Sorry for all the not-posting (not calling, not texting, and generally not communicating). Much afoot and none of it postworthy. Continue reading “Delay of game”
I spent last week at a conference. I went last year too.
The content on the whole is great. They have amazing keynote addresses (which this year even managed to be on topic) and amazing tech presentations. The breakout sessions turned out not to be as relevant to our role but they set up a “garage” area that was more in our sphere and that was cool.
Don’t I sound positive, after the fact?
It was great… it’s great BIG. Estimates varied from 12-14000 attendees.
All in all the event is too big for me – I feel lost in conferences with several hundred attendees, let alone several thousand. And they had growing pains of their own, little nitty things that added up to not a great experience.
Things like asking the people who were in for Training the day before the conference to get there 1-2 hours before we needed to be there, and then not letting us into the training rooms on arrival because they were still being set up.
Things like simultaneously asking everyone to come in and register a day early to get better positions at the concert night, causing a huge rush during training registration and sessions.
Things like having that rush correspond with not just 1 registration line but also separate lines for swag and concert entry. The entire facility was just a sea of snaking lines, and that was just the prelude to the event itself.
Ostensibly the theme of the event was Breakthroughs but I would say the real theme was lines.
My second day (the first day of the event proper) didn’t go much better. The coffee reception didn’t exist because we all needed to queue up for keynote seating. (I didn’t grab the awful hotel coffee because I was headed over to the reception).
No. Coffee. For. Me.
- Had us standing on a concrete slab for over an hour (my back and feet in agony before we were done.
- Didn’t have any separators to keep people in queue, so later arrivers were able to swoop in and get ahead of people who’d been there longer, waiting.
- Didn’t guarantee a place in the keynotes because they had either oversold the conference or not set up enough seating inside. I got in, barely, and ended up in one of the farthest back rows, with easily hundreds of people still behind me. Some of them ended up in an overflow room, watching the event via streaming video. They were not pleased.
For Christmas, a friend of mine gave me an experience.
Actually she gave me a shareable experience, courtesy of iFly. Continue reading “In which I fly. Or at least I try.”
We have to be out of our cabin by 8am so the stewards can prep for the next people.
Breakfast is a simple affair- half staff at the kitchen and dining because this is their crazy day.
I’m not that hungry, and just want a bit of protein and caffeine and some water for my slightly scratchy throat. Continue reading “Disembarkation, Departure and Disease”
Our last day in Cuba is also our last full day on the cruise. Our excursion starts early – we are heading away from Havana and to the countryside to visit La Terrazas, which our hosts/tour guides describe as a program.
Our evening tour options were the Tropicana (very touristy, very kitschy, and very spendy) or an alternate venue for an evening of music.
The latter choice being a smaller venue and less risk of wardrobe malfunction. Ha! Continue reading “Havana Night”
Our first excursion is at out of Havana itself via the antique American cars. S and I pick a red 1946 Ford (our driver calls us his girlfriends).
There are rules, you see. You can’t go except on a special Visa. MSC has set up their excursions to qualify as Person-to-Person educational experiences. As long as you do 2 of their excursions, we can sort of do whatever all else and still have qualified.
We signed up for 3. Two today – day and evening, and one tomorrow before we sail away.
We have a brief discussion about changing our excursions. Should we skip the one today and get off the ship earlier if we can? Our excursion doesn’t leave until 1:30 – what time are we to arrive in port?
Scheduled arrival is 1pm. We are not going to do better than that.
We actually sail into the harbor a bit early, the old city drifting by us on one side, El Morro (Morro Castle) off the other side.
When we booked the trip, aside from our final port of call, this one was what S was most interested in. She’d dived caves in Mexico years ago but was looking forward to the ruins at Tulum. Continue reading “Cozumel for Tulum”
Our next port of call is the Cayman Islands. Our excursion for the day is called Best of The Caymans and it is quite the eclectic mix! Continue reading “Grand Cayman”