Ending a great adventure

Ending a great adventure

April 29, 2024

Goodbye Bangkok and hello Singapore.  We have two days at sea before finally docking at our final destination, Singapore.  We will have one day to explore and finish packing before we have an o’dark thirty trip to the airport. 

If you’ve never flown from Asia to the USA, it’s always funny that we arrive in Seattle before we take off in Singapore.  What? Really? How can that be?  Well, we leave Singapore at 9:00 AM on Thursday and arrive in Seattle at 8:00 AM on Thursday.  We fly for 15 hours straight.  WOW.

Last night we had our farewell World Cruisers Gala and dinner.  The dinner was cooked by the officers of the ship, not the Chefs.  Best meal we’ve had all trip.  An incredible event.  We started with 87 World Cruisers and ended with 84.  All of the ones that left walked off under their own power.  Pretty good for a group that I originally labeled “canes, walkers, wheelchairs and grey hair”; don’t you think?  

On sea days, we have team trivia.  Well, I’m proud to tell you that our team won the series, and we all got some nice Seabourn gifts.  We have met a wonderful couple that lives just north of Seattle, and they will come to our house to join us for Brewery trivia soon. 

Two days in Bangkok allowed us to get a hull inspection and cleaning. 

Here’s another street food delicacy, fried Tarantula anyone? 

Even though we are coming to the end of sailwest.net (part 1), tease me please.  I’m happy to inform you that there will be a part 2 and even a part 3.  So, bookmark sailwest.net for future tales from the sea.  And to my dear friends that let me vote on restricting future trips to less than 60 days, I’m glad I was there because there was nothing discussed about making the rule retroactive.  We booked these trips back in January, sorry.

It has been hot for days now, temps in the high 90’s and lots of humidity.  So, pool time was limited, but it still doesn’t stop people from talking and you know what happens when they open their mouths.  Yes, it’s time for another edition of pool chronicles, you can’t make this shit up. 

The people behind me were eating lunch today at the pool, one guy quickly establishes himself as a weatherman.  We are certified weather watchers, so I’m going to listen closely to him.  He correctly identifies the clouds we are seeing.  The other guy asks if it’s going to rain soon.  Well, that’s when his expertise started to crumble.  He said from deck 8, we could see the horizon approximately 7 miles out, correct!  Well, now look up from the horizon and notice signs of rain, correct.  If it’s raining just 7 miles away, you can assume it will rain here soon, wrong.  If you focus on where the sea meets the sky, it’s a logical assumption that it’s 7 miles away from our vantage point.  But, once your eyes travel up to the clouds, they may be, and likely are several more miles away.  Nice story guy, but fatally flawed.

We were going to dinner one night in the dining room, which happens to be on the same deck as the gangway, when a lady walks past a large sign and asks us where she can find the gangway.  I pointed to the sign she just walked past and said the sign says that it’s this way. 

Seabourn uses a service called Luggage Forward, you may remember when they took our luggage from our house back in December.   Well, I can tell you that this service is not cheap, but Seabourn is paying for it for the World Cruise passengers.  They sent a representative to the ship to help and answer questions and make sure all the bags get off the dock and onto a truck.  When he volunteered to answer questions, he realized that was a real mistake with this group.  He explained that DHL would handle the bags in Singapore and then either Federal Express or UPS. 

Here come the questions:

Why can’t we lock our bags? (Because they might be inspected by both governments.)

Last time I used your service, someone broke into my bags and stole a bunch of stuff, can I expect that will happen again?  (answer not needed).

I live in an apartment in Florida, there is nowhere to leave the bags, can you call me when they are going to be delivered? (You will be given a tracking number that you can track your bags with and we will send you emails.)

When we shipped our bags to LA, they ended up in a warehouse for a few days, if that happens will it be a climate-controlled space?  I so wanted to say my bags were afraid of the dark, can they leave the lights on too?

