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Old 06-07-2011, 01:29 AM   #31
dtr_angel
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The beginning of the end (Day 1, Part 3)

I’m not going to lie; I have really been regretting writing about this part of the trip. It was not filled with any warm fuzzy feelings or Disney magic. It was just the opposite. I really don’t feel we over reacted.

So in my last post, I think you all got the point that we were VERY tired. Our plan was to get into our room asap and sleep before our 7:05pm ADR at Boma, go to the MK and see the parade & Wishes, and get back to sleep to be rested for our first full day of Disney the next morning. Clearly, this is not what happened.

After we left Mara, we walked around outside so I would have cell phone service to get the text that our room was ready. Nope, no text We walked past one of the hot tubs and the pool to the overlook to see the animals out on the savanna.




DH kept calling them storks which cracked me up, they were flamingos! But just in case they were storks, I had a talk with them and told them exactly how to get to our house so they could visit us soon


We walked all around the pool, and I took a few pictures.



It was so hot; the pool looked and sounded so refreshing.
Then we walked the other way, past the other hot tub to the other side of the look out onto the savanna.
.
It was really warm out, so we decided to venture in and ask if our room was ready. Not yet. Since it had been over 3 hours since we had landed, we asked if we could get stuff out of our luggage so we could go swimming. Since this was not the plan, I didn’t have our bathing suits packed into our carryon luggage, and I had to put the sunscreen in the checked bags since it was liquid. They said they didn’t have the bags yet. Awesome, what the heck do we do.

We sat in the lobby for a while. I lay back on one of the couches (like sitting and slouched, not like I spread out horizontally or anything) and looked up. A CM was walking on one of the floors and stopped, looked down, and gave me the dirtiest look ever. I guess you aren’t allowed to look comfortable.

We went to check out the gift shop.


DH decided to try on some silly hats.
We had time to kill, so we were looking at the menu for Boma since we were so excited about eating there that night.

Yummy!
We wandered back outside for a while, and sat on some beach chairs that had as much shade as we could find. I was so bored, hot, and tired. At this point it was after 3. I was complaining to DH as if this was his fault, but I was really upset and frustrated. I didn’t know what time rooms were guaranteed, but I figured it had to be past the time of actual check in by now. DH went to check again to see what was going on, while I stayed by the pool with the cell phone and our carryons. When he came back, he said the guy said our room should be ready by 4:30pm and to keep waiting. We still had over an hour to wait. The best part? They had our luggage and gave DH the bags so we now had 2 big heavy bags & 2 carryons to tote around the resort while we waited for our room.

I’m not exactly sure at what point it happened, but to kill some time we went back to Mara and bought our refillable mugs. I didn’t take a picture, but DH picked out the blue one, and I got the pink one. We took turns refilling them at Mara when they were empty, and taking trips to the restroom from drinking so much water & lemonade.

Did anyone remember the zebra domes we put in one of our bags? Yep, totally melted. We decided we were hungry, and remembered the zebra domes so DH grabbed some forks and yep, we ate them. They weren’t too bad. So there we were, on lounge chairs by the pool with 4 suitcases, just hanging out. I felt so awkward. Everyone that walked past us, including CMs just gave us weird or dirty looks. It was not a good feeling. And I hated every second of it. DH put his chair back and snoozed a little bit, while I played games on my iPod until the battery died. So we finally had access to our bathing suits & sunscreen, but DH was snoozing (which made me mad, because I wanted to sleep too!) and I was so tired I would’ve probably drowned in the water if I tried to swim. This was awesome. Would this nightmare ever end?!
Finally I had enough, I was hot, still in icky airport clothes, and we had wasted many hours in Disney with nowhere to go. Had we known our room wasn’t going to be ready soon like we were told at check in, maybe we could’ve come up with another plan – but we were so tired, I really don’t know how we would’ve done if we hopped a bus to a park in the middle of the day. We probably would’ve fell asleep on the bus and just rode around all day, hah. So I told DH we should go back to the lobby and wait, it was too hot to keep sitting out here. Then I remembered that my phone wasn’t getting service in the lobby,. DH offered to stay outside with the cell phone to wait for the text so I could go sit in the lobby and cool off. Normally I wouldn’t have let him do that, but this time I did. I decided I should take all our bags in and I’d sit with them since they had been baking in the Florida sun and it probably wasn’t the best idea for the contents. It was such a chore trying to get those bags inside, I wondered how we ever did this at the airport before we checked our big bags. We finally get in the doors right outside of Jiko and Boma, and there were benches. I told DH I would just stay here with the bags so we didn’t have to take them any further at this point. Being tired & cranky made even a simple task like this seem like a chore. He went back out and sat by the pool with my cell phone. I had no idea what time it was. I still felt weird sitting there with our bags, everyone looked at me as they walked by. I ended up playing doorman and helping people open the door when they had their hands full or had strollers. One of the CMs came and washed the windows.
DH finally comes back, and I figured he got the text that our room was ready. No text, but he said he was going to the front desk since it was well after 4:30pm at this point.

