Detcon 1 is history, but there's a lot to process. And I have photos from the Nikon D1H and the D100 to edit and upload. Panels seen and been on to talk about.
I was determined NOT to miss the 2014 NASFiC. And while my restrictions cut down on my usual con activities and wanderings -- missed the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the Consuite, the Dealer's Room and all the parties -- by gum I did what I planned to do and Detcon 1 went pretty damned well for me.
I want to get this out of the way: Checking in and checking out were problems.
Some of you may recall that I jumped on room reservations the day they opened in January. There's 70 floors in the Marriott Renaissance Center and one of the options was to request a handicapped accommodation room. Now back in January, I expected to be doing Detcon from a walker, but I had only just started back to work after my long recovery and some hotel room bathrooms are a real challenge so I figured a handicapped room would be useful. Understanding that the request was just that, a request, I also put in my usual note that I'd prefer a room near the elevator.
So we got to the Ren Center, got the valet parking, had our luggage put on a cart and went up to 3 to check in. I handed over the printout from the confirmation email.
They were surprised when I mentioned a handicapped room. They had no record of that. I pointed out the line in the email. The clerk went off. Would we take a king bed rather than two queens? Sure. Gone again. I sat down on my walker, as I am supposed to be off that left foot as much as I can. At one point three or four people are conferring.
Finally, no dice. They offered a complimentary meal as compensation, we asked about the 3x$25/day valet parking. They waived two of those. Parking in the parking structures would have been more than $25, so that was a plus.
Then up to 3, picked up our badges and payed the rental on the wheelchair. Now we had a walker and a wheelchair, but when I was in rehab I got good at pushing a walker while being pushed in a wheelchair. Complicated fit in the elevator. But we got up to 38.
Naturally, in a round tower, room 3814 was just about exactly halfway around away from the elevators. So much for a room by the elevator...
The room otherwise was acceptable, but our luggage did not arrive, did not arrive... Mrs. Dr. Phil called down, they said they'd get back to us... Pushing an hour since we arrived and FINALLY we got our possessions. Our check in room number hadn't been passed to the bell captain by the desk. Or something like that.
On Saturday we asked if our checkout could be 1pm on Sunday and not noon. I had panels from 10-noon and we also had to return the wheelchair... They said call Sunday morning. Sunday morning at 9am, the word was that the whole hotel was turning over and they couldn't possibly give anyone the extra hour.
Well, we managed to get a bellman with a cart, load our things -- repacked so that my black bag wasn't completely overloaded -- and got my walker with the cart. Went to panels, then downstairs to 1, and I sat in a chair while they went for our cart, valet got the Bravada and Mrs. Dr. Phil returned the wheelchair. Oh, while waiting in line we found out the guy ahead of us had requested a 1pm checkout and gotten it.
Eventually we hit the road.
The one gentleman who worked the front door luggage and the bellmen were heroes Thursday and Sunday. Customer service elsewhere, it needs some work.