Archive for January 4, 2018

Second Time Around

    In the last blog episode from our 2016 World Cruise, https://baderjournal.wordpress.com/2016/07/, we summed up this way:

So that’s it for this truly epic journey, a true circumnavigation of the globe (which we discovered requires you to pass through two points on precisely opposite sides of the world . . . ours were near New Zealand & Gibraltar)).  This is truly a once in a lifetime trip . . . unless you do it again, which we just might.  So long until next time.”

     So today, less than two years later, “next time” has already come as we find ourselves again boarding the M/S Amsterdam for another turn around the world.

On Shuttle to ship in Ft Lauderdale21. Juneau

     We didn’t think we would be doing this again quite this quickly, but HAL offered an interesting itinerary around the southern part of Africa instead of going through the Med.  And in addition all of our table mates from the 2016 cruise decided to go again this year, so how could we pass up such a happy reunion?

Last night with our table maates in 2016: (around table from left) Bill, Robert, Rick, Mary, Lee, Bob, Judy (photo edited by Bob)

     The first episode of our 2016 world cruise blog included my characteristically discursive review of the history of world cruising.  It’s still there so I won’t bore you with any more of that today. if you want to read it just aim you browser to ttps://baderjournal.wordpress.com/2015/12/27/around-the-world-in-115-days/.

     This year we will be returning to some interesting ports we visited in 2016 & also visiting some new places where we have never been before.  Here is the current itinerary map:

image

Here is a list version of the itinerary, which is probably easier to follow & also tells you when we are supposed to be there:

