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Enjoy the "Treasures of the World" with Bill & Mary Ann on the 2014 World Cruise

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Report # 1 Getting ready December 23, 2013 Monday

 

Greetings to all during this wonderful crazy time of year! Seems like we were just doing this just yesterday, although, a whole year has flown by, as they seem to do these days. So here we are, once again, preparing to head off for adventures of circumnavigating the globe in a few short weeks from now. We once read that taking a world cruise is like Christmas. Every day is like opening a present, discovering something new. As for us, we continue to view this opportunity as a gift that unfolds each and every day.

 

Where are we going this time? This is a frqeuently asked question from family and friends. You can bet that we will be visiting the expected spots such as Lima, Sydney, Manila, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Cape Town, South Africa. There are a few new areas we have not been to, so we can add those to our list.

 

We begin with a stop in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, the only Caribbean port on the way to the Panama Canal.

 

There are only two ports in South America....Manta, Ecuador, and Lima, Peru.This will give some folks a chance to take side trips to the Galapagos Islands and Cuzco and Machu Picchu. Easter Island and a sail around Pitcairn will be the ports on the way to French Polynesia. There we will see Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora.....all favorites of ours.

 

We skip across the South Pacific Ocean with visits to Pago Pago, American Samoa, Fiji, and two ports in New Caledonia. Then we have only three ports in Australia....Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns, where many will take the two hour boat ride to the Great Barrier Reef.

 

Now comes the exotic and remote areas in Papua New Guinea, Yap Island, we hope, (there has been a lot of storm damage there), and two days in Manila. Two exciting cities come next with 2 day visits each in Hong Kong and Singapore. The last Asian port will be Phuket, Thailand.

 

Then we are off to Sri Lanka, where some cruisers will be able to take an overland adventure to India and the Taj Mahal. By the time we continue sailing to the Seychelles, that group will meet us there.

 

On the way towards South Africa, we have two island destinations of Mauritius and Reunion. We were there on the 2005 World Cruise, and look forward to seeing them once again. Mauritius is more Hindu, while Reunion is decidedly French.

 

Durban is the first of three ports in South Africa we will see. Actually, for us, we will exit the ship in Durban for another safari to Kruger National Park. We did this last year, and loved the experience so much, we booked it once again. There will be many overlands for fellow cruisers to this area, as well as to Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe......all in search of the Big Five and myriad of other creatures big and small. We join the ship in Cape Town, before heading to Walvis Bay, Namibia.

 

Two islands fall in our path as we start heading north. They are St. Helena and Ascension Island, both a pleasure to see. Then we will venture back to the west coast of Africa for three new ports for us. Banjul, Gambia, Dakar, Senegal, and Mindelo, Cape Verde should be interesting to see.

 

We will have several sea days to rest up for a few stops in the Caribbean on the way back to Florida. Barbados, Dominica, and Saint Maarten will be fun places to maintain the tans.

 

Once again, we will stay onboard to sail back to California. A nice addition to this cruise was the private island of Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. We were there once many years ago, and remembered it well. A quick visit will be made in Cartegena before transiting the Panama Canal. Then we have stops in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. With two ports in Mexico, Puerto Chiapas and Cabo San Lucas, we will disembark in San Diego, completing our 130 day awesome adventure.

 

The four duffel bags are gone, picked up by Fed Ex yesterday, December 17th, but not exactly at the time we had requested. They were to arrive between 2:15pm and 8pm, but came knocking on the door at 10am. Of course, we were not there, but they should not have been there either. The problem was quickly resolved when our regular driver, not the Christmas back-up driver, came to gather our bags. As long as these duffels arrive as promised, all the stress will be forgotten. We seem to recall that something strange happens every year with the delivery. Last year, some bags were stuck in Atlanta, according to the tracking numbers, when in fact, they were already in Ft. Lauderdale. Go figure. Now all we have left to pack are two suitcases we will bring on the flight with us. Keeping those under 50 pounds is always a challenge.

 

Well, here we are, a week later, and we can say that our four pieces of luggage are in Port Everglades, Ft.Lauderdale, Florida. By tracking their progress, we discovered that each one took a separate route. Why? Who knows. One was left sitting at the original facility in Pacheco, California, while the others went on their way to either Texas or Tennessee. Perhaps it is wiser to check this delivery service several days later, when they confirmed they had reached their final destination. We'll feel better when we finally re-unite with our stuff on the ship.

