Norwegian Jewel Propeller Failure; Photo posted on Twitter by Jay Martinez, a passenger onboard the ship, on March 20, 2020
Norwegian Jewel Propeller Failure; Photo posted on Twitter by Jay Martinez, a passenger onboard the ship, on March 20, 2020
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Editor’s Note: Here is the latest dispatch from Vicki Shurly, Director of Peninsula Community Library, who is on the Norwegian Jewel cruise ship in the Pacific Ocean with her husband Bob – a dream trip on which they embarked in February before the COVID-19 virus pandemic spread across the globe. The ship has been turned away from several ports, including, it seems, their latest option, Hawaii.

Previous Installments: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3. Read on for Part 4 of their story, and feel free to leave encouraging thoughts and comments for Bob and Vicki in the comments section at the bottom of this story.

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Part 4: We are still headed toward Hawaii, despite varied news reports that say we will not be allowed off the ship. It is imperative that we be allowed at least to dock there, as one of the ship’s propellers stopped working last night, and we are rather limping along. Officially, we were told this morning that there are “technical difficulties,” but somehow word got around the ship like a tsunami – pardon the pun.

Editor’s Note: Norwegian Jewel Propeller Failure, photo below posted on Twitter by Jay Martinez, a passenger onboard the ship, on March 20, 2020.

Norwegian Jewel Propeller Failure; Photo posted on Twitter by Jay Martinez, a passenger onboard the ship, on March 20, 2020
Norwegian Jewel Propeller Failure; Photo posted on Twitter by Jay Martinez, a passenger onboard the ship, on March 20, 2020

There was another letter in our stateroom today telling us that the sail will now end the night of March 22 in Honolulu, and that we are responsible once again for booking our own flights home. Still, people are hesitant to make arrangements until they are certain that there will be no last-minute turn-aways again.

Editor’s Note: Norwegian Jewel Letter to Passengers dated March 20, 2020; Posted on Facebook by Jay Martinez, a passenger onboard the ship. Note that the ship has been turned away from ports in French Polynesia, Fiji, Australia, American Samoa (they were allowed to re-fuel and re-stock there), and New Zealand.

Norwegian Jewel Letter to Passengers dated March 20, 2020; Posted on Facebook by Jay Martinez, a passenger onboard the ship
Norwegian Jewel Letter to Passengers dated March 20, 2020; Posted on Facebook by Jay Martinez, a passenger onboard the ship

Price Gouging from the Airlines

And, too, there is a lot of price gouging going on out there. Flight prices are astronomical. We have all heard that New York is considering releasing criminals from Rikers Island. We are all dumbfounded! We don’t know if that is true or not, but we are all good standing, healthy citizens of many countries, and we are not wanted anywhere.

We all access the internet as we can. It is offered free now, in a room the ship’s crew set up. The lines are long. Some have purchased minutes to use on personal devices, but the service is so slow that you can use them up just waiting. Most of us just want to contact loved ones, make sure they are safe, and let them know that we are still out here.

No Large Groups Allowed

Some people are booking flights, and others have a wait-and-see attitude. We are waiting. Our now dear Australian friends, newly made a few weeks ago, told us that the Austrailians have been gathering as a group to make sure their government knows they are out here. They met again today, but were finally told by staff that they may not gather in such a large group. We find that humorous because we do gather – at the cafe, in restaurants, to see films, and for music programs.

The German lady across from me at another computer told me with a smile that the German government has promised to fly them home if only they can get off the ship. We feel for her, especially because she and her husband have young children. All of the children on the ship seem happy and oblivious to the situation, although older children must know. There are activities for them to keep them busy.

Yesterday, there was an announcement that there would be an immediate meeting for people who were running out of essential medications. Bob and I are fortunate not to need anything, but the line was long! There seems to be a quiet cutback on the amount of food served, as well.

Still, we cannot complain. Many thanks to all of you for your comments, prayers and good wishes. Please know that our hearts are home with you.

