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Circumnavigate The Globe in 123 days with Bill & Mary Ann - 2011 World Cruise

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I have to say that you being home has given me mixed feelings. I'm glad you made it home OK but, I'm sure going to miss your reports. Thanks again for all your time that you put into these live reports.

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Thank you for taking time to write. I have learned a lot about a world cruise and the ports. I will miss your daily comments.

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I also want to thank you for your great travelogue. I have been giving DH updates too. Your reports have done loads to help me convince him to take a world cruise in a few years.

Thanks so much

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I can't remember if I sent you my thanks yet......but, as always, your reports were wonderful, helpful and enjoyable. I need to pull out pieces and save them for info for my next trip.

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Welcome home!

I am also going to miss your daily adventures.

I, for one, would love to hear any tips for cruising on long voyages.

Things you've learned to do to make is easier.

Any tips or tricks you can share??

Thanks!

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Mary Ann and Bill - Just caught up with your final days as had been on the Maasdam last week. And your comments about Cabo in the early 1980s were just as I remembered it. We stopped there on the Sitmar Fairsea in 1980 and it was hills of sand with vendors called out to entice you "This is the place". And now, look at it.

 

Thanks again for your reports. Looking forward to next year as well as your Regent cruise in the fall.

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I want to profoundly thank you for doing this blog. I followed daily, usually after all had settled and I had my glass of wine.

 

What an epic adventure! I truly felt as though I were there, and learned a lot about these places and how to tour them as an old hand to boot. So much fun, and yet I wasn't even there!

 

Thank you again, and countdown 2012 has commenced.

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Thank you so much for documenting your amazing adventure! My husband and I are dreaming of a world cruise one of these days. Counting the days until your next trip!

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Thank you so much for your wonderful blog!! I read this one and then went and found your others and spent the last few days reading those! I immediately ran and told my DH that as soon as he retires we are doing a World Cruise. Bad news is that is at least 25 years away! Good news is that it gives us time to save!! Ready for the next report!!

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Report # 128 May 20, 2011 Friday Final Summary of the 2011 World Cruise

 

Well, we've been home now for almost two weeks, and have settled in quite nicely. Instead of tackling the projects all at once, we're taking our sweet time to sort things out.

 

We did receive the duffel bags two days after we got back. That was a record time, but of course, they were just coming from San Diego. And they were undamaged, and as far as we can tell, nothing was broken. Although we have to admit, only two of the four bags have been emptied so far. Remember, it took a month a pack them, so we should have at least that much time to unpack them. Actually, it has been fun finding the few treasures we picked up along the way.

 

That leads us to our first comment about bringing too many clothes on the cruise. Pack less! We say this on every trip, and we really have made some progress in that direction. The formal nights were so few, that wearing the same outfits numerous times was not a problem. Believe us, no one looks that closely. The fellows that chose to wear tuxes have it easy......wear a different tie, vest, or cumberbund, and they are done. The same goes for wearing a suit....different shirt and tie works well. The few items we feel you need to bring enough of is underwear. For the majority of world cruisers, they are 4 star Mariner members, which comes with the free laundry perk. The problem with that, is the turn-around time can be up to three or four days later. And for us, it was not always perfect, as we lost a few items of clothing along the way, which was re-imbursed.

 

It also helps your room stewards if you give them a list of things you need in your stateroom on the first day you meet them. We always need a couple dozen metal hangars to replace the wooden ones. They take up too much space in the closet. It's also nice to have three each of washcloths, hand towels, and large bath towels. The lotions still came in small plastic bottles, and we had to remind our room steward to give us one everyday. Eventually, there may be a large dispenser for the lotion like they have for the shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel. Those were never empty.

 

Also in regards to packing is to bring ample toiletries you need for the entire trip. Yes, you may be able to find them in foreign countries, but you waste a lot precious time and money finding them. The same goes for over-the-counter meds. We paid dearly for a few tablets of Aleve, when we could have brought them from home for a fraction of the cost.