DATE

DAY

PORT

ARRIVE

DEPART

Jan 04

Thu

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

8:00 PM

Jan 06

Sat

Georgetown, Grand Cayman

10:00 AM

6:00 PM

Jan 08

Mon

Puerto Limón (San José), Costa Rica

7:00 AM

4:00 PM

Jan 09

Tue

Panama Canal Transit

Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama

8:00 PM

Jan 10

Wed

Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama

4:00 PM

Jan 14

Sun

Crossing the Equator

Jan 19

Fri

Taihoae, Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia

9:00 AM

6:00 PM

Jan 21

Sun

Avatoru, Rangiroa, French Polynesia

8:00 AM

5:00 PM

Jan 22

Mon

Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

8:00 AM

Jan 23

Tue

Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

5:00 AM

Cook’s Bay, Moorea, French Polynesia

8:00 AM

5:00 PM

Jan 24

Wed

Vaitape, Bora Bora, French Polynesia

8:00 AM

11:00 PM

Jan 26

Fri

Avatiu, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

8:00 AM

5:00 PM

Jan 28

Sun

Alofi, Niue

8:00 AM

5:00 PM

Jan 30

Tue

Crossing the International Date Line

Feb 02

Fri

Auckland, New Zealand

7:00 AM

8:00 PM

Feb 03

Sat

Tauranga (Rotorua), New Zealand

8:00 AM

6:00 PM

Feb 04

Sun

Napier, New Zealand

11:00 AM

11:00 PM

Feb 06

Tue

Port Chalmers (Dunedin), New Zealand

8:00 AM

6:00 PM

Feb 07

Wed

Fiordland National Park – scenic cruising

Feb 10

Sat

Sydney, Australia

8:00 AM

Feb 11

Sun

Sydney, Australia

6:00 PM

Feb 13

Tue

Hobart, Australia

8:00 AM

Feb 14

Wed

Hobart, Australia

4:00 AM

Port Arthur, Australia

8:00 AM

3:00 PM

Feb 16

Fri

Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island, Australia

8:00 AM

6:00 PM

Feb 17

Sat

Adelaide, Australia

8:00 AM

11:00 PM

Feb 20

Tue

Albany, Australia

8:00 AM

5:00 PM

Feb 21

Wed

Fremantle (Perth), Australia

4:00 PM

Feb 22

Thu

Fremantle (Perth), Australia

5:00 PM

Feb 26

Mon

Benoa (Denpasar), Bali, Indonesia

8:00 AM

Feb 27

Tue

Benoa (Denpasar), Bali, Indonesia

11:00 PM

Mar 03

Sat

Puerto Princesa, Philippines

8:00 AM

6:00 PM

Mar 05

Mon

Manila, Philippines

8:00 AM

Mar 06

Tue

Manila, Philippines

5:00 PM

Mar 08

Thu

Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China

8:00 AM

Mar 09

Fri

Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China

6:00 PM

Mar 12

Mon

Phu My (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam

6:00 AM

6:00 PM

Mar 14

Wed

Singapore

8:00 AM

Mar 15

Thu

Singapore

11:00 PM

Mar 17

Sat

Phuket, Thailand

8:00 AM

5:00 PM

Mar 20

Tue

Colombo, Sri Lanka

8:00 AM

5:00 PM

Mar 24

Sat

Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles

10:00 AM

11:00 PM

Mar 27

Tue

La Possession, Réunion

8:00 AM

6:00 PM

Mar 31

Sat

Maputo, Mozambique

8:00 AM

6:00 PM

Apr 03

Tue

Cape Town, South Africa

8:00 AM

Apr 04

Wed

Cape Town, South Africa

Apr 05

Thu

Cape Town, South Africa

5:00 PM

Apr 07

Sat

Walvis Bay, Namibia

8:00 AM

11:00 PM

Apr 10

Tue

Luanda, Angola

8:00 AM

5:00 PM

Apr 13

Fri

Crossing the Equator

Apr 16

Mon

Banjul, Gambia

8:00 AM

6:00 PM

Apr 17

Tue

Dakar, Senegal

8:00 AM

6:00 PM

Apr 19

Thu

Praia, llha de Santiago, Cape Verde

8:00 AM

6:00 PM

Apr 25

Wed

San Juan, Puerto Rico

8:00 AM

11:00 PM

Apr 28

Sat

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

7:00 AM

     This is our “current” itinerary because we have learned over the years that the scheduled stops are not guaranteed.  We have missed ports because the weather or ocean turbulence made tendering ashore too dangerous & also because of political unrest.  This year’s trip was originally supposed to include Madagascar, but that was cancelled because of an outbreak of plague, so we will be stopping at Reunion Island instead.  If we don’t have to miss any other stops along the way we will be pretty happy campers, & also somewhat surprised.  A lot can happen over the course of four months!

     We always drive to Florida & leave our car for the duration of the trip.  There is parking on the pier, but its pretty expensive for a long trip ($15 or $20, last time we checked).  We park our car at a place called Auto Storage USA, http://www.autostorageusa.com/.  The long term rates are very reasonable, a fraction of the pier price, the lot is enclosed by a 10 foot wall with an electronic sliding gate, & the people who run it are really nice & friendly.  They were, as always, happy to see us, spent time with us in friendly conversation, then drove us to our hotel.  They are highly recommended for anyone wanting to drive to Ft Lauderdale for a cruise.

     We are going to approach the blog of this trip differently than in the past, to Rick’s benefit but not yours.  The internet on board ship is so very slow that Rick ended up spending far too many hours sitting in the library waiting for blog entries to upload to the internet.  Moreover, since HAL charges for internet service the old fashioned way – by the minute – this slow service also cost a lot of money.  So, to save some money and (more importantly) allow Rick to enjoy more of the voyage we have decided not to post the blog episodes as they are completed, as we did last time.  Instead, they will be composed as we travel along, but not posted until we have access to reasonably fast internet service.  We may try to post some messages here via email, but those would be relatively short with few if any pictures.  We have never tried that before, so we will see how it works.

     That means that this may be the last posting you will see until we return to the USA at the end of April.  On our last world cruise Singapore was the one port that had fast (& free) internet available from the cruise terminal.  If that is true again this year we may post some episodes from there, but it appears we will be docking at a different place in Singapore this year so we don’t know if the fast internet will be available there or not.  The best way to be sure you see new episodes whenever they are posted is to sign up for email notices (instructions are on the “About this Blog” page).  If you would like to follow the cruise in real time, you obviously won’t be able to do it here, but there are web addresses listed on the “About this Blog” page of four other blogs maintained by people who will be on this cruise with us.

     At the top of this page are three buttons.

     1. The “Home” button will bring you to the most recent blog post if you are looking at any other posting.

    2. The “About This Blog” button takes you to a post that explains (very) thoroughly how to use the blog, including how to sign up for email notices of new posts.  If you want to follow this blog you should read it, since it has a lot of useful information. One key tip: the pictures have captions, sometimes interesting & sometimes not, which will pop up on a computer screen if you hover your mouse over the picture without pressing a button. We don’t know how (or whether) that works if you are viewing the blog on a phone, tablet or other device without a mouse.

    3. On the far right is a button labeled “M/S Amsterdam’s Current Position.”  That button will take you (surprise!) to a web page that will tell you where our ship is currently located (or at least where it is scheduled to be located).  That page would enable you at least to follow the ship’s progress contemporaneously, although without our scintillating photos & brilliant commentary.

     So that’s it for now.  If we aren’t nuked in the China Sea or struck down by Zika or Dengue Fever in Africa or bitten by a poisonous spider or snake in Australia, we will be back on April 28 with a boatload (so to speak) of new stories & pictures to share with everyone.