Finally, the wait is over and after 15 months of counting down the days, which changed to hours last night, we finally boarded the Sea Princess, our home for circumnavigating the globe during the next 104 nights, or 3 ½ months.
After the enjoyable pre-cruise dinner last evening, it was a long night for both of us, as we were like kids at Christmas, eagerly awaiting the pinnacle of this grand adventure. Suffice to say, neither of us got much sleep last night. For Judi, this is a new experience, as her previous longest cruises were 36 days on Diamond Princess and 35 days on Emerald Princess, so 104 days is a shade longer. However, for me this is a walk in the park, as back in my deep sea days I regularly completed 4 month voyages and even one of 9 months, but those days were just so many years ago.
Read on to find out how our first day went.
In our current location of Thailand, the calendar has already ticked over to May 2015, which is the departure month for our World Cruise. A scant 3 weeks from today we will be completing the check-in process prior to boarding Sea Princess.
However, we have a busy 3 weeks ahead, with our son’s wedding in a few days, another week in Koh Samui, followed by a week in Saigon, before finally arriving in Sydney, a couple of days before departure. Before arriving in Sydney we have 1 short flight and 4 long haul flights.
Since the last update, Princess have posted tours for most ports, so we have completed the tour requests and planned our activities in ports where we are not using Princess tours.
Are we ready? Most definitely yes and are already counting down the hours – 501 hours.
Time seems to have dragged by, while at home these past few months, but in the last couple of weeks, while packing and now already having started our journey, the pace has picked up and we are racing to the sailaway party.
So, have we been busy since the last update 50 days ago? Other than spending time with our new grandson, our cruise related activities were packing and booking tours.
When we signed up for the World Cruise it was still over 400 days until we joined Sea Princess in Sydney Harbour. During the past 300 days, when travelling extensively, we hadn’t really given the countdown much thought, but the last couple of months sitting at home waiting for the arrival of our grandson, it has gone at a snail’s pace. Tomorrow, when the countdown hits double figures and it’s only about 6 weeks until we depart for our pre-cruise travels, we hope the current snail’s pace countdown will gather steam for a charge to the sailaway party May 22nd.
Planning, Planning & Oh! Planning – Selecting A World Cruise
Now that the decision was made, it was time to start planning, these were our next tasks:
- Budget – we set a budget for the entire grand adventure, which was primarily what we could afford, but also what we thought was reasonable, This figure was all inclusive and would comprise all costs for cruise fare, shore excursions, on board spend, tips, spending ashore, flights to/from, insurance, vaccinations, visas, etc. Now with a budget figure we could start looking for a specific cruise.
- Cruise origin – as previously indicated the UK wasn’t an option as Judi wouldn’t survive the initial few days, which is the period that sets the tone of the entire voyage. A good first impression is critical to enjoying the entire voyage. Being Canadians, a R/T voyage from a U.S.A. port would result in the total cruise days counting towards our annual allowance of days in the U.S.A. This doesn’t work for us, so that leaves a departure from Australia.
- Cruise Line – as Andy and our son used to work for P&O/Princess we have used them for the majority of our previous cruises. We are already Elite Status, so the free internet and laundry would be tough to give up. So preference to Princess.
- Itinerary – We have spent numerous cruises in SE Asia, Alaska, Mexico and Panama Canal, and we don’t enjoy the Caribbean. Other than Panama Canal, which in our opinion, you can never see too many times, we would prefer not to go to any of the other afore listed locations. Places of interest are – Europe, India, South America and South Pacific.
- Cabin type – could we survive 104 days in an inside cabin – Andy definitely yes, but Judi not so sure. Would we prefer a balcony – most definitely yes. Being the holiday of a lifetime, it’s highly unlikely we will ever repeat this one, we decided to ante up for the balcony. We may have to limit other expenses to maintain budget, but we thought the balcony was a priority.
Decision – A balcony cabin, on a westbound Princess cruise originating and terminating in Sydney, Australia
Andy & Judi’s World Cruise – link to Princess website, select May 2015, World Cruise and 104 day option.
World Cruise – Is it right for us?
Prior to embarking on this spectacular adventure, our previous longest cruise was 35 days. While we are experienced cruisers, it is one heck of a jump from a 35 day cruise to 104 days. Therefore, we had way too many questions to determine if a World Cruise was right for us.
Wow! how time flies, as it seems, but a few days since I wrote the post with 300 days, until we join the World Cruise. Well the finish line is upon the distant horizon, as it is now only a mere 200 days until we board the amazing Sea Princess in the spectacular Sydney Harbour.
To check the ship’s current position click here
Would we let the cruise line assign us a cabin, if it was a 1-night cruise – possibly, but for a 104 night cruise a big emphatic NO. So you might ask, how do we go about selecting a cabin.
World Map showing our world cruise itinerary
So how many ports do we actually visit during our 104 day grand adventure? By my reckoning it is 38, but Princess calculate over 40 as they count scenic cruising and even crossing the date line. Here is the itinerary for our world cruise: