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Ukulele girl

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About Ukulele girl

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    East Hampshire
  • Interests
    Gardening, sewing, reading.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Enjoyed The Malaccan Straits

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  1. I had a lovely long chat with my sister this morning. She says the Captain is wonderful and has kept them cheerful during various difficulties including waiting for 5 days at Durban. They do have the BBC world news and Sky News so they are up to date with what is going on here but of course they are essentially on 'holiday' and as it would be with most of us we wouldn't choose to sit and watch the news very often on a cruise. My sister and her husband will disembark at 8.00 on Sunday morning and will go through immigration before collecting their luggage, then onto the coach and away. The only worry will be the coach driver and the coach but as the whole ship is clear then they shouldn't need to do too much about distancing themselves from each other. She is dreading the return to life here as she knows it is going to be difficult and they have had a great time. They were talking to friends on board about the wonderful places they have been to, some of which they didn't expect to get to. Some passengers have already booked for the Sydney onward part of the world cruise next year to complete the itinerary they missed this time. Staff on board have been excellent and FCC has been very generous for them all. Despite this of course some passengers have been moaning - there's always some. As said, their cruise reviews will make interesting reading and I hope they aren't too critical considering the circumstances.
  2. I had an email exchange with my sister on Arcadia at the weekend. All is well on board and they are still enjoying themselves. I had asked her about social distancing on the coach ride home and she said they may not all disembark on the 12th but may take a few days to be allowed off. Not sure what arrangements have been made so far about this but I am sure she will let me know once they have an idea. She said she would be happy to stay on board till all the virus problems have passed! I think it has been a safe haven for them. They cannot understand what they are returning to as we have all worked up to this point gradually. My sister said they are all being given 100 minutes internet access during the final week (it will certainly take a battering then). She said she would use some of hers to do an on-line, home delivery shop. I tried to suggest that she may not get a slot as so many people who are on the government list and who are shielding or self isolating may have them all - she didn't seem to be convinced there would be a problem. It is all going to be quite a shock as well as the shock of having to feed and look after themselves again after being waited on hand and foot for 3 months. I will be very pleased to have my sister home after all the stories of Covid 19 on other cruises. I am only 40 minutes from Southampton and would love to be a welcoming committee for her but she is likely to get off early morning as she has a 7 hour journey north by coach - and of course social distancing, unnecessary travel etc !!!! Still, it will be great to be able to talk with her again. So, tomorrow they should be in Tenerife presumably for fuel and food. I have been using CruiseMapper and plotting the position on my world map. After that only 5 days to get home. I have been grateful for the comments on this thread as it has been an emotional roller coaster during the last 4 weeks of the cruise and checking in to these comments has been supportive. Thank you all.
  3. Tring - thank you for that, it will be helpful. I have a very big world map on the landing with a sheet of perspex over it. We use small footprint stickers to mark the places we have been across the world. I have been using a small suction childish toy to track my sister since January and have enjoyed knowing where she is all the time. Recently the toy has been wandering aimlessly around the oceans! Now I can track accurately again. Any small distraction is welcome in the current lock-down.
  4. My sister is on board and she has just had a days internet. It was so good to hear from her as I have been worrying. She says that everyone is cheerful and still enjoying themselves but they recognise how they are living in a very protected bubble. I think they are all naive about what they will find when they return but that's not surprising. She said they were enjoying the talks by Wayne Sleep and that the weather had been good. She didn't comment on food or much else so I assume all is ok there. She did say that P&O had been generous with compensation. See below what she said: 'Well P & O really have been incredible with their generosity. Everyone received £600 per cabin extra on board spend and, on top of that, 100% future cruise credit on 33 days at sea per person based on our daily rate. This covered us from Fremantle (Perth) to Southampton'. I think she plans to email again next week so I will add anything useful here when she does. Thank you to everyone for the information about Arcadia's position etc. It has helped me to feel less concerned.
