Friday, March 13, 2020

Shipping Out To The Bahamas From Miami

It's been a frustrating day getting into Miami, returning the rental car, and getting on board our ship. Now, two out of three checked bags have arrived in our state room. I also notice that we have been given two soda cups...

(Here is where I need to take a little side trip to explain that on Royal Caribbean, if you want more than juice, generic coffee, tea, or tap water, you have to pay for it. Now, the thing is to buy drink packages...all inclusive bar tab is $55 per day, per passenger. I don't see the three of us racking up $165 in drinks, especially since the first and last days are very short. We choose the all you can drink soda package where the ship gives you special souvenir glasses that work in the soda machines at a more reasonable $8.50 per day. If we want a cocktail, we'll just purchase them one at a time.

Now, back to your story...)

...where there are three of us that should have them. I tell the room steward, he says it's not his responsibility, we have to go to guest services but he'll try to remember to tell someone.

Next, Letty has changed her mind and wants to stay connected while we're on the ship this does I buy a package so the three of us can connect our devices but only one will connect at a time.

It's almost time for our dinner seating so we first head over to guest services where there is a long line of people waiting to complain. It seems that most of them are here to try to wrangle an upgraded cabin.

Finally, one of the staff works the line to see if there are easier problems to solve to get people through faster.  When he gets to me, I tell them about our missing soda glass, suitcase, and our internet problem. He says we must wait until 8pm to see if the bag arrives before we complain about that. He'll check into the glass. We must go up to the deck above to see the IT guy but hurry, he's only there for another hour (for a total of two hours a day of IT help).

We stand in line upstairs with our devices, finally get to the front, and the IT guy changes our account so that all are able to connect now.

We get to the dining room, a waiter has us follow him in. He takes us to the center of the room, and says to follow him...our table is right over here.  "Here" is a table where we'd have to navigate a path of about twenty inches wide, and that's with no people sitting at the tables between us and the one assigned to us.

Tim's wheelchair is a bit wider than twenty inches. We bring this to his attention that we can't fit.

"No worries, we'll move stuff around to get you in."

"What about when we're done and people are sitting in these other seats? There will be even less room," my wife tells him.

"You don't want to sit here?" he asks.

"It's not accessible," I tell him. "We need to sit somewhere else."

"OK, come with me and we'll take to the head waiter."

I follow him to the podium. There is a man in a tuxedo there and a line of about 40 people waiting to talk to him.

"Just stand in that line and he'll take care of it."

Just to recap...Letty and Tim had to stand in the sun for almost two hours before they let us go into preboarding security. We had to navigate a crowded line to find someone to tell us where our cabin was. We had to wait in an even longer line to get an elevator to our room and, a little later, again to go up to the deck for lifeboat drills. We just had to wait in another line to complain about our missing luggage and soda glass then another to get our devices connected right. Now...when we're assigned an inaccessible table (when we were explicit during the whole booking and checkin process that we have a wheelchair)...I'm told I have to wait in yet another long line.

That, my friends, is where my rope ended.

"I've been standing in lines all damn day ever since I boarded this damn ship. I will not stand in another line, either get us a decent table or I'm leaving!" I exclaimed, a bit more forcefully than reading these words suggest (that quote may have been sanitized a bit for our reader's protection-Ed).

"Please, it's ok...we'll work something else out," the waiter said.

He went off to get someone. In a little while, another man in a tuxedo showed up and took us to a table that would hold a dozen people and said to sit here and tomorrow there will be a better table that we'd be assigned to for the rest of the cruise.

Seated, our order was taken. A minute later, a family of about twelve showed up.  Guess what? This was THEIR assigned table. Of course, they complained and we were moved yet again to a four seat table across the aisle. Why not this table in the first place?'re thinking too logical, at least more logical than the dining crew of the Enchantment of the Seas.

Finally, fed.  We leave after dinner, have a couple of cocktails in the uppermost bar before calling it a night where Letty and Tim snoozed in their comfy beds and me on my little bunk at the ceiling where it seemed like I was a larger than life elf on a shelf.

Tim said one thing before turning in..."If I could, I'd get off right now. I never want to go on a cruise again."

I really could think of no argument against that after this long day so I just said goodnight and went to sleep. Here's hoping tomorrow will go a bit better.

Darryl Musick
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