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Enjoy the "Treasures of the World" with Bill & Mary Ann on the 2014 World Cruise

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Another year of following your blog and it only gets better each voyage. Welcome back home and thanks for taking the time to include us in your travels.

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Thanks for taking us along on your world voyage, I enjoyed it so much and I'm looking forward to your next adventure. Rest up when you arrive home so you will have the energy to unpack all those bags coming via FedEx. LO

Thanks again and enjoy your summer.

Helen

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Loved reading your posts and your blog with pictures, thanks. We get to take the ship out of Seattle on 6-22-14 for the 14 day Alaska cruise. Thanks for letting us tag along with you, excellent writing, very enjoyable.

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Enjoyed your reports and photos, wishing you safe travels back home.

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Adding another heartfelt thanks to you both for your wonderful blog...hope you are home safe and sound...looking forward to hearing about your next travel plans!

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Welcome home! Thank you very much for the exciting adventure! I appreciate you taking the time and sharing all the details!

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Report # 135 San Diego, California May 13, 2014 Tuesday Warm, 89 degrees

 

Debarkation day is never easy, or as smooth as you think it should be. Even the best laid out plans can go astray, despite the best efforts put forward by the staff and crew. We would find that out around 9:30am, when debarkation should have begun.

 

The dining room was almost empty of guests when we went this morning at 7am. It was open for service from 6:30 to 8am for those who chose not to go to the Lido. Service was excellent, but also sad, as many of our everyday waiters came by to say goodbye. Some of them are also going home like us, after a 9 or 10 month contract with the cruise line. You can bet they were extremely happy this morning.

 

When we got back to our room from breakfast, our final statement was in the mailslot. How did we know that the final complimentary Pinnacle dinner would be charged to our account? They did give us the 50% off, but it should have been free. Luckily, there were only two people at the desk disputing their bills. It only took 10 minutes to get it verified through Tina, the manager of the PG. Funny thing, another couple we know was doing the very same thing....getting the charge taken off of their bill. Guess they think we have nothing else better to do. Worse yet, we could have missed it and been out the money. Not the best way to end your epic voyage.

 

The time for our exit was about 9:45am, but this did not look like that would happen, because some of the non-US citizens had not responded to the call for the customs officials. There were a total of 30 passengers missing or still sleeping. By 9:30am, Gene began calling these folks by room number and name, until they finally showed up by 9:45am or so.

 

Now this is where things got squirrely. Gene called the expedited guests first, or those who chose to take all of the luggage off by themselves. This group began lining up at the kiosk on deck two, but for some unknown reason, were going nowhere fast. OK, now the suite guests holding pink # 1, which included us, were called to exit. So we got in line behind the expedited group, going nowhere fast. More of our group were trying to get out of the forward elevators, but could not because the lobby was full of people and suitcases.

 

As if that was not bad enough, the shore excursion manager let the tour folks go from the Queens Lounge to get off to go to their buses. Now the stairwell was plugged, and none of us were going anywhere soon. That 's when Gene appeared at the end of the line, with a puzzled look on his face, obviously not aware this was happening. He made his way upstream to the security guard at the kiosk to find out what was up. Whatever he did or said, the line began to move slowly. However, he quickly announced to the rest of the remaining guests NOT to come to deck two until it was cleared.

 

And that is one good reason not to book a flight early out of a debarking port. You never know what to expect. Come to think of it, more stuff happened this morning that we did not see coming as well. Once in the terminal building, we asked where our luggage was stacked. Usually, our group has their bags separated from the crowd, because ours goes Fed Ex. Well, the HAL rep said he believed that our luggage had already been picked up and was gone. That would be too easy. So we checked to see if that was right, and it was not. We found 6 of our bags, but one was missing. One of the smaller ones had been placed in the wrong pile. So we gathered them all together, and the agent said to leave them there....we did not have to lug them through customs. Satified that this was OK now, we breezed through the official's line, handed off our customs form, and located a taxi right outside the terminal.

 

Boy, was it going to be a hot day or what? Every time we have landed here, it has been foggy. Not today, since the temperatures were already climbing to the high 80's. It was nice to be at the airport, where it was cooler, and we would have time to relax before our flight at 1:30pm. Yesterday, our travel agent had confirmed our flight to San Francisco, and nothing had changed. But guess what? Upon logging in our number, we found our flight had been changed to 4:30pm. What's with that? So we went over to an agent at the end desk, who told us our flight had been cancelled due to the fact the plane never arrived. Darn.

