably erroneously thought that people arn't in their rooms and they can get a jump start on the job. Yesterday i had encountered a work squad in the lobby by the elevators unrolling and cutting the new carpet which is identical to the old carpet. This makes me wonder if they think they're getting away with something as by the time passengers come back it'll be all finished and everything will all look the same. All i know is that i don't feel well at all and but i was ok yesterday so wth.

I was going to call the ships hospital to make an apt. but just then my friend Judy came by and said no apt is needed, just go. So i was going to and then Anthony came along so i dbl checked with him and he said yes, just go so i did.

The waiting room was almost full and i was given a questionaire to fill out with all my info inc. what i was there for. I didn't mention the dust or fumes or possible mold or anything. Eventually it was my turn, thank God because they keep it so cold in there i was already numb. So this RN guy said he needed a urine sample but i had just gone before going down there so i couldn't do it. He said i'll get you a glass of water and he came back with a tiny cup with about an ounce of water in it, lol. I knew it would  take alot more than that for me to be able to supply a sample.
Next was the actual Dr. and he was very thorough and when all was said and done he said it's not pneumonia but a bacterial infection; you're not contagious.  He gave me meds and some cough syrup and i was so relieved i almost cried because i had a picture in my mind of wearing a surgical mask on my flights home.

Funny how it is when you think you're at deaths door and then you get the word that you're not and then you hardly cough anymore. And so you happily carry on with life and i did go with my friends for lunch and i enjoyed it. After lunch they were going to sit in the hot tub and i didn't want to so i just sat in the sun for awhile before returning to my room.

Later they came to my room and we all went for dinner in the Black Pearl. In the lineup i was coughing lightly, not often and when i did i was covering my mouth with kleenex and some asshole comes up to me and he says "you know you should see a Dr. about that cold you have"  I wish i would have called him a bad name but instead i said "i DID see the Dr. today and it's not a cold and it isn't contagious so don't you worry about it" What a know-it-all asshole, especially since it was relatively mild dry short coughs and many many passengers in the lineup were also coughing so why did he have to pick on me.

Annies three friends joined our table and then Annie came by just for a minute because she wasn't feeling well either. I could have lived without that dinner; it was slowwwww like 30 mins between each of our three courses. I kept thinking about that man picking on me and then i'd start coughing again. At one point i started hyperventilating because i felt so picked on and put down by that insensitive man and i was feeling sorry for myself.

Finally dessert and it was the best baked Alaska ever! Glad i stayed for it,lol!

Afterwards we went to pick up our passports which the ship has had on hold since day 1 and we found another long slow lineup. I also had to clean out my casino account to get the money i had deposited into it and not gambled away. I didn't stop to play because in that moment i had to get to a toilet asap. I think my diarhea was caused by the meds that ship Dr. had given to me because it burned like hell and really hurt and my dinner certainly wouldnt have caused that.

Later i returned to the ships hospital to get the notes re my visit there. I was surprised that the info they provided was 6 pages long and very intensive and informative to give to my Dr. once i get home. My visit there had cost $200. which i had to pay upfront but once i get home i'll contact my VTG agent for how to submit my claim to the insurance Co.

Everyone had to pack up their stuff tonight and it was a shame i had to miss the show because the last show is always the best one. It took me forever to get all my stuff together. Packing to go on a cruise is so much easier and done over a long period of time. At least it is for me; i start packing a couple of weeks in advance. But tonight will not be too bad for me as what most passengers do which is to let the crew collect their luggage tonight and then they'll look for it in the terminal in the morning.

I am going to self - disembark; i planned this a long time ago but it's now causing me some worries. Can i really handle all my stuff by myself when i'm not feeling well? Where is my husband when i need him? Well, i have to stick with the plan or possibly spend hours in the terminal again like last time. I am going to walk off of the ship first thing in the a.m.and climb aboard the shuttle to the airport and just hope that it all goes as planned. My flight is at 12:55p.m. and because they're calling people in alphabetical order starting at deck #1 i'll be amongst the first to go which is nice cuz i'll be able to spend more time in the worlds best airport. I've been living on deck 1 and my last name starts with A, how lucky is that?