  5. I live in a village on the edge of a small market town in North Hampshire. The town is very quiet with everyone keeping their distance. I wear gloves if I have to go into a shop but we are not going anywhere beyond one food shop a week and the tip to get rid of garden waste. Aldi was busy on Tuesday but had most of what I needed, including stocks of toilet paper which I didn't buy. It is my birthday today, 65 years young, and we are having our first Chinese take away for many years as my treat. I sit on my lap top and read or watch TV and forget how the world is going mad but then it hits me again and it is all such a worry. My time will be filled with gardening, organising some photographs and clearing the house from top to bottom some of which I will sell on an on-line auction site. I also plan to make a photobook of the family history for each of my sons for their birthdays in July. Whilst gardening yesterday many people around my age walked past the end of the drive taking their daily exercise. It was good to chat to people (at a safe distance of course) and spirits seemed good. Yesterday my sister rang from Arcadia and it was very good to hear her voice, I was quite tearful afterwards which again is a reflection of heightened emotions. She has no idea what she is returning to I'm afraid and it is so hard to explain. Today I enjoyed an email from our church minister with weekly ideas for worship and a quiz to entertain me. There was also a leaflet I could print to give to any neighbours who may need help or support. This will be a regular item now the churches are closed. I am a glass half full person and feel we will pull out of this but it will be a long haul and the country will take a while to recover.
  6. My sister will travel home by coach and I assume this will still be running. I agree with Son of Anarchy, it has been a safe place to be in these difficult times. It is possible that hotels will be closed so I hope people will be able to get home after such a long trip.
  7. My sister is on Arcadia and has been since the start of the world cruise. She rang me today and it was good to hear her voice. She said they were all well and enjoying themselves. She did mention social distancing but said it was to get them used to it - not sure I believe that but she didn't sound worried. It was clear that she wasn't aware of the gravity of the situation here and it will certainly be a shock when they return. She said they had been given extra on board credit for the remainder of the cruise. She also said they had booked three more cruises so the problems haven't put them off. I did suggest she didn't book a cruise until at least October/November as the virus is likely to cause problems for a very long time, I think this surprised her. I must say I will be glad when she is safe back.
  8. Below is a clip from BBC news overnight. Perhaps this means no-one will be flying home and it will just be a refuel and food stop now. I don't suppose Arcadia carries sails if they are refused fuel too! 'Earlier, South Africa declared a state of disaster, closing its borders to foreign nationals from countries badly impacted by the disease. The ban includes China, Iran, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.'
  9. 2BACRUISER - thank you, that is very helpful to know. Of course the way things are going they may not be allowed to dock by the time they get there. I wonder if anyone joined the ship in Fremantle? There will be a lot of people on board who don't like to fly (my sister is one of them) so they will possibly choose to stay on board. It will be a very different cruising experience on the way home.
  10. I heard from my sister overnight but she had no further news about the route or any stops. I had asked her lots of questions but she didn't answer them. I would think they will stick to the Suez route because for some the chance to go through the canal would at least be interesting. The sun worshipers on board should get a few days to lie out before they reach the Med which will fill time for some. I expect they will all make the best of it as they realise how difficult the world situation is regarding the virus. If I hear again (she said she might ring me at some point) I will post again.
  11. I expect to hear again from my sister in the morning. She is on Arcadia currently and will email me during the night. She should have some confirmed news about their onward travel plans but of course P&O may not be able to say for sure where will accept them as things are changing by the hour. Arcadia is clear of all infection at present but if passengers have joined the ship in Fremantle then that may change too. If they travel back without any further port calls it will be a long five weeks for them all.
  12. trinity126 - thank you for that information. My sister sent an email overnight where she says she doesn't know the full plans for the future. Below is a quote from her email. Perhaps your information was given out while she was off the ship. Perhaps she will tell me more tomorrow. 'When we leave here tomorrow evening we're heading for Colombo, Sri Lanka but not getting off there. It's just for refuelling. Currently we're supposed to be docking in Dubai on 24/25 March and Muscat on 26 March but who knows. I can honestly see this being the last port of call where we're allowed to disembark.' I would hope that if they are not getting off again they are given some free internet access so they can communicate with family over the next five weeks. We have a very poorly relative and news needs to be shared. What a sad end to the big adventure they were all on but perhaps better than being quarantined somewhere. I assume no-one is joining in Fremantle now.
  13. Arcadia is docking at Fremantle tonight (day time for them) and they are there for two days. They don't know where they will go next but I should get an email from my sister by tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. It will be interesting to see how many people are joining at this point. I'll message once I hear more.
  14. My sister has said that is has been a great cruise with lovely people who are making the most of the trip. They enjoyed seeing more of Australia, particularly getting to Tasmania. I think it is from now on that things may become difficult and worrying. It is very sad in some respects because people book a world cruise once in a lifetime and my sister has been looking forward to this for more than a year. It will be interesting to see what P&O can come up with as a new selection of ports.
  15. daiB That is interesting. I wonder if the passengers who should be joining in Perth are no longer doing so. That would be one way of keeping the ship safe for the rest of the cruise. My sister would certainly be happy for that to happen as I expect all on board would be. I wonder where your friend heard this?
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