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Did you hear about the lovely couple who....

Friday, September 18, 2009
went on a relaxing cruise along the New England shore? They flew from Omaha to Minneapolis and then Minneapolis to Boston without any trouble. They took a cab from the airport to the dock where the cruise ship, the “Jewel” was waiting for them. It took a bit of time to get checked in, where the luggage guys whisked away their luggage, the service counter people took their credit card number and took their pictures so that they could be given a “sea pass” that basically is a credit card/charge card/ room key and identification card all rolled into one. With the assistance of a crew member the “lovely couple” were taken to their beautiful room where a plate of fresh fruit was waiting for them. Their luggage had yet to arrive, but, that was not unusual for a big ship like the Jewel.
Well “the lovely couple” (who from now on will be known as “us, we, our, I, Rod and Annette) headed off for our first of 3, 679 meals that we would consume while on the ship for the next 5 days (ok, I know, that was a bit of an exaggeration…it was really closer to 3, 678 meals). Upon returning to our room we were still not surprised that we didn’t have our luggage. As “seasoned” cruisers we knew that it might be a good couple of hours before the workers would be able to deliver the bags to the thousands of people on board. We did notice the phone “message” light flashing. We figured it was the typical, “Welcome to the Jewel of the Seas. We hope you enjoy your voyage.” Imagine my surprise to hear this sweet little accented woman’s voice say, “Good evening Mr. and Mrs. Markin. This is “blah-blah-blah” from guest services. We regret to inform you that there has been an incident involving your luggage. We regret to inform you that when your luggage was being transferred to the ship, it accidentally FELL INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN! We would like your permission to clean the items before we return them to you. Please call “blah-blah-blah” at guest services as soon as you get this message.” Rod was out on the balcony enjoying the view as I listened to this message. I pushed the “repeat message” button thinking I must have misunderstood what this young lady said. Nope! She actually said, “ YOUR LUGGAGE FELL INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN.” I yelled at Rod saying, “Our luggage was dumped into the Atlantic Ocean in Boston!” He, of course, thought I was jesting…until I replayed the message! He called guest services and was told that our luggage was dumped into the Atlantic Ocean. The good news was (according to them) they were able to retrieve both pieces of our luggage. But, the bad news was, everything was drenched with ocean salt water. They wanted permission to clean our clothing and the “other items” that were in the bags.

Now, here’s where the story REALLY gets interesting….

Bag #1’s Contents: clothes

Bag #2’s Contents: medicine, all of MY medicine for my pulmonary hypertension, all of Rod’s prescription medications, a heating pad for the leg aches I’m still getting because of the knee issue and Rod’s CPAP machine.

You might want to reread the contents of bag #2 to get the full impact of what happened. By now our ship has left the port and we are on our way to our first stop, Portland, Maine.

Rod, in his stern “doctor voice” told the guest service person that he wanted our luggage delivered to us a.s.a.p. so we could actually see what kind of damage they were talking about. AND, no matter what, we did NOT want them touching the medicine!
Our luggage was delivered and it was an absolute mess!! The suitcase with the clothes had every single item dripping with smelly water. The second bag was when the real problems were revealed. I should start by saying there was some good news in bag #2. The medicine that I have to use for the pulmonary hypertension is all sealed. So, with the exception of a couple of packages of extension tubing, needles and the alcohol squares that I use for cleaning the tops and connections, everything else was fine. I had all of my oral meds with me in the carry-on, along with my back-up Flolan pump and cassette of medicine. But, Rod had his shaver, CPAP machine, the heating pad and all of his oral meds. At the last minute he stuck those pills in the checked luggage because he didn’t have room in his briefcase.
We were sent down to the ship doctor’s office to try to get replacements meds for Rod and any items I needed to replace for my Flolan supplies. The doctor was able to help Rod out with some of the prescriptions, but the doctor’s replacements were drugs that were manufactured in Russia!! There is no FDA in Russia. Rod politely accepted the pills as we started to figure out what we were going to do as soon as we landed in Portland the next morning. There was nothing that could be done for his CPAP machine. This $5,000.00 piece of equipment was completely ruined.


