Okay... I think I win on Swine Flu experience...
So lets see... what have I experienced in the last 17 days or so because of it???
Arriving in the Santiago Airport on April 26th. We got the unique honor of following the mask distributor through customs. He was giving out one to every employee... despite the fact that all the flights coming in at that time were from the US and at that point it was just barely exploding in Mexico.
Getting on the boat... finding out that our Mexico ports may be in jeopardy.
Arriving in Lima, Peru... our boat was stopped, not allowed to pull into port until investigated by the local health authorities. All the media was there (We freaking made it onto CNN international). According to the cruise line they thought we were coming from Mexico... according to the media accounts that I've read in Spanish, they wanted to investigate all Mexican citizens on our boat. Add to that the fact we had to call ahead for an ambulance because of a hot appendix, and well... it was a scene. We get off the boat finally, and all the port agents and vendors and such are wearing masks and gloves. Some of the tour guides were until they realized how ridiculous it was, and if we were exposed we'd all be sick by now and not touring around Lima.
Matt and I thought that we were going to be inspected, because my hubby had spent the past two days confined to quarters with a bad stomach bacteria that caused so much vomiting and diarrhea he needed 3 bags of saline and IV Septra and oral Cipro. Thank GOD I did not catch this!
In Ecuador, we also got the mask and glove treatment by a lot of port agents. By this time we also were told that we were not going to be allowed to go to Mexico... even though there were no cases in the areas that we were headed. I'm okay with that... but it sucks that we were going to miss 3 stops in a 7 stop cruise.
At Costa Rica we had to tell the health inspector if we had been coughing recently. Yes. I lied through my teeth. The worst was when we were later walking past the inspection station and I NEEDED TO COUGH a good juicy CF cough. I managed to hold on to it until we were out of range... but still... OY!
Then we got to enjoy 5 days in a row at sea avoiding Mexico, getting into San Diego a day early. But the good news? Matt and I will essentially be getting a free cruise. Because of our missed ports, the cruise line is offering us 25% of what we paid for this cruise towards a future Mexican Riviera sailing. Since they are a lot fewer days, they are a lot cheaper, so 25% will go along way. Then because Matt was confined to quarters for 2 days, they will be giving us credit for 2 days of our cruise applicable towards a future sailing. Oh, and we both have $300 travel vouchers on Delta.... lets just say we have a free vacation in our future!!!
Oh an not to mention when I'd get a good cough on the boat and people would start looking at me, I'd get to have the "CF talk" because face it... I'm spending 16 days with these people... they are going to notice!!! This was made easier by offering myself up as a "make-a-wish" poster child for their fundraising on board...