Fast forward to 6 pm when DH comes back with our room number. Guess what? The room was ready all along, and despite us asking them multiple times – nobody bothered to actually check on it. The CM let it slip that rooms were guaranteed by 2 pm. Why were we still waiting after that for so long? DH was REALLY upset at how this was handled but he remained very calm the entire time. He said nobody even said they were sorry. Our ADR was at 7:05, so there was definitely no time for a nap, and we both needed showers. We got in the elevator and took it to the 5th floor. We walked. And walked. And walked. How big is this place? Are you sure this is the right way? I don’t remember the exact room number, but it was on the Ostrich trail, so looking at my little map it looks like it was somewhere between 5123-5136, but not a savanna view.


This was our view. After we got in the room, I lost it. After all we had been through that day, and not one sorry. No Disney magic, no pixie dust. Just the standard room with a parking lot view that was super far away from any civilization. (Seriously, I had no idea AKL was that big, and it was confusing too!) I sobbed. We paid over $4,000 for this vacation and I felt like nobody cared that we had been forgotten about. Had DH not been to the desk to inquire about our room again, now long would we have been waiting before we finally found out our room was ready? 6 pm? 8 pm? Never? I felt like after all that, we could’ve at least gotten a pool view, or a room that was closer to the elevator, or the stairs or something. Any pixie dust would’ve been appreciated. DH was just as upset as I was, so he went down to see if they could do anything for us. I told him to ask if they had another standard room that was closer to the elevator - that would make me happy. They offered to give us park hopper tickets. Huh? We have 8 day park hoppers already and we’ll only be here 7 nights, but thanks anyway. They said they had no other rooms, and that there was nothing they could do for us so DH came back. I didn’t feel like I was in Disney. I told DH I wanted to go back to the airport and go home, we clearly wasted our money booking a Disney vacation. And I sobbed some more. He went back down and asked to speak to a manager. There’s nothing they could do for us, they have no other rooms but they might be able to move us to another room next week. I said whatever, if we were going to stuck in Disney for a week he should probably hurry and come back up so we could get ready for dinner, since it was getting close to 7. I started unpacking. It seemed like it took him a long time to come up, but then again we were miles from the lobby. He said he needed my KTTW card and would be back, he called Boma and they would hold our reservation until we could get there. DH comes back and says magically a room appeared, and if we hurried there was a giraffe outside our window. What? The last 2 times he went down, they said they didn’t have a single room open, how did one with a giraffe appear? This actually made me mad, because since they said earlier that they wouldn’t be able to move us for a few days I started to unpack. As I’m throwing things back in our bags frantically, DH throws in that our new room doesn’t have a bath tub, is that a problem? I was like whatever, it’s not like we have time for a bath on vacation anyway and as long as it has the double sinks outside the shower/toilet I don’t care.

