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Hitch a Ride with Bill & Mary Ann on Holland America's 2018 World Cruise - 113 days +

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Report # 1 Gettingready to go…..the trip begins December30, 2017 Saturday Sunny and cold 31 to 57 degrees

 

After watching the news about the chilling freezing weatherin the northeast of the USA, we are not complaining too much about our coldsnap. But we are sure looking forward tothe warmer, balmy temps in Florida in a few days. That is part of the reason we enjoy leavingon a vacation this time of year. Hard tobelieve that around this time a year ago, we were wishing for rain. And rain we got….too much. And here we are once again – waiting for therain to begin and soon.

 

Our plans for this world cruise of 113 days were set a fewyears ago. We were quite happy to learnthat the itinerary would include Africa, with some new ports for many ofus. It seems that this cruise was mostattractive, because it sold out rather quickly, and remained that way weunderstand. As well as Africa, we willbe going through the Caribbean, then the Panama Canal, then head southwest toFrench Polynesia. New Zealand andAustralia are back in the mix with many stops.

 

The largest population of the crew members are very happythat we will have stops in their homeland in Indonesia and the Philippines,where many will connect with family and friends.

 

Then we will be off to Hong Kong, Vietnam, and one of ourfavorite places in the world – Singapore. With only one port in Thailand, we’re off to Sri Lanka. No India this year, unless you chose to do anoverland there. The Seychelles is onestop we remember well, as it can be extremely hot there, but beautiful. Many folks were excited to see Madagascar,but since a plague broke out there recently, it was cancelled. Instead, we will make a visit to Reunion, alittle French island.

 

The first stop in Africa will be the country of Mozambique,and the drop-off point for several safari overland adventures. We will be among those departing from thereto our favorite camp in Sabi Sands, part of Kruger National Park. Turns out it was not so simple to passthrough Mozambique to leave for South Africa either by car or air. Getting a visa was a headache we hope tonever repeat. Yes, we could have takenour chances, and lined up to buy the correct visa after we were cleared by theauthorities. But this may have not be soeasy. And with a flight at 11:30am, wechose to get a special visa ahead of time. Long story short, we are set to go without lining up (we hope). It was pricey, but our choice to eliminate anyanxiety. And to complicate matters,Mozambique has decided to re-vamp their process, actually having ships leavetheir port due to complications. Why wecould not have gone to Durban, South Africa, where no visas are required, wewill never know.

 

We shall rejoin the ship in Cape Town, then continue toNamibia. Angola, Gambia, and Senegalwill be new ports for us. A few yearsago, we did have stops scheduled there, but the deadly ebola virus preventedour visit. Cape Verde was substituted,and we will be going there as well this time.

 

Puerto Rico will be our very last port, where, if all goeswell, the ship will be cleared for our entrance into the USA. Wonder what we will find after thedevastating hurricane did so much damage last summer? The Amsterdam will be back to Ft. Lauderdaleon April 28th, then will go to the Bahamas for a 12 daydry-docking. We intend to hang arounduntil she re-positions to the west coast in May, making this trip aparticularly long one for us…….almost 5 months. Another adventure…..

 

We were pleasantly surprised to receive the holiday giftsfrom Holland America Line’s Mariner’s Society, a reminder of all the nicethings to come as members of the President’s Club. The gifts were two lovelyWaterford bouquet vases. Some of ourgood friends will be inducted on this upcoming cruise, and are sure lookingforward to it. So are we.

 

Our four bags were gathered by Fed Ex, and on their way toFlorida on December 18th. Then the fun started here with the last minute stuff to do such as mailholds, prescription filling, bill paying, and yard maintenance. Good thing wekeep a detailed list, or else we might forget a lot of things-to-do. As many times that we have gone through thisprocess, it seems that this year what could go wrong…did. Little bumps in the road, and sometimes unavoidable,or out of our control. Add Thanksgivingand Christmas to that mix, and needless to say, we were never bored.

 

We’ll be heading out quite early Monday, New Year’s Day,when most everyone will be snug and cozy in their warm beds. The next time we write, we should be enjoyingsome of that Florida heat!

 

Here is our blog site that includes the photos for those whomay want to see what we are writing about: http://cruisingwithbillandmaryann.blogspot.com/

 

 

Wishing everyone a most wonderful Happy New Year! And stay tuned…..

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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I can't wait. You help me get through my winter blues each year!

I hope you have a wonderful trip and thank you for sharing it with us!

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Thank you for again sharing your adventures during the world cruise with us.

Wishing you safe travelling.

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I've been checking your site to see if you had written knowing the

world cruise was coming up. Can't wait to read of your cruise

this year, like in the years past. Bon Voyage! :ship:

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Looking foward to reading it every day. If possible. Our friends, Greg and Heo, were just in San Juan and the old town is fine. Angola is one of the most expensive places in the world. Gone of the $12 can of Coke. In Senegal try to get out to the pink lake. Really nice. I was on the princendam on its first stop in.gambia. Both are interesting and the reason to travel. Enjoy.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Looking forward to reading your blog. Thanks for sharing. Hope to be there for your sail away. Bon Voyage.

Allan

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Following again this year:) Safe travels tomorrow....hope Florida is warm...it's chilly here in NC:eek:

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Looking forward to your adventure especially since I am here in "chilly" NY. Have a wonderful time!!

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Hey guys. Glad to see you are off again. Always look forward to your blog if we can't be with you. We decided to do the Prinsendam Africa and Med Grand Voyage this year so maybe our paths will cross in Gambia, Senegal or San Juan. Safe travels and hope to see you again soon.

 

Rich and Peg

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Thanks for posting again, Can't wait to "visit" all the wonderful

places that you go and travel along with you, thanks to the blog.

Have a wonderful and safe journey.

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Thank you. Thank you for taking us along.

 

May you have a safe, healthy and adventure filled journey!

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Here we go again! Can't wait to share all your experiences. Thanks for taking the time to do this for your faithful "friends"!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Hi Bill and Mary Ann,

 

We are looking forward to cruising the world with you once again. The only thing better would to actually be on the Amsterdam!;p Enjoy every minute.

 

Cheers,

Denise and Howie too

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