The first stop is Montevideo Uruguay.
Today was another adventure. The terminal used to process the passengers was attempting to process all of the passengers for at least four major cruise lines simultaneously. The first delay was to handle all of the luggage. The terminal was not near the ships, so passengers and luggage were being taken by bus, separately, to the ship. For some reason the luggage was taking much longer to arrive at the ship than the people. Think in terms of five hours for a suitcase, but one hour for a person. The passengers were being photographed and finger printed in addition to the normal passport scan. All carry on luggage was x-rayed and people walked through scanners. Health questionaires were collected and key cards for the ship cabins were issued. More photos were required for the key cards, and the welcome aboard photo.
This is where the first surprise of the day occured. The room key we were assigned was not the same as the one we were given baggage tags for. The baggage tags were issued by email about a month ahead of departure. They were affixed to the suitcases before we released them to the great unknown of the terminal baggage handlers. We were told that the “system” would be able to track where we were and deliver the bags to the correct room.
As I mentioned before, the bags were taking longer to arrrive than the people. We were on board in our room by 1:30. Announcements were saying that all luggage was being delayed because of the volume of passengers. (more likely not enough Xray machines for the luggage) By 5:30 PM one of the bags was delivered to the old room. We discovered this because we were checking periodically as we explored the ship to learn where all of the important facilities were located.
The other surprise related to the pre-booked excursions at the ports of call. I had been confirmed on an excursion to Antartica. Our travel agent had warned us that the tour could be cancelled. Apparently there were not enough people pre-registered to make the trip viable. So I chose to join my wife on a different excursion that she was already registered on. OOps, that was fully booked. However there were two seats left at a later time in the day. We bought those and will be able to get credit for the unused earlier ticket.
After a delicious supper in the dining room, we checked again for the delayed bag in both room locations; still nothing. Bags were still being delivered to the rooms. After a “Welcome Aboard Show” in the theatre where we were entertained by some Tango dancers, and the singers, band, and stage dancers of the entertainment crew, we went looking for the lonely bag again in the usual places in the hall in front of each room. Finally the missing bag was found in front of the old room. By now it was almost 10:00 PM.
As we travel across the bay, where the river that separates Argentina from Uruguay empties into the Atlantic Ocean, the clocks are to be advanced another hour to coincide with the time zone of Montevideo. Tomorrow is another early morning
to meet the tour bus for our adventure in Uruguay.
The bonus of the day, we have our luggage, the cruise has begun, the room we have now is an upgrade from the one we purchased, and the cancellation of the Antartic trip creates an opportunity to do something else later in the month. Life is good.
Can you find the good in the unexpected events in your life?