My mail today consisted of one angry sounding note from the organizer of the excursion to Vietnam. She claimed that she had to pay double what i had paid her because of my empty was my fault that i didn't show up and left a seat empty!  It was obvious to me was that it wasn't my fault but hers and i lit into her for not providing me with a ticket or at least the info on where the bus was parked or why she didn't come back looking for me since she knew for sure that i had signed in and had been there in the atrium all along.
All the info i had was Bus B 9a.m Atrium which was fine as long as you're on the ship but what about after getting off?  There wasn't info for that so HTH could it possibly be MY fault! I had seen her arrive in the atrium and i said good morning to her but she didn't even respond, she just stood there looking around, not saying a word or giving out any info or instructions about her tour. What happened after i went to the ladies room was that the group was ok'd to depart and they all did, all at once following her and once they got off she didn't stop to count or tell anyone anything, they just kept on walking without even looking back. I think she should have taken a roll call outside and told the passengers what the plan was and especially the info on where to find her frick'in bus'es. I know now that at the time she pretended that she didn't even  know where her buses would be parked and to me all the more reason why she should have kept everyone in the loop with signs held up for BusB or whatever buses there were before taking off so fast that anyone 1minute behind her couldn't keep up.

But the fact is that she did know; this wasn't her first rodeo; she knew only Carnival buses could be on the dock property and that the ones she had hired were outside the gates on the public streets. Now that i know that i know that but at the time it never occured to me. She'd been doing these excursions for a long time and that's how she is able to cruise so often! She knew the routine but let on that it was all a big surprise to her to find her buses off of the dock. BS.

I was so upset after checking out every single bus on that huge acerage of a dock in the blazing hot sun and almost 100 degrees i was fit to be tied. How was i supposed to know what she knew?

So i missed out on my excursion to Ho Chi Minh city and what can you do but climb back onboard your now empty ship and collapse in your cool ac cabin.

Needless to say i am pissed; that woman is rude, deceitful and unfriendly and incompetent and now shes saying that it was all my own fault. No way!  It took her two days to contact me and she was upset and mad at me? But because she's a good person she'll give me half of my money back even though she said technically she doesn't owe me anything. I wonder if she thinks i should pay up again because of her "having to pay double for my empty seat" or maybe for her inconvenience that i wasn't there? Huh? Whatttt?

Well i had seen people walking up to that gate and disappearing to the outside world but i assumed they were the young, seasoned and brave travellers who learn the ropes of going off into a foreign city on their own and they'd live to tell the tale. Not my elderly cruisemates going on an excursion that left from out there!

Later i found her angry note with half of my money begrudgingly refunded, what a jerk. Never would have thought a Canuck would do anything like this to a fellow Canuck. WTH is wrong with this woman; i feel so embarassed for her. I just hope i never see her again, ever!

I took my story to the facebook group and some of the passengers that made it onto this excursion said that none of them knew where the buses were waiting but she had led the way to the gates and beyond and there they were. Guess she was just lucky finding them so fast eh! Several passengers told me how it really went and then SHE got wind of it and either she contacted FB re my trashing her or slandering or whatever it is and maybe it was she herself who was able to remove my conversations with the others. Whatever, those posts were deleted with a threatening message sent to me that she was going to have me kicked off if i kept it up. It didn't scare me but i decided wth, it's over and done with and while she likely didn't pick up any clues or messages from this my lesson is learned. Several people had read about it before it was taken down and nothing can be done about it now anyhow so i decided to just let it go with a reminder to cruisers - take the ship excursions where you know you'll be covered and there won't be any crappy surprises! They will give you your ticket with all the info on it re where your bus is going to be and at what time; what the name of it is, and as well they definitly won't come back to the ship without you.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Oct. 28, 2019

I awoke early, way too early but couldn't get back to sleep. Finally grabbed my IPad and played a few of my games. I won some and lost some so just gazed out at the ocean for awhile and now i feel all tired and headachy. Going to jump in the shower and start my day because this cruise will soon be over and i want to make the best of it. My friends Judy and Florine are probably out and about but they said they'd come to my door about 9 and we'll go to the buffet and hatch a plan for the day.

