I was tickled by the great number of readers that reached out to me with concern for my pajamas!
So, I am happy to report that I am writing “the rest of the story” in my jammies, but you probably don’t want that mental image. Forget I mentioned that.
Once our wayward bags arrived, we had a wonderful cruise onboard Oceania’s Riviera.
From toasting success with champagne in the beautiful dining room to toasting on a lounge chair on the white sand beach under azure skies, shaded by gently swaying palms, we drank in the peaceful beauty for which the West Indies is known.
After our challenging experience getting there, it was a welcome respite of which we took full advantage. Some of the group enjoyed Champagne and Lobster Lunch sailing around Barbados.
Some signed on for an hour-long relaxing massage onboard. There is something wonderful about smelling like a coconut when you are in the Caribbean.
We worried for a minute or two about those in the cold and snow back in Oklahoma until someone remarked “Hey, they had the same chance to join us as we did.” Good point! We pushed our sunglasses up and dabbed a bit more lotion on our bare feet. Sigh.
The time just went by too quickly. We took advantage of new tastes in the specialty restaurants. We were delighted by the onboard production shows and entertainers.
We ate ice cream all hours of the day and were pampered by “suite stewards” who kept our marble countertops shiny, our luxurious bedding prepared for naps and everything else, well, shipshape.
Our ship was to disembark after our arrival in Miami, Florida. This is a traditionally high-stress time, what with packing, paying final bills, getting transportation to the airport, will our plane have “mechanical problems” THIS time?
Husband Doug was “holding down the fort” at home and was keeping me posted of the ice storm forecast to hit Tulsa about three hours before we landed. Hardly the easy transition back into the real world.
This is an example of when it is great to be part of a group. As the “Fearless Leader”, I was working to reconfirm everything and was hopeful to see if there was an earlier flight that would have us safely home before the anticipated storm hit.
As the American Airlines agent wasn’t able to see any weather issues with our current ticket, I pleaded our case, and was able to get an audience with a supervisor. (Part of me wanted to ask “Where the heck were YOU a week ago when I was on meeting every American Airline employee looking for my lost luggage?”)
But I was able to get our flights changed to an earlier travel time without a change penalty. We had smooth flights and made our connections. And... all our luggage showed up in Tulsa.
We were home in our pajamas before we were even originally due to arrive in Tulsa. I love happy endings.
Patti Beth Anderson has more than 20 years of experience in the group travel industry taking people all over the world. Her motto is "I return with the same number of people I left with… not necessarily the same people, but the same number nevertheless. So no 'crankpots' allowed" She may be reached at 918-786-3318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.