Day 207 of 366: Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all from good old Brisbane, Queensland …

How nice it is to be back home! Sad as we were to leave the cruise here and not Sydney (where it docks on Friday) it was still good to see the familiar landmarks that spell H-O-M-E. Geoff and I scampered up to the top of the Dawn Princess to watch as the ship came under the Gateway Bridge and docked at Portside, Hamilton.

There were a few last minute things to attend to eg having breakfast in the Dining Rooms with Denise and Joan, two friends traveling together who we met when checking into our Hotel in Perth.

Our Formal Night farewell last night with Lisa and Alan

We also farewelled Lisa and Alan who we met on the very first night when we left Fremantle. As the rain came down, we joined a lonely Lisa and Alan huddled under cover at a bar on top of the ship – just as mad as Geoff and me – determined to watch as the ship left through the harbour. There was not one other soul to be seen.

The rest of the passengers had more sense than us and were ensconced in the Buffet area all nice and warm while the four of us, all rugged up against the cold, watched the lights of Fremantle disappear behind us. From here, a staunch friendship was begun; a friendship forged in braving bad weather!

Within two nights Lisa and Alan, Joan and Denise, Geoff and I arranged to become dinner companions as all our situations were such that this was the best course of action if we wanted to enjoy our night meal in the Dining Room. We had some lovely times and good laughs together.

Thanks for the companionship guys; you were the best!

Also before leaving, there was photos to be bought. So amongst all of these things happening, we found ourselves in a rush to be off the ship by 9.30am (so what would they have done to us if we weren’t eh??)

In the mayhem, I realised as our neighbours drove us home down the freeway that I had left my lovely woollen hounds-tooth coat sitting in the cupboard of Cabin P339. Oh no! Nothing to be done but keep driving and sort it out when I got home.

And this is where the saga of the lost jacket becomes a nightmare. It seemed so simple. The ship is docked in Brisbane until 6pm. I live in Brisbane. Surely a call to the ship and a drive out to Hamilton to retrieve it would reunite me with my lovely jacket? But no. That is far too easy my friends.

Even now as I write I am struggling with the words to tell you what happened (or should I say ‘didn’t happen’). It is worth reading through to the end folks.

  • I phoned Princess Sydney and was given an overseas phone number to ring the ship (yes, they operate on an overseas number)
  • Ignoring this, I phoned my shipboard friend’s mobile to see if she could help but she did not have the emergency number on her (so unusual for her, she carried the daily newsletter everywhere)
  • I phoned the Port Authority who gave me another number they thought might help
  • I phoned this number and left a message on an answering machine
  • Desperate now, I phoned the overseas number of the ship but – thank goodness – there was no one available to take the call!
  • I phoned another number at Princess Cruises Sydney and was told all lost clothing is promptly destroyed; claim travel insurance
  • I phoned my shipboard friend again to see if she could get me a number when she went back to the ship.
  • I received a phone call from the answering machine lady who gave me a number for the Cruise Terminal
  • I phoned the Cruise Terminal (lost property) who said “Oh no, clothing is NOT destroyed at all, we collect it and bring it here for collection. But, by chance Vicki is on the ship NOW, phone her on her mobile.”
  • I phoned Vicki and left a message, begging for help. If I could only get on board that bloody ship and pluck my jacket out of that cupboard …

Vicki phoned me back later and said: “Yes, I am the person who should be able to help. Hang on a minute I see a black and white jacket coming towards me now! Where do you live?” And then came the magic words I was longing to hear:

“Oh, I live in the next suburb, I cannot deliver it today but tomorrow … would that work?”

Yes … yes … yes …

Finally, I found a real human being who was able to get things done. The saga had gone from 10am until it was resolved at 2.30pm! Can you believe it? However folks, the ending was so very very good that I had to write and tell you about it. It’s real feel good stuff.

Persistence and patience and quite a few prayers resulted in such a good result that now I am smiling to myself every time I think about that lost jacket.

And I feel very grateful. Gosh, it’s good to be home …

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