Moving cruises to future dates...Dealing with unknowns in time of Covid-19...


Dozens of school kids walked along the beach while on a field trip to celebrate the end of the school year in Sumbersari, Bali for a one month holiday. When they return to school, they'll enter the next grade as they continue their studies. Wearing school uniforms is required with a color change on different days of the week.
Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the "View web version" tab under the word, "Home" at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We'll be updating our site in a few months, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. Today's photos are from June 10, 2016, while living in Sumbersari, Bali. See the link here for more photos.
At present, we have four cruises booked from November 2020 from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa, and three in and around Japan between February 2022 to May 2022. 

The final of the three cruises ends in Vancouver, Canada, at which time we'll spend time in the US for a family visit, flying from state to state to visit everyone.
Beautiful colors and scenery at high tide from our vacation villa.
For now, we're thinking in terms of the upcoming cruise from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa, which is scheduled to embark on November 10, 2020. Every few days we check Amazara Cruise Line's website to see if the cruise has been canceled based on Covid-19. After all, that's only five months from now.

When we originally booked the Azamara cruise for 22 nights, we'd done so early enough to book it for a good price for the unusual itinerary with ports of calls on the western coast of Africa, a route rarely taken by cruise ships. 
The kids were happy and playful as they chatted with one another on their field trip.
This cruise appealed to us with its unique ports of call and the resulting disembarkation in Cape Town, where we'd planned to spend a few days and then head to Marloth Park, with visa restrictions allowing us to stay for the remainder of 90 days less those we spent in Cape Town. 

We've never visited Cape Town and decided this cruise would be a good opportunity to visit one of the most popular tourist locations as one of the "most beautiful cities" in the world. 
The colors and shadows change in the constant daylight sunshine.
When we booked this particular cruise two years ago, we hesitated a little over the price since Azamara's smaller ships with 690 passengers are considerably higher priced than larger cruises, often with 1000's of passengers. 

But, we were fortunate to lock-in an excellent early booking price of IDR 950992, US $12,598 (for two). Now that same cruise is listed as IDR 1388819, US $18,398, a difference of INR 437828, US $5,800.
This breathtaking view never ceased to amaze us.
This is all well and good, but we are certain this original cruise will be canceled. As we approach July 7, 2020, when the final payment is due and, if the cruise line hasn't yet canceled the cruise, in order to hold our best pricing, we'd have to pay the balance in full, less the INR 83036, US $1100 deposit we paid at the time of booking.

If they cancel after we've paid the balance in full, we could end up waiting three months or more to get a refund. We don't want them holding our money for so long. On another note, if they cancel and we don't ask for the money back, most likely they'll offer a 125% credit toward a future cruise. What happens next?
Each day, we've rescued many grasshoppers who were drowning in the pool. Once we take them out, they dry off for a while and then fly off.  Some appeared dead but often come to life in no time at all.
They'll raise the price of the 2021 similar cruise (of 21 nights as opposed to 22 nights) and if using our 125% credit (if we chose not to get the money back) we will end up paying a higher price for the similar cruise.

However, if we move our booking for the November 2020 cruise to the similar cruise in 2021, our best booking price will roll over to the transferred booking. I hope this makes sense.
This grasshopper was lethargic after I rescued him/her from the pool but soon flew away.
Last night, considering the time difference, we requested the change with our rep at Vacations-to-Go. By this evening, we should be receiving a new confirmation for the 2021 booking ending in Cape Town. The disadvantages of this cruise are the differences in some ports of call, and the fact it arrives in Cape Town on December 22, 2021, (the day before Tom's birthday), making arrival at Christmas-time tricky. We'll deal with that later.

So, here is a possible scenario for now. We leave India as soon as both borders open for us to fly to Marloth Park, via Johannesburg and then on to Nelspruit with a one-hour drive to Marloth Park. We'll spend three months there with additional travels in Africa to extend the visa by going in and out of South Africa.
The view directly in front of our villa as the tide rapidly washed closer to the edge of the infinity pool. Logs and ocean debris often accompany the incoming tide which later disappears as the tide rolls back out to sea.
We'll plan to work our way back to Lisbon, Portugal for the eventual sailing in 2021 and then, back to South Africa for another visit. At this point, with India and South Africa borders closed to international travel, we have no idea how long it will be between our first and second arrival in South Africa. We'll figure it out as we go.

As for the remaining three cruises in 2022 in and around Japan, we'll play it by ear and see what transpires over the next many months. These cruises are all on Celebrity with much higher passenger counts. Later, we'll decide if they are safe in light of Covid-19.
A praying mantis on the glass door.
Thanks to many of our readers with suggestions for future posts after yesterday's post asking for suggestions, shown here. We so appreciate your valued input and many of you will see your suggestions in posts to come.

Hang in there everyone! Hopefully, soon, these challenging times will pass.
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Photo from one year ago today, June 10, 2019:
Happy on a hill, cows in Connemara, Ireland. For more photos, please click here.

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