 

Besides getting ready for the festive holidays, we're deep into wrapping up last minute jobs around the house and garden. The Bay Area has been experiencing a much colder than usual late autumn. For several weeks, our temperatures have plummeted to the low 20's, well below freezing. It was definitely a test for our outdoor garden plumbing. What was doomed to break, did. Almost daily. In a way, that's a good thing, because we were here to fix it. Much better than the time the pipe split under the outdoor sink, and we had water running for who knows how long. Seems that our bill for that period exceeded $700 over our usual billing. Ouch. So everything we could insulate, we did.

 

Another big job is replenishing the feed supply for our backyard flocks of chickens, doves, ducks, pigeons, parakeets, and peacocks. Since it needs to last for almost five months, we take the time to drive over an hour away from home to a feed store and mill that sells at a much better price. We buy it by the ton. A few years back, one of our neighbors asked us to adopt his rather large hens, since he could no longer take care of them. And since our flock was aging, we said yes. In time, the only original bird we had left was a small banty rooster. He was dwarfed by the larger hens, but found his spot in the pecking order. That is, until this summer, when he finally kicked the bucket. Poor dude must have been near 20 years old......no kidding. So, while at the feed store, we took a look at their birds for sale in the back of the store. There stood a large white feather-footed rooster all by himself. We swear he was silently saying to us......take me home. And we did. Our five hens were shocked, and kept their distance until one of them challenged him. They did a quick dance with their feet, fluttered their wings, and it was over. We fed them, and continued to watch them establish the new pecking order. His name will be Foghorn, although he is not a Leghorn, but a Cochin, the name fits.

 

Since the nights have continued to be so cold, we went out after dark to see if the girls had let the new guy into the hen house. Yep, he was inside and warm as toast. The next morning, we waited at dawn to hear him crow, but he never came outside until mid morning. We figured that the senior-aged hens probably made it clear that they sleep late at this house, and if he wants to share their house at night, he had better keep his crowing down until a decent hour. Either that, or he dined on too much shavings in the pen, and had a stomach ache. Oh what fun we have.......

 

All that's left now is to enjoy the upcoming holidays, and trying not to eat too many Christmas cookies. We'll be posting right before we leave on New Years Day. Please enjoy your holidays and have a healthy and happy new year.

 

To be continued.........

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Hi from east coast of Scotland.

I have followed your posts for a long time and now look forward to my 1st HAL cruise in Feb to the Pacific which you recently did.

Thank you for allowing us to enjoy your travels. Happy Christmas .

D

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Looking forward to your upcoming cruise adventures. I also love it when you teach me something whether about sending luggage or about your birds. After reading your description, I can just envision the "new guy" trying to "fit" in in the pecking order....lol. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

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All of us enjoy your adventures. I look forward to retirement when we can join you.

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Looking forward to reading all about your adventures... and hoping that one day it will be us sailing away on a World Cruise!

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

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Really looking forward to reading your thread. It's always so enjoyable. Thank you for the time and money it takes to do it. Much appreciated.

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Bill & Mary-Ann; Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a great world cruise! Didn't make it this year; maybe next! Enjoyed our dinner table on SADM

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Looking forward to your reports about the World Cruise. Wow, I hope you have some good help to take care of all of your wonderful 'birds' while your gone.:D

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Loved all your posts. I reread last years reports on Polynesia to help me with an upcoming Oceania cruise. Love every detail of your posts.

 

Happy. new. year

 

Roberts

 

Vu

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Report # 1 Getting ready December 23, 2 Monday

 

Greetings to all during this wonderful crazy time of year! Seems like we were just doing this just yesterday, although, a whole year has flown by, as they seem to do these days. So here we are, once again, preparing to head off for adventures of circumnavigating the globe in a few short weeks from now. We once read that taking a world cruise is like Christmas. Every day is like opening a present, discovering something new. As for us, we continue to view this opportunity as a gift that unfolds each and every day.

 

Where are we going this time? This is a frqeuently asked question from family and friends. You can bet that we will be visiting the expected spots such as Lima, Sydney, Manila, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Cape Town, South Africa. There are a few new areas we have not been to, so we can add those to our list.

 

We begin with a stop in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, the only Caribbean port on the way to the Panama Canal.

 

There are only two ports in South America....Manta, Ecuador, and Lima, Peru.This will give some folks a chance to take side trips to the Galapagos Islands and Cuzco and Machu Picchu. Easter Island and a sail around Pitcairn will be the ports on the way to French Polynesia. There we will see Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora.....all favorites of ours.

 

We skip across the South Pacific Ocean with visits to Pago Pago, American Samoa, Fiji, and two ports in New Caledonia. Then we have only three ports in Australia....Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns, where many will take the two hour boat ride to the Great Barrier Reef.