Well, i'm ready to go but no Judy and Florine yet and no sense in going down there like i did once before and they wern't there so i'm stuck waiting in my cabin for people who might have forgotten or maybe got tied up with something else or could be in one of the other elevators near my door and we could pass like ships in the night.
I don't think i'll fall for these kinds of get-togethers anymore. I'll just tell them i don't operate on a schedule and just go whenever i'm ready. Why didn't i think of this weeks ago?

So, i'm still waiting, looking out the window and theres a huge ship in the distance. It's pretty cool because it seems you can cruise for days and days on this bug ocean and not see land or another ship so it's a treat for the eyes.

Everyone got a paper that has to be filled in and turned in today. One of the decisions i have to make is whether or not to self-disembark in Singapore. The difference is that self disembark means that you are going to handle all your luggage by yourself but get off and out of here quickly and the alternative is to place your luggage outside your door the night before departure and the crew will take it out to the terminal and all you have to do is walk out there and find your stuff amongst a zillion other pieces of similar luggage. I've been there, done that and it took me a few hours last time so it's a no brainer for me; i'll handle it myself.
The only problem i have with this is i have a headache, i'm really tired and coughing alot, difficulty breathing, panting upon the slightest exertion, all typical symptoms of pneumonia which i've had during or just after my last few cruises. What a hellofa thing to have to face when you're a million miles away from home and knowing how brutal it is to get all the way home from way over here  when you're feeling like crap.
I took a couple of the pills my Dr. had prescribed especially for this scenerio and i just hope they work to catch it in time before it gets worse.
Meanwhile wth is Judy and Florine? I'm tired of waiting for them and i'm hungry too.

Eventually i took off and had my breakfast in the buffet. I thought i heard Judys voice a few times and i think it was coming from the second level above the buffet. It's a seating area and there's no elevator to it so you have to climb the stairs and nope, i'm not gonna do that! So i finished eating and i really didn't feel well at all, i was still listless and weak, breathing hard and still had the headache so i returned to my cabin, put my pj's on and climbed into bed. No sooner done and my phone starts ringing but i was too lazy to get up and answer it. A few minutes later knocking on the door and i kinda knew it was Judy so i got up and let her in.
Well, she talked me out of staying in bed and i knew she was right. So i got dressed again and after sitting chatting for awhile we went for lunch at the Black Pearl and Florine met us there. I had an excellent lunch of salmon and then an amazing chocolate cake with my coffee..

Sometime during this Judy asked me what time it was and instantly i knew why she didn't get to my door at 9a.m. like we had planned.. She had forgotten to move her watch ahead an hour. During this cruise we've had to move an hour back many times (every second day) and then suddenly out of the blue we're told in teeny tiny print at the bottom of the Fun times to move it ahead an hour. So that explained that. My eye had caught it but neither Judy or Florine had seen it so we were an hour off of each other.

After lunch we decided to go to the casino and we found 3 penny slot machines in a row.They were all the same with paper money symbols. It was fun cheering each other on and  and i won $50. and cashed out but eventually they got it back because it's hard to just watch others play and not play yourself.

Back in my cabin i had a very cute towel animal character hanging from the rafters. Everybody today got several papers delivered by our stewards directly to our rooms. They were instructions that had to be done before Singapore in 2 more days. I filled mine out and took it to customer service and returned to my cabin which is quite a long trek.  Then i noticed the guy who handled it had made a mistake or what looked like a mistake to me so i had to go all the way back up there and get in the line-up once again.

But this time there was a helper guy who was helping by asking people in the line up what their problem was and i guess if he couldn't answer it you'd stay in the lineup and wait to see the guy who could. But if he could answer your question then you could leave and the lineup would get shorter. Many in the lineup had just a simple little problem which he could address and it made things so much better than standing there waiting your turn with the one clerk.

