Yesterday we enjoyed another pleasant and relaxing day, swinging on the pick (at anchor for landlubbers) with great views of Bali, Indonesia. Due to virus hysteria, we were unable to get clearance yesterday, for us passengers to head ashore and bolster the local economy.
However, early evening, we received an update from the Cruise Director (Beven) in that clearance ashore was granted, subject to yet another temperature check of all passengers and crew. This was completed last night during dinner.
We didn’t hear any results last night, but this morning, things moved at breakneck speed. Read on for the latest updates to the “Magical Mystery Tour.”
With a potential 08:00 tour this morning, we set the alarm for 06:45 and wow!!! what a great decision that was. Shortly before 07:00, we heard activity down at the tenders and then the hydraulic motor pushing tender # 2 outboard.
Shortly after the tender was lowered, we heard the dreaded, “Bing Bong” and Beven’s greeting. But wait, this wasn’t the usual bad news, this was good news – We are going ashore, Yeh!!!!
Beven also requested everyone staying aboard, to please report to the Theatre at 07:30, for an important announcement – OMG!!! We ran up to the World Cafe for an ultra quick brekkie, before heading to the Theatre.
At 07:30, we had the Captain, Norbert (GM), Beven (C/Dir) and Karl, who is a member of the Viking’s Corporate team in Basel, but was also the GM on departure L/A. Karl cut to the chase straight away, announcing on departure Bali, we were sailing on our own private yacht, which means:
- No new passengers will be permitted to board the vessel. Unfortunately, they were unable to catch some pax boarding in Bali before they departed home. However, they have a team at the airport and will do them right.
- Crew – they are not reducing the crew and in fact, they asked if it was OK to bring another 50 crew aboard the ship in Bali. The new crew have already been quarantined for 2 weeks and will be quarantined for an additional week, before receiving a complete free bill of health. Therefore, the crew/pax ratio is about 1:1
- We are completely bypassing SE Asia and they have concerns, if ports in India, will be open when we get there.
- On departure Bali we are steaming for Colombo, where we dock for bunkers and victuals. This is a technical stop, with no shore leave possible.
- We are going to have the most amazing cruise aboard this magnificent private yacht.
- No itinerary is known at this time, as it will be adjusted based on the developing virus situation and which ports are accepting cruise ships with a clean bill of health.
- Karl discussed compensation briefly and indicated Viking, as always, will do us right. He indicated we will be notified in London. Although I note that based on the terms and conditions we agreed, by paying the deposit, we are entitled to nothing.
Yet again, Viking leads the industry in customer service and putting the health and safety of their customers and crew way before considerations of the bottom line. Sadly, this was not our experience with Princess, which is why we dumped them and selected Viking.
We sailed into Bali aboard the magnificent Viking Sun, our home for the past 2 months. But, alas!!! based on the meeting this morning, we are departing Bali tomorrow, aboard a spectacular “Private Yacht”, as seen below.
Personally, we couldn’t care less, if we don’t visit another port before arriving in London on May 2nd. This amazing ship and her crew make life aboard a superb experience.
Disclaimer – this photo has been tweaked in Photoshop, and is a tongue in cheek, comical representation of the magnificent Viking Sun, based on information provided to the London based passengers this morning. We were informed no other passengers were boarding and in effect we were aboard a private yacht, to complete the World Cruise.