Day 73 — Mar 14 — Curtailed!
The dreaded announcement comes around 10 AM that our cruise around the world has been “curtailed”. In other words, “canceled”. All ships have been recalled back to their disembarkation ports. So from this point on we are headed to Tilbury, England. We should arrive around April 13, most of a month earlier than expected. This means 31 Days At Sea. Oh well, nothing we can do about it, the world is coming to a halt. We hear news from home that commodities are disappearing from store shelves in fears that people will be quarantined.
Air traffic is being halted also and we wonder how we will get home from London when we arrive. But we have a month to figure that out. Maybe things will settle some by then.
We are informed that we will be allowed to dock in Viet Nam next to the “Vasco de Gama”, another ship in CMV’s fleet and Australian and New Zealand Nationals may switch ships and European Nationals board our ship to get people closer to their homes. As for USA residents and at least 2 Ecuador residents, we don’t know what is in store for us.
Day 74 — Mar 15 — At Sea
The Ides of March. Today we are told that Viet Nam will not allow us to dock and switch passengers. We are now told that we will anchor outside of Phuket, Thailand and do the passenger switch via Tenders. As for acquiring supplies and fuel, that creates a whole new set of questions. This afternoon I increase my skills in the darts league and pull off a win!
Day 75 — Mar 16 — Crossing the Equator
We settle in a daily routine. A slight change to the morning and we have a “Crossing the Equator” party on deck where the Cruise Director comes to the pool area dressed as “King Neptune” and the entertainment crew performs fun skits where they declare some members ‘Guilty’ of silly crimes and they proceed to ‘punish’ them by coating their bodies in food and make them “Kiss the Fish” (an actual fish), and then throw their bodies in the Depths of the Seas (Okay, okay, the swimming pool). Great fun is had by all.
We pass through a line of anchored freighters this morning. We check our current position and see we are approaching Singapore, one of the busiest ports in the world. As we approach the Malacca Straight we see from 50-100 ships at any one time around us. This is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world as the only other way across this area is south near Australia. It is also mentioned that pirates are in this area.
As we travel through the Straight, I look out and see the famous hotel that is three towers with what looks like an island on top. I go get my camera and take a few shots as I don’t know if I’ll ever be near here again. For the rest of the day we see literally hundreds of ships in the water.
Day 76 — Mar 17 — St. Patties Day
With the exception of St Patties decorations around the ship, today is a fairly normal Day At Sea. I do manage to find a Green Beer which the bartender has thrown in a shot of Crème De Menthe to turn it green. It’s pretty disgusting, but hey, it’s a green beer!
I have fallen off the roster in the darts league as I didn’t play well enough to make the finals.