 

Now comes the exotic and remote areas in Papua New Guinea, Yap Island, we hope, (there has been a lot of storm damage there), and two days in Manila. Two exciting cities come next with 2 day visits each in Hong Kong and Singapore. The last Asian port will be Phuket, Thailand.

 

Then we are off to Sri Lanka, where some cruisers will be able to take an overland adventure to India and the Taj Mahal. By the time we continue sailing to the Seychelles, that group will meet us there.

 

On the way towards South Africa, we have two island destinations of Mauritius and Reunion. We were there on the 2005 World Cruise, and look forward to seeing them once again. Mauritius is more Hindu, while Reunion is decidedly French.

 

Durban is the first of three ports in South Africa we will see. Actually, for us, we will exit the ship in Durban for another safari to Kruger National Park. We did this last year, and loved the experience so much, we booked it once again. There will be many overlands for fellow cruisers to this area, as well as to Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe......all in search of the Big Five and myriad of other creatures big and small. We join the ship in Cape Town, before heading to Walvis Bay, Namibia.

 

Two islands fall in our path as we start heading north. They are St. Helena and Ascension Island, both a pleasure to see. Then we will venture back to the west coast of Africa for three new ports for us. Banjul, Gambia, Dakar, Senegal, and Mindelo, Cape Verde should be interesting to see.

 

We will have several sea days to rest up for a few stops in the Caribbean on the way back to Florida. Barbados, Dominica, and Saint Maarten will be fun places to maintain the tans.

 

Once again, we will stay onboard to sail back to California. A nice addition to this cruise was the private island of Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. We were there once many years ago, and remembered it well. A quick visit will be made in Cartegena before transiting the Panama Canal. Then we have stops in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. With two ports in Mexico, Puerto Chiapas and Cabo San Lucas, we will disembark in San Diego, completing our 130 day awesome adventure.

 

The four duffel bags are gone, picked up by Fed Ex yesterday, December 17th, but not exactly at the time we had requested. They were to arrive between 2:15pm and 8pm, but came knocking on the door at 10am. Of course, we were not there, but they should not have been there either. The problem was quickly resolved when our regular driver, not the Christmas back-up driver, came to gather our bags. As long as these duffels arrive as promised, all the stress will be forgotten. We seem to recall that something strange happens every year with the delivery. Last year, some bags were stuck in Atlanta, according to the tracking numbers, when in fact, they were already in Ft. Lauderdale. Go figure. Now all we have left to pack are two suitcases we will bring on the flight with us. Keeping those under 50 pounds is always a challenge.

 

Well, here we are, a week later, and we can say that our four pieces of luggage are in Port Everglades, Ft.Lauderdale, Florida. By tracking their progress, we discovered that each one took a separate route. Why? Who knows. One was left sitting at the original facility in Pacheco, California, while the others went on their way to either Texas or Tennessee. Perhaps it is wiser to check this delivery service several days later, when they confirmed they had reached their final destination. We'll feel better when we finally re-unite with our stuff on the ship.

 

Besides getting ready for the festive holidays, we're deep into wrapping up last minute jobs around the house and garden. The Bay Area has been experiencing a much colder than usual late autumn. For several weeks, our temperatures have plummeted to the low 20's, well below freezing. It was definitely a test for our outdoor garden plumbing. What was doomed to break, did. Almost daily. In a way, that's a good thing, because we were here to fix it. Much better than the time the pipe split under the outdoor sink, and we had water running for who knows how long. Seems that our bill for that period exceeded $700 over our usual billing. Ouch. So everything we could insulate, we did.

 

Another big job is replenishing the feed supply for our backyard flocks of chickens, doves, ducks, pigeons, parakeets, and peacocks. Since it needs to last for almost five months, we take the time to drive over an hour away from home to a feed store and mill that sells at a much better price. We buy it by the ton. A few years back, one of our neighbors asked us to adopt his rather large hens, since he could no longer take care of them. And since our flock was aging, we said yes. In time, the only original bird we had left was a small banty rooster. He was dwarfed by the larger hens, but found his spot in the pecking order. That is, until this summer, when he finally kicked the bucket. Poor dude must have been near 20 years old......no kidding. So, while at the feed store, we took a look at their birds for sale in the back of the store. There stood a large white feather-footed rooster all by himself. We swear he was silently saying to us......take me home. And we did. Our five hens were shocked, and kept their distance until one of them challenged him. They did a quick dance with their feet, fluttered their wings, and it was over. We fed them, and continued to watch them establish the new pecking order. His name will be Foghorn, although he is not a Leghorn, but a Cochin, the name fits.

