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.
Andy your attitude is commendable. It’s great that you don’t seem to mind missing your ports (quite a few at this point) although the virus is at fault, I for one, am truly glad that this was not our year to do a WC. I do understand that many pax may not feel the way you do as this may be there only chance to see some of these countries and that is why people cruise after all! While I’m sure ship board life is nice (hey, having someone feed you and do all the cooking, clean your room, etc) is wonderful, most people would not pay Viking prices for just that!
I am enjoying your blog and the work you put into it! Keep on keeping on!
Viking had addressed everyone’s expectations, which is why we only have 361 left aboard. Those that were only interested in the ports left and got partial refunds. Those of us remaining onboard are happy to stay and enjoy this great ship & crew.
While the Officers aren’t throwing the policy manual out, they are certainly relaxing it, and most certainly bending it, especially with respect to pax/crew interaction. Last night was a classic example, where after the Balinese Dinner, the crew were permitted to party with the passengers, initially on the pool deck and then in the nightclub.
So approx how many people have chosen to leave the ship?
Hard to say, but other than those who planned to disembark in Bali, probably about 100 to 130 elected to leave early. So only 20% left early.
We were to have boarded in Mumbai. No word from Viking yet. Holiday in tatters and very disappointed.
Even if you boarded, somewhere in the world, the chances of visiting the ports you expected are slim to none. Viking are currently dealing with those pax that arrived in Bali to find no ship and one pax advised that Viking have already found them an alternative itinerary, We have ample experience that Viking look after their customers, so I have no doubt they will do the right thing.
Stay positive and look for alternatives that are still sailing.
Could you Please see if Passengers will board in Mumbai? We are booked to board there???
Based on the information we received yesterday, no more passengers will be permitted to board this vessel until London. At this time we don’t know where passengers scheduled to disembark in Bombay will disembark.
Viking Australia claim that we will board the vessel, but not in Mumbai, with a revised itinerary. Seems unlikely!
Wow! What a turn. I read your last WC after you went and I’m really enjoying reading realtime how your cruise is going. For all you know the next compensation you might receive could be significant combined with your previous and you’d plan another one in a couple years. Since you already put all the planning into port calls you aren’t hitting at least the planning part would be over. What exceptional service from Viking!
Based on the terms and conditions we accepted, by paying the deposit, we are not entitled to any compensation. Don’t have time to consider non-issues, too busy planning activities for our upcoming sea days.
Must be quite the adventure. Good on Viking for not reducing the staff. I’ve heard from the Regent WC that all ports in India will be closed until the end of the month. Not sure how that affects you.
At the present time it is unknown. Would be interested in making stops in India, but realistically, we are conditioned to its not happening. If we do – bonus, if not – life goes on.
Thanks for keeping us in the loop as to your yacht style living . Glad you all are safe and enjoying the Viking way of life . Will be waiting for your next installment of the rich and famous! !