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Thursday, June 14, 2007

...and it was an EVENTFUL beginning!

Well, this is not the best picture in the world - as are most of the ones from this trip. I had major camera malfunctions and missettings (is that a word?) and so we deal with what we have!
This picture is for the introduction to our vacation. We arrived at the Bahia Mar Beach Resort and Yachting Center in Ft. Lauderdale, and upon arrival, they stuck us in an outer building and when we went to the room - another couple was in the room - deciding that they didn't like it either. So off we trek back to the main building and the reservations desk. We then got a room in the main building on the seventh floor. We lounged around for awhile then went downstairs for dinner and then sat outside watching all the Mercedes, Jaguars, BMW'S, Lexus' and even a Bentley roll up. There are several events going on at any given time at this hotel.

We probably went back to the room around 9 pm, watching TV, till 12:01 am and BOOM - all the power went out. No TV, no lights (very dim) and NO AIR CONDITIONING!!!! Then an announcement comes over the PA system - "Ignore the alarm that will go off, this is a false alarm!" Then it began, the piercing blare of the alarm - which did not cease till 1:51 am. Almost two solid hours. Now mind you, when the alarms are activated the elevators do not operate. I called down to the main desk several times, and it would ring non-stop then disconnect. At 1:41 am I got thru to the front desk, to be given a "stock" answer that it was only a false alarm due to a power surge. Although it is hard to see in the picture, that is a firetruck (one of three that showed up, only 2 staying for almost 2 hours) as we look directly down from our window. (We had a small step-out ledge and banister.) Strange as it sounds, we did have power and lights in our bathroom. We watched the firemen go to their trucks carrying a long bar, which they use to pull down ceilings. I went to get us a pop at the vending machine - which didn't work because of no power and the smell of burning wires was awful. Since this is a distinct smell, I knew it had to be more than a "power surge."

We could get NO answers and here we are stuck on the 7th floor. We could have gone down the 7 flights of steps, but certainly would never have made it back up. Again, I kept calling the front desk and did not get them to answer again till 4:01 am. There was nothing they could do about the power. Hahahaha!! I think we managed a couple of hours sleep, but when we went down for breakfast, I stopped at the desk and asked for the manager, and the young man in charge says, "there was NO fire", when I said I smelled the wiring and the firemen were highly active. He then said "can you prove there was a fire?" WRONG!!!!! I am much smarter than him on his best day - don't test me!

That was not even the point - I wanted a complete refund for the lodging because if I want to camp out I am certainly not going to pay $150. This young man told me that "they" would be having a meeting on Monday to decide what to do - and that wasn't good enough for me. I called Orbitz (booked through) and explained the entire situation (making sure she was writing it all down) and she told me to hold, she was calling this young man - it wasn't 6 or 8 minutes she came back on the line and said the entire amount had been credited back to my credit card. I WAS IMPRESSED. Then from that point on, we told EVERYONE - don't settle for less than 100% refund. Some were getting 25 - 50%. I felt much better then. We couldn't even get a hot breakfast, as there was no power there either.

It was eventful to say the least. Going back to my blog from June of last year, there was a fire next door to the hotel where I stayed before leaving on my cruise. Now that is kind of eerie!! I guess everyone needs a little excitement now and then.

Gonna play with the grandson - so take care and TTFN!

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