Viking ocean cruise

Taking a cruise in the times of Covid

We aren’t cruisers …

April 2021, and we’ve been largely isolated at home for a little over a year. Our approach to life during the pandemic has been very conservative; either home delivery of groceries or curbside pickup, the closest we’ve been to other people has been when we went to get vaccinated.

Now that we have each had a first shot there’s a sense that the light at the end of the tunnel might not be a train coming to flatten us. We are feeling optimistic, and Tracey suggests we should take a vacation – and she wants it to include water. We discuss a cruise – she’s been on several many years ago, I went on QE2 once in 2008.

She has cruised NCL before, and it turns out they have just started taking bookings for a “return to cruising”. Discounts are deep, it’s for vaccinated passengers only, and a one-week itinerary from Jamaica to Mexico, Belize, and Honduras is very affordable. Some more research suggests that The Haven is for us, offering some sense of “small ship” experience in the mainstream context of NCL. We book within a day of conceiving the notion.

A few weeks pass, we research and book excursions, we watch everything on Youtube – arguably the Youtube research we should probably have done before booking. We stumble on Emma and Cruise With Ben & David; we watch their reviews of Viking. Unspoken between us is the sense that perhaps this would have been a better fit for us for a whole variety of reasons.

Blessing in disguise

May 26th: NCL cancels our cruise, and gives a full refund. From the disappointment arises a crisitunity: we could book with Viking instead? Some quick research finds a 7 night “Bermuda Escape” cruise – basically a seacation with some days in port and a couple of sea days needlessly sailing the Atlantic. A Junior Penthouse Suite is actually cheaper than what we had paid NCL for a Haven aft balcony suite, especially considering the included excursions, free Silver Spirits Beverage Package, and included everything. We book on the same day as the cancellation from NCL, directly on the Viking website paying the entire fare due to the closeness of the sailing date (August 3rd).

Map of the Bermuda Escape itinerary

Up next – Preparing for Bermuda

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