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.
DO NOT EVER BUY A TOUR THAT'S NOT A SHIP SPONSORED EXCURSION!
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!
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I am sorry this happened to you. I hope you got a refund!
I had paid her $60. for the excursion and she dropped $30. into my mailbox when i was out. Kind of wish now that i'd gone straight to her cabin and given it back saying i want all or nothing. She obviously felt that it was half my own fault and maybe half hers for not telling anyone where her buses would be located. But i still feel that i should have been refunded in full. Oh well, lesson learned. Thanks for rooting for me Linda :)
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