So after what felt like forever, we finally find our new room on the 4th floor. We didn’t have the benefit of our bags just showing up in our room, as we were the ones toting them around most of the day. And the first thing I notice in our new room is I hate the way the bathroom is set up. I thought it was going to make it impossible for us to both get ready at the same time each day (it didn’t I eventually LOVED the bathroom) This was our view…







A giraffe! Outside our room! Pixie Dust! This was our first time ever getting pixie dust in Disney, but it really didn’t feel like pixie dust after all we had been through. We were miserable. Was all that worth it for a savanna view? We both decided it wasn’t, but we were here and should probably at least try to have a good time. I think this first day experience really set the tone for the vacation unfortunately, and Disney magic was definitely lost by both of us. Had our room been ready by 2 or 3 pm, we both would’ve been ecstatic with our super far away room on the 5th floor with a crappy view, so it definitely wasn’t about that.

Continued on next post
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Last edited by dtr_angel; 06-07-2011 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:32 AM   #32
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continued from previous post

We both jumped in the shower and got ready for dinner at Boma, which I honestly wasn’t in the mood for anymore. I would’ve rather grabbed something at Mara to bring back to the room, watched TV, sulked about our crappy day, and went to bed early. But I’m glad I didn’t.

I didn’t bring a hair dryer with me because mine is heavy, and I haven’t had any problems in the past with the ones Disney provides. I looked everywhere for it on the wall, but couldn’t find it so I called down to the front desk, and they said they would send one up. I don’t remember where DH went, but a CM knocked on the door and I thought she was the one with my hairdryer, but she said she was there to turn down the bed and she had chocolate, so I let her in. She also found me the hair dryer that was in the closet. I decided I shouldn’t waste time drying & straightening my hair since we were already late. I just dried my hair a little bit and then finished getting ready. We didn’t know if we were still going to go to MK after dinner to watch MSEP & Wishes but we packed a bag for the park just in case.



We were off to Boma! Good thing it was just down stairs. I don’t think I ever did get used to getting around AKL, I always wanted to go the wrong way and DH had to keep correcting me. There were too many staircases and hallways. Our new room was in a much better location, it was the first set of rooms on the Kudu trail.

Wow, the lounge and Boma looked very busy. We were seated almost right away though, despite being late. Our server was Doug and he was really nice. We both had pomegranate lemonade to drink, and headed to the buffet line.

My plate - Salmon, chicken, rice, some sort of sweet potato, a chip & hummus, and a muffin

DH’s first plate

DH’s second plate & soup

Close up of DH’s second plate

My second plate ended up being fruit & dessert. I got pretty much one of each, and DH ended up splitting the desserts with me so each of us could try them. The passion fruit was really good!

Doug brought out these special desserts for our anniversary, and told us what they were. He also explained what it said on the plate and I forget – I think it was African for celebration or anniversary or something. He also said it was customary to feed a dessert to each other, so we did. The pink passion fruit thing was my favorite.

He was nice enough to snap a picture for us.


DH decided there was more that he wanted to try, so he grabbed another plate and a different soup.

Then we were on our way! Since our service at Boma was so good, we decided to go to MK after all so we headed for the bus stop. We thought we had just missed a MK bus, but another one showed up and there were only 2 other people on it. When we were getting into MK, there were a lot of other busses loading and unloaded, so it took a while before we got to where the bus driver could let us off. The guy on the bus must’ve been REALLY excited to get into the MK that night, because he kept saying “I’ll sign a waiver if you let me off here” LOL. But finally, we were there.

The MK was very busy, so much for the low crowd levels that were predicted. We made it just in time to stop for a bathroom break before MSEP was starting. We were near City Hall, and behind a lot of people – I guess we were lucky to even find a place to stand at all. I didn’t get good pictures this time, but I did later on in the week. I really liked the patriotic end to MSEP! (I was in the USAF)

