SA: Embarkation Day?

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

The hotel that Holland America uses for its guests is the Santiago Sheraton Hotel and Convention Center. Large, very nice hotel. We had to show our passports to check-in. The concierge was reminding us not to lose the little piece of paper that we received at passport control as we would need it if we went out around the city, and when we got on the ship. That information would have been nice to know at passport control. Paper not much bigger than a gas station receipt and looked about as inconsequential. I wonder if anyone has already lost theirs.

I was so happy to get our keys. I was looking forward to getting in the room as I was feeling the effects of not enough sleep and brain fog was setting in – worse than normal😐, but we had one more stop to make – the Holland America hospitality desk. There we received our instructions on what (1) bus number we would be on to take us to the ship, (2) what time to leave our checked bags outside our room as they would be picked up and the next time we would see them would be in the cabin (fingers crossed), and (3) what time to be in the lobby to meet the bus.

At 11:00 we were in our room! It was nice with two double beds (or as Chuck called them – oversized twin beds) overlooking the pool area. Of course, the first thing I noticed was that there is no coffee maker in the room. Always seems like these big convention hotels won’t put coffee makers in the room. Drives me crazy.

Since we would be sending out our large bags ahead before our bus pick-up time, I rearranged some stuff from the carry-ons to the large bags. We took off the airline tags and then tagged the large bags with the HAL tags. I had packed my HAL luggage tags and thought I had packed Chuck’s luggage tags, but we couldn’t find them. I just had to tag his bag with a couple of my tags.

My back was sore, and I was starting to get a headache, so I laid down on the bed to rest and take a couple of ibuprofens. Chuck was going to go to the front desk and ask for wash cloths and a bucket of ice and then go try the pool area. He came back after a while and said the pool area was nice with a bar that also offered food. He was surprised that the wash cloths and ice hadn’t been delivered to the room yet. I was feeling better, so I changed from my long-sleeved shirt to a t-shirt, and we went back to the pool bar.

There was a nice breeze, and it was fun chatting with the servers who practiced their English as we practiced our Spanish. We had some beer and tried the meat empanadas. I didn’t ask what kind of meat – sometimes just better not to know.

About 4:30, fatigue set in with a vengeance, and I came back to the room. I tried reading but kept dropping the Kindle. I woke up briefly as Chuck came in. I woke up a couple of times during the night but felt like I slept well overall. Finally woke up for good at 4:30 a.m. Chuck woke up at 5:45.

I was putting our large bags outside the door just as a hotel representative was coming around the corner. She checked our names off of her clipboard and took the bags with her.

As Chuck was putting stuff in his carry-on, we found his luggage tags. I could have sworn we looked in all the bags but as I said, I had brain fog so who knows if we looked in that one or not. I tagged our carry-ons and back-packs with his tags.

We went to the pool area as they had set up a nice breakfast buffet area. The buffet was included in our room rate. They had several stations set up – both hot food and cold food. I especially liked the fresh fruit offered – apricots, blueberries, and strawberries were very sweet. I tried a cream-filled puff pastry that was very good. Chuck said his bacon and eggs were very good also. We were extremely happy with the strong dark coffee.

Once we came back to the room, I decided I should pay our charges from the day before instead of waiting until we checked out. As I opened the door, a guest saw me and asked if we were cruisers. Yes, we were. Well, she said, the ship has been delayed docking because of large swells and our boarding has been delayed two hours. HmmOkay.

Not that I didn’t believe her, but I went by the Holland America hospitality desk to see about the transfer. Would our bus still be arriving by 10:30 or will it be delayed also. Answer – our bus would not be picking us up now until 12:30. We would still need to check out by noon. Okay. Seems like patience would be the word of today also. Never a dull moment.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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