Monthly Archives: January 2014

GWV 2014 — IMMUNIZATIONS AND FARE REDUCTIONS

Immunizations
Armed with my little yellow card (International Certificates of Vaccination as approved by The World Health Organization), I visited my new primary physician and asked her if my immunizations were up to date since I would be traveling worldwide again this year. She replied by saying that she didn’t do that and referring me to a travel doctor. I already had appointments with my dentist, my opthamalogist, my dermatologist, and my gynecologist so I decided to skip another appointment with another physician and just go with what I had.

Then the lovely little booklet arrives from HAL, saying that yellow fever vaccination must be within 10 years. Mine expired along about the end of 2009. Since then I have been around the world twice and to South America three times. Always diligently handing my little yellow card to the HAL boarding personnel and/or the immigration officials. Who obviously never bothered to read it.

I called the travel doctor and got a machine, left message. I then called St. John’s County Health Department. They referred me to the Flagler County Health Department. I spoke with a knowledgeable nurse who advised me to come as soon as possible since there were only 2 doses of yellow fever vaccine in the county… and none in St. John’s. Apparently there is a yellow fever vaccine shortage. I made an appointment for the next day. The travel doctor’s office returned my call but I already had the appointment in Flagler County and was feeling good about the person with whom I had spoken.

The personnel at Flagler County Health are caring and knowledgeable. I have my yellow fever…. and my typhoid…. and the first round of Hep A and Hep B. All of which were also out of date! I will return two more times before March 1 for the remaining Hep A and B vaccines. I am driving 120 miles each time to the facility. But I will do so since I have found people who actually CARE.

The cost of the immunizations so far is $268. I plan to turn it into my insurance… will keep you updated on the final cost and how much the insurance will cover.

Fare Reductions
Several sleepless nights, calls to travel agent, and generally shaking with anger have consumed me this week. This is the third cruise in a row where Holland America has reduced the fare after the final payment date. The cruise lines tout early bookings and then penalize customers who do so. On this cruise, the reduction was substantial. I doubt seriously if I book prior to the final payment date in the future. I believe HAL is making a serious error in treating their loyal passengers in such a callous manner.

Responses
Bob and Leslee: Glad you are following my blog. I hope we travel together again in the future.
Janis: Since I opted for the HAL transfer and overnight, the Instructions for boarding the Amsterdam will be at my hotel in Hong Kong when I arrive.
Patricia: I’m glad you are following my blog again this year. Hope you enjoy it.

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2014 GRAND WORLD VOYAGE

“There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it.” — Charles Dudley Warner

On January 5, the ms Amsterdam left Ft. Lauderdale on its westerly route to circumnavigate the world. When it reaches Hong Kong, more or less the half-way point, I will board the ship for the second half of the voyage. In doing so, I am still circumnavigating the world, the first half by plane, the second half by ship.

On March1, I plan to fly from Jacksonville to Newark and then on to Hong Kong on United. The flight time from Jacksonville to Newark is 2 hours, 15 minutes; a distance of 820 miles. The flight time from Newark to Hong Kong is 16 hours; a distance of 8,060 miles. My luggage will consist of one checked bag and 1 carry-on, both of which are hard-sided and 4-wheeled, plus my handbag. Choosing clothes to wear which are comfortable for the nearly 24 hour trip is a necessity. A T-shirt, long sweater, and elastic waist pants plus an alpaca pashmina for warmth is pretty much my go-to ensemble. My shoes will be a pair of Fit-Flop walking sandals.

Arriving in Hong Kong on the evening of March 2, I will transfer from the airport to the Grand Stanford InterContinental Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. The following day I will board the Amsterdam.

Ports of Call on the voyage are Singapore; Phuket, Thailand; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Victoria, Seychelles; Port Louis, Mauritius; La Possession, Reunion; Durban, South Africa; Cape Town, South Africa; Walvis Bay, Namibia; Jamestown, Saint Helena; Georgetown, Ascension Island; Banjul, Gambia; Dakar, Senegal; Mindelo, Cape Verde; Bridgetown, Barbados; Roseau, Dominica; Philipsburg, Antilles.

Many of you have asked me about travel agents. I can highly recommend mine who can contacted at bettesueg@yahoo.com

Come along with me while I make preparations and pack for this exciting trip!

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