Saturday, August 28, 2021
A New Reality
In March of 2020, while aboard the MS Koningsdam cruising the Eastern Caribbean, we experienced the first of what would become numerous travel constraints, restrictions, and cancellations: Holland America Line informed us of the “no-sail order” issued to all cruise lines. The ship returned to Port Everglades. We disembarked. Carefree cruising had come to an end.
Well, after more than a year, the cruise lines resumed operations under strict protocols. Passengers were ready and anxious to be back at sea. Excitedly, cruisers world-wide made their reservations and eagerly put down deposits. So did we!!! The Galapagos Islands in the Fall; a World Cruise in January 2022. We started planning excursions in our future ports-of-call. Oh, what fun we would have!!! The world seemed to be going back to normal. On June 26, 2021, the Celebrity Cruise Line’s, Celebrity Edge was the first ship to depart the United States (with paying-passengers aboard) since the pandemic began. Were we finally going back to normal?!?
Well, no, the Delta Variant emerged. Outbreaks of Covid cases spiked in many parts of the world. Even the vaccinated passengers aboard cruise lines were testing positive as breakthrough cases came to our attention.
Well, *&%#*, here we go again!!!
Passengers began to cancel their plans as more breakthrough cases were reported. Ports-of-call shut down and refused tourists entry. It all became very spotty and a little chaotic. No one was feeling secure with their plans. And then we were told the vaccine loses efficacy after 6-8 months and booster shots are recommended!!! We wound up cancelling our dreams of visiting the Galapagos Islands since Peru was battling a major outbreak. And this week, we received word that Holland America Line was cancelling the 2022 World Cruise scheduled to depart January 3rd!!! We’ve been rolled over to the January 2023 departure. It turns out, we will not cruise at all in 2021!!! It is so sad.
Is there a silver lining anywhere is sight?
Perhaps. More and more people are getting vaccinated; maybe we’ll finally attain “herd immunity”. Booster shots are gradually becoming available. Cruise lines, airlines, and hotels continue to develop better protocols for safety. Covid testing is easier to get with the introduction of “at home/on-line” kits available at local pharmacies. Whew, we have our fingers crossed.
…..what are you doing to get through these Covid times??? Road trips? Have you done any cruising? Airports are crowded again—have you taken to the friendly skies, yet? What about camping? Yesterday, friends returned home and reported on the joys of train travel!!!
Recently, your RovingRaconteurs enjoyed a fabulously nostalgic and gastronomically satisfying dining event with “sea friends”. You may remember, during these covid-times we have gathered, (safely and following all guidelines), with a group of cruise buddies on a regular basis to discuss and remember the joys of travel. We did so again for a wonderful international feast prepared by our very own culinary maven, Kathy!!! Here are the photos:
And the bottom line:
It ain’t over; ’til it’s over!!! Keep safe; be careful; remain cautious; stay vigilant. We’re on our way to normal but just not quite there, yet. Your RovingRaconteurs will schedule appointments for the Covid booster, we’ve booked a Caribbean cruise for next March, and we will begin planning for the newly booked 2023 Holland America World Cruise.
Tell us how you are coping!!!