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Old 10-24-2011, 02:59 PM   #16
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...continued from prior post


OH NO!



The little one lying down by the rock is the new baby! I was so excited!


However, the older baby was excluded from playing with the younger one. I felt bad for him. Apparently it's something that elephants do though.










So these next two are my favorite pictures with the new camera. I called Geoff when I got off and said, "I can't wait to show you the pictures I got of the wart hog!" He thought I was nuts.





After the Safari ended, I started making my way to the front of the park. I did a little window shopping...

I liked this shirt, but didn't buy it...


I also snapped this shot of Everest on my way:


The main purpose of my trek to Animal Kingdom was to see the parade. I *love* the parade. I even have the music on my iPod and I jam out to it when I'm on the highway.

Between my window shopping and trying to find the perfect parade spot, I grabbed a snack to cool me down:




Then I settled in for the parade. I thought I had a great spot, right behind a wheelchair, so I knew I'd be able to see

BUT! There was a family that came in last minute...like always and decided to push me out of the way...literally. The kids were falling on me and the mother put her hands on my hips when trying to get past me to her kids. HELLO! I do not know you, keep your hands to yourself please. (In fairness, I recognize that this a particularly American trait, especially in the North East and the family did not speak English.) And when the kids were falling on me, I turned around to see the parents were oblivious, so I made a little huffing noise but figured it probably wouldn't do anything if I said anything

I had a pretty good spot though, right across from this sign:


...continued in next post...

Last edited by onelilspark; 10-24-2011 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:05 PM   #17
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Day 1 - Part 4

And now, here's my assortment of parade pictures!



Mickey to Rafiki, come IN Rafiki!





















Once I saw the last car coming, I made a break for it. What made this spot especially great is that it was right at the exit of a shop, which I of course ducked in and was able to beat the crowds out of the Animal Kingdom!

...Until I got stopped and asked to take a survey on my food at the Animal Kingdom...would I like to give my opinion on food?! Do you KNOW ME?! So obviously I took a break and decided to give my opinion. Asked a lot of questions about healthy options and variety of those options.

Up Next: Epcot!

**Note: this will most likely be the last update before I leave to get married and on my honeymoon! So sorry in advance for the break, but I promise I'll be back!

Last edited by onelilspark; 11-23-2011 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:09 PM   #18
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Great update, Kelly. And I'm with Geoff -- NO EE for me ever again, empty or full stomach.

Your pictures are great (and I won't even comment on the rude people at the parade).

But I will wish you a beautiful wedding day, a wonderful honeymoon and much happiness.
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatMark View Post
Great update, Kelly. And I'm with Geoff -- NO EE for me ever again, empty or full stomach.
Hah...the first time he came to the Animal Kingdom I kind of *forgot* (maybe on purpose) to tell him it went backward. I'm not sure that he's really forgiven me...

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Originally Posted by KatMark View Post
Your pictures are great (and I won't even comment on the rude people at the parade).
Thanks! I think my problem is that I was brought up to behave in a certain way. And it drives me absolutely crazy when people (kids or adults) don't act that way as well. I've come to realize though that I was lucky because my Mom and Dad really drilled manners and etiquette into me when I was young.

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But I will wish you a beautiful wedding day, a wonderful honeymoon and much happiness.
Thanks Kathy I promise when I return I'll come back with pictures!
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:08 AM   #20
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Great pictures, espcially of the safari! I can't believe how empty the park was. I hope you have a wonderful wedding and honeymoon!
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:53 PM   #22
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Great AK update! I still cannot get over how cute that baby elephant is. I hope I get to see him when we're there on Friday!
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:15 PM   #23
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The picture of the Luna Bar and water cracked me up....I eat those bars on a daily basis!!

And for the low crowds!!! Holy cow! There wasn't anyone there! Wish my family could go in September, but just isn't an option with 3 kids in school....perhaps when we retire!

By the way...the next time you check this, you will probably be married! I hope everything goes beautifully! And enjoy your honeymoon! Can't wait to see pictures when y'all return!

Congratulations and safe travels!
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:37 AM   #24
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Hi everyone! We're waiting for our room to be ready in Rome, so I thought I'd share some photos!

Sneak peaks from our photographers:




Pompeii:


Sorrento, fresh cheese:



Athens:


Ephesus:




House of the Virgin Mary:




Santorini:
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:06 AM   #25
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Kelly, you were a beautiful bride. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures. Enjoy Rome.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:31 AM   #26
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Beautiful pictures!
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:46 AM   #27
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Thanks for sharing your pictures! Can't wait for you to start your TR
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:05 PM   #28
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Thanks for all the kind words everyone! I promise that soon I'll get back to my regularly scheduled trip report (and also share the link to our Honeymoon report on Cruise Critic!) But I want to try to reach as many people as possible, so I wanted to share this with everyone.


Our experience with Delta:

6am October 30: Flight canceled from ROC to JFK(snowstorm the night before at JFK, plane never came to Rochester.) When I called, we found out that they had rebooked us on a flight that would allow 45 (!) minutes to transfer to an International flight…in a different terminal that would require going outside and through security again. So we worked with the agent to rebook us on a flight out of Syracuse that would allow 2 hours to get to that flight.

Afternoon October 30: Flight from SYR to JFK is delayed…and delayed…and delayed for a mechanical error. We know we’ll miss our connection, so we talk to the gate agent who can’t do anything besides get us into Rome too late to make our cruise (from Syracuse to Detroit to Paris to Rome) since there were no seats in economy on the last flight out. Note: there were Business class seats available. We didn’t care if we got Business class or had to sit in someone’s lap, but *there were seats on the plane.* So I called Customer Care to see if there was anything we can do. He upgraded us and issued the reservation for 2 seats. Spoke with the gate agent and she was able to print a new itinerary for us that had our seat assignments printed with the word “confirmed” next to it. We were to check in at the Alitalia counter in Terminal 1 when we got to JFK and they would print our boarding passes.

