Just when we were comfortable with our decision to stay on the Viking Sun until we reached the US, word from the Coast Guard about US port closings and an advisory from the State Department led to the decision to end the Viking World Wonders Cruise, disembark ALL passengers in Dubai, and fly us home. This left us shaking our heads, as we could quite possibly be among the only 300 Americans who have not even tangentially been exposed to COVID-19, but they have have no choice but to follow the State Department directives. The theme of this cruise has been “It is what it is,” and as we write this we’re packing our bags for a 2:30 am flight to JFK. Since we’ll already likely be exposed by then, we plan to fly to Cleveland from there and head home. Our daughter Gina and her husband Matt will drive one of our cars to the airport where they’ll park our car and let us know where it is. That way we’ll avoid exposing her and her family, and we’ll head home. We can’t thank Gina enough for keeping up with our house, mail, plants, cars, etc. while we’ve been gone.
As we look around the Dubai Cruise Terminal at Port Rashid, we count 8 luxury cruise ship docked along the port along with row upon row of brand new white cars and vans. With over 500,000 annual visitors, the cruise terminal is considered to be one of the top 5 most luxurious ports in the world. We won’t see much of the terminal…or the rest of Dubai for that matter…as we will be taken directly to the airport via shuttle without a shore excursion!
We’d be lying if we said we aren’t more than a little bit anxious about navigating through 3 airports to get home, but we’re armed with masks, gloves, and antiseptic wipes, and we promise not to touch anything above our shoulders without washing our hands before and after.
We remain grateful for the incredible experiences we’ve had and the friends we’ve made on this cruise. Last night our incomparable crew gave us a wonderful farewell party, complete with a guest appearance by our multi-talented cruise director Beven accompanied by our rock star captain Lars. The entire crew came onto the stage to say goodbye amidst thunderous applause and no small amount of tears. With all of the changes and uncertainties we faced together, we got very close to many of our fellow guests and crew, and we wish them all healthy, safe returns to their homes.
We have so much more to share with you about the ship, entertainment, food, crew, etc. and thought there would be time to do so as we sailed home. Perhaps one day we’ll finish this story, but for now please know how grateful we have been for all of you who have been following along with us. We felt your presence and your support as we navigated these waters, and we hope to finish this story one day.
Until then, we wish you all a sailor’s blessing for “Fair winds and following seas and long may your big jib draw!”