January - March 2020
  • Day89

    Home

    March 31 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 59 °F

    I didn't have an energy to write after we came home. Still fighting jet lag.
    We came home to a new world of distancing, face mask wearing, hand washing 100 times a day and sterilizing everything. Not even talking of somehow getting groceries and cooking.
    By now we are somewhat getting into this routine.
    As every day look the same, I will finish this until we have something interesting to write about.
    Wishing everyone health and hope this madness ends soon with minimum loses.
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  • Day80

    On the Way Home, Day 1 and 2

    March 22 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 82 °F

    We were a little concerned about disambarking process, but it went smoothly and by about 10:00 AM we were outside. The captain, hotel manager and cruise director formed the double line, joined by dozens from every department.
    I think they were relieved to see us go. They had very difficult last few weeks. All crew members worked long hours taking care of disfunctional old group of people.

    Most passangers paid $59 pp for the shuttle from the port to Perth airport, but I thought that Uber would be less expensive and we do not have to wait for 40+ people to get on the bus and get off the bus.
    So, I called Uber and within 5 minutes we were in a big SUV. The trip cost us $46. Big difference.
    We got to airport in 30 minutes and now had to wait for check in time. That is 7 PM.
    Lots of people were flying thru NZ. Unfortunately, they were informed, NZ does not let anyone who is not NZ citizen transit thru the country. So, what's now? People were panicking, calling relatives, travel agents and booking new flights without getting credit from United Airline for their flight. It is strange, but United did not know anything about this.
    So, very fast our plane became very full.
    At 7:00 PM we checked in. It was absolutely amazing how Japanese workers packed Boris's wheelchair. I have never seen it before.
    They took good care of us and escorted us to New Zealand lounge. We had comfortable seats, decent dinner and a glass of wine.
    The flight was on time, seats in business class were very comfortable and we managed to sleep for about 5 hours.
    The escort met us at the plane in Tokyo with a wheelchair and took us right the lounge. Now we have to be here for 8 hour to wait for our flight to San Francisco. So far so good.
    The plane to San Francisco was empty. I never seen fewer people on the plane. Business class had 6 people including us.
    We managed to sleep couple hours, but by now our system is completely screwed up.
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  • Day79

    Docked, but can't go out.

    March 21 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 81 °F

    Good news! We are finally docked in Fremantle. Enjoying last careless day on the ship. Australian do not permit us to go ashore, only transport from ship to Perth airport.
    Passangers who are flying today or tomorrow by 1:00 PM must disembark today. Our flight is at 9:55 PM tomorrow, so we are spending one more night on the ship.
    Yesterday was very exciting day. First it was fantastic show by ship's Filipino and Indonesian crew. Beautiful costumes, music and singing, dancing. Then we change the course because of the emergency on the ship. At around 6:30 PM the helicopter landed on our ship to pick up that the sick person.
    Then we had wonderful dinner with passengers reading poems and speeches to our captain... It is his last time being a captain after many years. He said it is the most memorable voyage of his life.
    The day ended with the concert. Four very talented North Ireland singers.
    Today, we are sitting on the deck and enjoying the commercial view of the city. Could be worse.
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  • Day78

    One Day before We Dock

    March 20, South Pacific Ocean ⋅ 🌙 75 °F

    Yesterday our captain announced we are increasing speed to get to Fremantle, AU one day earlier as the door are closing for us.
    If we knew that before, I would buy airline tickets for 21st instead of 22nd.
    Meanwhile the life on the ship is normal, except people are telling stories. We try not to listen and enjoy last few days.
    Now we are waiting for some information on when we have to disembark. Can we use our last night the ship as a hotel or we need to move to a hotel? There are more questions then answers.
    That is all we know for now.
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  • Day76

    First Bag Packed

    March 18, Indian Ocean ⋅ 🌙 84 °F

    I know I have 4 more days to pack, but if I pack one piece of luggage a day, it is easier then do everything the last day. So today before breakfast first duffle bag is done.
    The weather is absolutely perfect: calm, not a cloud in the sky, warm. Pretty soon we will face the reality.
    We are disembarking the ship as far from the home as possible.
    Flying from Perth, AU to Tokyo, 8 hours 30 min layover in Tokyo, then to San Francisco, two hours in SF and then Denver. Total travel 33 hours.
    Yesterday we had probably the biggest gathering of people on the planet for St. Patrick day in the planet. That is sad, but we are glad the ship is healthy.
    Meanwhile, stay healthy (even w/o toilet paper).
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  • Day74

    Some news

    March 16, Timor Sea ⋅ ☁️ 84 °F

    Just got some news from our captain. We will be ending our cruise March 22 in Perth, AU.
    Passangers who booked their return flights thru Holland America, will be provided with return tickets. We booked our tickets yourself, so we have to arrange our own travels.
    I managed to book (not confirmed yet) tickets on ANA airline. Fingers crossed, we will get the tickets.
    If everything goes well, we will be flying March 22 and the total flight time is 32 hours.
    Meanwhile, the weather is perfect and we are safe and healthy on the ship.
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  • Day73

    Lost at Sea

    March 15, Arafura Sea ⋅ 🌙 84 °F

    Tomorrow we were supposed to stop in Darwin, Australia.
    I just asked Boris "what are we going to do there?". Before he had a chance to answer, the captain announced that we will not stop there, because Australian government is not allowed "transit" ships to dock. What does that mean? Nobody knows. We just been in Cairns, AU. We suppose to terminate our cruise in Perth, AU. The captain promised the answer tomorrow morning. So, again, stay tuned.Read more

  • Day72

    The End is Near

    March 14, Arafura Sea ⋅ ☁️ 82 °F

    Just been informed our cruise will be terminated March 24 in Australia. That is all we know for now. Stay tuned.

