Since our departure from Hobart, Tasmania, the weather had wreaked havoc on us during the days at sea. In fact, it was so bad that our stop at Melbourne had to be canceled due to huge storms in the area. We were upset because we’d planned to meet up with our friends Stan and Gigi who live there, but at least we’d been able to visit them on our 2006 cruise. Many of our fellow passengers were looking forward to their first Melbourne experience, and we felt bad for them.
So with Melbourne a bust, our next journey was 2 sea days between Hobart and Sydney. The night before our arrival at Sydney was quite unpleasant, with the ship rolling in 20+ foot waves and vicious winds. The waves crashing against the ship caused it to shake, rattle and roll – not the recipe for a good night’s sleep!
We learned later that it was the worst storm Sydney had seen in 21 years, with a lot of property damage and flooding. On the positive side, this one storm refilled their water supply from its 30% drought level to 70%, and it put out several of the bushfires that were still burning!
As Captain Lars had correctly explained, even if we’d been able to dock at Melbourne there was no way we would have arrived at Sydney in time for the 400+ folks who were departing the ship to make their flights home. Such are the tribulations of a world cruise!
And speaking of tribulations, we got our first CoronaVirus related announcement later. We were informed that China and Hong Kong have closed their ports, as a result, the captain canceled our stops there, revised our itinerary and we’d have extra time in Singapore. Of course folks weren’t happy about that – especially the hundreds of passengers scheduled to disembark at Hong Kong. But Viking did the right thing, and they’re doing the best they can to assist departing passengers and re-schedule port stops and excursions the rest of us had booked. What a logistical mess!
And on a more appetizing note –
The rest of this post is dedicated to an over-the-top Australia/New Zealand brunch buffet that happened the day before we entered stormy seas. I almost missed it due to a scheduled appointment, but fortunately I had enough time to gorge myself while Mona Liza ran around taking dozens of pictures. If you’re not into food pictures you are excused now…
How’s this for an amazing fruit presentation?
Mona Liza posed with her new BFF’s (Best Filipino Friends) who work onboard:
This was definitely the most incredible food presentation we’ve seen on a cruise ship, or anywhere else for that matter. About an hour later the ship became very quiet, we suspect everyone was in their stateroom taking a nap! But by 6:00pm the regular restaurants were filling up for yet another feast. Holy cow, I think I’ve just about met my weight-gain goal for the cruise already!
Finally, it was time to hunker down for another night of rock and roll through torrential rain and wind. Can’t wait for the ground to stop moving when we get to Sydney!