Betsy Hibernates While We See Wonders of the World!

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that we’ve accomplished our main goal of visiting and staying in all 49 states, plus most Canadian provinces and a little bit of Mexico since we began our full-time RV saga on March 1, 2012.  We’ve seen a lot, but of course there’s more of the U.S. for us to discover and re-visit.

Betsy has been our home for almost 8 years, traveling over 54,000 miles while visiting 480 campgrounds.  We feel like we’ve had about enough of driving, trip planning, and dealing with the increasingly difficult task of competing for camp sites with all of the new RVers.  The whole atmosphere has changed drastically since we started, but we feel blessed to have enjoyed the fantastic years we’ve spent on the road.  Over 500 blog posts have taken a toll on me as well, so I’ll be getting a needed break for a while.

After our wonderful Viking Grand European River Cruise in October 2017, we started thinking about taking a big trip to see as many of the amazing places around the world that we’ve only dreamed about as we could in one cruise.  As everyone knows, many countries are in turmoil and not getting any more stable, and we don’t seem to be getting any younger.  So we decided to take the plunge about a year and a half ago and have been steadily working toward this adventure that’s starting in a matter of days.

Betsy will rest in Tucson while we’re gone, and during the trip we’ll discuss our future with her and finalize our plans to settle down in a “real” home.  Steve’s pretty excited that he won’t have to drive or dump tanks for several months!

So what about this big adventure?

We’ll be sailing on 2 oceans and 12 seas with Viking World Wonders, a 119-day journey from Los Angeles to London that visits 27 countries and 55 ports.  We’ll depart on January 4, and with extra days in London we’ll return on May 4.  That’s right, we’ll be aboard Viking Sun for 4 months!  Cruising isn’t for everyone, but we’ve enjoyed several of them and feel like it’s the best way for us to see a lot while spending every night in the same bed and only having to unpack/pack once.

We thought we were done with ocean cruises, but this one got our attention when we learned the ship carries only 930 passengers (not 4,000 like the mega-ships), nobody under 18 years old allowed, and no fancy stuff like casinos or rock-climbing walls.  As always with Viking, shore excursions are included at each stop as are airline reservations.  Perfect!

We made the commitment in 2018, and six months ago our pre-cruise preparations started to ramp up:

  • Travel insurance – check
  • Current passports – check
  • Visas for multiple countries -check
  • Business-class airline reservations (included) – check
  • On-shore excursion reservations – check
  • Specialty restaurant reservations – check
  • Complimentary luggage forwarding – check
  • Vaccinations – check
  • Vacation override on prescriptions – check
  • Suspend services and utilities that we won’t need – check
  • Install VPN software on our laptops – check
  • Call banks/credit cards – check
  • Get Betsy prepared for a 4-month rest
  • And so much more to do and pack – ongoing until departure day
  • Am I forgetting anything?

Our blogging plan during the cruise is for Steve to sit down each evening and write a short post about the day’s adventures, and I’ll include a few pictures.  Yay, I get a break from full-scale blogging 🙂  We’re supposed to have WiFi during the entire trip, but unless things have improved the past few years that usually isn’t the case and we’ll post as we can.

The final countdown to our big day is underway, the excitement has set in and there’s only one thing on our minds now!

 



 

42 Comments »

  1. We are both so excited for you! Looks like your fantastic journey starts in a few hours. Have a great time. We really enjoyed getting to meet you in OR on your way south to Tucson.

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  2. Mona and Steve, your trip sounds fantastic and we hope it exceeds your greatest hopes. We want to thank you for your blogs and campground posts – we have used so many of them during our travels. We especially enjoy your hikes (we must have similar skills!) Enjoy your travels, be safe and have fun!!

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  3. Excellent choice for a cruise.

    We booked the same cruise way back in May 2018. We have an active Roll Call on Cruise Critic and a number of us are staying at the Crowne Plaza in San Pedro. On Jan 3rd a number of us are meeting at the Whale & Ale Pub for a few drinks. In addition to those of us that are boarding Jan 4th, we are meeting a few of the pax that have been aboard since August.

