When we signed up for the World Cruise it was still over 400 days until we joined Sea Princess in Sydney Harbour. During the past 300 days, when travelling extensively, we hadn’t really given the countdown much thought, but the last couple of months sitting at home waiting for the arrival of our grandson, it has gone at a snail’s pace. Tomorrow, when the countdown hits double figures and it’s only about 6 weeks until we depart for our pre-cruise travels, we hope the current snail’s pace countdown will gather steam for a charge to the sailaway party May 22nd.
So what have we been planning in the 100 days since the previous update. Well the Australian Visas are complete for our arrival pre-cruise and our 3 months in Australia post cruise. Yet again, doing some research paid off, as the Visa requirements depend on your nationality. As a Canadian, Judi didn’t have any option, so her Visa cost $20, but was approved immediately. However, I carry both UK & Canadian passports and with some research I determined UK passport holders get a free Visa. So, with a Scottish heritage, guess which passport I used for the Australian Visa? Sorry, no 2nd guesses.This permits us multiple entries into Australia for up to 3 months, each visit, for a full year from the date of issue.
In addition to getting Visas we have an appointment at the local travel clinic tomorrow, to determine what additional vaccinations we require for the World Cruise and additional travels with our round the world airfare. It shouldn’t be too bad this time, as for our trip to Kenya and Tanzania 2 to 3 years ago we departed the travel clinic feeling like a pin cushion. As an Emergency RN, Judi already had some, but Andy got about 10 or 11 vaccinations. This time we hope it is limited to 2 or 3 boosters.
We have also had to complete the painful process of paying the final balance, which was compounded by the recent collapse in our Canadian dollar, which unfortunately for us tends to follow the price of oil.
My other research over the past 3 months is how to draft WordPress posts off-line, including attachments, formatting, etc. Web access on cruise ships is both slow, read the old days of dial-up and ultra-expensive, so drafting daily posts on-line would take hours and probably double the cost of the cruise. Most of the blogs and forum posts I have read said it couldn’t be done; however, I refused to give up. Eventually I found 2 options from Microsoft – Webmatrix and Live Writer. The Webmatrix looked rather challenging so I tried Live Writer first and was pleasantly surprised my system advised I already had a newer version than I was trying to download. After I quick search I found it under “All Programs” under the start menu. Posts are written as if you were working in a basic version of MS Word. Once finished you can save, upload to the blog as a draft, or publish directly to the blog.
This post was written in Live Writer and uploaded directly to the blog, so it appears to work as advertised.