I live a long way from the airport, will they still deliver them to me? (Lady, does FedEx or USP make deliveries to you?)

Seasoned travelers?

And now I must end with a small tribute to our friend Jim.  With 80 years under his belt, he had a great life.  He was a great husband, great Father, great friend, and all-around great guy.  Sheila, as long as we are alive, you will never be alone.  I’m sure there are several people in your inner circle that are telling you the same thing.  Love you always.

Even paradise can’t protect you from reality

Even paradise can’t protect you from reality

April 26, 2024

Ko Kood, Thailand

After a very hot day in Cambodia, we are having a very hot beach day here in Thailand.  Pulling out all the stops today, Caviar in the surf, BBQ, including lobster tail. Water sport toys, all for us on their very own private island. 

Cambodia was trashy and there were unfinished skyscrapers everywhere.  China (there it is again) was building apartments for their workers because they were putting some kind of factory there.  Then Covid hit.  They pulled out and haven’t been back since.  China is controlling everything around here. 

Our beloved captain was finally able to get off in Cambodia, as his replacement finally caught up with us.  We all miss him.

Our hearts are heavy today as we learned a very special friend has advanced cancer and is not expected to live but a couple of days now.  We are racing against time to get to Bangkok so we can call him and say goodbye.

Kim brought us street food for lunch in Saigon, it was the absolute best and amazingly cheap. 

I promised you a caviar sail away and here it is. 


In Cambodia, they brought on board some dancers and singers for a show that was amazing.


Tomorrow, we arrive in a port close to Bangkok, it’s a 3-hour drive and since we are there two nights, many passengers have chosen to stay overnight in a hotel in downtown Bangkok.  Bangkok is an amazing city, we visited there about 20 years ago. Great memories. 

And now, yes even though the heat is making my pool time limited, these people don’t let me down.  It’s time for pool chronicles, you just can’t make this up.   

Don’t eat too much lunch or you won’t be hungry for the tea and snacks at 4:00 this afternoon. 

There was a pregnant lady pushing an empty stroller on deck 9 and taking a video of the pool deck, 8.  I couldn’t help but wonder if she was practicing to be a mommy or is this a continuing video biography of her baby’s life, “baby’s first cruise”. 

Jim, I hope my blog has brought you some laughs and smiles.  We love you and will miss you.

Here, there and everyware

Here, there and everyware

April 20, 2024

Hello from Danang.

One of the first things I want to do when I get home is watch Good Morning Vietnam.

Speaking of return trips, we have just 2 weeks left on this trip. Kirby was nice enough to remind me my lawn needs mowing. Funny thing about my friends, they found my top shelf spirits, but couldn’t find my lawnmower.

Today, I’ll take you on a potpourri walk through our trip with stories that are worth sharing, but haven’t made the cut yet.

When we arrived in Hong Kong, the authorities boarded the boat and locked down all provisions, i.e. liquor and tobacco.  This was a huge surprise to Sean, our bar manager.  He said he had all of his bartenders inventory their stock and moved things around so that no bar would run out.  A few days later, I was visiting with him and asked for the details and he told me the complete story.  He said some countries, like India automatically lock up his provisions, but he can prepare for that.  He hides liquor and tabaco in an empty guest room or somewhere he knows they won’t look, but Hong Kong caught him off guard.  He said this was a first, they have visited Hong Kong several times and this has never happened before.  He went into Hong Kong and purchased whatever he would run short of, which is just exactly what Hong Kong wanted.  Well, we all survived.  Speaking of running out, Sean informed me we were about to run out of whisky, and he wanted to make sure my room was well stocked before that happened.  He offered me a bottle of Elijah Craig, which was on the high top shelf, which means it’s not free in the bars.  I said please and about 30 minutes later a bottle was delivered to my room!  He really takes good care of me. 

Kim wanted a little pocket money for Vietnam, so she changed about $20.00 for Dong and got 500 thousand dong.  