Evening October 30: Once we get to JFK, we make our way to Terminal 1. We take our itinerary to the Alitalia counter…and they don’t have our reservation in the system, it didn’t transfer properly, so we needed to speak with the Delta agent further down in the terminal. So we head down to the Delta Counter. We spoke with the agent there that told us whoever we talked to on the phone shouldn’t have upgraded us. Ok, fine. But it said on the piece of paper (that had Delta’s logo on it) that we had confirmed seats on the plane. She was telling us that the only thing she could do was to put is on a wait list. To us, that was unacceptable. So we stood there and argued because we had a document that showed confirmed seats. In the end, we played the Honeymoon card and she suddenly found 2 seats on the plane for us (in coach obviously) after 30 minutes.

At one point, it was blamed on the fact that Alitalia was operating the flight instead of Delta. That’s nice and all, but we booked with Delta. Not Alitalia. We paid Delta, so Delta was going to be who was responsible. I want to stress that we were upset that we were told we had confirmed seats and didn’t, NOT over the lack of upgrade. We did tweet about our frustrations, to which we actually had a prompt response from @DeltaAssist who gave us each $75 vouchers for Delta. The flight itself was fine and we made it to Rome with our luggage.

The Trip Home

November 9: We receive an email from Delta “It’s Time to Check In For Your Flight!” with our itinerary and selected seats (32 E & G…bulkhead in attempt to give Geoff more leg room…selected back when we booked the flight, something like 9 months ago.) I attempted to check-in online, but it redirected to Alitalia, which was entirely in Italian, so we decided to just check-in when we got to the counter.

Noon November 10: We arrived at the airport and attempted to check-in at the Alitalia counter. To which we were told that our reservation was not in their system and we didn’t have seats. Even though we had picked them out, and had an email stating what our seats were. Luckily, I had documents (and the email) with me that showed our confirmation number. The lady at the counter was very patient with us as we became visibly upset (it was like déjà vu) and got us seats on the plane. The seats were across the aisle from each other and at the very back of the plane. Clearly, they had our money since she didn’t ask for another payment…but we didn’t have seats on the plane.

Evening November 10: We arrive in JFK for our flight back to Rochester. We had to recheck our bags at a special counter right outside Customs when we came back from JFK. There was a Delta desk and an Alitalia desk. Even though we were connecting to a Delta flight, the agents would not take our bags, we needed to wait for the Alitalia agent to come. As we were going through security around 7pm, the flight was listed on time…actually, technically they had sent us an email stating the flight was now leaving at 9:01pm instead of 9pm. As we were eating dinner (I’d say around 7:30/8pm) another email came to my inbox stating the flight was delayed. A little detective work on my part (thank you Flight Stats) and I discovered our plane was coming in from Chicago and it was late leaving there. It was supposed to take off before we even got to security. So the email during dinner came in quite late. They also changed the gate from 23 to 18…then back to 25, which happened to be the same pattern of gate changes when my flight with Delta last month was delayed. No real complaint there, more of an interesting thing to note.

When we got on the plane, we discovered that the flight had not been catered, so there was not enough water for everyone on board. In the end, not that inconvenient as it was only a 45 minute flight, it just points to the lack of preparedness on Delta’s end. We also needed a Tug to push us back from the gate, which wasn’t there. When it finally showed up 20 minutes after the door to the plane had been closed, we were missing a qualified driver for it. Of which there was only 1 available according to the pilot. Seriously? Did they not know they had a plane scheduled? Our pilot and flight attendants seemed confused and frustrated themselves. Another 20 minutes later, we were finally being pushed back from the gate.

Wrap Up

I just got off the phone with Customer Care at Delta with whom I went through this entire saga. At this point, we would never fly Delta again and I let her know that short of a free flight (or a full refund of this flight) to give them another chance, there was not much that could change my mind. I also let her know that I would advise all of my friends, family members, coworkers, really anyone who will listen, of our experience. That is what this write up is for as their response was to try to give us another $75 voucher each. Which I assume couldn’t be combined, so we’d just have to spend more money, time, and stressful energy I’m sure, on Delta.

Many of our problems do occur on other airlines, such as delays and cancelations. I fly often enough (actually, if I would have just flown Delta instead of the Star Alliance partners, I could have an elite status with Delta) to recognize that these things happen. I also fly often enough to know that when you confirm a seat with a customer, you should follow through and that is our main complaint. It is unacceptable and inexcusable to tell a customer that they have confirmed seats only to turn around and say “just kidding.”

I may complain about companies, but I will also sing their praises when they get it right. I very rarely ask for anything when something goes wrong and if I do complain, it is to let the company know what could have been better. However, this situation deserved special attention. Quite frankly, we don’t really know how Delta is still in business with these practices. We will never fly Delta again and we hope you won’t either.

Last edited by onelilspark; 11-11-2011 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:26 PM   #29
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I feel your pain with Delta. I probably won't fly them again even after being a loyal customer for international flights for the last 15 years. Last year on my Barcelona flight, somehow my "confirmed" window seat ended up as the middle seat in the middle 3 of the plane. Of course, the flight was completely full....so nothing they could or would do. I didn't even get offered a credit.

I'm sorry your experience was so bad especially for your honeymoon trip. Hope the cruise was fantastic!

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Old 11-11-2011, 04:35 PM   #30
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jedijill: I can't sing enough praises for the cruise and I will, promise! I just had to get all the anger out of my system first so I can give it justice!

I think the lesson in all of this is when Delta says "confirmed seat" they really mean, "you may or may not have a seat at all."
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