After the parade we went into the Emporium to see if we could find DH some sunglasses since his broke at the airport. No such luck. We also didn’t find any at the gift shop at AKL when we looked earlier that day either. DH was really bummed and I felt bad. We stopped and got our picture taken on Main Street, and then headed out since we were too tired to wait for Wishes. We just missed a bus for the AKL, but were at the front of the line for the next one. We waited 17 minutes for a bus, and saw/heard some of Wishes while we were waiting. The first stop at AKL was at Kidini Village. I think I mentioned that I didn’t know at first that we were staying at Jambo House. It was dark when we got there, so I couldn’t tell what I was looking at but it didn’t look like our building so we got off at the second stop instead, which was right. It was 10:30 by the time we were back at AKL. The bus rides to and from MK seemed to take the longest – about 30 minutes. We unpacked and organized our stuff since we had thrown things everywhere trying to get ready for dinner in a hurry. We headed down to Mara to refill our mugs, and around 11:45 pm – we were finally putting our tired bodies in bed.

Up Next: Our first full day in Disney, would it disappoint too?
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:45 AM   #33
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You poor thing! All that time waiting for a room and the inconsiderate CM never bothered to check!

Honestly, I would have bawled my eyes out too. Then again, at that point, I wouldn't have been civil. I'm glad your DH took care of things. I'd love to know what he said to finally get a room to magically appear for you!

But I agree, I think that once they realized you waited around so long, they should have upgraded you, or at least, done SOMETHING nice (and most certainly apologized!!!).

As for lounging on that couch, I would have kicked my shoes off, and laid down to nap since they weren't in a hurry to put me in a room. I actually would have went back to the CM who checked me in and said "I'll be over there napping if you'll come nudge me when my room is ready." And the first CM to give me a dirty look, I'd write their name down and include it in my list of "these people made my stay miserable Uncle Walt"!

I truly hope your vacation picked up from there. Glad you had a good dinner and got to see MSEP.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:31 AM   #34
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Wow, what a terrible day. I can't believe the horrible customer service you received. At least you got the savanna view but I agree with you, not worth the annoyance.

I also don't understand the dirty looks people were giving you. Have they never seen a guest waiting for their room before?
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:51 AM   #35
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Yea, horrible customer service!!! I hope the rest of the trip didn't dissappoint for you!! That view in the new room is awesome tho!! Love the giraffes!
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:51 AM   #36
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What an awful way to start your vacation I can't believe they didn't take the time to actually check to see if the room was ready.

I don't understand the dirty looks from CM's when waiting for your room. I always hear of people waiting for there room or hanging around after they checked out the last day.

I am so happy you finally got upgraded to Savannah view, but at that point it probably wasn't enough. They should have comped your Boma meal or something. Your whole experience and how it was handled sounds completely unacceptable to me. I am glad your DH took it okay and handled it.

I hope your trip gets better soon.

I still find it funny that you had no clue if you were in Kidani or Jambo house
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:47 PM   #37
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Aw, that was a rocky start I think most people would react the same way... funny how even the littlest thing can get you frustrated when you're tired. The one and only time my DDs (and myself, too) had a meltdown while at WDW was because they (we) were tired.

My BFF and her DH have actually slept on the sofas in the AKL lobby, LOL! While waiting for their room to be ready, as a matter of fact.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:10 PM   #38
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I'm appalled that you had to suffer through those things, especially the CM's giving you dirty looks and being so careless with your room. I sure hope you guys got a hold of someone important after your vacation to tell Disney how utterly disappointed you were. Me being me, I wouldn't even have waited. But I wanted to cheer when I found out your husband made someone do something so that you got a better room.

That's a good man

I hope you had more good moments than bad ones, overall.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:43 PM   #39
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Count me in!!
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:55 AM   #40
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NOT Magical Express delivery!

I'm so sorry your arrival at AKL was so crappy! I can only imagine how tired, hot and FRUSTRATING that afternoon was!

Really nice room upgrade, though. What beautiful views! Did you end up with a king bed or not?

I'm glad you enjoyed Boma- eating at your resort is a great strategy for the first night you arrive, especially with all of the problems you had.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:23 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lidian View Post
You poor thing! All that time waiting for a room and the inconsiderate CM never bothered to check!

Honestly, I would have bawled my eyes out too. Then again, at that point, I wouldn't have been civil. I'm glad your DH took care of things. I'd love to know what he said to finally get a room to magically appear for you!