What’s even better is the receipt shows our bank balance at just over One Billion dollars.  We talked about coming back to live as billionaires in Vietnam, but then realized a dinner starts at a million dong, so we will stay home for awhile.  

Our wonderful captain was scheduled to be replaced over a month ago, but his replacement didn’t have his paperwork in order and was not allowed to fly.  So, our captain has stayed on much longer than he intended.  We are all happy that he is still here.  Speaking of crew, when you’re with the same waiters, bartenders, suite stewards, you start to bond with some of them.  Ethan was just one of those guys that we both fell in love with.  He was a bar server, waiter, busser, almost any job you want to name he probably did it, including room service.  One day, he was nowhere to be found and we ask his friend and roommate where he was.  Well, his mother had had a stroke and was in a coma, so he was trying to arrange a flight home.  Ethan is in his mid-twenties, so, this was completely unexpected.  Well, he got home okay and saw his mother.  Now, the siblings have to decide what the next move will be with her.  He says he will be back by Singapore, so there’s a slight chance we will see him again.  Hope so. 

We are now in Saigon where it is 96 degrees and humid (feels like 104).  Kim is off running around, and I am staying in my room where it’s 71. 

Danang’s tourism guide.

Fancy fishing boats.

Dragon Bridge.

I was finally kicked out of the observation deck lounge for wearing shorts.  The funny thing was we were the only people in the lounge.  I just don’t get it. 

Because we are world cruisers, we are treated to special events every so often.  Tonight we went to a bamboo circus, it was absolutely amazing. 

We are leaving Saigon in the early afternoon tomorrow, headed for Cambodia.  They are issuing extreme heat alerts there.  More cabin time for me. 

Champagne and caviar sail away tomorrow, sure wish I liked the stuff.  

What might come next?

Do Beer goggles actually work?

Do Beer goggles actually work?

April 17, 2024

Bye-bye Hong Kong and hello Vietnam.   Fifty-one years ago, I got my first invitation to Vietnam.  Fortunately, about a month before I was scheduled to go, the President announced the war was winding down and no new troops were expected to be deployed there, too close for comfort.

We left Hong Kong about 11:00 PM and arrived two days later in Halong Bay, Viet Nam at 2:00 PM.

Back in Hong Kong, Kim found this display of lighted eggs.  For a price, you can walk around them.  If you touch them or talk to them, they will change color. 

She also found me this amazing Hum Bao, it was a great lunch. 

When we left Hong Kong, we learned the ship was full of guests.  This is a first for this entire trip.  It shows too.  Venues fill faster, they don’t respect my table privilege at the pool.  But as you will see soon, they’re no smarter.  As Kim is already organizing for packing up, she asks me why all these people would join the cruise with only a little over two weeks left.  Thinking to myself, that she answered her own question within her question, I reminded her that the majority of cruisers go on 7-day cruises.  Very few extend to 10 or more days.  For those that joined us in Hong Kong, this is a 17-day cruise.  I realize now that an event takes on different aspects depending on the “glasses” one is looking through.

I’m reminded of the day the two lady shoppers were so upset that there was no shopping at a stop, or Dr. Joe asked why do they make us pay so much and take us to crappy ports like this?  Kim spent the day exploring in both of those ports and had a ball. She was wearing much better glasses than the others.

I must give a shout out to our fantastic friend Shelia on her Birthday!

Well friends, I must confess that I was getting frustrated with the Pool Chronicles part of my posts.  Stuff just wasn’t happening, this is too much work, I thought to myself, I’m letting down my readers by not having any material.  Then, like magic it started rolling in, in less than five minutes, I was given three entries to my Chronicles.  I now accept that the second half of the title really says it all, you can’t make any of this up.  It shows up without warning.  If you don’t catch it, you don’t get a second chance.  So, I accept that I cannot control any of it, I can only keep my radar on high alert and wait for it. 

