Saturday, March 14th, 2020
I do still need to post Days 43 to 47, and I will do that once we are back at sea, but I wanted to post today’s blog today.
We were awoken at 7:30 by a marching band playing “Play that Funky Music White Boy” on our balcony. I peeped through our curtains. It turned out that they weren’t actually on our balcony, but were in the cruise terminal nearby. It’s just that they were very, very loud. Also, they were not marching. So I suppose they were a stationary band. Anyway, I like it when our ship is welcomed by music, so I waved to them from the balcony, and retreated back into the cabin.
Just then the dreaded ding ding ding sounded in the cabin. When you hear this in the cabin it is never a good sign, especially when it is so early in the morning. It was Captain Hashmi.
Due to ongoing coronavirus concerns we are not going to embark any new passengers or crewmembers in Fremantle. This will mean that Captain Wells will not be joining us, and that Captain Hashmi will be on board until Southampton.
We will also not be stopping in Reunion, Tenerife, or Madeira. We will be getting to Durban one day earlier, and will have an overnight in Port Elizabeth. If anyone who is not due to disembark today wishes to leave the ship, they will be given a 125% future cruise credit.
He thanked the 650 passengers who will be disembarking today and wished them safe onward journeys. Instead of sailing at 6:00 today we would now sail at 8:00, but that could change.
So again I realize that this is probably the best way to deal with the current situation, but I felt awful for the poor passengers who had come all the way to Fremantle, only to be told that there was no cruise to be had. I know I would be very upset.
More missed ports was also very disappointing, it will be a lot of sea days from Walvis Bay to Southampton. However, one must keep calm and carry on. The band was now playing “Celebrate Good Times”, so I suppose we should.
We got ready to meet up with friends and spent the morning doing a walking tour of Fremantle. We really hadn’t had the chance to see Fremantle on our last visit, so it was great to explore the old parts of town near the port, and to hear all about it’s history. The town center has been well preserved, and there are loads of coffee shops and interesting little stores. I especially liked the market which was a mixture of funky stalls and produce stands.
It is definitely worthwhile spending time in Fremantle itself and not only seeing Perth.
We drove to South Perth for lunch at a great restaurant called Rambla on Swan which had an alfresco terrace overlooking the Swan River and the Perth Skyline. I discovered a new fish, blue emperor, which is quite delicious. I definitely recommend the restaurant.
After lunch we decided that we needed more provisions in case we can’t restock in Cape Town so headed off to a supermarket, so I now have a great supply of Cokes and chocolates in case there is some kind of emergency.
As Captain Hashmi had told us this morning that our departure time may change, we decided to check with the port agent to make sure the ship was not leaving earlier than expected. I was told that our departure time was 6:30 tomorrow! Brian was very doubting about this – so I went on to the port schedule, and sure enough we are scheduled to be here until tomorrow. What does this all mean?
When we returned to the ship in the late afternoon, no one seemed to know why we are spending another day in Fremantle so it is all a mystery to us.
Brian and I decided to walk to a restaurant in Fremantle for dinner, and we found a great sounding seafood restaurant. It was drizzling a bit when we went down the gangway, but by the time we exited the cruise terminal there was torrential rain, and our umbrellas were not dealing with it well. We decided to abort our mission, and return to the relative safety of the Britannia Restaurant for dinner. Alas, I was really looking forward to eating out; after all we could be stuck on the ship for over a month with no ports the way things are going.
As we were going to dinner Paul O’Loughlin announced that this evening’s show had been cancelled, and that they were showing a movie instead. Then it dawned on us – no one embarking on the ship meant no speakers or entertainers. Oh boy!
Two of our tablemates were at dinner, and we spent a long time discussing why we were spending the extra day in port, and if we were actually going to stop at any other ports.
So, I suppose we all have to face the reality that they may decide to throw us off the ship tomorrow. That would be simply awful, Mary feels like home to me now. However, we have to respect whatever decisions are made. It will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings……….