But I agree, I think that once they realized you waited around so long, they should have upgraded you, or at least, done SOMETHING nice (and most certainly apologized!!!).

As for lounging on that couch, I would have kicked my shoes off, and laid down to nap since they weren't in a hurry to put me in a room. I actually would have went back to the CM who checked me in and said "I'll be over there napping if you'll come nudge me when my room is ready." And the first CM to give me a dirty look, I'd write their name down and include it in my list of "these people made my stay miserable Uncle Walt"!

I truly hope your vacation picked up from there. Glad you had a good dinner and got to see MSEP.
Thank you so much for this. I was so afraid anyone who read would tell us we were acting like babies and it wasn't so bad. This is what I needed to hear. It was terrible and didn't feel like Disney at all. I guess we should've just stayed in the lobby and napped on the couches, why else are they there? LOL. After that day, anything else would've seemed like a great day! LOL!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifelong_Dreamer View Post
Wow, what a terrible day. I can't believe the horrible customer service you received. At least you got the savanna view but I agree with you, not worth the annoyance.

I also don't understand the dirty looks people were giving you. Have they never seen a guest waiting for their room before?
Yeah we both agree the upgrade was not worth it, but we both also agreed that AKL would've been.... boring and very non-animalish without the savanna view!

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Originally Posted by bouncycat View Post
Yea, horrible customer service!!! I hope the rest of the trip didn't dissappoint for you!! That view in the new room is awesome tho!! Love the giraffes!
After the first day, anything else would've felt like a great day lol. I definitely loved the giraffe, I think I even speak giraffe! (kind of the same way Dory speaks whale LOL)

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Originally Posted by pinkxray View Post
What an awful way to start your vacation I can't believe they didn't take the time to actually check to see if the room was ready.

I don't understand the dirty looks from CM's when waiting for your room. I always hear of people waiting for there room or hanging around after they checked out the last day.

I am so happy you finally got upgraded to Savannah view, but at that point it probably wasn't enough. They should have comped your Boma meal or something. Your whole experience and how it was handled sounds completely unacceptable to me. I am glad your DH took it okay and handled it.

I hope your trip gets better soon.

I still find it funny that you had no clue if you were in Kidani or Jambo house
Yeah my DH thought it was funny too that I had no idea where we were staying. I don't know what I was thinking. I'm so bummed we didn't make it over to Kidani, I had no clue their pool was so much better!

We were the most upset because the wait was unnecessary since the room WAS ready, that someone didn't do their job and report it as clean, and none of the CMs we talked to bothered to even check on it. We were very upset at how it was handled, but I guess the new room made up for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PixieMama View Post
Aw, that was a rocky start I think most people would react the same way... funny how even the littlest thing can get you frustrated when you're tired. The one and only time my DDs (and myself, too) had a meltdown while at WDW was because they (we) were tired.

My BFF and her DH have actually slept on the sofas in the AKL lobby, LOL! While waiting for their room to be ready, as a matter of fact.
We totally should've just slept on the couches. They were comfy, and there were so many of them! Being tired definitely made everything so much worse. Maybe we should not take the first flight to Orlando again (we always have done that in the past to get there by lunch time, to get the most for our money that day for meals & the parks, etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmaria View Post
I'm appalled that you had to suffer through those things, especially the CM's giving you dirty looks and being so careless with your room. I sure hope you guys got a hold of someone important after your vacation to tell Disney how utterly disappointed you were. Me being me, I wouldn't even have waited. But I wanted to cheer when I found out your husband made someone do something so that you got a better room.

That's a good man

I hope you had more good moments than bad ones, overall.
We definitely had a lot more good moments than bad moments, but the start to the vacation definitely put a damper on it, and everything didn't feel as magical as before. Last week I got an survey emailed and you better believe I let them have it. I'd be surprised if I don't get a follow up email or phone call about our stay! Of course my DH ended up reading that you thought he was a good man, and that made his day LOL.

