Linda’s Embarkation Day Entry – 5/26/07

We finally made it on board! What a day. It started off at 6:00 AM. We were up, showered and re-packed our suitcases. They were getting picked up at 8:00 AM and we wanted them ready to go! We met Sandy and Sharon for breakfast and had a nice leisurely breakfast. Deb, Sandy and Sharon decide to take a walk to the nearby beach and I opted to go back to the room and do some catch up with e-mail and see if I could transfer money to my checking account. Well”¦that is when the fun began!

I started by checking e-mail. Got through the normal family stuff and then tried to get in my work e-mail and had no luck. So, I went to another e-mail account I use for my clients. I had saw there was one from Debbie in my office. When I read her message, I was laughing hysterically! It seems when I recorded my voice mail message for my cell number, the 1-800 number should have been a 1-877 number. Fortunately I also gave an emergency contact number. My customer called the 1-800 number thinking he was going to get my company’s customer service department. Instead to his surprise he received a sex line phone number! He of course called the emergency number and my co-worker alerted Debbie who e-mailed me to change the voice mail message if I could! Like I said, I was laughing uncontrollably! I then picked up the global cell phone I had rented and began to dial my voice mail. The whole time thinking, this just paid for the rental!

Once that task was complete, I decided to transfer funds into my checking account so I could use my bank debit card to purchase Euros. Because I was on a new computer and not the one at home, I had to answer three privacy questions to verify my identity. Well, I guess I don’t know the answers I originally gave because after three times I was locked out of the account. I then decided to call the 1-800 number and speak with a bank representative. All the while forgetting about the time change 4:30 AM at home and it is a Holiday weekend. Of course, I had no luck!

Deb has now returned to the room. Seeing the frustration on my face she now sits at the computer to see what she can do about getting a pin number for her AMEX card. She finds the 1-800 number, calls and finds she needs to associate her AMEX with her checking account and she will need her checking account number and routing number. Well, you guessed it no routing number. Since we are paying cell phone international rates, she hung up the phone to figure out how to find a bank routing number. After going to her bank on line and another resource, I suggested that she “Google” bank routing numbers. Because we are in Spain, Google comes up in Spanish. We both chuckle and then try Yahoo. Another 15 minutes Viola! Now armed with a bank routing number we call AMEX back.

Deb gives the agent the two numbers and is now transferred to another agent where she has to answer three security questions.

1. What year was your home built?
2. What are your annual property taxes for your home?
3. What make, model and year is the automobile you drive.
She passes the test and gets a temporary pin number that can be used one time for a maximum of $500. With the Euro exchange rate, we will not get a full $500 but we will have money!

As we walk across the street and down the block to the neighboring hotel to use the ATM in the lobby, we both are laughing at our morning. We both have plenty of cash in the bank and having one heck of a time getting to it! Arriving at the ATM we now have success!

So what is the lesson here? Let me make one of my lists:

1. Make sure you have cash in your checking account.
2. Have a pin number for your Debit Card and Credit Card (a pin was required for our credit card at the ATM and the train station to purchase a ticket)
3. Just in case, you might want to have your checking and bank routing number with you.
4. To avoid the above, make sure you have enough Euros.
5. Consider bringing a global cell phone.
6. Also, when leaving a voice mail make sure your phone numbers are to the correct persons!

Next stop Disney Magic!

Linda

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