Four days and counting…Busy packing the house…

Look how swollen Big Daddy’s neck signifies he’s ready to mate. Amazing!!!

The only time since we began traveling in 2012 that we stayed in one property for over a year was here in Marloth Park when I had heart surgery, and we didn’t leave for 15 months, the final three of which I spent recovering to become well enough to travel.

Now, during times of the pandemic, we will have lived here for 14 months due to many travel restrictions in force all over the world. We would have left sooner had it been a little easier to travel. In the past 14 months, we left, once to Zambia for a week and another time to the US for a  month.

On another occasion, we’d booked an exciting trip to Kenya, which was canceled due to Covid-19. Is it any wonder we were hesitant to book anything when we’d already lost so much money due to the pandemic in the past two years? In many cases, we got most of the money back, but it required hours and hours of phone calls, documentation,  and applying pressure to the providers to give us a refund.

We became weary of all of these issues. We’re facing another possible cancellation on the cruise scheduled to travel to Ukraine. We’ve decided we won’t accept the Black Sea price to swap out for the Greek Islands. We’ve done that route in the past, and we’re not willing to pay twice as much as other such cruises are charging right now.

What a handsome animal!!!

We’ve been watching opinions from other passengers on that cruise via They feel like us. They want their money back. If we apply for the refund now, we will get 100% of what we paid, applied to a future cruise which must be used by the end of 2022 or one year from the original cruise date, whichever is later. That may not work for us. We’d be happy to have them apply the funds to the other cruises we have booked with Azamara.

However, if enough passengers cancel, the cruise line will cancel the cruise. According to Azamara’s cancellation policy, if they cancel a cruise, we’d get 125% of the cost of the cruise as a future credit since it’s only a 600 passenger cruise with most likely only 500 passengers that would account for approximately 250 cabins.

Thus, instead of canceling now, we will wait a few weeks and see if the cruise line cancels. We’ll receive a 100% credit for everything we’ve already paid in advance to Costco Travel in the worst case. Whew!

As for the packing, after living in this house for so long, the packing is more complicated than usual. Since we are returning before too long, we are leaving the non-perishable kitchen items in a big tote. Also, we’re leaving some clothing that we won’t need on the cruises or in the US to lighten the load.

I fed him an entire bag of whole large carrots. He inhaled them in seconds. He was quite thrilled with the treat.

We are allowed two 23 kg (50 pounds) bags each. We will each bring our largest bag, the yellow supply bag, one duffle bag along with two carry-on bags for me, and the computer bag for Tom. We’ll have to pay baggage fees on the US flights (one to Minneapolis and the other to Las Vegas). There’s nothing we can do about that.

After all, we’ll be sailing on two very distinct cruises in the next six weeks, and we’ll need different clothes for each, although some everyday items will work for both voyages.

That’s it for today, folks. Enjoy your weekend!

Photo from one year ago today, March 19, 2021:

This is a monitor lizard that Tom spotted while driving. It happened so quickly I had to take the photo through the windshield. For more photos, please click here.

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