Well, in an attempt to make a long story a bit shorter, Rod and I spent the first half of our stop in Portland taking cabs to drug stores and Target stores to replace his prescriptions, new luggage, underwear, socks, etc. He was unable to find a CPAP machine. But, after several hours of phone calls Rod received a new CPAP at our second port of call (Bar Harbor, Maine…on Wednesday) and was thrilled to finally get a good night of sleep.
We did not receive our cleaned clothes until Tuesday evening. We got several phone calls asking for our permission to clean the clothes for us. Every time we said, “Yes!” It was pretty obvious that no one in “guest services” had a clue what was happening.

In spite of all of this crap that went on with the luggage and everything that went along with that, we did manage to take a tour Tuesday afternoon. We went to Kennebunkport, Maine and saw the Bush family compound. The American flag was waving proudly in the front of the house. The flying flag is the signal that President George and Barbara were at the house. We even saw a secret service boat patrolling the area around the compound. We had a little free time in the town of Kennebunkport where we enjoyed a delicious piece of blueberry pie!

Wednesday was a much better day. We landed at the port in Bar Harbor where we went on a whale watching boat and we actually spotted two different “Finback Whales!” We were told that Finback Whales are the second largest whales in the whale family. After our little excursion, we were, once again, given a little free time. This time we found a fabulous bookstore and another restaurant that also served delicious blueberry pie! Ding-Ding! 2 pieces of blueberry pie with ice cream two days in a row!
Thursday we landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We took the free bus named “Fred” into town to visit the Maritime Museum where we learned about Halifax and their part in retrieving survivors and “non-survivors” of the Titanic disaster. For lunch we went across the street to a Chinese buffet. I know, don’t ask me why we went to some goofy Chinese buffet when we were in a fish town. They also didn’t have blueberry pie there. But, this did have ice cream!
That brings us to today, Friday. We honestly feel like this is the first day of our vacation. We finally had our belongings, either returned or replaced. We’d signed the majority of the paperwork involved when your luggage is thrown into the Atlantic Ocean. So, we slept in, went for lunch, took a nap, went for a snack….you get the picture.

We get back into Boston tomorrow (Saturday) morning. We were planning on staying over an extra day so that we could explore Boston since I’ve never been to Boston and Rod has only been there for meetings. But, given how this trip began we both decided we just wanted to go home. So, we’ll be coming home tomorrow night. Hopefully Rod will have a quiet Sunday so he can face work after his week of “vacation.”
OK, that’s it for now. This has been a strange, strange week, even for a “Markin.” We’ll be glad to get home and see our little “Prozac Babies.”

Thanks for checking in.

Thanks for reading.

Annette

*************IMPORTANT P.S.
I tried really, really hard to upload some pictures, but I kept losing my internet connection and at .55 cents a minute, I figured you good people wouldn't mind waiting for me to get home and some pictures from our "vacation." Sorry.... I'll get them posted when we return and get settled in...
Thanks again.
love
annette

5 comments to Did you hear about the lovely couple who....:

Di said...

All I can say is...YOU REALLY NEED TO WRITE A BOOK!!!! So sorry for the water logged luggage and the mess that went with it. I am sure it was good to be HOME! hugs, di

Jen said...

OMG....Girl..wow..sounds like a great movie...LOL
I know it was not funny...But glad you both made it...

Hope by now that you are at home resting.....Will look forward to the pics...Atlantic ocean luggage and all...
Take care Cutie...Did I mention...this would be a great movie????

Hugs :))

Donna said...

Annette,
We were out of town and I just read your blog today--what a "vacation." I'm sure sometime you'll laugh about your adventure but it certainly wasn't the relaxing cruise you expected. I just hope you've been able to rest this week and get your strength back. Take care!
Donna

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