As I mentioned, Jerry and I just got back from a cruise which leaves me a few things to write about, but always after I explain why I'm wondering what food group pretzels belong in or why airplane stewards always show us how to buckle seat belts that have been around since 1962, but neglect to show us how to get our seats loose if we have to use them as flotation devices. But I'll leave that behind for now and tell you about our trip.
Day One: Getting closer to where we needed to be. If airlines really want us to fly, why do they make it so unpleasant?
So much for the trip-tick approach. Real life doesn't happen consecutively. For instance, in spite of the multi-million dollar tourist industry, the only people you can really count on when you are traveling is fellow passengers.
For instance, fellow flyers were told they could get a shuttle from the airport by simply picking up the special phone. Lucky for them, Jerry knew better than to trust that system. He had the direct number programmed into his phone, so when they gave up in desperation, I told them to “just follow us.”
It is a fact, tourists' well-being is above most employees' pay grade. Take the night that our cabin, along with several others, filled with smoke. Using the cabin phone was almost impossible because we kept getting phone trees. I finally got hold of someone in Pinnacle restaurant, and told her the ship was on fire, she told me I had the wrong number. Finally Jerry got a person on the line who said they would send 'housekeeping' to check. Housekeeping? Yes, housekeeping.
So I went to the hallway or is it called gang way? Anyway, there I saw several other cabineers hanging out the door trying to find out what was going on. But housekeeping personnel? Oh I saw them as they quickly went to the back of the ship, some carrying equipment, others just carrying cleaning supplies they were using minutes before at the front of the ship. When we tried to ask what was going on, we found out that housekeeping staff do not understand English.
To be fair, I'm sure they were instructed to keep their mouths shut regardless of what the problem might be. One man, sympathetic to our fear, asked if we had called to report it. Since he said this as he continued on aft to join the rest of the housekeeping crew, I'm pretty sure he already knew that calls had been made.
We never were told what happened. It could have been a burnt bearing or it could have been smoke being sucked in from the exhaust stack due to cross current of wind. (I think that was how the rumor went.) Anyway, we got no official word on why we were sucking black oily smoke. If not for fellow passengers, we might have thought we had over-reacted.
I know this is getting long, but just one more thing.
On the flight home, I sat by the window, Jerry sat in the middle, and a huge man, football player huge, sat in the aisle seat. Of course, his legs and elbows spilled over into Jerry's space. Now, had it been me, I would have been in a snit for two hours, but Jerry is a people person, so he kindly asked the man to give him more space, and the next thing you know, they chatting like old friends. This turned out to be very important when we landed. The plane was just a little bit late, but our connection time was very limited. Our connecting flight was in another part of the airport. I was stressed.
And this is where once again, I learned that fellow travelers are more important than travel industry employees. The huge man said that as soon as the plane stopped, he would stand up and move back, allowing us to hurry off ahead of the crowd. So, Jerry's people skills got us to our flight on time.
Maybe tomorrow I will tell you about the room of doom.
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