Sapphire Princess Day 36

Written by Safarigal
April 8, 2024

Total Eclipse of the Sun

April 8th, 2024

Well, today is the day. I have seen my Incas, penguins, and llamas. Today is Brian’s chance to see the eclipse.

We chose this cruise as we thought it would give us the best chance of seeing the eclipse without any cloud cover. Niagara Falls would have been our first choice, but the risk of it being a rainy day in April was high. We had actually booked a hotel in Killeen, Texas thinking the weather would be better there, but again we thought that knowing our luck they would decide to have a tornado that day.

So here we are floating somewhere in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico.

The weather reports have been bleak. Every different weather app we have tried have all shown the same thing. Clouds. Not good.

But today dawned sunny with just a few wispy clouds out there. I checked my Apple weather app. It predicted sun until 11:00, and then it would be cloudy. That’s not right – the eclipse is due to occur just after 11:00. However, weather apps aren’t always correct, so with fingers crossed we packed our bag of eclipse watching paraphernalia and went to our chosen eclipse watching spot.

We had been all over the open decks of the ship, and believe me this ship has more open decks than most, and Brian decided that deck 19 at the back of the ship would give us the best chance of an unobstructed view of the sun.

There is only one lift that goes to deck 19, so we usually take one of the lifts that go to deck 18 and walk up the stairs.

When we got off the lift deck 18 and tried to take the stairs to deck 19 there was a rope across the stairway, and a sign that said Private Party.

We decided that the sign must have been from last night, because who would have a private party during the day in the prime eclipse watching spot?

Then we found out. Princess marketing folks would. Well it wasn’t a party as such, but an area was roped off so that the marketing people could have their very own space to do what marketing people do best.

There was a tent, and in the tent was travel reporter Dayvee Sutton surrounded by lights, cameras, and action as she did her eclipse reports to TV stations around the country.

She was following her script on the white board as she let America know that she was on a Princess ship and about to experience the wonders of the eclipse. She also made sure they knew that the next eclipse was going to be in the Mediterranean in August 2026, “and wouldn’t it be so nice to be on a ship in the Mediterranean to experience that?”. A Princess ship of course.

Apart from the video team directing the live reports, there was also a photographer with fancy camera equipment aimed at the sun.

Brian was taking this all very seriously, and through an ear piece, was listening in to a solar eclipse timer app on his phone.

The wispy clouds thickened a bit near the horizon, but never became the problem that was predicted. We could see that the Discovery Princess in the distance was having as good a view of the sun as we had.

There was a lot of heavy duty camera equipment around, and the longest selfie stick I had ever seen,

but I felt confident that Brian with his duct taped lens contraption was going to take photos that were every bit as good as those taken with the very fancy equipment.

2 planes were flying high above us. I had heard that you could take special flights to see the eclipse from the air. I am sure that must be amazing.

While we were standing in the hot sun the enrichment speaker talked about the history of astronomy, and how really, really big the sun is. Also that one day the sun will sputter out and die. This is of course not expected to happen during our life time, and may indeed take a couple of billion years, but it was not a very uplifting thought as we all stood around in really good, positive moods, waiting for the moon to do its thing, and not really wanting to know about the end of the universe.

Then people started to get excited. Through the handy dandy eclipse glasses that had been provided by Princess, we could all see that there was a notch missing from the sun.

We had a clear blue sky, an unobstructed view of the sun overhead, and the eclipse had begun.

We all watched in awe as the moon slowly moved in, bit by bit, covering the sun in its path.


And then it happened. It was as if the sun had set, except there it was. Still high up in the sky. We could see Venus and Jupiter shining like it was the darkest night.

We saw the Baily’s Beads and Diamond Ring phenomena. They were there right in front of our eyes. We all gasped. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.

Then 4 minutes and 25 seconds later the darkness was over, and gradually it became lighter and lighter as the moon moved away.

The eclipse had come and gone just like that. We put away our eclipse glasses, and thanked the clouds for staying away and letting us have this incredible experience.

We are so very lucky to have been part of one of our solar system’s greatest shows.

Post Discussion


  1. Beverley Allen

    What a wonderful experience for you, and Brian’s camera did the business!
    Enjoy the rest of your cruise. On a side note, I’ve seen some of the menus for speciality restaurants on our Queen Anne cruise in June are now showing when I log in into My Account.

    • Safarigal

      Thanks! I am excited about trying the specialty restaurants on Queen Anne – the menus do look interesting :). Have wonderful time in June!

  2. Chris Brookes

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing! 💕

    • Safarigal


  3. Lynda

    Perfect pictures – thank you Brian ( and Lesley ) for always sharing.
    The Mediterranean in 2026 may not be as exciting an eclipse, but it’s a beautiful itinerary
    Definitely worth investigating 🥰

    • Safarigal

      I agree about 2026 – I am working on it. Even without a stunning eclipse, Queen Victoria in the Med is always a great plan!

  4. Susan Herbst

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience and your pictures! Enjoy the rest of your holiday!😊❤️

    • Safarigal

      Thanks! I love the way that Brian’s photos came out. He was really able to capture the moment :).

  5. Karen

    What a day! And a great place to watch from. Brian got great pictures. We know several people jockeying around the midwest to get their shots. Sounds like most managed it. We saw a glimpse.

    • Safarigal

      I’m so glad you at least got a glimpse. Being at sea just seemed so much easier than dealing with crowds and traffic on the mainland 🙂


    Fabulous photos. Yasher Koach Brian. You put Cecile B. DeMille to shame.
    I had reservations in Dallas but the news said this phenomenon wouldn’t be visible. I tried to book a flight to see it. No seats were available. I stayed home and watched it on TV. Screwed by the fickle finger of fate.

    Thank you for sharing this experience.

    • Safarigal

      Oh no! I am so sorry you didn’t get to see it, hopefully next time!

  7. Frances Morrier

    Thanks for some of the very best eclipse pictures I’ve seen! I’m also looking to QA dining!

    • Safarigal

      It’s great that Brian’s lens held together with duct tape (as are my shoes) was a good as all of the fancy photographers with their very professional looking lenses!

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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.