World Wonders Cruise Diary – Day 61 – Semarang and Surabaya, Indonesia – FAIL!

Cruise day 61 – Mar 5

By the time you read this we’ve returned to Arizona cutting short our World Wonders Cruise. It basically fell apart as far as the destinations we wanted to see – although Viking Sun is continuing with no planned itinerary.  The World Health Organization has just declared Covid 19 a global pandemic and President Trump declared a National Emergency.  This post is a bit stale, but it details the last few days of our cruise before we decided it was time to bug out.

What a mess.  The Coronavirus situation is beginning to take a toll on the ship’s staff and the passengers.  After delays at our stop at Komodo Island, where everyone on the ship had their temperatures taken (all were normal) and folks going ashore were required to wear masks, you’d think the process would be streamlined at Semarang, our next port stop.  We’d just have our temperatures taken as we disembarked for our tours as we were told the previous afternoon, right?  Wrong!

The beautiful sunrise could not portend an entire day sitting at sea

We were notified late the night before that everyone on the ship would have to fill out a Health Status Card and get their temperature taken BEFORE the ship could dock.  This created an hours-long delay and forced the cancellation of all excursions.  Passengers had to be ready for their checks at 6:30am, but the Indonesian “officials” were over an hour late and the checks took a couple more hours.  Everyone got a clean bill of health, and the officials never even looked at the health cards we had filled out.  Oh well, at least we could go ashore now, right?  Wrong!

While waiting we just watched the busy port of Semarang

With nothing else to do while waiting to see if we’d be able to go ashore, Mona Liza decided to try some martini’s she’d heard about:

The ship sat near the port all day as the dysfunctional Indonesian government discussed whether to let us come ashore.  Because of social media, we had been branded us possibly having the virus from pictures taken while we were at Komodo Island wearing masks, as they had required.  This was our first time actually being part of fake news – how exciting!  The final verdict?  No entry.  After making us fill out the cards and get the temperature checks – which proved for the second time that nobody onboard had the virus – we were refused entry!

The afternoon rolled on with some interesting weather to watch

Viking, however, was able to negotiate a docking for fuel and supplies only – nobody could enter or leave the ship.  Very unfortunate for crew members who had family and friends on shore waiting to meet them after months of separation.  This was apparently a decision made by the mayor of the city, and the mayor of Surabaya (our next stop) was of the same opinion so that port was canceled as well.  Oh well, maybe we’ll visit Indonesia and spend our tourist dollars someday after all of this blows over, right?  Wrong!

Mount Unguran one of the volcanoes near Semarang

We feel sorry for the Viking Sun crew, which has worked so hard day and night to keep up with all of the changes to make the passengers comfortable and happy.  None of this is Viking’s fault in any way, but it’s unfortunate for everyone.  Semarang and Surabaya knew we were coming and they could have made some decisions about whether we’d be allowed ashore before we sailed in and sat all day, right?  Wrong!

Watching our supplies being loaded, I hope there’s a lot of wine in there!
Sunset at Semarang as we sailed away

We were disappointed by all of the waiting and uncertainty, but at least there was some great entertainment to uplift our spirits as we sailed away:

The next night we enjoyed a hilarious game of “The Liar’s Club”, with Bethan (Viking vocalist), Beven (cruise director) and Himanshu (restaurant manager) as the liars:

Tobias as the moderator, Josh and Rosana as scorers

We began two days at sea for our next (and major) destination at Bali, Indonesia.  Now we were getting a bit apprehensive about how things would go there, as hundreds of people were scheduled to disembark the cruise and many others were set to join.  We’ll see how it goes on day 63, our arrival at Bali!




  1. Wow. This will be a cruise you will never forget. I’m so sorry you had to cut your trip short. Thanks so much for keeping us up to date on your experiences. I’m very happy you are both well!

  2. Oh, I’m so sorry that you guys had so many troubles at those two ports in Indonesia, and you were never even able to leave the ship. 😦 I hope those three martinis helped. The world is just going crazy right now…I’m glad you’re home safely. You two stay healthy!

  3. So sorry you ran into this storm of misinformation and mismanagement by Indonesia. Welcome home!!

  4. I’ve been thinking about you and wondering how it was going. So sorry this happened to your wonderful cruise. Glad that you are safe.

    • I was hoping against hope you wouldn’t get caught up in all of this before the end of your cruise, but as time went on I knew you would. I’m just so glad you got to see what you did, had such fabulous amenities onboard, and, mostly, that you’re home otherwise unscathed. ❤️

  5. Well nuts. Glass half full I guess. Glad you made it back and will be able to pick up where you left off in time.

  6. We’re glad we all got see some interesting parts of the world through your eyes, sorry it was cut short for reasons beyond your control. I can imagine how disappointed you must be, the cruise of a lifetime, but TBG is right, a glass half full. Glad you made it home safely and that Betsy was reading and waiting for you.

  7. So glad you are back in AZ safe and sound. Sorry that your trip was cut short, but I believe that you have many great adventures ahead. Take care.

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