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John and Diane's 125-day Adventure at Sea

Johnny B

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Thank you both again for taking us along on your amazing adventure! As I recover from knee surgery, I wish John the very best in whatever he decides to do about his knees. Hope to "cruise" again with the two of you again. Evelyn

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Monday, May 1, 2017 - Day 111 (125 counting the Christmas cruise) + 5

San Luis Obispo, California (home port)

What an adventure we’ve had! I don’t know whether I more enjoyed the ports, the overlands, or just cruising along through the ocean, sitting on the deck watching the water go by and hoping for dolphins. There is so much to love about a world cruise. I love returning to favorite ports and discovering new ones. I love sea days and sitting at the long table in the library writing my blog, drinking my cappuccino and looking out the window at the ocean (whichever one it might be). I love spending time with friends and making new ones. I love overlands and getting “up close and personal” with a new area. I guess I just love it all.

We got to be better friends with people we met in 2015 and made new friends in various places, including trivia, the Lido (for breakfast and lunch) and just around the ship. We tend to gravitate to people who are just having a wonderful time and avoid those who aren’t. I don’t understand people who continue to complain that “it’s just not what it used to be” and yet continue to sail. I think we even appreciated our friends more on this cruise after sailing on the Koningsdam where we knew a few crew members but only one passenger. On the WC, it’s like a four-month family reunion, including that weird uncle who just keeps showing up.

Our last night in the Crow’s Nest before dinner was our goodbye to all of our very good friends. There were tears and laughter and we promised to keep in touch. Some of us actually will. At dinner there was cheerful discussion about what a great four months it was and how much fun we had at the table (with only a few glitches). A four-month table is a bit like a marriage: you know you like them in small amounts, but the long term really seals the deal.

Disembarking on Wednesday was really very smooth. Our flight had been changed from 11:50 to 11:30, so we were a bit nervous about the whole procedure, since once arriving in the “great luggage hall” it can be a bit like a contact sport, with people barging into others to grab their suitcases and then arm wrestling for a porter. This time they had made a big improvement: there was an organized line for porters, so you just waited, and when it was your turn, you got the next porter and went out to search out your luggage, knowing what color it was but not knowing exactly where in the “pink” section it might be. We found ours fairly quickly, and then going through immigration and customs took five minutes max and we were off to the airport in a taxi, while four of our large bags were off to San Luis Obispo via FedEx. We arrived at the airport with time to spare - and time for Starbucks!

The flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Houston was short (2 hours) and mostly smooth, but when we looked at our boarding passes for the Houston to LAX flight and then from LAX to San Luis Obispo we realized we had 30 minutes for a connection from the end of one LAX terminal to the end of another - a 10 minute jog or a 20 minute stroll. Then we were told, once the flight took off that we’d be 7 minutes late. On a regular flight that would be no big deal, but with our abbreviated layover, it was HUGE. Fortunately, our head flight attendant was the world’s nicest guy and, ignoring only a few rules, got us off the plane first in LA, while putting a bottle of wine in my carry-on bag. What a guy! It turned out that the flight had actually arrived 5 minutes early, so with a brisk walk we arrived at our new gate in time. And then the fun started. Once we had boarded, the captain told us that the toilet (just one - small plane) wouldn’t stop flushing, so we needed to have it fixed. That was taken care of, and then the captain told us that clouds and high winds in SLO might cause a problem with landing, so we needed to take on additional fuel in case we had to land somewhere else. That achieved, we took off only 45 minutes late and headed home. Nearing San Luis Obispo, the pilot told us that the ceiling (cloud cover) was supposed to be 1200 feet but it was only 700, and the tailwind for landing shouldn’t be more than 10 mph and it was 19-23, so we wouldn’t be landing at home. United really wanted the plane to turn around and return to LAX (Oh, no!), but because of low fuel, we landed in Santa Barbara, 90 minutes south of SLO. The couple across from us rented a car while we were taxiing, and he asked us if we wanted to share it. We were on it immediately, and we grabbed our luggage and headed north on 101. At 9:30 (instead of 6:00) we were back to home sweet home and really happy to get there instead of spending the night in LA. Although it was a pain in the neck, it certainly wasn’t United Airlines’ fault, but rather that incredibly uncooperative weather.

So here we are, with our two small bags unpacked the evening of arrival and awaiting our four large bags tomorrow - not a good thought for all the work that will be involved. They have our formal wear, our dinner wear, all our gifts, and lots of other things that will have to be taken out, evaluated for possible laundry, and then put away. We don’t know whether to wish they were lost in transit or be glad they’re arriving, but I think the latter.


