Sunday, February 20, 2011

No Pyramids

Well there are actually still pyramids, but we aren't going to get to see them on this trip. Oh well never mind, we didn't choose this cruise for the pyramids alone, they were just one of many exciting things to see. Here is part of the press release from the Princess Site.

Due to the current political unrest in Egypt, the US State Department has issued a travel warning which recommends that US Citizens avoid travel to Egypt at this time. Based on this information, and the ongoing unrest, we have decided to alter our itineraries for 18 cruises departing May through November 2011.
We understand this may come as a disappointment to passengers booked on these voyages, and we hope they understand the decision was made because the safety and security of our passengers and crew is always our foremost priority.
We will continue to evaluate the situation, and if it improves and/or the US State Department lifts the travel warning, we will return to our original published itineraries. 

Pretty much doubt they will return to the original itinerary as changing ports for 18 cruises would be a logistical nightmare in the first place, then to change it back...........

So instead of Egypt we get to spend 2 days in Istanbul in Turkey and from everything I've read from other cruisers we aren't really losing out at all :)

So the pyramids and Egypt are back with the Northern Lights, Terracotta Warriors, Alaska,  Angkor Wat and numerous other places I would still  like to see , (but if not..... there's always books and the internet!)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Woo Hoo

Woo hoo .....the countdown clock says its only 99 days until the cruise. How very exciting!! Its also my birthday but that isn't so exciting anymore. Turning 51 is such a nothing birthday, whilst turning 50 is a thrill cause you still feel young but can say you are 50.   But 51 just sounds old .............maybe cause its an odd number.

I also got my Indian Visa for the trip, that in itself can be a triumph. Katie posted her passport and visa application today, I just hope it, (the passport not the visa) comes back quickly because we need it for our mini cruise in 3 weeks time!

Back when I thought 51 was ancient!!
Nothing else to report, just thought 99 days was newsworthy.........

Saturday, February 5, 2011


With only 3 more ports to do before we "get" to London, I've nearly finished my trip and I haven't even stepped onto the ship ( very exhausting work this, I need another holiday!)

 After we leave Barcelona we have a sea day before we arrive at Casablanca , Morocco. There were a few choices here but for the moment it will be this Princess tour maybe......I seem to be getting less sure the further we go.
The exotic capital of Morocco welcomes you with its beautiful parks, historical buildings, and cultural delights. Your narrated driving tour explores the city's highlights and photo opportunities. Visit the magnificent Royal Palace, built in 1864 and a superb example of Islamic architecture. At the heart of the palace lies the Mechouar, a magnificent garden courtyard. Continue to the Mausoleum of King Mohammed V, one of the country's most important shrines. Located next to it is Hassan Tower, a 144-foot-high minaret built in the 12th century. Enjoy a refreshing mint tea at a preeminent restaurant. Then, it's on to Oudaya Kasbah, the city's picturesque old quarter, where narrow alleyways lead to the lively souks. There, the Chellah Gardens occupy a site originally abandoned by the Romans in 1150. At the completion of the tour, you may choose to be dropped off in Casablanca for sightseeing. Return to the ship independently.
Rick's Cafe......

And now on to Lisbon where we don't arrive until lunch time and leave at 8pm. Here we will do one of the more fun things on the trip, we intend to hire a gocar, probably in a group or just on our own. They look like tons of fun :) The have self guided audio tours programmed into their GPS systems, how can we go wrong!! Here is a link for more about them

Last stop after 2 welcome days at sea is Le Havre (Paris/Normandy). Not sure here what to do, whether to take the long trek into Paris to have a rushed look at the world famous sites or to just do a short tour to Honfleur -Explore the narrow streets of Honfleur, a charming, 13th-century Norman fishing village, on a guided walking tour. Once the base for France's 17th-century voyages of colonization, Honfleur was also the birthplace of the Impressionist and Romantic art movements.
Katie, I think will be able to spend a few days here after we separate while she still has 4 months of Europe to see, so it would only be me missing out on Paris. Will decide this one once on board I think.


That is it as far as the cruise is concerned, the next day we dock in Dover and spend a week in London before Katie meets up with her flatmate and continues her adventures for another 4 months.

Those ports of call have all been written with the sun shining, the temperature perfect and no problems happening in 54 days at sea, but...................reality can be, we miss ports due to unforeseen circumstances, think Egypt now, engine troubles (last years cruise), bad weather ( again last year couldn't make Dublin) and who knows what else. I know if we miss the pyramids I will be very disappointed as this is probably my only chance, but I won't be angry or let it worry me. Pretty sure there are far worse things in life to overcome and  get you down, missing a port on a cruise that we are very very lucky to be able to be on certainly isn't one of them!

Not sure what I can blabber on about for the next 108 days til we sail and I can actually experience all my planned excursions and then compare the fantasy to the reality. Though we do have our first taste of cruising ever on the same ship in just over 4 weeks time with our mini cruise from Melbourne to Sydney. I should be able to report back about how sea sick we were or weren't and how fabulous the Dawn Princess is !

And not how silly I was to book a cruise lasting 54 days without ever having cruised before.............