DAY 49

Written by Safarigal
March 15, 2020

Sunday, March 15th, 2020




Beware the Ides of March


When we heard the ding ding ding at 8:00 AM, we knew what Captain Hashmi was going to say, and alas we were right.


He informed us that because of the worldwide coronavirus issues, the Queen Mary 2 World Voyage 2020 had ended, and that we all needed to disembark from the ship in Fremantle today. Cunard will book our tickets home, and provide hotel accommodation until we can fly home.


It was no surprise, of course, but it was the last thing I wanted to hear. I understand why, and it is the best thing, but Queen Mary 2 has become my home, and I was feeling like I was being evicted. I don’t want to leave, I want to stay on. I don’t care where we go. I don’t care if we don’t go anywhere, I don’t want to leave my home.


But I have to. I know that as upsetting it is for me, it has to be 10 times worse for the crew. Not to mention all those people sick with coronavirus. And those poor souls who can’t find any toilet paper. All in all, I am really very, very lucky. I have had a magical 48 days. Every single day on board has brought new experiences. I have had incredible highs, like when we were in the rain forest, I have had incredible lows, like when we lost Bill, but through it all I have been with people I love and admire, I am so lucky.


We set about packing our bags. How is it when we have done minimal shopping, all 4 bags are now bulging and overweight? We had to discard a lot of things, and finally all 4 bags weighed just less than 50 lbs, hopefully our portable scale is accurate.


Although Cunard had offered to pay for passengers’ flights home, after my experience with Ruth’s ticket, we decided that we should use frequent flyer miles, and book our tickets ourselves. Leaving the ship is stressful enough; not knowing how we are getting home is more than I was prepared to deal with.


Luckily we were able to find a flight home tomorrow night. Unfortunately it involves a red eye to Brisbane and a long layover there, not to mention 4 different flights. But it does get us back to the US. We were very tempted to simply fly to South Africa and have a vacation there, but this is not the time for vacations, so home we will go.


Ding, ding, ding again. Captain Hashmi announced that those passengers who are unable to fly home will be able to stay on board, but there will be very limited facilities, especially medical ones, and they would need medical clearance to do so. He also said that the ship would be able to stay in Fremantle until 8:00 PM tomorrow, so passengers flying home tomorrow could stay on the ship overnight. Yay! One more night on board.


We met up with friends for lunch in Britannia to say goodbye. I decided not to wear mascara today; there was a huge risk of black streaks down my face again. I still had 3 bottles of Veuve Clicquot to consume, so I brought one to lunch so we could celebrate our friendship, and appreciate how blessed we are to have been on this brief, but wonderful journey.


One advantage of snother day in Fremantle is that we got to spend the afternoon with our friend Geoff. We went to Cottesloe Beach again – not to swim this time, but to see the sculptures in the sand exhibit. There were interesting sculptures, but there wasn’t even one that I could understand or appreciate, it was a strange experience. Still, it was great to be on the beach again.

Being on a beach made me want a milkshake, so we drove to Hillary’s Boat Harbor up the coast where we walked along the boardwalk, and indulged in wonderful creamy milkshakes. It was heaven.


Expecting 6 more weeks at sea, we had stocked up on snacks, soft drinks, and wine for our cabin. Now we had to disembark, so when we returned to the ship, we handed over our supplies to Geoff, who was especially excited by the single malt whisky and bottles of Veuve Clicquot going home with him.


Back on board we continued to try to sort out our cabin. I went to the pursers’ office to check our on board account. As expected it was very crowded at the desk there, with people yelling at the staff, who I think were really trying to do their best to be helpful. I did feel bad for everyone.


We had been very careful about using our onboard credit, as it had to last until August 25th. Now we had quite a bit over. The shops have been closed since we docked in Fremantle, and even I would have a challenge drinking that amount, so I wanted to see if the OBC could be refunded, as it was not my idea to leave the ship. I was told that it was not refundable. I explained that this was not acceptable, and was told that I should deal with the issue when I got home. I understand that the folks at the Pursers’ Office cannot make decisions about this, but I hope we do get a refund.


In the evening I had hoped that we could walk in to town to have dinner, but Brian had work to do, so as I had packed our smart clothes, we ended up eating in the King’s Court. Not at all they way I wanted to spend our last night at all. Very disappointing.


This is also our last night in the southern hemisphere, but still no sign of the Southern Cross. Too many clouds. I had hoped for at least a nightcap in the Commodore Club, but Brian still had to finish up a project, so that didn’t work either. I ended up watching the news on the TV in our cabin. Not the ideal way to spend my last night on my favorite ship.


Finally I dragged Brian out for one long last evening walk around the promenade deck. It was 11:30 but still warm, and there were several other folks also out of their evening stroll.


As I looked at the deck chairs and pool, I thought I’m really going to miss those. Our tablemates had signed up for the “Float your Boat” contest, and I had been looking forward to working on that. I had planned to learn Spanish, to dance, to play Mahjongg, to play pickle ball. I never did any of these. I never went to a craft session. I won’t get to sing Jerusalem on stage at the Last Night of the Cunard Proms before we sail into Southampton. I won’t get to do our safari between Durban and Cape Town.


However, I have had a wonderful time on board, and I am fine fit and healthy, I have Brian with me, and I have loads of good memories. I decided to end the night sitting on the balcony finishing off our bottle of Pol Acker. Despite everything, life really is good!