    See you Jan 4th. Send me an email and I’ll send you a link to the Roll Call and our cabin #.

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  4. Fabulous changes in your lives — good for you! We hope it’s all a grand adventure for you and will look forward to your return and to hear where you land! Cindy

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  5. Look at that freakin’ route!!! Holy buckets, that is going to be EPIC. We are so excited for you, and excited for us to follow along as much as you can share along the way. It’s no surprise you’ve got all your ducks in a row, now all you have to do is enjoy every minute of it. Bon Voyage<3 ❤

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  6. This is the coolest thing ever and such a great bookend to your RV travels before you settle down. I love the idea of the smaller cruise ship and the adults only restrictions. The itinerary looks absolutely incredible. Please DO take lots of pictures and share what you can… (Facebook is probably a good middle ground too if you don’t feel like doing full blog posts.). We’ll definitely want to follow along. Have a WONDERFUL time!

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  7. WOW wow wow!! I would be SO excited. What a great trip! You two really know how to do it. Can’t wait to hear what you are able to share. I too would love to know where Betsy is being stored and how you found it.

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  8. This is so exciting!! I’ve always thought an around-the-world cruise would be a fabulous adventure. I’m so glad you’ll be posting and sharing your experiences and photos. Most of all, have a glorious, relaxing time. We can’t wait to catch up with you when you return! Hugs, Happy Holidays, and Happy Sailing!

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  9. Oh, wow! What a wonderful idea!! I hope you have lots of fun and meet a whole bunch of new friends (you two have the gift of friendship). Don’t worry about posting—just go enjoy yourselves. Sail those seven seas with glee 😁

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  10. I have followed your adventures for a short time and will miss your land loving updates of the USA/Canada, but what a wonderful cruise and cruise itinerary you have have chosen. What a wonderful life!

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  11. Hi ! you two. Fantastic cruise ahead, we’re jealous. You deserve this break and a change of scenery. 4 months is not that long anyway. So, please post a line or two from time to time so the land-stuck RV’ers can follow you around. We won’t check in unannounced, promised.
    If you don’t mind, can you please give me, publicly (here) or personally (my email) suggestions of where to store class-A RV around Tucson ? We might, just might, settle in Tucson in a few months and would like to store our Fleetwood Revolution in an enclosed facility, climate control would be best. But so far, we haven’t found one.

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    • Nice to hear from you, maybe we can meet up in a few months!

      I’ll make this public since other folks might be looking for a place to store their rig indoors in this area. The only one I found for indoor storage in Tucson was this one

      Although I thought their prices were reasonable, I didn’t realize it was a single large building where they move rigs around when they want to, and not dedicated garages. They request that folks add them to the owner’s vehicle insurance so their employees can move their rig around, and I wasn’t comfortable with that. I wanted a dedicated garage for my coach. Also be aware that if you need to store your car there (outdoors) there’s an additional charge. It was $50/month for our car in a fenced area, which I thought was reasonable.

      We decided instead to leave our coach and car outdoors and hope for the best, since it will be during the (typically) mild weather time of the year. I’m still a bit anxious about it, but we’ll have to deal with the fallout when we return and have plenty of time to handle any failures.

      Take care, let us know what you find out about storage in Tucson. I can’t believe they don’t have several facilities to do it here like they do where we lived in California. I would think there’d be a large demand for inside storage in this area…

      ~Steve

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  12. Wow! What a wonderful adventure you will have! I have enjoyed reading about your travels in Betsy but I understand your need to take a break from blogging. Looking forward seeing updates from around the world! I’m interested in hearing about your experience on a Viking ship. We will be taking our first ever cruise next year. We chose Viking for the same reasons you did. Bob Voyage!

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  13. This is going to be fun to follow along with! I do think you should modify your departure point to Honolulu, though. Steve is very handy; I think he could outfit Betsy with an awesome pair of pontoons so you can get that 50th state flag on her!

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  14. Sounds like a Grand Adventure, thankful we’ll get one last visit in with you before you leave. See you soon!!

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