World Cruise 2020

Joined December 2019Living in: St. Louis, United States
  • Day46

    Day 45 ~ 15,900 Miles

    Yesterday in Fiji ⋅ ☀️ 82 °F

    Day 45 ~ 15,900 Miles
    BULA! Bula means “hello” and is one of the first words learned upon arriving in Fiji.

    Fiji. Just saying Fiji and my mind immediately conjures up visions of miles of mother of pearl colored sandy beaches, palm trees blowing in the trade-winds, sparkling turquoise waters, and a cocktail served in a coconut. I know this fairytale vision exists on some of the 332 islands that comprise Fiji, but it does not exist on the island of Viti Levu which is the largest island and the one we have visited for the last two days.

    Viti Levu provided me a realistic look into a South Pacific paradise where the minimum wage is $2.32 FJD per hour or $1.06 USD per hour. There was poverty throughout the countryside we toured but there was also beautiful, friendly, welcoming, and happy people.

    Our guides reminded us that cannibalism is part of Fiji’s recent history, equal rights for women has changed their country for the worse and has lead to dramatic changes such as caning your children as punishment is longer acceptable, crime is more common and the crimes committed are now more serious, and women are not required to be buried alive with their husband when he dies (pre-missionary) nor cut off their pinky finger (post missionary) to be buried with him. Damn equal rights.

    The villages we visited are trying to preserve the country’s culture and traditions while it seems the cities are becoming westernized. Conservative dress for women is still mandatory in villages. Kava is the traditional and still popular beverage and both men and women wear the sulu, which is a type of skirt. Our guides also told us that the homes are now westernized, which only means there are fewer and fewer thatch roofs not that they have indoor plumbing, running water, or even windows and doors.

    Our time here has ended and we are headed to New Zealand. I pray that arrival is in strict military time as has been Captain Aivo’s practice and not in Fiji Time.

    Moce (mow-they) Fiji.
    Read more

  • Explore, what other travelers do in:
  • Day45

    Day 44 ~ 15,500 Miles

    February 18 in Fiji ⋅ ☁️ 77 °F

    Day 44 ~ 15,500 Miles

    FIJI. It’s an early morning arrival in Lautoka, Fiji today. For those of you keeping track, it’s about 6:45AM on 2/18 locally and 12:45PM on 2/17 at home. Time flies when you’re having fun.

    We’ve been advised that it may take 6+ hours for Fijian officials to review our records and give us the final clearance to disembark. The Pilot is arriving now and the first officials will come aboard while the ship is still in motion. It’s a fun process to watch and I’d love to share the moment but I’m still in my pajamas on the veranda, my darlings, and they’re boarding on the port side.Read more

  • Day42

    Day 42 ~ 14,900 Miles

    February 15, South Pacific Ocean ⋅ ☁️ 81 °F

    Day 42 ~ 14,900 Miles

    It’s Day 3 of an unexpected stretch of four days at sea following the cancellation of our stops in American Samoa and Samoa after we were denied entry because of the “fear” of the Coronavirus.

    Kudos to Regent for their hard work in rescheduling all excursions to a day earlier and scheduling a new stop with excursions in Suva, Fiji.

    We were warned of bad weather for sea days 2 and 3, but luckily because I had my supplies at the ready I was able to stave off the impending storms. Always prepared...thanks Dad.

    We crossed the International Date Line at 3:09 this afternoon (picture shown, if you enlarge it you can see the sign in the distance), but we will not recognize the changes that crossing brings until overnight so we may experience a smooth transition. In a instant we went from 180° West to 180° East. I think this translates to moving the clock back one hour and moving the calendar forward one day. Until today I had only read about time travel but now I get to experience it, February 16 disappears for me this year. So today I will take a selfish moment to remember, honor, and raise a glass to my Dad on what would have been his 97th birthday on the 16th. I love you and miss you Dad.
    Read more

  • Day39

    Day 39 ~ 13,450 Miles

    February 12 in French Polynesia ⋅ ☀️ 82 °F

    Day 39 ~ 13,450
    I experienced one of the most incredible days to date. Following the amazing sunrise, we boarded a glass bottom boat for what was billed as a swim stop with stingrays and a photo stop of sharks.

    First, our tour boat operator proved his worth by steering with his foot while playing the ukulele and singing a Polynesian tune.