My issue was that i had arranged for a Carnival shuttle to take me to the airport and that would be fine except that i had also filled in the request to do the self-disembark routine. Well, it was clearly written on one of the papers that you cannot self-disembark if you're going to use their shuttle. What a conundrum and a stupid pointless one too.

Well, my guy in the lineup said it's ok, bring your luggage and you'll still be able to use the shuttle. Good thing as i had already paid for my transfer so that was a relief. I just hope he was correct in saying that! Another nice thing about it is that passengers are going to debark in alphabetical order so i'll be one of the first to go.

On my last cruise that also ended in Singapore i couldn't find my suitcase amongst all the zillions of suitcases in the terminal. There was literally thousands of suitcases all in nice neat rows that went on and on forever like the sea and they all looked sort of alike. My suitcase was new, on it's first trip and i thought it was blue but when it was eventually found it was black and grey with just a tiny touch of blue. Sooooo embarrassing. I don't want to ever face something like that again ever! Hence the decision to self-disembark and avoid another stupid scenerio of me not knowing something important and giving my companions the wrong info.Anyway, this time i won't have any companions with me.

As well, my flight to Hong Kong is at noon or thereabouts and if i had a problem finding my bags i could miss my flight. If it were a normal disembarkment i might not be as worried but just like last time this ship too is going to dry dock after dropping all the passengers off so i already know what a madhouse it's going to be in the terminal.
Just so you know; here's a little tip;  ships on their way to drydock are cheaper cruises. Some of the implication is that the ship is in need of repair badly but honestly, they are not that bad, in fact they're in good shape.The Splendor is going to Australia afterwards and and she'll be all spiffed up and will be getting a new Guys Burger joint which for me is the best burger and fries ever made but sadly i won't be there to eat one.
I might also be a little scared that i can't handle a big suitcase and my carry on as well especially if i'm still feeling under the weather. I will also be wearing two purses; one with the money, passport and important papers and another bigger one for Ipad, candy, maybe a magazine or book so i'll be loaded down and just hope i can do this in that HUGE airport. In the past i've kept the carry-on with me but this time i'll put a tag on it and send it to the hold which will free me up a lot. Simplifying is good i think! But also a little scary because usually the carry-on holds your most precious things and i think it's the item that goes missing the most.

Judy called and asked "where are you?" i was invited to meet them for dinner but i'm pretty sure i had said no, i don't want to get all gussied up for elegant night. When i answered the phone i think i was asleep or half asleep and i said omg, i'm so sorry, i forgot and lost track of the time. She said well hurry up and we'll save a seat for you and without thinking i stupidly said ok.

After hanging up i remembered the conversation about it and me saying i didn't want to go but now that i had said ok i rushed around trying to pull myself together because there was no way i could call her back to say no, i wasn't coming. I set out sprinting down the hallway and then realized that i had on the same clothes since lunchtime and i had sneakers on my feet. You cant go to elegant night in that attire so i turned around and went back to my room and once there i decided ok, i'll go to the Lido for dinner. Judy might be upset but i don't want to make a fool of myself arriving late wearing the wrong attire with all eyes upon me. I hate elegant night anyhow; it's so not me; i am not a sophisticated pulled together elegant woman, i'm a Lido lady!

So i had some delicious veggie frittatas, chicken and rice and then brought a glass of ice cream  back to my room, mixed in my espesso and had my own little party before climbing into bed. There's nothing on the evening agenda i wanted to attend as it all sounded old and boring to me tonight.

I think maybe this cruise has been a few days too long for me and that's something i never thought i'd ever say about any cruise. Especially a special Journeys cruise with the famous Lee Mason as the cruise director.

Ah, well, you can't win 'em all but this cruise started to drift right from day one. My own fault re all the card games i was going to learn and play everyday, the slot pulls i was signed up for to play in anticipation of a nice big win, the scavenger hunts i was so looking forward to attending, the ducks i was going to find, the excursion i missed out on and lots more that went off the tracks for me.
 I did have a good time and enjoyed most of it but it could have been better. I enjoyed the postcard swap and i got my camera back, i played a game of LRC, did some handicrafts with a group, made lots of friends, saw some awesome sights, ate some wonderful foods and learned to do alot of things all by myself so i'm glad i went, i saw and i conquered.

