Today is the 19th of March; the day our ship will arrive in Cape Town. Amazingly, NCL has still not informed anyone on board that we will arrive 3 days ahead of schedule! But, finally we have some information about what will happen to us.
No announcement was made regarding our situation yesterday. I must admit, I was expecting the captain to tell us either that we would be arriving early but would not be able to disembark, or that we were going to be turned away but would be refueling and restocking (desperately needed at this point). But no, not a single word…
When we left our cabin to go to breakfast this morning, we found a note outside our door that we were required to fly out of the country on March 22nd, and that our flight details must be submitted between 6 am and 10 am. Say what??? Our flight was scheduled for April 1st, but we were informed by the airline yesterday that the flight had been cancelled, so we knew we would not be staying on until that date. However, we did expect to have more than 4 hours to make new arrangements (along with the 2,000 other people in the same boat…so to speak!).
Fortunately, I am married to a man that always plans ahead for every eventuality. I am a planner by nature, but he puts me to shame in that regard. We had already looked into flights home (there weren’t any decent options) so had decided to head back to Chiang Mai, Thailand to cool our heels until we could get home. To be perfectly honest, Seattle might not be the best place to be during the coronavirus pandemic and Chiang Mai doesn’t have a single case. We had already looked up flights and found that Qatar Airways would get us there. The only downside is that overnight, the price of the flight had jumped significantly. I believe this is due to the fact that very few airlines are flying out of Cape Town right now, so many on board are routing through Doha, Qatar, meaning the number of seats dropped precipitously and the price increased dramatically. But, at least we have a way out of the country and now know when we will be leaving!
So, we will be aboard the ship until the 22nd and will fly out that night. In the grand scheme of things, we may have been better off on the ship than at home, given the spread of the virus and restrictions there. Thank you for following along with our saga. My prayers are with all whose lives are being impacted by the pandemic.