 

Since the nights have continued to be so cold, we went out after dark to see if the girls had let the new guy into the hen house. Yep, he was inside and warm as toast. The next morning, we waited at dawn to hear him crow, but he never came outside until mid morning. We figured that the senior-aged hens probably made it clear that they sleep late at this house, and if he wants to share their house at night, he had better keep his crowing down until a decent hour. Either that, or he dined on too much shavings in the pen, and had a stomach ache. Oh what fun we have.......

 

All that's left now is to enjoy the upcoming holidays, and trying not to eat too many Christmas cookies. We'll be posting right before we leave on New Years Day. Please enjoy your holidays and have a healthy and happy new year.

 

To be continued.........

 

Bill & Mary Ann

 

My VERY best wishes to you both for Xmas and a wonderful 2014 with

and another great WC !

 

Missed you both on the Statendam-really made the dining experience very special and look forward to seeing you both again-perhaps here in Phuket !

 

Sawasdee from The Land of Smiles:)

 

John

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Happy Holidays! I have been eagerly waiting for your posts to begin. Every year I tell myself, one day I will be joining you for a margarita pizza and not just enjoying your posts.

 

I thank you for allowing me to see the world through your descriptive posts. I pray you safe travels and good health as we exit this year and you adventure on the next world cruise.

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So glad to see your blog! Of course, now I have some hefty competition!

 

I hope to meet you to at least say "Hello" on-board the Amsterdam.

 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

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So glad to see your blog! Of course, now I have some hefty competition!

 

quote]

 

And I am so glad that both of you are blogging. Following along with you will relieve what look like a very long and cold winter.

 

Susan

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Wishing you both a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy new year. We will follow along for the Rotterdam this year but see you 2015. Sandra and Allan

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How exciting to be able to tag along with you while we battle the cold on the "frozen tundra". I wish you a Merry Christmas, and safe travels as you continue to sail the world.

 

Smooth Sailing! :) :) :)

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Merry Christmas everyone!

 

Thanks for your kind wishes for our upcoming trip. Safe and healthy is our goal.

 

To answer a few questions, we can tell you that the Galapagos Island overland is offered out of Manta, Ecuador for a really pretty penny\ through shore excursions.

 

Copper John, we are disappointed that we will not see you on this upcoming trip. It was a pleasure meeting you and spending some time together. Maybe next year.......

 

Hi John Z! How was your trip to Machu Picchu? Spectacular, we hope. We did have a fun table didn't we? By the way, Sawasdee to you also. However, what does it mean???

 

Hi Esri......between all of us that are writing, we should have a wealth of information to share with everyone. Glad we can be of some help for future travelers.

 

Hmmm, margherita pizza is starting to sound good about now!

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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I enjoy reading the blogs people write of their adventures on world cruises. They have helped me prepare for mine. Hope you have a wonderful time.

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I've been checking every few days because I knew it was that time of the year for Bill and Mary Ann world cruise!

So many of us enjoy the wonderful reports you write.

I want to thank you because this is something that's done out of the kindness of your heart!

I hope one of these days can take such a wonderful trip. Until then, I will sail along with you!

Thanks!

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Merry Christmas everyone!

 

Thanks for your kind wishes for our upcoming trip. Safe and healthy is our goal.

 

To answer a few questions, we can tell you that the Galapagos Island overland is offered out of Manta, Ecuador for a really pretty penny\ through shore excursions.

 

Copper John, we are disappointed that we will not see you on this upcoming trip. It was a pleasure meeting you and spending some time together. Maybe next year.......

 

Hi John Z! How was your trip to Machu Picchu? Spectacular, we hope. We did have a fun table didn't we? By the way, Sawasdee to you also. However, what does it mean???

 

Hi Esri......between all of us that are writing, we should have a wealth of information to share with everyone. Glad we can be of some help for future travelers.

 

Hmmm, margherita pizza is starting to sound good about now!

 

Bill & Mary Ann

I do hope I am still on your list to receive your cruise blog.... just for your

information, I had never had a margherita pizza, until reading your adventures, and noticing you eat a lot of them!! had never heard of it before, now have ordered and eaten one, and find it delicious!!m Happy to be going on this WC with you again!!

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Report # 1 Getting ready December 23, 2013 Monday

 

They did a quick dance with their feet, fluttered their wings, and it was over. We fed them, and continued to watch them establish the new pecking order. His name will be Foghorn, although he is not a Leghorn, but a Cochin, the name fits.

 

To be continued.........

 

Bill & Mary Ann

 

ah say.....that is awesome! :D

 

Happy to be following along with your travels again this year!

Wishing you a wonderful cruise, and happy holidays as you prepare.

Edited by FoghornLeghorn

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