 

What we found to be useful were the quart and gallon size ziplock bags for all of our shipped toiletries. This time, we put these bags into the larger space bags, which kept them from moving in the duffels. Our clothing was also put in these space bags, preventing any accidents. Speaking of accidents, the only bottles that leaked were the brand new pump bottles of lotions and liquid soaps. Shipping these duffels by air (probably as cargo) seemed to be the problem. The bottles were still usable, but we lost about 1/3 of their contents.

 

A hanging shoe bag and jewelry bag extended our storage space in the room. Over-the-door hangars worked well on the closet and bathroom door. These hangars were great with the ever growing heavy jewelry pouch bag. Command hooks worked well on the wall space with lighter items such as calendars, a world map, and a wooden hangar or two full of necklaces.

 

As far as accommodations go, we were very happy being on the Dolphin deck, mid ship. The outside cabins have one extra large closet compared to the deck six verandas. Since we spend the majority of our day outside by the pool or walking the promenade, we did not use the veranda that often on previous cruises. So why pay the high price? For a breeze in the room, the housekeeping staff, namely Wilem, supplied us the rotating tower fan, which worked out great. When it got really hot outside, we noticed that deck one stayed the coolest, even when the air conditioning was out of order. Another good point for booking deck one is the fact that it is the quietest deck, since there are cabins above you, but not the promenade deck.

 

In the dining room, we find the larger round tables to be the best choice. If you like company, you can request an officer or staff member to join you on formal nights. Even the entertainers can be invited....it is a treat for them too. We finally realized that if we did not care for wine with dinner on those special evenings, we could order something else. And we were not shy about ordering an extra entree to share between us or with our tablemates. Sometimes you only want a taste of a different dish, not the whole thing. That worked out nicely with dessert too. Many nights we passed around two or three tasty items to share. Believe us, the wonderful waiters love to make you happy. One word of advice however, if you wish to have a special birthday or anniversary cake, order it in advance or you get such a small one, it looks like an enlarged Hostess cupcake at best. When the first birthday cake arrived at our table for 10, it was interesting watching our waiter try to cut it so small.

 

A hint about getting foreign money.......get in onshore in the larger cities. It is by far cheaper to buy it that way as it is buying it on the ship. And either spend it all or save it for another trip, because if you turn it in at the front desk, you get charged again. Let's say you want to exchange Hong Kong money for Singapore money. First it has to be exchanged to the US dollar (for a fee), then you buy the next currency (also a fee). Better to spend it.

 

The best time to email on the ship seemed to be during the dinner times, when most folks are eating. Some of our tablemates found that late at night was also good. Save yourself a lot of time and frustration by checking in the library to see what is happening with the internet before you try to log on. Many times, the signal was lost, but you do not know that if you are attempting to log on in other areas of the ship. Hopefully, by next year, improvements will be made with their internet service. Simply put, it needs help.

 

There is an exchange book area in the library, where you can pick up hardcover or pocketbooks for free. Many passengers do bring a suicase full of reading material, which they eventually drop off in the library for sharing. It was not hard to find several new books to read from that collection. The library also has a good variety, but if people take forever to read them, you will never see the good ones on the shelves. There are no due dates to return a checked out book.

 

As for the 13 day Panama cruise, we did notice a difference compared to the world voyage. We stopped receiving the Times Digest newspaper in our mailslot everyday. If we wanted a copy, we had to find it in the library or at the front desk. The funny thing about that, was the Canadians were getting the Canadian paper daily in their mailslot. We never did fugure that out.

 

There were no more formal night pillow gifts. Only the towel animals re-appeared nightly. The room stewards were leaving the towel animals in our room every night for about two weeks on the world cruise, then they stopped. We can imagine that those little critters took a lot of time to make.

 

There were no more tasty snacks being served by the bar staff at the sailaway parties. In fact, these parties were split in two, with one being held on the aft deck, and the other in the Crows Nest. Perhaps it was due to the hot weather outside. And there were no more two for one drinks in the bars. The best it ever got was buy one, get the next for $1.00. And that only occurred from 4 to 5pm on some nights. Not fair to the late diners, we thought.