    After settling in a nice spot to view some wonderful aquarium quality fish the sharks suddenly appeared as if they’d been called to center stage. I then watched in disbelief as he dove into the water. He swam with the blacktip sharks and lured them under the boat into our view. When later asked, he told us that he can hold his breath for more than three minutes!

    It wasn’t until an 8 foot lemon shark approached that he used more caution.

    On our way to swim with the stingrays he noticed a manta ray then another and finally a third. Such dramatic, graceful, and beautiful creatures.

    Our last stop was in chest high water where we would swim with the rays. Our guide didn’t disappoint, he was in the water with food to attack about a dozen stingrays. We were laughing and petting the rays when the sharks appeared seemingly out of nowhere. He said not to worry, blacktip sharks are usually docile!


    As if the day could get any better, we then found an unforgettable beach and swam, walked, and lounged away the remainder of the afternoon. Perfect.

    Back on board the Mariner, Captain Aivo announced that American Samoa has closed the ports effective today to all cruise traffic out of an abundance of caution for the well being of the isolated population due to the Coronavirus. We now have an unexpected 4 days at sea with extreme weather predicted for days 2 and 3.

    Stay tuned for dramatic weather updates. 😬. Now where did I put my life jacket?!
    Read more

  • Day38

    Day 38 ~13,300 Miles

    February 11 in French Polynesia ⋅ ⛅ 82 °F

    Day 38 ~ 13,300 Miles

    Five different vessels in 2 days!
    In addition to sailing around more beautiful lagoons today, I was able to snorkel around a few Tahitian coral reefs abundant with brilliantly colored fish. The water was warm and the current mild.

    Still in need of brushing up on our Tahitian and French we took a self-guided tour of the city of Papeete this afternoon (Regent Reward points for naming a song with Papeete in the lyrics).

    We cruised out of port this evening with the lights of Papeete as our reminder of a wonderful day. I was treated to a stunning moonrise while I relaxed on the veranda imagining the beauty ahead in Bora Bora.
    Read more

  • Day37

    Day 37 ~ 13,225 Miles

    February 10 in French Polynesia ⋅ ☀️ 84 °F

    Day 37 ~ 13,225 Miles
    Just when I thought I’d seen the most beautiful place on earth, we arrive in Moorea. The white sand beaches and the multi-hued lagoons are so striking against the emerald colored jagged peaks. The clouds seem to dance across the island providing for a kaleidoscope of colors and shadows. The “shark tooth” mountain or Mt. Moua Roa stands at 2,499 feet above the sea and continuously draws focus towards her.

    We spent the day sailing around the island on a catamaran and stopped for a cooling swim in an amazing snorkeling spot. Thank God for SPF 110.

    We, and by ‘we’ I mean Katie, did need to battle the manspreading technique of an extremely rude German man and his equally rude wife, little did they know whom they were up against...never underestimate a Dougherty woman!

    We have a sunset arrival in Papeete where we will dock overnight.
    Read more

  • Day37

    Day 37 ~ 13,200 Miles

    February 10 in French Polynesia ⋅ ☀️ 82 °F

    Day 37 ~ 13,200 Miles

    My balcony view for the day anchored at Moorea, Society Islands, French Polynesia aka The Tahitian Islands

  • Day36

    Day 36 ~ 12,900 Miles

    February 9 in French Polynesia ⋅ ⛅ 84 °F

    Day 36 ~ 12,900 Miles

    I’ve read that Henri Matisse drew his inspiration for the “Blue Nudes” from the waters around Fakarava. After being here today I feel countless others must also have been inspired to create their own works of art after spending any amount of time here.

    Each destination has brought me a new appreciation of the beauty of this world but none have given me pause quite like Fakarava.Read more

  • Day34

    Day 34 ~ 12,350 Miles

    February 7 in French Polynesia ⋅ ☀️ 82 °F

    Nuku Hiva is unlike anything I’ve seen and I’m falling short finding the words to describe this place. The people are very warm and welcoming even with our language barrier, a smile still goes a long way. I made friends with some children via the stickers I give out and their mothers asked me to join them and shared their fresh fruit. It was a memorable moment. After walking around the “town” I took off in the 4x4 caravan for an island tour. I see why the advance scout team of Survivor selected this island: rugged, beautiful, and seemingly cut off from the world.

    My driver did make certain that there is one less wild boar on the island😳. She couldn’t swerve or would have risked going over a cliff.

    I do highly recommend breadfruit chips on your next culinary tour of French Polynesia.
    Read more

Never miss updates of World Cruise 2020 with our app:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android