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Carol Perkins: My travel group
"Just last week one of the group called. She had been surfing the web, looking for an affordable cruise for this spring. The idea was to avoid families and spring break cruisers. We are a bit persnickety, but with age that is allowed. When she called me, the conversation went something like this: 'Carol, I've found a cruise that leaves March 28th out of Miami. It is a good price with balcony rooms. What do you think?' " - CAROL PERKINS
Click on headline for complete column. Then to continue reading more Carol Perkins articles, including the next previous ones, scroll beyond the end of this column and links to others will appear. It's never-ending fun!
By Carol Perkins
As you know from other articles, I have a group of friends with whom I travel. The group changes sometimes because of obligations, but usually as few as six or as many as ten go somewhere each summer. Usually the choice will be either to the beach trip or on a cruise. Either trip requires little effort and vast opportunity to do nothing. We like both.
Just last week one of the group called. She had been surfing the web, looking for an affordable cruise for this spring. The idea was to avoid families and spring break cruisers. We are a bit persnickety, but with age that is allowed. When she called me, the conversation went something like this: "Carol, I've found a cruise that leaves March 28th out of Miami. It is a good price with balcony rooms. What do you think?"
"Sounds great. Where does the cruise go?"
"I don't know."
Count me in
"Well, count me in and let me know what I need to do." I could figure out the details later concerning my business because I was the only one working.
She called back the next day after contacting whomever else she thought might like to go. "I have talked to an agent and we have to fill out paperwork and send in our payment by tonight to secure three balcony rooms."
"Ok. I'll get Connie's information and then you email me the forms I need and I'll get mine filled out. By the way, Connie asked where we were going. Do you know yet?"
it would be somewhere in the Caribbean
"Somewhere in the Caribbean. I think Jamaica and some of those places."
"Ok. Just let me know what to do next."
She continued. "I have Southwest holding tickets so you need to call them by midnight and pay for those." Then she gave me the confirmation number to use. "We are flying into Ft. Lauderdale." I assumed we must be leaving from there.
I called the airlines and paid for the tickets. Then I repeatedly tried to reach the online agent who had empathically stated we had to pay to secure the rooms but my call went straight to her voice mail. The next morning she called, apologized for being in a meeting, and "hoped" the balcony rooms were still available all together. "We don't care where we are as long as we have a balcony," I said.
"I emailed the forms, so fill them out and send back to me by four today."
Other five were frozen out of the process
That was no problem for me, but the other five were frozen out of the process because either they had no way to download (or knew how), no printer, no fax, or didn't know what to do with the email they had. So, by three o'clock that day all six of us (all came from other towns and as far away as Liberty) gathered at my store so I could print off the forms, scan them, and get them in by four.
"When she told me that, I cried in a panic," said the lady who had made the arrangements. "I was so frustrated about what to do."
"Did you really cry?"
"Yes, I got so upset about trying to get all this done."
"By the way," I said as we were all filling out our forms that required our Passport information and our shoe size, "do we know where this cruise goes for sure?"
"No, not for sure, but we can look it up."
"Oh, why do that. Let's just be surprised!"
"Oh," she said, "we have to get a room to spend the night because the cruise leaves the next day out of Miami. We are flying in to Ft. Lauderdale because it is cheaper and then we'll have to shuttle to Miami and spend the night and then go to the ship the next day." None of us cared. We were grateful she made the plans.
It doesn't matter where we go
It doesn't matter where we go, I have decided. It only matters that we are able to go. By able to go I mean able to go physically. There was a time when all of us struggled to throw pennies together to make a trip, but now it is more a decider as to whether we can endure the travel physically. We know someday we will slow down, but right now I am thankful the old girls are what they used to be. I'll keep you posted.
Carol Perkins, the writer of this popular CM Column, is an author, owner and operator of Main Street Screenprinting, 601 S. Main Street, Edmonton, KY, Phones 270-432-3152 and 270-670-4913 and is co-host of Susan (Susan Shirley Chambers) & Carol (Carol Sullivan Perkins) on 99.1 The Hoss, regularly live at 10amCT, each Tuesday. Watch CM Events for topics/guests on the show.
This story was posted on 2015-02-01 07:29:43
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