Good Morning!

We decided to try room Service breakfast on our balcony this morning. So we checked (ticked) off the items we wanted on the provided menu and hung it from our door last night for delivery between 8 and 8:15. Thankfully we woke a few minutes before the 7:58 alarm as breakfast arrived early at 7:53! I was still brushing my teeth but Mike was dressed and met the delivery man. (Who was so quick that Mike wasn’t able to give him the 2 euro tip I had laid out last night!)

Our first course was grapefruit for Mike and pineapple (with one lone blackberry) for me.

For our main dishes Mike had a ham and cheese omelet and I had ordered scrambled eggs but had also marked “easy” on the line which also offered medium and hard. Obviously those were only meant to describe fried eggs. Luckily overeasy is how I order my fried eggs so all was good. We both ordered sides of bacon, bangers, and hash browns as you can see. Inside the breadbasket is a croissant, a bran muffin and some wheat toast.

Food was all tasty and well prepared but as expected not as hot as in The Restaurant or The World Cafe…and the delicious lamb chops that have become our go-to meat order in The Restaurant weren’t available on the menu, though I bet if we’d written them in they would have come. I do wish we had of done the balcony breakfast on the second day of the cruise when it was a little warmer and not as windy but otherwise a lovely and relaxed way to start another sea day. #FirstWorldProblems

I’m off to get some laps if it isn’t too windy on the promenade deck (it was yesterday) or in the gym if it is. Then planning on spending 10-12:30 in the theatre. First lecture is by the producer of the BBC series about the Human Planet, then one on Spanish Tiles and their importance to the culture of Spain. And finally, another chance for our CruiseCritic Trivia team, The Sore Losers to live up to our name!😂

Last Sight of Land

We just left Sint Maarten headed for Funchal. ETA April 6 at noon.

Had a nice included bus tour of the island. We bought some gin and vodka at the dutyfree and rode a carousel…Neither of us could remember the last time we were on one.

There were seven ships docked: Holland American, Carnival, Seaborne, Royal Caribbean, Windstar and Sea Clipper. I’d really like to take a Windstar cruise sometime.

Loved seeing the fresh flowers being taken aboard Seaborne.

We are off to do a couple of laps on the promenade and then I’m aiming for the spa, but pool and or nap may call instead. Such tough decisions!

San Juan

Landed a little early in San Juan and got to our hotel about 9 pm. Tired after a long day but glad to be here.

It was nice to have some space on the 2 hour flight from Miami but dinner left a little to be desired.

Salad, salty twice (maybe thrice?) baked potato and salty rubber chicken with a hint of salty mushroom sauce and a dry wheat roll. #FirstWorldProblems. Thankfully the white wine was nice and not at all salty. The predinner hot nuts and G&T were tasty as was the post dinner hot snickerdoodle cookie (biscuit for my British followers) with a glass of Bailey’s!

We intend to leave the hotel by 10 or so in the morning and drop our bags at the ship and then show Lois around our 51st state before boarding the ship in the early afternoon. So I’m off to bed!

Porto?

Doesn’t it figure that the first hurricane EVER to come ashore in Portugal would decide to be our welcoming party? We are supposed to be staying in Vila do Conde which is a beach town north of Porto. I’ve tried to indicate it with the red squiggles.

From what I can find online it appears the storm came ashore north of Lisbon (and therefore south of Porto) and has caused damage there and 300,000 are without power. Our Airbnb host says that the water is rough and some tree limbs down but otherwise all is good. 🤞

We are currently in the Dublin Airport Lounge where our flight is showing a 50 minute delayed departure. Hopefully that will not get extended but if it does then we will just continue to enjoy the lounge. #FirstWorldProblems

Oops.

Found out day before yesterday that a lot of the pictures included in the Aberdeenshire post didn’t upload. Turns out that I’ve used all the available storage that comes with my free WordPress account. Ugh.

I’ve deleted some pictures from previous posts so that the latest batch will upload. Once I decide whether to pay for more storage or look at moving to a different host, I will let you know and be able to blog again. Until then I may be gone for a few days. For those of you who have access to Mike’s Facebook Account, he pretty much covers the same thing I do. Or follow us on instagram where we are claynmike as I will try to post more on there to I work out the issues here.

