Cartagena, Spain

We ate in La Boheme, the middle of three restaurants stacked one upon the other. The lower dining area occupies full floor space. The two above circle the lower, with a huge chandelier attached to the ceiling far above, dominating the center space. Our table is a perfect table for two; separated in a semi-cubby with a view of all the dining rooms. Hershey, our server greeted us with both enthusiasm and menu recommendations. As she is Phillipino (or is it Phillipina?), I refrained from any Hershey Bar jokes, assuming she wouldn’t relate. Actually, as I write this, I can’t think of any. Leanel is our assistant waiter and from Panama. The menu was complete and the food good. After dinner we walked the mall that runs through the center of the ship, and I went to Guest Services to get the “Get Connected” guide that would explain how to get wireless on my laptop. “Just read this and you’ll know what to do.” Guest Services #1 said. “We have five hotspots where you can connect.”I asked if I could connect from my cabin and she shrugged. “This pamphlet will explain it all.” I left and, waiting outside a mall store for Michael, read the three page brochure. Yes, I thought. Under the heading Cyber Cabin, it said, “Enjoy all the conveniences of the Internet from the privacy of your own stateroom all for a one-time access fee.” I quickly went back to Guest Services where a rather long line had formed. My fear of course was the longer I stood in line, the more the jewelry store would tempt Michael. When I finally got to Guest Services #2, and pointed to the paragraph Cyber Cabin, she said, “Oh yes, we haven’t had that for some years, it was too slow and didn’t work well.” If I had been told that instead of “just read the guide”, Michael would not have been able to wear her new bracelet to Portofino.img_2633.JPG

We arrived at the Cartagena pier around 10 AM, just as we figured it wasn’t still night. From our balcony we could see shuttles taking anyone to town that wanted to go. A bunch went, but not I. I was busy looking for a hotspot that was hot. Voyager is a big ship, and after I had covered all five hotspots and failed to connect, it was well into the day. During my search I bumped into another passenger who also couldn’t connect, so it was not a problem with my laptop. Back to Guest Services! Guest Services #2 understood my situation, and told me the signals in port were bumping in to each other, so I should wait until we left Cartagena to check again. I was so frustrated I bought this illogic. What do they say, “Any port in a storm”? Well, not this one. By the time I got back to our cabin, we were leaving. Some people waved goodbye. dsc00166.JPGLater, things got a lot better when Michael and I had one of the best Italian dinners we’ve put away. We ate in Portofino with our server dsc00171.JPGPedro from Nicaragua translating the Italian for us. dsc00169.JPGThe entire meal was wonderful, but, bizarre as it seems, the Gargonzola, pear and candied walnut salad impressed us most. Michael has 12 more days to get the recipe, or the bracelet goes back. After dinner I took up the wireless quest again. This time I just went to the closest hotspot — no luck. Back to Guest Relations where #1 and #2, upon seeing me, immediately ducked their heads, and disappeared into their computers. Poor Guest Relations #3, he had no clue as to what was to come. I told him my problem. We went back and forth, and then he looked me in the eye and said, “Company policy is, if it works it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t.” I told him my next call would be to the president of RCCL to tell him about this new company policy. #3 started to pay more attention. He said he would call the guy in charge of getting the signal out and would call me in half an hour. Guest Relations #2 surfaced and reported that she saw a woman with a laptop in the library. “Was she on the Internet? I asked. “I don’t know”, #2 said. On to the library and a woman with tattooed arms was ON THE NET! (The tattoos aren’t germane, just interesting.) I sat and tried to connect. No signal. But she was on. Hmm, what is this little box that says, “Check here to have Windows configure wireless connection”? OMG!!! I checked it, and was on the net. That was more stupid than the leather jacket episode. I am still embarrassed. In my defense, I have to say that the Library is not listed as a “hotspot”. Oh, and I can connect in my cabin, if I kneel at the foot of the bed next to the glass door. I know this was long and slow, but now you know why we didn’t see Cartagena, Spain.

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One Response to “Cartagena, Spain”

  1. Jason Schweitzer Says:

    Awesome! I was worried something had happened when you did post to your blog yesterday. Which ports are you hitting before the transatlantic journey?

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