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Billthekid

Our Embarkation Saga

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This is a tale of "Things Happen"  We were cruising out of Buenos Aires in December 2019.  Our tale starts at Miami Airport where we had a three hour layover before our 11:30PM departure.  We boarded and got all set up for leaving.  Time passed and after 25 minutes an announcement stated the pilot had a family emergency and had to leave and we were waiting for the backup pilot and those who want off may do so.  We stayed on and then they realized if we were on the tarmac for over two hours they would have to compensate us so everybody told to get off.  Next announcement was those who used their phone for the boarding pass come to the front desk because the boarding pass disappears at midnight.   So big line to get paper ticket.  Finally pilot shows up after hour and half and crowd claps.  Everyone is a fairly good mood.  We are about to land and told airport is crowded and must circle for a while.  Turns out to be 45 minutes.  Land and cleared immigration and customs with no lines.  (told later others were in line for over two hours, lucky we were late.)  Found HAL's transfer bus and told would be a few minutes.  Turns out over 30 minutes.  Get to terminal and carryon bags checked by HAL scanner.  Next immigration scans our bags, then customs scan our bags.  Next we must catch a bus to ship which is a five minute walk.  Big line and we finally get on third bus.  Told an area is being saved for a handicap passenger.  Bus moves forward 10 feet and a gentlemen on a scooter is waiting.  He is unable to stand up and so scooter and him must be picked up together since there is no ramp to help him board.  Two guys try and can not lift him and scooter.  So need two more individuals and finally he is on the bus.  Minute later we are at the ship and back door and middle door open.  Those in back get out but scooter is blocking middle door exit.  Bus driver can not help because he has barrier in front of his door.  So here we are unable to get us or him off the bus.  Finally four people assist lifting him off the bus because again there is no ramp.  We head up to the ship but instead of a flat ramp there are 36 steps to the ship requiring us to carry our luggage to the ship.  We did not stay around to see how they were going to get the gentlemen and his scooter onto the ship.  Flash our cabin key and then no one to greet us and tell us where our cabin might be located.  We are not alone and newbies were is total confusion.  We gave directions to several and found out cabin.  We were hoping the Mariners reception was taken place but no.  So greeter is eliminated and reception is also eliminated.  Spouse and I are starting to bark to each other after such a long day and night.  So up to lido for energy, unpack and dinner late seating.  Table for eight, but we are alone.  After dinner look for entertainment, but there is none.  So to bed and slept until 2PM the next day.    We are sure others have tales to tell, but this was our tale and possible an episode for Comedy Central.   

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As they say, ship happens.  I thought I was the only one with this kind of 'luck'...Very unfortunate, but hopefully the rest of the cruise unfolded much better for you both.

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WOW!  No doubt you were relieved to board and get some rest! 

 

I hope the rest of your vacation went more smoothly.

 

Edited by VennDiagram

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Great attitude, which is the only kind to have when traveling - or heck, anytime.

Thanks for a different kind of post!

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You were fortunate at immigration at BA. We sailed with Azamara in December and we were in line at BA immigration for three hours and fifty minutes. I felt so badly for those with mobility issues as there was no place to sit down. We were thankful the transfer to our ship was a car to a quick embarkation. 

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I hope the rest of your vacation was a breeze!

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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Yikes! What a start. Hope things got better---fast. 

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Wow, what an ordeal.  Not funny at the time but now you can look back and laugh.   Hope you had a great cruise after all that.

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Look at the bright side.  You saved hotel $$ by flying to Buenos Aires on the day of your cruise.

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Did something similar, but not nearly as bad.  Merely had to run through an under-renovation terminal in Buenos Aires at 1 am to another terminal, hoping not to miss the plane.  Made it within 1 minute of them shutting the door.   The next afternoon was the first and only time I ever fell asleep in the Crows Nest.  

 

Glad you survived your ordeal. Appreciate it that you posted this.  Thanks!!

Edited by SilvertoGold

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55 minutes ago, mudscraper said:

Look at the bright side.  You saved hotel $$ by flying to Buenos Aires on the day of your cruise.

 

Maybe not.  The flights to BA are often hideously scheduled for late ETD and overnight.

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Some adventure that was, great story to tell over some drinks. Hope things got better on the ship, enjoy your cruise.

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