These are unprecedented times and while we experienced a few disruptions with respect to visiting ports, Judi & I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but sadly, for us, our 2020 World Cruise is coming to an end in Dubai.😒😢🤢
You may ask why I include an Emirates A-380 as my feature photo, well read on to discover our roller-coaster experiences these past couple of days.
The last two days have seen more curves than a mountain road and our situation has changed multiple times:
- After the first announcement, advising Dubai and then a US port were being planned, we discussed our options and risks extensively, deciding to at least explore flights from Dubai. At that time, we believed this was the lowest risk option.
- When we received Beven’s update during dinner, where he announced Viking had received assurances that all Canadian & US citizens could disembark at a US port, the risks changed. We were fully aware the information was based on the current time-frame and may, or more likely, will change in the 3 weeks it takes to reach a US port. However, we still believed it reduced our risks, and staying aboard was now the better, and our preferred option. Went to Customer Service requesting they cancel our flight request.
To review the options presented select – here
Submitting the flights request was extremely depressing, as we have absolutely ZERO desire to disembark this great ship, with her amazing crew, any earlier than we must. Therefore, on hearing Beven’s update, once we analysed the risks, we again were happy campers, looking forward to another 3 weeks, with no ports interrupting our relaxed sea day schedule. Needless to say, we headed to bed that night very happy.😊👍
Throughout this great adventure, as Viking keeps us appraised of any changes, we have endeavoured to keep our kids updated as well. A couple of days ago they received the first update, advising about Dubai and that we had requested flights home. Then about 6 hrs later, another email outlining the latest changes, and that we are staying aboard.
With a 12 hour time difference, things happening by day on the ship, are received at home in the middle of the night. We knew both our kids were concerned for our safety and we have tried to re-assure them we are being well taken care of by Viking, as our safety and that of the crew is their first consideration. On receiving the first email, our daughter was ecstatic and greatly relieved to read we were coming home. Then about 6 hrs later received another email advising of the changes, and we were planning to stay.
We chatted early morning yesterday and she outlined her concerns. Since our daughter and subsequently our son were born, our kids come first, so very reluctantly, we headed to Customer Services to request flights from Dubai. Similar to a happy wife, happy kids = happy life.
After dinner we received confirmation they booked us on Air Canada via Toronto. In our opinion this is about the worst combination of flights possible, since we try to avoid Air Canada and arriving Toronto would mean we had to clear Immigration/Customs in Toronto. That would mean getting all our bags and dragging them through Immigration.
The Customer Service staff were brilliant, immediately sending an email to Viking Air requesting BA flights via LHR. We returned to the desk a couple of hours later receiving the thumbs up, flights booked, as per our request.
But wait, nothing could possibly be that simple. The local authorities in Dubai had just thrown another curve, as we were at the desk. They are demanding everyone departing the ship use Emirates to depart the country. Therefore, Viking have to re-book all flights that weren’t departing Dubai on Emirates. We have requested Emirates to LHR, which is actually a great option, as Emirates use T3, which is also where the YVR flight departs. Yeah!! no “Connections Bus” between terminals.
Will check with the customer service before breakfast this morning to confirm our flights.
While this great adventure is closing, I will complete the last few days of posts and will write a summary, similar to our post cruise summary in 2015. In the post cruise summary, I plan to include comparisons between Viking & Princess World Cruises. Sorry, no prizes if you correctly guess the which company is tops, as it isn’t even close.