Confusion and Rumours

Well we arrived at the hotel from the ship and decided to catch a shuttlebus to Tai Mai Market, this turned out to be very fortunate (in a  way). As we sat on the bus a couple got on and told us that they had to re-book their flight and were given the 4th of May. We were stunned, we knew we were not going to fly the following day but assumed it would be just a couple of days. They also informed us that Virgin and Cruise1st were not providing compensation or arranging alternate accommodation. We travelled to the market but returned after an hour as our minds were not really on buying presents. On return to the hotel there seemed to be so many rumours flying around from the other passengers that little seemed to make sense. Despite being told not to, we decided to go to the airport in the morning. I rang Virgin and Cruise1st that evening and couldn’t get through. We then went to the Ibis Hotel across the road and booked a room for the following night to ensure we had somewhere to sleep as with Shanghai Expo 2010 happeninmg in a few days time the Hotels are full. The following morning we got up early, had a bit of breakfast checked out and got a taxi to the airport. No passengers at the Virgin desk other than a couple of Polish ladies who informed us that we need not bother they couldn’t do anything for us, she had been arguing with them for an hour. I spoke to the stafff at the Virgin Check-in and persuaded them to tell me what was happening and then got them to book me onto a flight on the 5th May. I later confirmed this online back at the Hotel. We checked out the prices of Airport Hotels, but they were too expensive and they didn’t provide food. We had a taxi back to the Ibis and checked in. Quite a lot of the other passengers had heard and also checked in to the Ibis. Our holiday insurance will cover delayed departure up to 500 pounds and 16 days at the Ibis is around 350 pounds, the Crowne Plazea is 120 pounds aday (no brainer really).We swapped stories with other guests, some who had taken Virgin at their word by not going to the airport and did not yet have a return flight, they are now up to the 8th of May return! We went out for an evening meal and a beer and had a nice time. On our return to the Hotel  we watched a bit of Chinese TV, read a bit then went to sleep. At 10.30pm they decided to put something on the roof with a crane, but they did it in 20 mins and left and we went back to sleep.
Breakfast this morning was fine but not as sumptuous as the Crowne Plaza, but we stuffed ourselves. The we went over to the Crowne to read the newspaper and od the crossword. We were then told that Virgin were providing compensation of $100 per person per day for accommodation. I rang Virgin and they confirmed this, but for only staying at a 3 star hotel (Crowne Plaza is 5*). Some people have now transferred back to the Crowne. We are staying here, it is comfortable enough and if no-one compensates me, I can afford it. Later today when Europe wakes up I shall ring Cruise1st and enquire as to what I would be charged for booking into the Crowne at the Travel Agency rate. It is raing here at the moment and out plan to visit the zoo has been scuppered. This not the end of the blog just the current episode!

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