  • Day70

    Cairns, Australia

    March 12 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 79 °F

    It turned to be a fantastic day despite the rain.
    Early in the morning Boris went to the ship medical center and got half of dose of IV antibiotics. His leg got better.
    Then we walked to the nearby hotel to be picked up for Sky Rail trip.

    Exactly at 10:30 AM the bus came and drove us for about 25 minutes to board cable car to go through rainforest and to Kuranda village to board a scinic railways back to Cairns.

    Due to the rain and may be the virus there were very few people. Each cable car could accommodate 6 people. The wheelchair was placed in one car and we were followed on the next one.
    We had two stops along the way to the village, where we got out for a little hike and some photo opportunity.
    First stop was rainforest very diverse rainforest vegetation: trees, fern that grows on the top of the trees and birds.
    The second stop was a beautiful waterfall.
    The last stop was Kuranda village.
    We had 1.5 hours to spend in the village. We really wanted to go to birds sanctuary or butterfly sanctuary. Unfortunately, there was not enough time. We walked around the pretty village, had lunch. Boris had kangaroo burger, which was pretty dry and I had 🐊 sausage, which was delicious.
    We boarded old train at 2:00 PM. It is used for scenic route only. The railway is 37 km (23 mi) in length. It takes about one hour and 55 minutes to climb or decent one way including the stop off at the falls.
    Construction of the railway began in 1886.The railway was completed as far as Kuranda in 1891. Passenger services began operations in 1891.

    Many lives were lost as numerous tunnels and bridges were built. In order to be hired to build this railroad, one had to have their own tools. 15 hand-made tunnels and 37 bridges were built to climb from sea level to 328 metres up. Three million cubic metres of earth had to be excavated during construction.

    The first operation of a tourist train from Cairns to Kuranda was in 1936.  In 1995 major repairs had to be carried out after a severe rock fall damaged the track. On 26 March 2010 the train was derailed by a landslide injuring 5 of the 250 passengers on board.

    The trip was very nice and relaxing, even the rain did not spoil the day. We were back on the ship by 5:00 PM. Around 6:00 PM captain announced we have medical emergency. One passenger had a stroke during dinner and he had to be taking off the ship.
    To see some pictures of the day, Please use the link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/WE27Moo69LEnnBee9
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  • Day69

    Townsville, Australia

    March 11 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 77 °F

    The day started with Boris going to the doctor. His leg is better, but not completely cured. He finished all antibiotics. The doctor agreed he needs help, so she put IV in his arm and he had to stay in the medical center for an hour to get stronger antibiotics thru IV. Tomorrow he has to get another dose. We really hope that will do the job.
    By 9:00 AM he was done and we went to see the place. Townsville is a major gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The weather forecast promised 100 percent rain and feel of 98 degrees. We packed our rain gears and umbrella. It was raining outside.
    We took shuttle and it brought us to the city.
    Townsville has the largest reef Aquarium and since it was raining it was logical place to go. The Aquarium has 2.5 million litre Coral Reef Exhibit. Very impressive.
    After spending close to 2 hours in Aquarium, we went outside. The rain stopped.
    Boris had IV in his arm, so it was difficult for him to walk, the IV was on the way of the crutch, so he was on the wheelchair. But it was also very uncomfortable for him to operate a wheelchair. Because of these I needed to push him.
    We walked about 1.5 miles along the water. It is a beautiful walk, but it was hot and extremely humid. There were beautiful beaches along the walk on one side and park with piknic tables and playgrouns on the other side. At the end of out walk we reached statue of the woman in the ocean. It changes the color depending on the air temperature. Some beaches had swimming areas. In Australia you can only swim in netted area because of jelly fish and crocodiles. When we reached almost the end of the waterwalk, we walked inland for a few blocks and stopped in take-away fish store. They cooked fish and chips with some additional shrimp for us and we ate it at the small table outside the store. The fish and shrimp were grilled and were so fresh and delicious.
    After a little rest and food we walked back to the shuttle.
    In addition to walking all-day and the heat, I had to push the wheelchair. So, I got my exercise of the day.
    We got back on the ship, took shower and went for a dinner. I ordered a seafood platter, but it did not tasted good after fish lunch.
    Tomorrow is Cairns and second IV for Boris.
    To see more pictures of this day, please use this link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/u1Mb6nr9tmKMZAwW9
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