We arrived in Dubai on 22nd March, with a number of passengers departing daily, as Viking booked every available seat on departing Emirates aircraft. Yesterday, Emirates ceased operations, so the remaining 90’ish pax await the private charter flight that Viking is arranging.
After another day of waiting, we finally received news this evening and some people disembarked this great ship, but sadly, not us.
Wind/Weather: Sunny & hazy
Clox: No change (Z+4)
No special meals today, which is hardly surprising after the extravaganza lunch the galley prepared yesterday. With the exception of the World Cafe, all facilities were open at the normal times.
Today’s activities included:
10:00 Film – Rocketman
10:00 Baggo – Officers v’s Guests
11:00 International putting competition
11:00 Lunch time melodies in MDR
Today started as a day of waiting for news, but unlike yesterday, when we received the charter flight announcement from Beven about 09:00, today’s first update was about Noon. Unfortunately the update advised of no new news, as we are still waiting on approval from governments for the charter flight.
Although most of the serious Baggo players have already departed, we scraped together a passenger team to challenge the mighty officer’s team at Baggo. After the first round, we were about 100 behind, but this was our team strategy – lull the officers into a false sense of security.
Round 2 from the 1st landing, our entire team exploded into action, with Judi scoring 3 bulls-eyes out of 4 throws and me having 2 on the board and 2 bulls-eyes. Now we are exerting pressure, with the officers wilting. After round 2, the passengers were winning by > 100 points.
Climbing the stairs, settled the officers, as during round 3, they slowly caught up and then surpassed our total, with 2 throwers remaining. On the 2nd last thrower, we scored 2 more bulls-eyes to retake the lead, with only 1 thrower remaining. We went first, missing the board, then Manny scored a bulls-eye. Next shot we also scored, to re-establish our lead of almost 100 points. Manny had the last throw, with all the pressure on him, as a bulls-eye would win it for the officers. He wilted, just missing the hole and bouncing off the board. A win for the rookie guests.😁👍
After Baggo, some of us headed up to Deck 9 for the World Cruise inaugural putting contest. We had 9 passengers and Beven, who was a professional golfer a few years ago. Watching Beven, his putting style was so smooth, as were the results during his practice – a series of ones.
We paired up, recording individual scores for the 7 holes. I scored 14, with a couple of 1’s balanced with a couple of 3’s. Beven had the lowest score at 12 and 2 pax scored 13, so the 2 pax went into a sudden death play-off. They tied the first hole, but a winner was declared on the 2nd hole.
On completion of the putting, Judi and I headed to the MDR for lunch, where the guitarist (Mark) was playing and Marie, one of the Waitresses was singing. Wow!! she is an incredible singer, what an amazing voice.
With everything packed in cases, which took me lying on them to get closed, there is no way I am opening them during our wait to disembark, so Judi and I have been visiting the laundry daily to wash the 2nd set of clothes we packed in our carry-ons. So after lunch it was off to the laundry, which amazingly had no queue. All 4 machines were available.
After completing the laundry, we headed down to the Atrium for a refreshment and chat with the others milling around. It was a great atmosphere, as we awaited news, which is a testament to this great ship and her crew. We also arranged a cooking class for tomorrow and some other activities.
About 18:00, we headed to the MDR with Alison & Ron, noting some activity on the dock, as a couple of mini-buses arrived at the bottom of the gangway. Alison mentioned that was normal, as they had been stopping throughout the day. Just as our main courses arrived, Chris the Financial Officer found us and requested all Canadians attend a meeting in Chef’s Table at 19:30, which was in 10 minutes.
Judi and I wandered down to Deck 1 to meet our other 6 fellow Canadians. Shortly after we arrived the Captain, GM, Cruise Director, Financial Officer & Customer Service Manager arrived for the meeting, which was advertised as only lasting a couple of minutes. OMG!! what an update – the reason for the delay with the charter flight is the US Govt would not permit us Canadians to land in the USA. Negotiations had reached an impasse, so Viking very reluctantly had decided to send our US friends home on the charter, inviting the 8 of us to remain aboard this magnificent ship. Within minutes of our meeting concluding, the “Bing Bong” sounded and the entire ship was advised of the plans. Lots of tears shed over the forced separation of the Americans & Canadians.
After dinner, we returned to the cabin to Skype with both our kids to advise them of the situation, in that we would remain aboard the Viking Sun. Both kids, although not happy, took the news well.
We then headed down to the Atrium, to say good-bye to our US friends. Just before disembarkation at 22:30 we all met on the Atrium stairs for a group photo. I also asked the Financial Officer, if the Canadians could form an honour guard at the gangway to wish our US friends a safe flight. He mentioned the crew will also be forming an honour guard, but will check with the GM & Security.
As usual on this great ship, if you request, it is delivered. After the photo op, Chris called me over and requested we form up just inside the gangway door, as the crew will be in the alleyway leading to the gangway. Inside the gangway door, we were provided masks and formed up just before the security station. As disembarkation started, the crew and us applauded everyone disembarking, oh yes! there were also lots of hugs and tears.
When the last of our friends disembarked, we headed to the Living Room bar for a nightcap, being joined by the GM & C/Director for an informal chat. They advised we can all have suites tomorrow and requested a meeting at 10:00, so they can set up pax services that meet our needs.