And be sure to go back to the Aberdeenshire post to see what you missed!

PS: no Nessie was seen but had a great time through the lochs and in Glasgow and arrived safely in Edinburgh today. It’s strange to just be us two again after our time with Lois and then with Jenny & Brian.

Traveling is Glamourous?

Quito International Airport. 2:05 am 18 July 2018

Phew. I really didn’t thing we were going to make it out of Quito. Rather than retype I am going to just cut and paste below the Twitter direct message I sent to United when they wanted to know why we were upset.

Suffice it to say that Avianca and United have communication problems and we had to deal with entirely too much stress. But we are all checked in at 2:35 AM for our 5:05 flight. Presuming everything goes as scheduled we should be in Mexico City around noon and in San Miguel de Allende by 4 pm. Hopefully we can catch some sleep on the planes or in the car as we both had only an hour or so.

Pray for us!

We are upset because:

1. Our six month old award booking was changed by your partner Avianca without our knowledge and without any explanation.

2. We have spent 5 hours and 24 minutes on the phone since Saturday evening. Each time we were given the same assurances and promises.

3. This morning I requested that our booking be transferred to Copa flights as I was able to see award availability.  The UA agent said this could not be gone. This small effort on UA’s part to do the right thing would have gone a long way to alleviate our stress and frustration as we faced the possibility of being stranded at Quito airport.

4. We had plans to sightsee today but due to the time spent on the phone we instead spent it inside our hotel.

We would appreciate having 1/4 of the points used for these tickets deposited into our two accounts. Given the efforts we made to proactively address what was clearly a communication problem between you and your partner, we believe it only fair.

Below is a summary of the issue and our attempts to resolve it. Do not hesitate to let me know if we can provide any additional information.

Clay

Background

We are traveling on UA award tickets on Avianca for the last two legs of our trip (first legs on Copa were fine).  My record number in your system is GK1XR0.  My husband’s is a separate number but same itinerary.  His last name is Burton. I don’t have his number and he is asleep. Since it’s 11:38 pm and the alarm is ringing at 1:00 am to head to the airport I hope you can find it yourself.

On Saturday while checking to confirm the flight time on AV’s app, we discovered they had changed our itinerary.  Original was UIO>BOG>MEX.  New was UIO>SAL>MEX. (During subsequent phone calls no true explanation of what drove the itinerary change has been offered.  At one point it was stated original flights have been canceled but as of this moment both original flights are showing an on-time departure.)

We then called AV to adjust seat assignments after being unable to do so on the app and after 21 minutes on the phone learned that while we had confirmed reservations that because of the itinerary change that the flights would have to be reticketed by UA.  but it doesn’t appear they notified UA of the change since as of this moment you are still showing our original itinerary when I pull it up to n the UA app.

We then called UA and the agent attempted to resolve but eventually conferenced in Avianca. At the end of our 1 hour and 15 minute call, Avianca informed both UA and us that we were all confirmed and sent an email as promised.

We tried to check in this morning with Avianca using their app and their website. In both cases got an error message saying “ticket issues”. So we called Avianca and after 40 minutes with them was again told I would have to speak to UA. After spending 2 hours and six minutes on the phone with UA (and Avianca after your rep conference them in) it appeared (again) that the issue was resolved when your agent “released” the tickets to AV.  We were told that the new tickets would be “issued” automatically in 2-4 hours and we would receive notification that this had occurred by email.The UA agent said she would be monitoring our reservations and would call us back to confirm all was resolved. (That has not happened)

At 4:30 pm today when nothing had been received, we spent 19 minutes on the phone with AV who said we should just go to the airport to check in.  While this answer only increased our frustration, we resigned ourselves to it.

We then called UA one more time in attempt to develop a backup plan should we be unable to board the aircraft. While attempting to be helpful, in the end the agent said that after discussions with the UA support staff, he was “sure” we would be able to check in at the airport.  This call lasted 43 minutes.

Sometime after 9pm we recieved an email from Avianca with the new ticket numbers and are now checked in.