Bob and Vicki Shurly in the South Pacific Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic | Shurly Photo
Bob and Vicki Shurly in the South Pacific Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic | Shurly Photo

Editor’s Note – Conflicting Destination Reports

On a couple of the Facebook groups for families of passengers on board the Norwegian Jewel, here and here, they were carefully watching to see whether another cruise ship, the Maasdam, operated by Holland America, would be allowed to disembark in Honolulu. According to this story in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, eight passengers were allowed to disembark on March 20, 2020 – six residents of Hawaii, along with an injured passenger and her husband.

“I am authorizing the Hawaii residents and the injured passenger to disembark,” Hawaii Gov. David Ige said in a press release. “Allowing the Hawaii residents off the ship means they will avoid unnecessary air travel and reduces their risk of exposure to COVID-19. The woman with a fractured leg needs medical attention and, therefore, must be allowed off the boat.”

At 6:30 a.m. this morning, March 21, 2020, after re-fueling and re-stocking supplies, the Maasdam left Honolulu Harbor. According to VesselFinder.com, the Maasdam is headed to San Diego, with an estimated time of arrival of March 27, 2020, 1 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian Jewel, the ship on which Bob and Vicki Shurly are passengers, is showing on VesselFinder.com that they will reach Honolulu on March 22, 2020, 4 p.m. While the site does not show any further destinations, Jay Martinez, who is onboard the Norwegian Jewel, posted the screenshot below yesterday that indicates the ship will arrive in Honolulu on March 22, stay through Tuesday, March 24, and then continue on for another six days, with no final destination indicated.

Norwegian Jewel Itinerary posted on Facebook by Jay Martinez, a passenger onboard the ship, on March 20, 2020
Norwegian Jewel Itinerary posted on Facebook by Jay Martinez, a passenger onboard the ship, on March 20, 2020

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12 COMMENTS

  1. This is like reading a novel! I do hope you’re enjoying your extended vacation, and not being too preoccupied by all of the uncertainty. Although, I will be just a little sad when I’ve read the final chapter. Take good care, Wendy

  2. Vicki and Bob,
    What an unplanned adventure!! I know you are making the most of an unprecedented experience! Hope you are journaling as this is the beginning of a great novel!!
    Best wishes for your safe return!
    Karen

  3. Dear Vickie and Bob, I wish you the best in getting home safely. Hopefully you will be able to fly home from Honolulu. Looking forward to seeing you in church once church reopens. Hugs, Cindy

  4. I just found out that a high school classmate and his wife are also on the Norwegian Jewel. Dick Challis graduated from Highlands High School in Ft. Thomas, Ky. wuth me. If you see them, tell them Donna Stoms says I am praying for you all to be safe.

  5. Sending you Old Mission Peninsula Strength & Good Wishes. You’ll certainly have good stories to tell for a long, long time. Just boring old snow, cold weather, & coronavirus toilet paper shortage here.

  6. Greetings from your Lin Dale neighbors, Dawn and Darrell Rogers! Traveling is always an adventure! We are sending best wishes your way and sincerely hope that a solution will be found and you can enjoy yourselves in the meantime. We are traveling back home from Florida. Thank goodness we tow our bed, bath and kitchen behind us!

  7. Sending along prayers for your safe arrival home. Unbelievable what you are experiencing. Miss you. Love you. I have passed along what I hear and read to family. Take care. Love Wendy and Mike.

  8. Bob & Vicki,

    I hope your spirits are holding up despite all the days at sea. I’ve been after Vicki to write a great novel about OMP but this story would be better. My suggested title, “Lost at Sea”.
    Seriously, this is a journey of a lifetime, make the most of it and know that all of your friends are praying for your safe journey home to OMP.

  9. Bob and Vicki!

    Glen and I have been reading your dispatches out loud to the kids. All three boys were home for a time, and they were equal parts enthralled and appalled. We hope you are safely back home on our beloved peninsula soon. This is a strange time for everyone but utterly bizarre for the two of you. Prayers for you and everyone on board.

    Becky

  10. Vicki and Bob,

    I have so enjoyed reading your adventure, but know that you must be very anxious to return home. I am sure that Henry cannot wait to have you back!! Once things settle down, you two really should do a “trip talk” at the library to share photos, and little stories about the people you’ve met and lessons you’ve learned while on this wild and unique adventure. I will be attending and sitting in the front row! Hopefully you will soon be home safely.

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