Whenever I travel with Merry Ellen, we have weird experiences (“adventures” as we like to call them).On a trip-of-a-lifetime 14-night cruise around South America, the following things happened and we’re still laughing about them.
- The incidents started with the shop in the Buenos Aires airport (below). International travel usually involves time changes, but where do they have 25-hour days?
- Many women travel together, and you’d think cruise line stateroom attendants would see that all the time. But when we first boarded the ship and met our attendant, the man raised his eyebrows and said, “Two women traveling together?” in a very creepy way. That was weird.
- We had some trouble with money — since we visited 4 countries and they all had different currency, and we didn’t understand the conversion rate of any of them. At a gas station store bathroom break during a long bus excursion, Merry Ellen bought a drink and a snack, and gave the cashier $20 American. The clerk gave her back about six pesos from that country and $21.54 American! (Even we knew there was something wrong in that transaction. She was just sorry she didn’t buy more food.)
- At the end of a shore excursion, we got off the tour bus before reaching the ship. The driver pointed down the oceanfront sidewalk and said to just walk about a half a mile that way to the pier and be back for the last tender to the ship at 3:30. We had to go inland a few blocks from the ocean to get to the stores, but tried to keep the ocean in sight at all times. And I had a map of the town in my map the whole time. Well, it was about 2:30 and we started to walk back to the ship along the shore. But the pier and the ship weren’t there! After frantically walking down one way then up the other, we realized we were terribly lost (or the pier collapsed and the ship left) and went into panic mode. We didn’t have any currency from the country to pay for a taxi to drive us there, either. I finally asked a woman in a restaurant for help and she pointed out that we were on a peninsula, and the ship and pier were on the other side from where we were. (We’d walked clear across it without realizing it while shopping.) So we high-tailed it across the peninsula and race-walked back to the pier and the tender, hot and sweaty, but making it in the nick of time.
- The third weird experience involves my brand-new, fairly expensive Christmas camera. When we reached the pier in #2 above, I realized my camera was gone. It’d been in my pocket but wasn’t anymore. We both dumped our tote bags out and no camera. (I’d also had my smartphone in another pocket, and it was still there; that was the upside.) The camera must’ve fallen out along the way. 🙁
- Because I’d had to buy a new camera last year on our Mediterranean cruise after my luggage with the charger was lost, I’d brought it along as a back-up camera. Yay! One night we were watching entertainment in the 3-story atrium of the ship, peering over the 3rd story balcony. While taking pictures of the entertainers below, the camera suddenly flew out of my hands, falling about 40 feet and breaking apart on the floor below. I immediately raced down a nearby set of winding staircases yelling, “My camera!” When I reached the bottom, a man had picked it up and put the batteries and media card back in it — and handed it to me. I thanked him and returned up the stairs to my friend. That’s when she told me that my camera had conked the man below on the head and then bounced on the floor and broke open. The man who gave me back the camera had been rubbing his sore head right before I reached him. That experience was unforgettably weird — like something from a cartoon. The camera had a dent in the corner but it still worked the rest of the trip! (When I got it home, though, it stopped working.)
- Merry Ellen and I were in a shop at one stop and I saw a big sign that said “Cuidado” hanging from the ceiling above. I turned around and said to her, “What do you think that means?” and then promptly tripped up a step and nearly fell on my face. She pointed out that the orange cone on the floor was a tipoff — and we found out later that the word means “watch out.” Obviously, the three months we each spent trying to learn Spanish before the trip didn’t pay off…
- Many of the shore excursions involved long bus rides through Patagonia, which isn’t all that exciting, and I fell asleep nearly every time. Well, twice in the same trip, I dozed off and woke myself up by snorting/snoring! It was so humiliating. And, of course, Merry Ellen was awake and laughing both times.
- On the trip back from Santiago (“the airport from hell”), we ate 5 meals in a 24-hour period. That’s never happened before. We ate dinner at the airport about 9 p.m. after 4.5 grueling hours waiting in line to get through the ticket gate and customs. On the transatlantic flight, they fed us dinner at 11:30 p.m. and breakfast at 4:30 a.m. All that eating didn’t leave much time for sleeping!
Our vacation misadventures give us stories to laugh about for years afterwards!
Related blog posts:
South America Cruise: Ushuaia, Argentina the End of the World
South America Cruise: Adventures in Punta Del Este, Uruguay
South American Cruise: A Day in the Falkland Islands
South American Cruise: Penguin Rookery at Punto Tombo National Reserve, Argentina
Crown Princess Review: South America Cruise
South America Cruise: Buenos Aires Shore Excursion
Traveling Solo: Why I Love Princess Cruise Lines
Weird Solo Travel Adventures
Regal Princess Review: Top 20 Amenities
Cruisin’ Solo and Lovin’ It
9 Things People Hate about Cruises
Ode to Lost Luggage
Mediterranean Cruise: Lost Luggage Second Year in a Row
Mediterranean Cruise: An Adventure in Montenegro
Mediterranean Cruise: A Day in Santorini, Greece, Climbing a Volcano and Exploring a Mountaintop Village
Mediterranean Cruise: A Day at the Beach in Katakolon, Greece
Mediterranean Cruise: Touring Athens
Mediterranean Cruise: Fabulous Venice
Mediterranean Cruise: The $847 Hotel Room
Mediterranean Cruise: Weird Incidents
Mediterranean Cruise: Souvenirs from Italy and Greece
Mediterranean Cruise: Palma de Majorca
Mediterranean Cruise to Malta
Mediterranean Cruise to the Greek Islands and Venice: Off to a Bumpy Start
16 Ways to Save Money on Cruises
12 Reasons Cruises are Better than Land Vacations
Why I Love Solo Cruising
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