Archive for December, 2010

Antarctic Cruise Ship in Distress

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

The Clelia 2, a cruise ship on the way back from Antartica had a 45 foot wave crash over the bow knocking out communications and radar. The National Geographic Explorer came to it’s rescue and sent it a working satellite phone so it could communicate in order to coordinate a rescue… which turns out wasn’t needed in the end.

I normally wouldn’t blog about something like this but we will be on the National Geographic Explorer next week going through the very same Drake passage that crippled the Clelia 2 :) I can’t wait!!! (No one was injured and the ship made it back to Argentina safely.)

Footage taken by a guest on the National Geographic Explorer.

CBS news did a brief report and a video on the incident (you have to wait through an annoying 15 second commercial).

2010 Macau International Marathon

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Miki and her friend Erika running in the 2010 Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon.

Miki’s official stats for the race.

More pictures of both Miki and Erika can be found here.

Westin Macau – BAD HOTEL

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Miki was running in the 29th annual Macau Marathon and we needed a place to stay in Macau.  I had some free nights I needed to use by the end of the year at a Starwood hotel so the Westin Macau was the obvious choice.  The hotel is in a nice tucked away beach side location on Taipa island.  The hotel is showing its age but overall is very nice.  Nice lobby.  Nice restaurant area (with a pretty good breakfast buffet).  Nice facilities. The rooms are also nice with good views.  They even have a driving range where you hit the golf balls into the water.

The only problem is the service.  It is horrible!  Horrible staff.  Bad attitude and extremely unhelpful.  Let me explain.  This was the 29th annual running of the Marathon and is a big draw for Macau.  29th annual means they had 28 years of practice to get this weekend right.  Our hotel alone had 40+ runners participating.  The marathon started early and we all had to get to event on time or you couldn’t run in the race.  The problem.  They were not prepared.  No driver for the hotel shuttle bus (he didn’t start until 9am).  No taxis were booked even though many of us reserved them with the concierge the night before.  Basically, you had an angry mob forming in the hotel lobby at 5:00 am and the hotel was unable to get us to the event before the cut off time.  There was one guest who knew the race organizers so he was able to arrange 11 people to get there.  I was also able to arrange a taxi throw some clever maneuvering within in the angry horde.

In the end, I’m not sure how many people made it to the race on time but I can guarantee that none of the guests would ever stay at the Westin again.  I’ve also been making it a point to tell everyone I know to stay away from the hotel.  It’s not like they didn’t know it was happening and they could have been prepared for what they knew would happen.  My main issue was they didn’t seem to care and they weren’t doing anything to try to help.  All the guests just had to fend for themselves.  Just plain unacceptable!

They need to change the name of the hotel and just call it what it is.