Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow or sea?

I’ll take the sea, thank you very much!  Mayberry got about an inch of snow…as we were enjoying a bit of sunny sailing along the coast of South America.   Ahhh, the Good Life!  Hate to rub it in, kids, but at least the snow didn’t last long.

What a disaster it was trying to get onboard the ship on Friday.  Apparently the Rio health authorities and the immigration authorities were having some power struggles of their own, and everyone from the captain, the crew and the passengers had to have EVERY passport inspected and NO ONE got off till they were completed.  We were supposed to set said at 5p and instead, passengers were still disembarking at that hour when we were finally able to walk up the plank. 

Holland America didn’t handle it very well from a public relations stand point either, not telling all the milling, waiting crowd what was going on.  They moved us from one terminal where our hand luggage was scanned, to an adjacent terminal to sit and wait.  At least they brought sandwiches and cookies to the masses.  When we were finally allowed to board (how were they going to herd up all these unhappy folks?), they began running hand luggage through ANOTHER x-ray machine.  Huh?  That would have taken HOURS to re-do, and by then the crowds were getting larger and larger around the exit area.  The folks herding the cattle finally gave up on that screening idea and let folks begin walking through the metal detectors.

And these are the same authorities that will be in charge when the Olympics arrive in Rio.  You couldn’t give me a free ticket to come back and attend.  Just sayin’.  And the clerks, ticket takers and waiters we encountered did not speak/understand English, and I am not referring to fluency…I am referring to anything beyond the basics of hello, thank you and goodbye!  I don’t expect other folks to be fluent in this international language, however, when they are in the service industry of dealing with travelers, they should have enough speaking ability to at least get by and assist their guests.  Sadly, they have a long way to go, and while Dick and I can compensate and get by, not every traveler will be as adventuresome and understanding.

We are enjoying the digital workshop onboard and are huge fans of Windows Live Photo Gallery.  Dick posted some Rio photos yesterday during class… www.ivylog1.spaces.live.com –check it out and leave him a message.  I posted a few photos today… www.ivylog2.spaces.live.com .  The class is mighty popular, and since we’ve had the classes before, we try not to ‘hog’ the computers.

Copacabana Beach…in the rain yesterday from the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain yesterday.  Christ the Redeemer statue is off to our right…in the clouds.  We did get a few peeks at that massive structure.    

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So today we are enjoying music, reading and napping.  Ahhh, the good life!  Did I mention that???  It’s off to class we go…ho, ho, ho…

With love from the sea…

5 comments:

Sandee said...

I'm sorry you had such a hard time boarding. Wow, what a mess if you ask me. Not very good PR indeed.

Have a terrific day honey. I wish I was cruising with you. Big hugs. :)

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

it's a cruise, it's a cruise, it's a cruise... repeat after me, it's a cruise...

enjoy, it'll be fine now honey.

smiles, bee
xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Haley D. said...

Just enjoy the water and warmth instead of the rain and cold that you're "missing" back home!

ivana said...

Ciao Sandy!

enjoy the fine weather and warmth...here we have rain and cold!

Today's problems: security...

Ciao, hugs!!!

Joy said...

Hope everything goes smoothly from now on, at least!