 

But.....we were early enough to search for an earlier flight. Just by sheer luck, there were two seats available, not together, but who cares, on a flight leaving at 1:30pm. Great, we took the seats, and figured we had about 1/2 hour to make it to the gate. Ahhh, not so fast. One of us got the TSA free sign on their ticket, but one of us had to go through regular security. Having been really careful about packing, it should have been a breeze. Guess what....it was NOT.

 

My small HAL duffel, packed full of leftover prescriptions, some delicate costume jewelry, documents, and laundry would not pass inspection. The screener called for a bag check, which took a few minutes. I was taken to a table, where another screener began taking stuff out of the bag piece by piece. I did not ask what they were looking for, because you never know how they are going to interpret your inquiry. So silence is best in this case. Except, the time was ticking away, and I was afraid of missing the flight at this point. Anyway, she took a tub full of my jewelry in containers to the screener, who ran it again. Then came back and repeated the process with more stuff. Turned out the problem was with a small tin that I saved that had cookies in it, figuring it was good to take the shell jewelry home in. Not a good idea, because it was the metal that set off the xray machine. Learn something new every time we fly.

 

Finally joining up with my better half, who was stroking out on the side lines, we figured we had 15 minutes to make it to the gate in time for boarding. If it wasn't for this flight also being delayed by 1/2 hour, we would have missed it. So, it did end up being our lucky day after all. We boarded, and took our seats in the back of the plane. Glad this was not a 5 hour flight, but for one hour, it was fine. We left by 12:20pm and landed before 1:30pm in sunny San Francisco.

 

Calling our son from a pay phone in the baggage area, he arrived within the hour after getting our message. Sure was nice to see his truck coming, and even better to be on the freeway before the worst of the commute traffic hit. There was a backup downtown, but it gave us lots of time to catch up on family news.

 

We arrived home around 3:30pm, and soon saw what the spring rains had left for us..........6 to 8 foot tall weeds in the back pasture. The bird pens looked like a jungle surrounded them. We will have our work cut out for us for the following weeks, but secretly, we enjoy every minute of it. Except for the stickers and the pollen. We did not miss that.

 

Will let you all know when our luggage arrives VIA Fed Ex and how much of it makes it through in one piece.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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You are right - we are having a heat wave here in San Diego. I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your detailed description of the getting off the ship/airport travails just because I have been there and because you write so well. Thank you for taking us along on your voyage.

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Thank you for your posts and pictures they have made a long cold winter in the north more bearable.Enjoy your birds and garden at home and thank your son for helping with the blog.

 

Heather

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I have enjoyed reading your report once again. Thank you for all the effort. I look forward to your next go round. Take care.

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I'm glad that you got home safe and sound. Thank you for taking all of us along on your adventures. I can't wait for the next one!

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Loved your blog especially the pictures. Looking forward to seeing you on the world. We are doing a Jeff going on the Grand Asia first the. Home for a few weeks and then back onboard. We had a wonderful voyage this year,but missed everyone on the Amsterdam. Have a great summer Allan and Sandra

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Welcome home!!! I've been following your blogs since your first world cruise, I think in 2005. This one didn't disappoint. Thank you again for sharing with us. I'll be trolling the boards until I stumble in your next adventure.

Have a great summer.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Whew! After reading your about disembarkation day I am exhausted! That sounded so stressful that at every turn you encountered disruption! But now you are finally home! Glad you made it and I hope all of your luggage arrives together.

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We really enjoyed the cruise with you!!

 

By reading your blog, do we receive sea day credits!!

 

Look forward to your next sail away....enjoy the chooks (Chickens)

 

Noel & Pat in Melbourne AU

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Wow, the time flew by. My husband and I enjoyed your blog so much! Thanks for taking us along.

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

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Thank You! Thank You for taking all of us along with you on this wonderful journey. I very much enjoyed your daily blogs. A very special thanks to you son for posting the pictures. They were great!

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Took 2 short cruises while you were on your magnificent long one. Enjoyed every min of yours and ours. Thanks to your son for posting all the wonderful photos. After following for 4years it was great to see you both and your Margarita Pizza and beer.