I wonder if there's any good ads up yet for next year.........hmmmm.......

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Oct. 27, 2019 Goodbye Vietnam

I didn't get much rest last night, kept waking up every hour or so.The people in the cabin next door had their tv on all night. Usually i hear a man and a loud woman but there were no conversations last night. I was thinking maybe the woman wasn't well. I figured out who they were when i heard her voice in the Lido one day and she was either in a wheelchair, walker or a scooter, not sure because i didn't want to gawk or seem interested in them. We've never gone or returned to our cabins at the same time so i don't think they'd know who i am and i decided maybe that would be best. I just returned from the Lido and saw the man but not the woman so it seemed a little unusual to me. I hope she isn't sick and in the hospital. I had seen the man last night in the casino as well but not the woman so i'm kinda curious but really they're none of my business.

I got ready and went for my muesli breakfast and a lady who asked to sit with me told me that there was a display of towel animals on the deck chairs around the pool. I made sure to go that way instead of the shortcut i usually take because sometimes neat little things like that are very brief.

I returned to my room to leave my bottle of fruit juice in the fridge, picked up my little canvas stool and left just as Anthony was going to clean it so good timing. I went to the atrium and there wasn't many people waiting there as we hadn't even docked yet. I sat with two nice ladies from Georgia and the one that was checking off the people who were going on bus #C.

I didn't see anyone with a sign for my bus until a lady arrived about 20 mins later holding up the Bus# sign and then i went over to her immediately and had her check off my name. I was tempted to ask her some questions but by then there were so many people milling about and talking it was pandemonium so i let her off the hook and went back and sat with the bus #C lady who said it wasn't necessary to sit with your group number because we'd all be getting off at once anyhow and then all you'd have to do was look for bus #B which would likely be beside bus C. I went to the ladies room then along with bus C lady Barbara and we both peed at exactly the same time but i stopped to wash my hands before leaving while she didn't. It was probably less than ONE MINUTE that i came out of the washroom and everyone was gone including Barbara. I don't know how they all could have vanished that fast.

So i ran to the elevator and went down to deck 0 and disembarked really surprisingly quickly too. Outside i looked all around for someone i'd recognise but there was no one. I could see a million buses all parked in nice neat rows all over the acrage of the dock. They all had their bus numbers and excursion name on the windshields but you had to walk right up to each bus to be able to read it. It was so hot out there on the tarmac; it was 96 degrees and so many people going every which way. I started walking to the first section and they looked like Carnival buses so i knew they wouldnt be mine as this was a privately arranged excursion. So i went farther on down the line looking at each one until i thought i going to pass out in the blazing sun. There were so many buses it was ridiculous but i managed to check out that entire huge parking lot and none of them were Bus B and none of the drivers spoke english even though some tried to figure out what i was looking for but it was all wasted time. None of those buses were mine.

I started heading back to the ship which was so far away it looked little in the distance. I saw some small buses pulling in and so i checked them out and they were shuttles to the gate. I thought to myself they'd be for the brave passengers who were going to go out on their own and maybe they find public transportation outside of this very large dock complex. I was so wiped by then i went and sat in one of them really just to rest out of the sun. When people started climbing aboard this little bus i asked them and sure enough they were taking this free shuttle to the gate. Well, i wondered if there were any buses all the way up there and/or outside the gates so i stayed on and rode it up to the gate. Got out and looked up and down the street outside the gates and there were no buses out there either, just traffic, and people galore in a big city. Well, i'm a bit of a chicken and i knew i could get into trouble going off into a foreign country alone so i went back inside the gates, got on the shuttle and rode it back to the parking lot. I was thinking i could have asked some of those passengers if i could go with them but, nah, that would be kind of rude or invasive for a couple who had their own agenda.