Thank you so much for following our adventures for four and a half months. There were a few trials and tribulations, but overall it was the same wonderful trip it always has been. At present we have no travel plans (hard to believe) but with John’s knee surgery scheduled for June 26, we are leaving everything up in the air. Your comments have been very rewarding, and I hope to include you in any future cruise adventures we have. Since we’re home and internet is now not only free but fast, please don’t hesitate to ask any questions or make any comments. So long for now.

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I so appreciate the time and effort you take to "bring us along". I love my chance to travel with you. Good luck John with your knee surgery. I am the positive attitudes you both possess will have you sailing through recovery! [emoji6]. I wish you good fortune until the next adventure!



Sent from my iPad using Forums

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I too, would like to thank you for taking the time and effort to publish your blog especially when you could be staring at the ocean watching for wildlife :D.

I always look forward to reading of your adventures and will miss your posts now the cruise is over.


Best wishes for John's surgery and hope that he's not out of action for too long.

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Thank you for your blo, it has been so interesting and fun to check in on every day. You seem like such Iovely people and I wish you all the best.

We will be on the Amsterdam for the first time this summer to Alaska. Any ship specific tips you have would be most appreciated.


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At present we have no travel plans (hard to believe) but with John’s knee surgery scheduled for June 26, we are leaving everything up in the air.

He will rue the day! But later on he will be thrilled.

Remember, pain killers are prescribed for a reason, and don't be afraid to take them. Ice is your friend (and I don't mean in a cocktail, either).


Best wishes with the surgery.

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Thanks for the suggestions about knee surgery recovery. I don't think there will be any drinks to put ice in as long as the painkillers are in effect.


Regarding the summer Amsterdam cruise, I do have a couple of suggestions.

First, spend time in the Crow's Nest, and not just for drinking. It's has a beautiful view from so high up on the ship and I occasionally used it as a quiet getaway when I wanted to comfortably read with little noise. It is lovely, however, for a cocktail before dinner, and it seems to take "newbies" a while to discover it.


Also, make full use of the Explorations Cafe, or "the coffee shop." Everyone there is trained by Starbucks, but it costs less.


Try out the Pinnacle and see if the Tamarind menu is still in effect. If it is, and if you like Asian food, it really is delicious.


Have a burger and the world's best fries at the Dive-In. If Prio is there taking orders, tell him that John and Diane said hello.


Enjoy every minute of your cruise.

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Thank you so much for taking us along on another wonderful voyage. Like you we love the atmosphere in the Crows Nest during the day. It's so cozy & those recliners are so comfy I have dozed off more than once!

Good luck on your surgery John, just remember to do what they tell you & you'll be fine.

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I hope you are all unpacked now and enjoying being in your own home.


Thank you once again for sharing your world cruise adventures, which bring pleasure to so many.


I wish John all the best for his knee surgery. I can't remember whether he is having one or two knees done, but my neighbour was the only one in his ward who had both knees done at once. It was a big deal, but he said it was well worth it, to have it all over with one hospital visit. He made a great recovery and you wouldn't know he had any knee operations.

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Thanks for all your good wishes about John's knee. He has mixed feelings of course: dread of the surgery and rehab, but looking forward to having pain-free knees afterward.


Our four large pieces of luggage arrived on Tuesday and John, being the OCD person he is, shamed me into joining him in unpacking - and we finished in under 2 hours - unpacked, put away and suitcases back in the garage. We are now well and truly "back at home. "

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John, just a few hints getting through this surgery. My husband and I both have two new knees. Never felt better!


We feel, the secret is a good strong rehab. Although at first it is uncomfortable, keep it up. Force yourself to follow whatever it is you're told. And, then some. No cheating! We feel the secret, along with an aces Dr., is to rehab hard.

The rewards are so good down the line. :D

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Regarding luggage, it's usually about a week or 10 days between pickup (in California, anyway) and beginning of the cruise. It is well worth having it delivered, though, especially for a long cruise.


Regarding John's knee surgery, he is a doctor's ideal patient, doing exactly what is prescribed. I'm sure this will be no different, and thank you for the encouragement.

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  • 1 month later...

We have been following you on your wonderful adventures and enjoying it so much. How is John doing? But more importantly, are you guys ok. Saw that Johhny Galecki's home is in San Luis Obispo. Is it near you? Wishing you the best.

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