 

What we did like was the upbeat choice of music that was played in the Lido and the aft deck on sea days. Gone were the tunes from the 20's and 30's. We can't imagine why the world cruisers would object to more festive-type music, but they must, because if the bartender, for instance, at the aft pool tried the new tunes that we like, it only lasted for a few days.

 

So, there are our few thoughts which may contribute to a successful and easy world cruise, or any cruise for that matter. If anyone has any additional hints, we would love to hear them too.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

 

PS We will post the list of pillow gifts in a few days.

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very good summation and tips. thanks! i am going to do the world cruise in a couple years, so i'll bookmark this for future reference.

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Thanks again for everything.

I MIGHT see you again on the World Voyage 2013......that would be fun!

Karen

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Hi Mary Ann and Bill,

 

We have just returned home from a 6 week cruise and trip and I have just caught up on reading your posts since we left home at the beginning of April. Thanks so much for taking us along once more. It is always great to read your diary, as it is written so well and of course it brings back many memories of ports we have visited over the years.

 

I am so glad that you are back home, safe and well and that all your bags have finally turned up. I do wonder how you manage 4 months away from home especially with the mail etc. It is bad enough catching up after 6 weeks absence.

 

I look forward to reading your interesting diary on the next World Cruise, which as you say, is not so long away.

 

Jennie

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A heartfelt thank you for "taking" me on your cruise once again. This is the third one for me & I have enjoyed them all. Looking forward to "our" next adventure.:D

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Mary Ann and Bill,

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed "taking" the world cruise with you. This is something I'd love to do, but alas, it must wait at least 10 years until I retire. God Lord willing and the creek doesn't rise (as my mother used to say) we'll be able to go.

 

You brought your tours to life very well and made us feel as if we were there with you.

 

Thanks again for taking the time to write each report and I look forward to following again, should you be kind enough to blog on your next journey!:)

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Report # 129 May 25, 2011 Wednesday List of 2011 World Cruise Pillow Gifts

 

Here is the list of the gifts we received on the 2011 world cruise:

 

1-06 HAL canvas bag 1

 

1-08 2 room key holders & 2 journals

 

1-13 2 hanging cloth bags with toiletries

 

1-18 Capt Dinner 2 silver capped bottle stoppers

 

1-18 2 tins with world map, mile ruler, and mechanical pencil

 

1-24 2 security wallets to hold documents and money with neck strap

 

1-29 2 HAL boat bags/apple green canvas/adjustable strap

 

2-04 2 envelopes containing 2 plastic magnifying items

 

2-14 1 emergency candy bar for Valentines Day and 2 stuffed koala bears (small box Sees candy from TA)

 

2-14 2 stuffed koalas

 

2-22 2 Goedewaggen Delft ceramic Holland America Line Hotels

 

2-23 2 wine tasting glasses from Yalumba Winery and 6x8 photo from Mariner luncheon in Crows Nest

 

2-26 2 lapel pins dated with the 2011 world cruise

 

3-02 2 Tiffany and Co.porcelain covered dishes with 2011 wc itinerary (only full cruisers)

 

3-03 2 navy blue plastic rain ponchos

 

3-08 2 rolled duffels

 

3-17 2 pouches of Steven Card paintings puzzles

 

3-22 2 green luggage tags

 

3-30 4 luggage straps - green

 

4-04 2 sets of postcards - Stephen Card paintings

 

4-11 2 sets of pouches filled with a fleece scarf, mittens, and a cap (gray)

 

4-18 2 Goedewaggen Delft plates with 2011 world cruise map

 

4-21 2 tiles from the Mariners Brunch & one from Barbie

 

4-24 2 magnets with the 2011 world cruise itinerary on them & a cookbook from Bernie Rius

 

4-28 one HAL waterproof navy blue tote bag - Panama Cruise

 

And looking forward to the 2012 world cruise..............

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Thanks Bill & Mary Anne - now I know why they give you duffels ;)

 

Your tips are great along with your insight as to world cruises and all the fabulous reports you have shared with us.

 

thank you so very much., Loved your summary on top of everything else and your list of gifts. Thanks again for your fantastic reports.:)

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