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Venture with Bill & Mary Ann on the 2013 GW Voyage "Postcards from Paradise" 115 days

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Welcome home to chilly California, it should warm up again soon.

I have really enjoyed reading of your amazing journey around the world.

Thank you again for sharing it with us :)

Edited by localady

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Bill & Mary Ann,

 

Thanks again for taking me with you ;-) I appreciate all the work that went into the journal and am glad that it was a great journey for you again this year.

 

Someday I will join you.

 

Cheers,

 

Deb

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Thanks once again for an awesome virtual world cruise.

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How wonderful to be able to do this every year! From those of us who can only do this vicariously, a big thank you.

 

Ellie

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Have a safe journey home, and thank you so much for taking us along with you.

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Report # 136 Home........finally! May 16, 2013 Thursday

 

It was a very dismal day as we arrived to the port of San Diego at dawn. Activities began early as breakfast was being served in both the Lido and dining room at 6:30am. We were up early enough to make a stop at the front desk to check out our account before we went to eat. Usually, we have a statement in our mailslot on the final day, but there was none today. And since we were expecting a credit, something told us to follow up on it now. So with that, we found that five charges had been applied against our account, that should have been complimentary. Two of those amounts were for the Pinnacle Grill dinners that were complimentary from the new level of 5 star Mariner program. The third charge was for the complimentary dinner, also in the Pinnacle, given to us for the back-to-back sailing. We should have made that clear when we made the reservations, and not assumed it would be applied. The other two charges were for the cooking class for each of us, which by the way, never even took place, due to the code red. This class was also a new comp for being 5 star Mariners. There was no question that these were posted by mistake, but we find that having to waste 40 minutes of our time to dispute this was not really a nice way to end a cruise. Suppose we had never checked our statement? We would have missed out on $133. and would have had an impossible chance of recovering that once the account closed and we left the ship. As it turned out, our final statement was delivered after 9am. And it was not the corrected one either. By then, the line at the front desk was a mile long, so we trust that right amount will be posted.

 

The face-to-face customs and immigrations check was ongoing all morning for the non US citizens. They were being called alphabetically, and very slowly at that. By the time we finished our meal, they were still calling the names of the letters R-S-T. Our disembarkation time was supposed to be 9:30am, but there was no way that was going to happen. Once the Y and Z names were called, a long list of no-show guests was announced. They were summoned to the checkpoint immediately, being told that they were holding up the entire ship's disembarkation process. It took another 20 minutes before all the folks showed up. At least, no one we know lost their flight due to the inconsideration of some people. We feel that if there was a fine imposed on these folks, they would not ignore the rules. Sure, we would all like to sleep late, but that's life.

 

The good news was that once we exited the ship, saying goodbye to our favorite security gal, all we had to do in the terminal was identify our 6 pieces of luggage for Fed Ex Joe B., who marked it off on his list. We did not have to pay a porter to put them on a dollie and drag them through the checkpoint. We have always thought it was a dumb move to take the luggage 15 feet, then drop it at a door. Undoubtedly, Fed Ex will come in with their equipment and load the luggage later in the day. We guessed that about 25 of us world cruisers left the ship today in San Diego, so the amount of baggage was far less than what was in Ft.Lauderdale. The funny thing was Joe B. remembered us and our rather heavy duffel bags, as he laughed that we were back. Now all we hope is that they arrive home in one piece like they always do.

 

We took a taxi straight to the nearby airport, a 15 minute ride from the pier. We were there by 10am, got our boarding passes, then went back outside to relax in the sun that was just starting to come out of the clouds and fog. It was going to be a nice day after all. As for our flight, well, that was not to be so easy or prompt. We were supposed to fly out at 1:30pm, but there seemed to be a problem with flights getting cancelled all morning. There was not a weather problem that we were aware of, except some rain in the morning in SF. If there was fog, then, yes, there could be delays. No, this appeared to be possible air traffic control problems according to the rep at the United desk. We were told we would not be leaving until 3:30pm, when suddenly at 3pm, they announced that we were boarding. People had scattered to go find a suitable restaurant in another terminal, and probably missed their flight. Honestly, we don't think the folks at the airlines care. They just sell the seats of the no-shows to the stand-by people.

 

So we ended up landing at SFO at around 5pm, and had decided to email the kids to tell them we would take BART to Walnut Creek. We can tell you one thing......no public phones work in the SFO airport. Guess we are dinosaurs with no cell phone. At least we did find a working phone at the Walnut Creek BART station, made connections with our youngest son, and he was there within an hour to pick us up by 7pm or so. We were finally on our way home.

 

Pulling in our driveway, we noticed everything looked fine, except for piles of leaves from the recent winds. Thanks to our kids, all the birds and Lucy, our one cat, were fine. At least, the cat seemed thrilled that we were back,because she meowed until 2am at our bedroom door. Anyway, the trip was wonderful, but there is no place like home!

 

Until the next time, thanks for letting us take you on this journey with us!

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Thx for the last several months. I always enjoy your threads so much. You have my deepest sympathy have to end your holiday on United. They re the worst.

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And I thought our cat was the only one who whined at us when we come home from a trip! :) Thank you so much, I have really enjoyed your posts!!

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Thank you for taking me along with you. I enjoyed it tremendously! Enjoy your time at home before your next adventure.

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Thank you for taking us with you. Happy to hear you are home safe.

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Thank you for sharing your grand adventure with us. I enjoyed every moment.:)

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I have many questions I could ask, but all in all the blog was very nice and it was the 2nd year that I read everything you posted.

Not much for TV ,each evening I caught up before bed time.

It would be nice to see your picture posted on your thread.

Glad your World cruise was a success and that you didn't come home to very unpleasant things that could have happened during your absence, I'm sure you heard from the family along the way.

 

Jan 2014 will be here before you know it, so let us know when the blogging starts.

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Thank you! I love your posts. I always feel like I am right beside you on all your trips! Waiting for 2014 to come.

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Thanks, WCB, for sharing your World Cruise!

 

I am seriously dismayed about the mistakes to your final bill. Four were 5 star complimentary rewards and you were charged and then had to dispute these obvious mistakes! This is appalling.

 

The ships are able to get the complimentary laundry figured out, so what is the problem with the Pinnacle and Cooking class (which never even occurred!)? Someone certainly dropped the ball and you were due a sincere apology.

 

Thanks again for your posts!

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Thank you for all your posts. I looked forward to each as you traveled the world. I am sure it will take many weeks to sort out all your photos.

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I want to add my thanks for your wonderful posts. Some day I hope to take the world cruise. Welcome home!

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Thank you so very much for your entertaining and informative posts. You obviously have world cruising down to a science. Your ability to pace yourself is impressive. I probably would get squirrely after about 20 days. It has been a fabulous "read."

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