In Buenos Aires: 80 and sunny

I left Los Angeles on the 5th, a bit after noon, on a Delta 757 for connection in Atlanta. Having used mileage, I was in First Class. Delta has a way to go before they can compete in First Class. The flight attendant asked the guy next to me if he wanted lunch. “What are my choices?” he said. “Yes or no.” was the response.

Boarding in Atlanta was a hoot. A line was forming along an aisle bordered by a wall on one side, and chair backs bolted to a large metal bar on the other. The announcement for those needing extra help was made and the closest to the gate was a young girl with crutches. She looked at the line and shaking her head, stepped, with some difficulty over the metal bar which was chair less in that one spot, just feet from the gate entry. An older man with a cane followed, then came two women with one crutch each. At that point the general boarding was called. The formed line surged forward. The two women with crutches were followed by anyone who could jump the barrier. Both lines collided at the gate. The Delta rep taking tickets seemed not to notice.

Delta’s Business Elite from Atlanta to Buenos Aires had great service. The plane was a 767 300 which sat 2+2+2. My only complaint was being disturbed while sleeping. I had an aisle seat, and I implore Delta to make a rule that the flight attendant can not be wider than the aisle she is walking. Things went bump in the night.

We landed at 8:35 AM in Buenos Aires. After passing through customs, we funneled through a shopping mall to get to baggage. Smart idea; there was a lot of shopping going on. Several money changing booths were in the baggage claim area itself, but the exchange rate is better outside. After passing through customs, take a right and you’ll find a bank that does much better.

A Regent rep met us and while handlers took our baggage, we were bussed to the Sheraton and ushered into a lovely reception area to await transport to Mariner at 1 PM.img_1913.JPG

I took the time to walk a pedestrian shopping street with stores selling leather goods, leather goods, leather goods, and leather goods. There were, of course other shops as well, but they were far outnumbered by the legions of leather.

Check-in on Mariner was speedy and seamless. Within minutes, champagne in hand, I entered my ninth deck penthouse suite, and was totally impressed by the size and furnishings. One section had a Queen Bed, make-up desk, and lounge chair. That area opened to a sitting area with bar, desk, sofa, and another lounge chair. Wood was everywhere. From there through sliding glass doors to a large deck with table and chairs.

img_1905.JPGimg_1908.JPGThose of us traveling “solo” were invited to a cocktail party in the early evening. I met the “”Distinguished Gents” whose main job is to dance with the ladies. Nice guys, and very friendly. I talked for awhile to a woman who has been on board since December 27th. She’ll stay until Ft. Lauderdale. I asked her about her time aboard and her reason for taking such a long trip. “I live in Colorado.” she said, “It’s winter there!” How nice to have mobility.

Dinner was great. In the Compass Rose, Mariner’s main dining room, there are no assigned tables; no set time to dine. The maitre d’ will ask if you want to eat in private or “socialize”. I joined a table of five and met some fascinating people. My fears of eating alone disappeared in animated conversation, perhaps aided by the complimentary wine. Seven Seas ships are known for pouring a good glass of wine, and, as of the beginning of the year, they now also serve complimentary liquor.


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