 

Sent from Gail's Galaxy S3

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Your disembarkation sounded like a nightmare, especially after such a long world cruise and additional cruise home.

 

I hope all your luggage arrived undamaged.

 

Thank you once again for such an interesting blog, which was enhanced by the photos.

 

When is your next cruise?

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Report # 136 Stuff to do at home.......May 18, 2014 Sunday Warm, in the low 80's

 

It's funny, but even though we have only been home less than a week, it seems like we have been here for weeks. That is because there is SO much to catch up on, it is overwhelming. We find it easier to do a little, then go out for a long walk and lunch. We have been blessed with very warm weather that has gradually returned to comfortable temperatures in the low 80's. For us, it is much nicer to be outside on days like these.

 

But the good news is that our seven pieces of shipped luggage arrived, pretty much in one piece, on Thursday, the 15th, in the late afternoon. Frankly, it would have been nice not to have to deal with it for a week or so, but at least it is here, and not lost in space. Since we had taken out some extra insurance on the four duffels, we did have to sign for them. Good thing we were home, because that could get complicated re-scheduling to our advantage.

 

Last year, our entire shipment was on a pallet and shrink-wrapped. The Fed Ex driver had a small fork lift to bring the pallet to the garage doors, which is a long ways down our driveway. This time, the driver asked if he could drive his truck to the garage doors, instead of lugging each bag one at a time. He realized that after hauling one suitcase, they probably weighed more than he did. Of course, we said, and we even helped him take them off of his truck, which did not have a liftgate.

 

Now if it were up to me, Mary Ann, the luggage would have remained in the living room until tomorrow, or even later since I tend to be the procrastinator (not always good). But......one of us was more interested in knowing if the Sri Lankan elephant, the Papua New Guinea and Fiji masks and baskets, and the Guatemalan giraffe made it home in tact. Since we never did keep tabs on which bag had what, we ended up opening all of them to find these treasures. Lo and behold, all of the souveniers made it in one piece. The only casualty was the $4.00 wall clock, which had broken glass. Kind of expected that.

 

So the rest of the contents are now spread in neat pile all over the floor, furniture, chairs, and piano. Notice, we said NEAT. We can tackle this chore a little at a time. One nice thing is that most every piece of clothing is clean, thanks to the efficient free laundry service onboard the ship. Towards the end of the Panama cruise, the bag of laundry that was sent out in the morning, arrived back that same evening.

 

Our new rooster, Foghorn, has only three girlfriends left. Our hens were really on the elderly side, so perhaps this summer, we will look for some younger chicks for him. He is still strutting and doing his thing, even defensive we us, since he really doesn't know us yet. We did have an out-dated bag of corn chips in the pantry, which we fed them when we got back. That is the best way to make friends with him. Our roaming peacock, who our neighbor named Anthony, has been following Bill around as he mows the weeds. Guess that disturbs the many insects hiding in the grasses, which gives him plenty of fresh snacks as he tags behind.

 

The only one missing in action is our feral cat. Not that he was ever "ours", he just made the rounds when the feeder dispensed the dry cat food twice a day. We have no idea how old he was, or even if he may have belonged to someone out here. Our guess is that if we have not seen him for five days now, he must have found a new home, or is in "cat heaven".

 

So that's a wrap for this world cruise. As always, we did notice some subtle differences, small cutbacks that would probably go unnoticed by the first-time world cruisers. Perhaps we are becoming part of the crowd that does not like change, especially with age-old traditions. Like we said previously, nothing stays the same forever. Will that keep us from coming back for another Grand Voyage? Well, probably not.

 

Our next trip will be in the fall, when we join the Statendam for one week in Alaska, then 35 days days in the South Pacific. Then we hope to be back on the Amsterdam next January for her 114 day Grand World Voyage.

 

Wishing you all a wonderful summer.............

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Thanks again for the great travelogue - it brought so many of us pleasure reading of your adventures, no matter how small. I wish you a wonderful summer as well, and look forward to seeing more from you in the fall.

 

Smooth Sailing! :) :) :)

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Great blog. Wonderful Treat. Would not have missed it for the world. Thank you so much.

Stay well and God Bless.

DFD1

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