We have just started our six-day trek across the Atlantic, having visited Barcelona, Nice, Malaga, and the Canary Islands. We’ve certainly enjoyed the sights, sounds, and tastes of Europe, despite a number of challenges.
Celebrity finally came through and picked up two of our three nights in Barcelona after they cancelled the first two days of our cruise. Cruise.com, Celebrity, and Expedia were still trying to sort out who would pay the cancellation penalties on the reservation I made to assure we had rooms in Barcelona. For more on that, read my previous post “A Celebrity Cruise Line and Cruise.com Nightmare.”
I rarely check baggage when I travel, as my batting average with lost luggage is about .300. Of course, when doing a cruise with a family of four, checking luggage is inevitable. When I saw we had five airline connections to make between Rapid City and Barcelona, I told Marcia to be sure to pack our toiletries in our carry-on luggage and mentally prepare to not see our bags for a day after arriving. That turned out to be a bit optimistic.
Northwest was an hour late on our initial flight to Minneapolis. We had to sprint to catch the next flight to Detroit, and we knew our bags didn’t make the fast connection. Then Northwest canceled our third flight from Detroit to New York, where we were to have switched to Aer Lingus. Northwest really helped us out and put us on a direct flight to Amsterdam from Detroit, and then on to Barcelona. We actually ended up in Barcelona a hour earlier than we originally would have with Aer Lingus.
Predictably, though, our bags did not show up in Barcelona. We filed our lost baggage claim and went about sightseeing, hoping our bags would join us the next day.
We left Rapid City on a Wednesday. We were not reunited with our bags until late Saturday night. After 80 hours of wearing the same clothes, we threw in the towel and decided to test the “Lost Baggage” provision of our travel insurance. According to the policy we purchased through Travel Guard, we were covered for $100 per person for expenses relating to lost baggage.
Now, $100 will buy a lot of skivvies in the US, but it’s a different story in Spain. We asked the hotel clerk for an inexpensive department store, one where the average Spaniard would shop. We spent half a day trying to communicate in Spanish and decipher European clothing sizes. We found out it really didn’t matter anyway, because one maker’s size 85 was another maker’s size 95.
At the end of the day, my $100 bought: one pair of boxer shorts, one T-shirt, three pairs of socks, and a scarf for warmth. I have never owned a $25 T-shirt in my life, but believe me, it was the cheapest T-shirt in the store. Maybe the bottom line is that Spaniards don’t wear T-shirts. Or else only very wealthy Spaniards wear T-shirts.
When we get home, I’ll get a chance to try out the travel insurance coverage. That should be good for another report. For now, we’re prepared to enjoy the Atlantic crossing, knowing our luggage is safely in our own possession.