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Welcome!! I hope you'll stick around to read about some better Disney days!

Quote:
Originally Posted by natebenma View Post
NOT Magical Express delivery!

I'm so sorry your arrival at AKL was so crappy! I can only imagine how tired, hot and FRUSTRATING that afternoon was!

Really nice room upgrade, though. What beautiful views! Did you end up with a king bed or not?

I'm glad you enjoyed Boma- eating at your resort is a great strategy for the first night you arrive, especially with all of the problems you had.
It was miserable, that's for sure. Yes, we ended up with a king bed in our first room (the one that was ready all along) and the new one, too. For whatever reason, a king sized bed = vacation. I really look forward to it, especially after a long, tiring day at the parks. I agree the upgrade was nice, but we would've been just as happy in our first room, without all the drama of course. Boma was awesome, and I'm so glad we picked it for our first night there! It was the first time in all our trips that we ever ate at the resort we were staying at for TS.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:38 PM   #42
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I just wanted to do a mini update so you knew I didn't forget about my TR.

I am stalling on purpose. I wanted to wait until I had the photopass pictures back. It takes so long to edit them, that site is rediculously slow! I'm a little creeped out by the "bonus" pictures that showed up of just the characters, and then all those pictures of the monkey in AK - what is that all about? LOL. I'm happy to see they have added some new borders since 2009. Overall the pictures were okay, but I guess that's only because I'm NOT photogenic. If I was, I would probably love all the pictures. Our strategy is just to have as many taken as possible and hope we get a few good ones, LOL. I just ordered the disc tonight, so hopefully I'll have the CD next week.

I just wanted to thank each and every one of you who responded to my last update about our awful check in ordeal. I was so nervous about posting our experience, as I thought it would be interpreted as us being whiny, impatient, or serious over-reactors. We definitely loved the savanna view, plus the new room was a lot closer than the first one. It was still a little walk to the lobby, but definitely not as bad. I guess we were spoiled by WL, because our room there was so close to the elevator and the lobby. Have I mentioned yet how huge & confusing getting around AKL was? I mean seriously, I didn't even know I was at Jambo House!

I realized after I did my update that I forgot something important. At some point while we were rushing around to get ready for dinner, DH got our KTTW out of his wallet and I realized they were gold. I freaked out. Apparently DH had forgot to mention that we were upgraded to CLUB LEVEL! I was freaking out in a good way. He was very casual about it, and was like "oh yeah, we get free continental breakfast upstairs I think" Then I explained to him what I knew about CL, and how awesome it was, not to mention how it cost a lot more and how it was a good upgrade. So when I said I didn't remember where DH was when the CM came for turn down service, he went up to the CL to scope it out while I finished getting ready. He grabbed an African beer, I think it was called Tusker. So score one for us - CLUB LEVEL! I felt like a supa-star! We both felt bad though, as an upgrade to CL & a savanna view was a big deal, and we were afraid the CM that did it was going to get in trouble. I also felt horrible that our new room was a handicap accessible room (at least I think it was, the bathroom didn't have a tub and was pretty big) and we were probably taking it away from someone who needed it. But at that point what were we to do, turn it down? Oh well. We both really did feel bad though.

I'm subscribing to so many TR right now, LOL. I'm doing my best to comment on them as I read them, but usually I'm in a hurry and then I have to go back and try to remember who I need to comment on. My big pet peeve is when I hit the 'go to first new post' button, it doesn't. I'm not a fan, it makes it harder to keep up!

So in short, sorry for the delay - while I am waiting for my photopass CD, I'm going to start writing so when it arrives I just have to upload & include the pictures. I hope everyone is staying cool and enjoying their summer so far!
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:47 PM   #43
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Wow, Club Level! That is some upgrade and very cool!
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:04 AM   #44
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Wow! That is an awesome upgrade! I wouldn't worry too much about the CM, I'm sure they probably had permission from the manager.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:58 AM   #45
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Club Level!!!

Yup, that's an important detail to leave out!!!

Look forward to reading more of your adventures, after you get your photopass CD.
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