OMG!!! our last full day aboard the magnificent Viking Sun and what a spectacular day, with special lunch, cocktail party, special dinner with a brilliant dessert followed by birthday cake, then an amazing show staring Viking Vocalist Tobias.
A couple of days ago, I mentioned we had completed all the behind the scenes tours, but NO, we had another one tonight, after dinner. Read on!!
No change, still slow steaming at about 10 kts, being over taken by all sorts of ships.
Opened the curtains this morning to be met with overcast – must be preparing us for our return to RainCouver, in the Pacific North Wet. Fresh winds of about 20 kts.
Oceania may pride themselves as having reportedly the best cuisine; never been on one of their ships, but I suspect Viking blew them out of the water today. As many will have deduced, for us, quality dining is more than just food quality and presentation, it also includes the ambiance and company. Great food and great company are the definition of “Synergy”, where the sum of the whole package is greater than the sum of the individual components. Today, was another day where the meals met this definition.
We had planned to invite more crew members for dinner on April 12th, but our impending disembarkation dictated a change of plans. Yesterday, we asked Norbert (GM) if we could invite a few crew members for lunch – yes, write me a list and I’ll make it happen was the response. So we provided a list.
Judi and I invited:
- Valentine – amazing wine steward, who looked after both of us extremely well, ensuring our favourite beverages were available in the restaurant
- Zharko – the restaurant host, who remembered our cabin number on day 2 and who always got us tables 151 or 153.
- Von – aka Energiser Bunny, he has boundless energy, especially in the Theatre before shows.
Deb & Muro invited:
- Archie – the amazing Head Waiter, who has looked after the 8 of us so well since Dubai and willingly participated when we brought other crew guests.
- Explorer Staff – the last 2 members of Explorers/Guest Service that haven’t already joined us
Lunch was incredible and the crew members quickly settled into the conversation. They taught us about an incredible wine app – Vivino. Once you load the app, take a photo of a bottle label and it searches the data base, providing a very detailed report on the wine. We all have loaded the app.
Main course was Filet Mignon and they delivered me 2 steaks. OMG !! no way I could handle double steak for lunch, fortunately Valentine baled me out, taking a 2nd steak. Great meal, starting just before Noon and finally ending after 14:30.
Dinner was an extravaganza, being a combined Farewell Dinner and Birthday Dinner for Judi. In addition to the regular menu, Chef Roberto also added a special – Beef Wellington, with the beef cooked to a perfect medium rare. For dessert, Norbert (GM) had arranged another special – a very light Austrian dessert, of which I can’t recall the name. It was very thin, with jam on the bottom, then a layer of light souffle or meringue, topped with a scoop of yogurt.
A most enjoyable dinner, which continued after the scheduled start of showtime, so a quick call from Beven delayed the show.
Today’s activities included:
- 08:00 Spa opens
- 09:00 Temperature check
- 09:30 Baggo – Beverage Bulldogs v’s Replacement Dingos
- 10:00 Quarantine Plan – developed one for us and also Wally/Justyna
- 10:00 Lectures – recorded lectures in Cinema 1
- 10:00 Ted Talks – on History in Cinema 2
- 10:30 Baggo – Explorer Extremes v’s Galley Giants
- 11:15 STAR Training – “S”, Smile and Make an Amazing Connection. Mandatory review for all crew. We were excused since we attended a couple of days ago
- 12:00 Lunch – with invited crew members
- 14:00 Afternoon Melodies – pianist Andras
- 14:00 Atrium Coffee Club
- 15:00 Afternoon Melodies – guitarist Mark
- 17:30 Farewell Cocktail Party – Honorary Crew
- 17:45 Evening Serenades – pianist Andras
- 18:00 Insanity Workout
- 18:30 Farewell/Birthday Dinner
- 21:00 Vocalist Tobias – A Funny Kind of Valentine
- 22:00 Music at Pool Deck with DJ Zharko
As usual, after breakfast and temperature checks, we had a quiet morning getting a few preparations for packing tomorrow, then headed down to the Atrium for tea. As soon as we arrived, a number of Beverage baggo players proudly announce, they not only won, but they recorded the highest score ever – about 3,060.
This morning, I read, British Columbia has instituted a new requirement for everyone entering the Province to provide a written Quarantine Plan. If you don’t have a plan or your plan isn’t acceptable, you get sent to Government quarantine. I mentioned this new requirement to the others, lest other Provinces jump on the band-wagon. Wally & Justyna asked for help, so we sat down for an hour, completing one for Judi & I, and another for Wally & Justyna.
After lunch, I completed an hour strolling around deck 8. While I used to get my exercise before breakfast, since entering the Meddy, it is way to cold for me at 05:30. Afternoon temperatures are way closer to my preference. Once freshly showered and changed for dinner, we headed down to the Atrium for a pre-dinner libation, followed by the cocktail party.
On completion of the photo-op on the stairs, we headed to Manfredi’s for the Farewell/Judi’s Birthday dinner. During dinner Chris (Financial Officer) asked if we had seen the Hotel Department’s back office. We hadn’t, so after dinner, enroute to the show, we detoured for a walk through the back office. Sorry, but didn’t want to take any photos, but suffice to say, it’s way bigger than I thought, with an incredible number of people working in this area.
This evening, Tobias performed another show that he developed aboard the Viking Sun. Really a brilliant show, with a huge variety of music. Started off with slower songs, ending with a high energy medley of songs that resembled Josh’s show.
Enjoy the photos.
After the show, we headed to the balcony for our evening of star gazing, but we received a surprise Moon rise.
You invited three of our favorites to lunch! Hope you’re home safe and sound, and that we will meet again someday. Do let us know if you ever make it down to Oregon!
Again, thanks so much for the blog and the update above about what is ahead for the ship and crew. I’ll miss your updates but I have a few friends onboard I can Message for the latest! I hope you soon get in to the swing of what passes for reality at the moment and also that we meet up again some time. Maybe onboard, maybe in BC, who knows!
Hi Robin – She currently mid Bay of Biscay, ETA Portsmouth 05:15 (Z+1) on April 15th.
Before we left many crew already had confirmed flights for 16th and 17th from LHR. All Indonesian crew can get home, but Philippines can get to Manila, but possibly not some other islands. Not sure about India, but many of the Balkan countries were closed.
Departs on April 17th for Kristiansund (sp) with about 100 crew. Unfortunately, this shut down may last many months. During layup, no shore leave will be granted.
If you are on Orion in Alaska, send me an email and we will meet in Vancouver for the day. Our next cruise is a VR from Budapest to Amsterdam, followed by Viking Star from Bergen to London in mid-June 2021.
Hello Andy and Judi, I hope your trip home wasn’t too stressful and looking forward to reading about it. So where is the ship going now, and what’s the status for the crew disembarking? Take care –
Hi Steve – ship stopped in Lisbon for 10 to 12 hrs for bunkers and stores and is now bound for Portsmouth. Arriving Portsmouth April 15, for 3 days.
Many crew already have confirmed flights home on the 16th & 17th. About 300 crew are expected to disembark, provided they have a means to get home. Any crew member who cannot get home, or where their country has borders completely closed, they will remain working on board.
Initially they anticipated retaining about 80, but that number may be closer, or even in excess of 100. At least this was the tentative plan before we disembarked, may change a few times before Portsmouth.
So sorry that it is over and glad that you are safely at home. The relaxation at home will be kind of painful compared to the ship…..cooking, etc!!! Thanks for taking us along. I truly enjoyed it.
LikeLiked by 1 person