And now yet another episode of Pool Chronicles, you can’t make this shit up.

A lady is looking at the pool grill, pictured, and asks a server “So, does this mean the grill is closed?”  Again, I wasn’t chosen to answer that one.   Once a week, the head chief, Carl, brings a hot plate and a pan to the pool deck and cooks us something simple and always delicious. 

Today was Garlic Grilled Shrimp, pictured.  When we were close enough to see, the lady in front of me turned away and was saying as she left, “I can’t eat those things, they’re looking at me”. Her loss because they were the best. 

While I was eating my shrimp, a lady walks between my chair and the rail, temporarily blocking my view of these amazing limestone Islands, and exclaims “oh my, how did all these things get here, do they just pop up?”  She left just as quickly and probably missed my response which was yep, that’s it, just like teenage acne. I guess she slept through her geology class that day.  Moments later, the couple sitting at the next table were talking about the weather and how it was cloudy and foggy, when he spouts out “clearly it rains here a lot”.  Coincidently, he was right, but his methodology is questionable. 

And so, now for to answer you have all been waiting for.  Do beer goggles actually work?  The answer is a definite YES.  Clearly, what a person sees is different from what another sees because of the lenses we choose to use.  If you choose adventure, you will see adventure.  If you are blinded by anger, there is nothing that anyone can do to make your feelings change.  It’s entirely up to us to choose the glasses we want to see the world with.  Choose positive and happy lenses.

More later, maybe.


The specialty drink at the new Solis restaruant. How do they do that?

Coast Guard evacuation.

Yummy apple tart desert.

I was having trouble downloading pictures in Hong Kong.   So, tonight I show you what I wanted to show you then.

Trama and Drama on th high seas

Trama and Drama on th high seas

April 14, 2024

We were delayed by immigration for two hours in Shanghai. So, we were already late.  Then at o’dark thirty, the captain declared a medical emergency and had changed course to Taipei to get the medically necessary care for the sick guest.   Somewhere along the way we were intercepted by the Taiwanese Coast Guard and the patient transfer was initiated.  It was no easy task getting the gurney from our ship to theirs.  After several failed attempts, they finally used the tender dock, but they were not tall enough to get the gurney transfer done. So, they called upon all tall crew members to lift, and they made it, transfer complete. 

Soon after, the captain reset a course for Hong Kong.  And we were back on track, sort of.   Once again, the captain gave us an update.  Due to the time spent on the medical evacuation and the fact that we now have lost one of our engines, we would be arriving about 12 hours late. He assured us that he had been given the green light from corporate and they would send the necessary repair parts to Hong Kong and we would be ready when we left Hong Kong.  Then the captain again announced that we had hit unfavorable currents, and we would be delayed by two hours or more.  We finally docked around 10:30 that night. All this time we were being told that we would have to have a face-to-face immigration meeting as soon as we arrived.  Well, finally someone got smart and delayed the immigration process until early this morning. 

Remember the guy who was walking to immigration back in Shanghai that fell even though he was using a walker?  We learned that he broke his hip and is no longer on the cruise.   This cruising thing is only for the tough.  We also got an update on the lady that was evacuated by the Coast Guard. She will be okay but will not be returning to the ship. 

Last night we had dinner with Chuck and Nancy at the new specialty restaurant, Solis, a Mediterranean cuisine restaurant with a menu sporting 155 Entrees.  It was good but we miss our steak house.

Today. Kim went mountain climbing with mechanical help.

When she gothere this is the view she had. Yes, that is our ship on the left side of the picture.

The bus rules.

The elevator rules.

Too many rules, let’s get out of here.

Well, I told you all I was going to do something that would shock everyone that knows me.  Well, I sat for a fitting for a custom Taylor made suit.   Wow, what got into me?  Well, before you start a go fund me account for my psychology treatments, I did order my suit with shorts.  It didn’t even phase the Taylor when I made that request.