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  1. Monday, March 30, 2020 - Quarantine Day #7 San Luis Obispo, California (Home Sweet Home) It's strange that one can be on one side of the globe one day and, 36 hours later, on the other side. That's the way our (partial) round the world adventure ended, and we consider ourselves incredibly blessed to have it end the way it did. The first time we had any inkling of a problem was actually in Tonga, when we found out that the government there had refused to dock two passenger ships before us because of Covid-19, and I believe we were the last ship to dock there to dat
  2. P. S. Thanks for the photo, Pete. Hope your flight went as smoothly as ours.
  3. Not only were we on that flight, but the night before we exchanged miles, some $$, and our firstborn for business class seats. Not only were we extremely comfortable, but the "pod" seats kept our "social distancing" in effect. The 13 hours flew by! I'll be writing a final post as soon as all the paperwork gets finished.
  4. Saturday, March 21, 2020 Fremantle and Perth, Australia Although we were scheduled to arrive in Fremantle on the 22nd, we actually arrived at 8:00 this morning (March 21). We had booked the Doubletree Hotel in Perth for two nights, allowing one day as a "sea day" to hang around the pool, walk the neighborhood, and just relax. Well . . . . that wasn't quite what happened. This morning, our VERY highly placed source told us that Fremantle would NOT allow any passengers to go to a hotel, but had to go directly to the airport for their flights. That would mean tha
  5. Tuesday, March 17, 2020 At Sea en route to Fremantle (for Perth), Australia We thought we'd arrive in Fremantle on March 24, but because we were not allowed to stop at "in-transit" ports, we'll be arriving earlier than expected - on Sunday, March 22. After waiting with bated breath (and in the middle of a lot of griping and moaning), Captain Jonathan came over the intercom with HAL's updated information for us on the cancelled cruise. Here are the main points that he communicated: If you have HAL air service (Flightease), you will be flown home. If you don't have
  7. We know about the other cruise lines' decisions, but we also realize that we are as safe onboard this ship as we would be at home - probably more, and no one has to worry about people hoarding toilet paper (although I still don't understand that, since coronavirus is a respiratory disease). If we have to return home mid-cruise we'll do so, but in the meantime we're certainly enjoying our current location. In fact, my next activity is choosing what to wear for this evening's gala night. Thanks for your concerns and we'll keep you updated - except that you'll probably hear it bef
  8. 3/13/20 UPDATE: I guess today's post was appropriately timed, because in his midday update, Captain Jonathan read a message from HAL's head office in Seattle. In it, we were told that even though some other cruise lines are cancelling cruises, the Amsterdam is going to continue our cruise as planned, making changes as necessary. I think almost everyone was glad to hear that, since that's what we signed on for, no matter how much the itinerary has changed. We feel like anyone on a world cruise should be grateful for the opportunity, no matter where the winds (and viruses) t
  9. Friday the 13th of March, 2020 At Sea en route to Darwin, Australia Today is supposed to be “Scenic Cruising of the Great Barrier Reef,” but there really is nothing to see, since it’s cloudy, which obstructs any ability to get a glimpse of the reef. I don’t hear anyone complaining, though, since a sea day is a sea day, and now we get three of them before Darwin. What are the words of the old song? “Shall I stay or shall I go?” That could be us, after today’s announcement from the president of Princess Cruises that all Princess ships are being called in and cruis
  10. Thursday, March 12, 2020 Cairns, Australia I am convinced that the most beautiful sunrise and sunsets in the world are seen from a ship in the middle of the ocean. I’ve included one of each so you can see what I mean. We just oooh and ahhh every time we see one or the other. John and I spent three days in Cairns a few years ago, flying up from Sydney and enjoying our own “shore excursions” here while waiting to rejoin the ship. We took the beautiful old train to Kuranda, spent a day in Daintree Rain Forest, and snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef for a full da
  11. Wednesday, March 11, 2020 Townsville, Australia At home, it’s very strange for us to have rain and 85 degree weather at the same time, but that’s what it is today in Townsville. This is a beautiful little tropical town, with more friendly people and hundreds of palm trees. We were here last year and enjoyed it just as much then. Since the rain was pouring down, we waited until about 9:30 to disembark the ship. By then the rain was light - just enough to ruin one’s hair and create puddles to skip over. We’re docked a bit of a distance from town, so our complimentary shuttle took us right
  12. Tuesday, March 10, 2020 At Sea en route to Townsville, Australia It’s our second sea day, and it seems as though we are crossing the Atlantic. There are sizable swells, gray skies, high winds, and occasional rain. Here we thought we were supposed to be in Australian late summer - I guess not. I really don’t mind, since it just keeps me inside to read or write, but John and company were rained off the paddleball court yesterday. I think he’s going to give it a break for awhile, since his tennis elbow has returned with a vengeance. Last evening our friend Martha
  13. Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8, 2020 Sydney, Australia What a place! The excitement began at about 6:00 in the morning on our first day when we had one of the world’s best sail-ins, past the world-famous opera house and under Sydney Harbour Bridge. We’ve done this sail-in several times, but it never loses its fascination for us. We also love the fact that this is one of the most beautiful harbours in the world, but I imagine the English convicts who saw it didn’t think so. Australia requires that every passenger, crew member, and officer go through a “fac
  14. Friday, March 6, 2020 At Sea en route to Sydney At last year’s Captain’s Dinner in The Pinnacle, we were fortunate enough to be seated with the captain and, since this particular dinner was the last of twelve, we offered the opinion that Captain Jonathan must be quite ready to be finished with this particular part of his responsibilities. He agreed wholeheartedly, at which time John suggested that it might be a good idea to have one big, elegant dinner in the dining room, call it “The Captain’s Dinner,” serve wonderful food and include lots and lots of free wine. I guess the
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