Thursday, December 15, 2011

St. Lucia

Buying an excursion outside the confines of the Carnival selection worked in our favor so well in St. Maarten that we decided to give it a go in St. Lucia. That's when we learned a valuable lesson:

That boat won't always float.

Poor word choice, given that we're traveling via cruise ship? Perhaps. But I stand by it.

The one thing we had heard about St. Lucia is that we needed to see the Pitons, which are two volcanic plugs located at a World Heritage Site. Now, longtime readers will know that I love me some World Heritage Site goodness.

Yeah, well, enjoy this picture of the Pitons I found on Google. Because it's as close as I got to them. Ironically, I found the picture on the site of blogger who also failed to make it to the Pitons. Here's the link to his blog, just 'cause I'm cool like that.

As you may have guessed, all excursions to the Pitons were booked by the time we made it to the tour desk. Not to be detoured from an awesome day, we signed up for a three hour Segway tour. We paid the woman at the tour stand $25 USD for a taxi that would take us to the Segway tour center, where we would then be required to pay the fee for the tour itself. The time was 9:00am.

By 9:30 the taxi had arrived at the Segway office. TJ was advised that the next tour would not start until 2pm. The boat would leave at 4pm. The math did not compute. TJ explained this to the taxi driver, who said he would take us back to the original tour stand for a full refund just as soon as he dropped the other passengers off at the beach. This, folks, is how you AVOID a scene.

We were back at our point of origin by 10:15. We stepped out of the taxi, and the first thing we heard was a demanding "What is the problem?" We patiently explained the issue at hand, and were redirected to the tour stand.

The woman who sold us the taxi seats impatiently listened as we calmly explained:
  1. How we approached her to buy tickets for a segway tour
  2. How she sold us taxi seats to the Segway office
  3. How the tour didn't start until 2:00 but we had to be on the boat by 4:00
  4. How the driver said the tour stand would issue a full refund for our troubles
After hearing all of this, she said "I won't be refunding your money." This, folks, is how you CAUSE a scene.

There was a heated back and forth in which she explained that she only worked for the taxi company and is not responsible for the tours, and we reminded her that perhaps she should have told us that when we came to her to schedule the tour, not a taxi ride. This lead to her saying that she is not responsible for knowing tour times, and us suggesting that, given her proximity to the port, perhaps she should make that her responsibility so that she doesn't inconvenience her clientele. When that went nowhere, I politely suggested she remove the sign that advertised Segway tours from her booth, as it seemed to indicate some sort of relationship between the almost ripping it off the wall before TJ reminded me to be a good boy.

Eventually, we got our money back. But not without 10 minutes of me blocking access to the booth and repeatedly telling her "I want my money, give me my money, you stole my money..." while TJ informed every potential customer that looked our way of what they had done. After chasing away five potential customers, her manager suggested she give us our money and send us on our way.

And she did. As she handed the money to TJ, she looked me dead in the eyes, flashed an "I hate you" grin, and said, with venom dripping from her teeth,

"You have a blessed day, now."

Now, as I teased in Ships Ahoy, here is where Antonio learned a very polite, religiously condescending way to tell someone to go f--- themselves.

Oh well. We had our money back. What more was there to do, other than to say,

"You, too, ma'am. You. Too."

At this point it was only about 10:30 and we weren't quite ready to get back on the boat. So we headed over to a nearby bar and used our $25 the next best way we knew how. AND we got to see the Pitons! Sort of.

After that we did the only thing we could, which was pose sexily at the waterfront and shop for souvenirs of this blessed day.

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