You are probably wondering why there is no card today…well…here’s my explanation. Up until today I had scheduled all my card posts so you never knew what was really going on in my life. Here it is!
The reason you haven’t heard from me is because we have been out to sea for the last month. We left on Feb. 29 to fly to Buenos Aires, boarded the Celebrity Eclipse on March 1 and started the first of our two cruises around South America. We totally enjoyed Argentina and Uruguay and went down around Cape Horn and through the Magellan Strait. We made a couple ports in Chile and were to complete the first cruise in San Antonio, Chile. On March 14 (day before reaching San Antonio) we were told that Celebrity cancelled all future cruises until April 15. Chaos broke out. Around 400 of us were back to back cruisers. We were given 125% of the cost of our cruise toward another cruise and everyone got free unlimited wifi and beverage package for the remainder of our time on ship.
We would all depart at San Antonio and they would bus us to Santiago to catch flights on March 15. Since we booked Celebrity Air to get to Buenos Aires they would handle our return flight. Luckily Rich and I received emails stating all this and we immediately went to Guest Relations who told us to line up to use computers connected to travel people. We were second in line. After 2 hours we walked away with a flight from Santiago to Dallas to Chicago to San Diego. We weren’t thrilled but happy we got a flight. Our flight wouldn’t leave until March 16 so they also booked us a hotel at the airport. All at no cost to us. Doesn’t sound too bad…right!
Well, the morning of the 15th we were told by the Captain who was now making announcements every 2 hours that they were in negotiations with Chile because Chile did not want us to dock. After 2 days of circling offshore (they wouldn’t even let us drop anchor) all negotiations fell through. Chile did tell us to sail to Valparaiso in order to receive provisions and fuel. Of course our provisions were sitting there in San Antonio! We sailed that night and in the morning we were in Valparaiso. They let us anchor but we could not dock. We had to wait a day for the provisions to be sent by truck so in the meantime we refueled. Once provisions arrived everything had to be brought by barges which took 2 days. While there Celebrity realized most people had only planned on a 15 day cruise and needed meds. Celebrity took info and ordered meds. Again no cost to passengers. They were short on insulin so more negotiations. 3 days off Valparaiso, after midnight, the Captain announced we would sail straight to San Diego. Rich and I cheered from our bed.
The next morning we were told that we would make a short stop during the night in Manta, Ecuador to pick up more insulin. Once again, they had to bring it to the ship…no docking. Then we were off to San Diego.
The Captain, crew and Celebrity made it as enjoyable as possible. The entire cast was to disembark so costumes etc. were cleaned and waiting for the next cast to board so they creatively made up new shows. The Cruise Director made sure there were plenty of activities and fun things to do. All meals were served as usual and nightly entertainment never stopped. They were AWESOME.
Luckily we were travelling with a couple from the U.K. so we continued to have a great time. This was our 3rd cruise together. They had only planned on the first cruise but we wound up staying together for 30 days! We were told it was the longest cruise in Celebrity history!!
All along the Captain informed us that no one was sick with Covid-19. We sailed straight for 16 days having NO contact with anyone else. We felt very safe. On March 30 we docked in San Diego. Immigration came on board and when that was done we started to disembark. Rich & I were in group 7 so we were off fairly quickly. Our temperature had to be taken before we could get off. As we were getting off Rich ordered an Uber and he was waiting in the lot for us. Since there was little traffic we made it home in record time.
Tuesday morning I got up and went to Costco at 8 AM for senior hours to get food. The ship had given us a mask and gloves as we got off so I used the mask and gloves. I got home, unpacked and cleaned everything then Kristi, our daughter, called to tell us that a woman from the ship who had heart issues and was also being treated for pneumonia was taken to the hospital, tested and was positive. I told her they had to be mistaken…we had gone 16 days with no contact with the outside world. Later in the day it was reported that 3 crew members were positive. Celebrity sent an email explaining this and told us to self isolate. What a shock…guess what…Covid-19 can incubate for longer than 14 days!
We are home safe and sound and that’s what counts. We have been taking AirBorne and taking our temperatures 2x a day. A friend is bringing grocery items and leaving them on the porch. We have a FB page for passengers and family and daily we have seen more passengers testing positive. We have our fingers (and everything else) crossed that we escape the virus.
I haven’t even done a thing in my craft room but I should see my way clear soon since washing and ironing is done and little by little I’m cleaning the house. Next Friday I should have a new card done to post. Until then…wish us luck that we stay healthy!
You be safe and stay healthy too!