I was sunk and so pissed off you wouldn't believe it. How the hell this scenerio even happened was bizarre and lightening fast.  I had tried to ask so many people along the way through this and most were Vietnamese and didn't speak the language and frankly a little intimidating. The ones who did speak english wanted to see my excursion ticket which i wasn't in possession of because nothing was given to me but the words Bus B. period and none had even heard of it. Throughout my search none of the buses there had anything as simple as Bus B or C or A or anything like that. They all had the title name of the excursion. Mine was a mickey mouse excursion designed by an incompetant woman and who knows where the hell it was waiting or how everyone else had figured it out. Was it possible that while i was in the ladies room for that minute and a half they had all gotten out there and onto their buses and had left already? I really didn't know.


Well i sure learned a lesson. Actually in hindsite i had heard this on my very first cruise many years ago. The couple we cruised with told us this and so i always took the ships tours, though sometimes they were more expensive and/or didn't sound as good as the private ones. Now, i'm sure this doesn't happen to everyone and in fact i had been a little puzzled that i wasn't given a ticket, a name or some sort of guarantee or any info on where the bus would be waiting. The reason i let it go was because the woman who had sold me this is a Canadian and i guess i felt safe although i knew she wasn't at all friendly or informative.  I will never make this mistake again. I wanted to see Vietnam again but it wasn't to be. It made me feel sick that i had missed out but what can you do. I might never get to Vietnam again but i will always have my memories of my visit there in 2018 so at least i've got that. If it had been a first visit to anywhere then it would have really been sad to miss out.

So, here i am back on the ship which is nice and cool and theres a handful of people still onboard, mostly couples and me. I wonder if this has ever happened to anyone else but me. It's still unbelievable when i think of how i had gone to the ladies room and there was a room packed full of passengers that disappeared just like that! The ship was empty by the time i got out a minute or two later. Unbelievable!

I went straight to my cabin and recurled my hair which had been straightened out by the heat and humidity out there and then i went to the Lido where i saw a familiar face. Vivian was there getting her lunch! I felt relieved and happy to see her and be able to cry my woes to her. I copy-catted her lunch which was from the Mongolian Wok and it looked so good. You choose the items you want and the chef cooks it for you while you wait. Unfortunately it wasn't to my taste and i had to leave it and go around collecting my tried and true stuff.
Vivian is still not feeling better and maybe is actually eeling worse. I feel so sorry for her being so sick on her cruise. She said her husband had gone out but i'm not sure if it was an excursion or if he just went out to dock where some sales tables of t-shirts and souveniers and the like were set up in tents. So she was going back to her room to rest and i decided to do the same. What a stupid day!

Later as it became dark outside i stood at my porthole and watched as bus after bus arrived back with passengers. I didn't see my group arrive however and now i know its probably because they'd have to walk in all the way from those gates which felt to me like at least a mile away. There was a lot of people milling around out there and in the dark so i couldn't tell if they had walked in or gotten off a Carnival bus.

Later i called the room of this woman who had sold me this excursion to tell her i wanted a refund. Her husband answered the phone and he said she was playing in the casino. I knew immediately that was BS because the ship hadn't departed yet and that means the slots wern't even powered up yet.
Cruise ships have to be sailing for at least 30 minutes before gambling can commence. So i said that and he said well, shes there waiting for them to be powered up then. So just in case that might be true i took off immediately and went to the casino, walked all around it looking everywhere and there was no sign of her. I knew right away she was a gypster and she was going to hedge on a refund for me.

Stupid bitch; for starters she's not the least bit personable; gives minimal info,  doesn't answer questions, not the least bit friendly and yet she had unpaid helpers such as those women who had done the checking off of the passengers waiting to debark while she just stood around not saying or doing anything.

I feel badly about this whole thing and months back when i booked this cruise and had learned that she was from Labrador (the Province of Labrador and Newfoundland) i wanted to chat with her. My dad was born there and it's extremely rare to ever encounter someone from there. In my whole life i have only met one other person from there and that was Linda who was also on this cruise. This biotch is just not approachable and now i don't want to ever see her again or have anything to do with her. She bloody better refund me or i'm going to trash her name as a horrid travel agent. I'll make her rue the day she gave me the shaft and i'll make her life miserable on FB where she sells her excursions. So there!