Post Discussion


  1. roscoe39

    sorry to hear your news, here on the QV we seem to be the last man standing, and how long that continues who knows. The world has changed since we both embarked, good luck Lesley hope to meet you when all of this has settled down…bug hugs…roscoe

    • Safarigal

      My blog will be coming to an end – but I look forward to following along with you on QV. I do wish we had been able to go straight to the US from here, and then on to Southampton, but such is life. Hopefully we will sail again together one day!

  2. Kate

    So sorry your journey has ended so suddenly, safe journey home.

    • Safarigal

      Thanks! We fly home tonight – it’s been a great trip, and I’m sorry to leave our beautiful home 🙂

  3. Pru

    You are a true inspiration and a credit to the human race in your demeanour and appreciation of what you have and all your blessings. I too am so sorry your trip has ended prematurely but as you say you have Brian and your health. Those are massive bonuses in these unprecedented times. Please let us know you get home safely and stay positive. Hubby and I are booked onto QM2 in June. Who knows if we shall sail or not? If not this year then definitely next. We count our blessings. Take care. Pru x

    • Safarigal

      Thanks for those kind words. I do hope your June trip will work out – we are leaving QM2 in good hands!

  4. kahtrav

    I’ve been watching for news about the QM2. I know it wasn’t a surprise but still a hard way to end. I hope your flights home go smoothly..
    I was thinking back – two years ago we would have been in Perth at this time after the first of two QE WC segments. We flew to Singapore on April 4 to rejoin the QE. WOW, hard to imagine what a travel mess that would have been (our cruise wardrobe was safely in the hold of the QE for us to get in Singapore – most likely would never have seen it t again ). I must admit that I’m am thankful we are home this winter, though kind of wishing we were in Kruger.
    Do let us all know that you get home safely.

    • Safarigal

      We were soooooo tempted to say, forget the US, we are off to Kruger! However, we ended up deciding to go back to the US and see if they will need our help back in Idaho. and we can plan our next adventure for when travel is safer again.

  5. Chris Brookes

    Safe journey home, Both! Thanks for all the wonderful blogs. I will await your next adventure! XXXXXXXXX

    • Safarigal


  6. Harold Green

    As I have said before, your writing is amazing and is like some sort of magic carpet that transports us to the beautiful teak decks of the Q2. Your journey home is going to be long and hard, both physically and emotionally, but perhaps you will be able to score a glass or two of champagne on the flights. It is very surprising to me that any passengers are being allowed to stay on board under the circumstances. In fact I wonder if it wouldn’t have been less expensive for Cunard to have chartered flights direct;y to London and Chicago in order to assist passengers in getting home. But I think the biggest surprise to me is that Cunard allowed any passengers or crew to port visit and come back on board in Fremantle. Once I saw that in your posts, it was pretty obvious that the jig was up.
    We are doing a segment of the world tour on the QV in January. Until then I will try to channel your positive attitude and appreciation for what we do have.

    • Safarigal

      Thanks! I am sure I will be able to score some champagne on the flights home. You are so right about the charter plane! We may be doing a segment of QV next year, so I hope to see you on board if we are on the same ones!

  7. Linda

    …now we know! Will look forward to seeing lights on next door! Safe travels!

    • Safarigal

      Hopefully home in the early hours of Wednesday morning! See you soon!

  8. Chris Hodge

    Leaving was so sad. As we were driven off I looked back at our beautiful QM2 and cried. So many plans now not going to happen. Our 3 weeks driving in the uk and like you all the plans of things to do on the ship. Take care, it was lovely to meet you and so many lovely people. Chris. Xx

    • Safarigal

      Our cabin steward and I had a good cry together! I fell so bad for those who may never experience QM2 again, and for all of the crew whose lives have been disrupted. But so far we are all safe, and have wonderful memories of our experiences. It was lovely meeting you – let’s hope we can cruise together in the future!

  9. leonie and alan stevenson

    Dear Safarigal ,We have been following your blogs on the QM2 for some time now , thank you! We are sorry that we will not have the chance to actually meet you in person. we have found your daily writings to be very amusing, informative and entertaining… sort of our Woman on the Inside. We were to embark on saturday at Freo but alas that was not to be.
    You seem to be a very caring and fun loving person and certainly have one of the most positive outlooks we have seen. So thank you once again. Leonie and Alan

    • Safarigal

      I feel so bad for those who were expecting to board in Freo – finding out at the last minute must’ve been awful. As it turned out that may have been better than boarding one day and disembarking the next, but it is still so sad. Thanks for following along with us – hopefully we can travel together one day in the future 🙂

You May Also Like…

DAY 50

Monday, March 16th, 2020   Fremantle   Time to Say Goodbye   When we woke up this morning it was hard to believe that this was the last day for us in our cabin which has become our little home over the past few weeks.   Of...

Read More

DAY 48

Saturday, March 14th, 2020   Fremantle   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...

Read More

DAY 42

Sunday, March 8th, 2020   Melbourne   Gala Night   Our sleep was interrupted just before 2:00 AM as Captain Hashmi wanted to make an announcement. It is very rare that he makes announcements that can be heard in the cabins, and...

Read More


I love to share my adventures with others, and hopefully give them some insight into what to expect on their own exciting travels. I hope reading my blog will be a useful resource, and inspire others to follow their travel dreams. As a travel advisor, I get great pleasure out of being able to help folks fulfill their aspirations by translating my experience in safari adventures and ocean voyages into memorable travel experiences for them.