Like most of us ‘my 2020 cruise was cancelled because of the pandemic.’ Instead of getting upset about it; I decided to turn cruise booking number XQGV8D into a virtual cruise with all the fixings. So enjoy reading my travel blog. Click on this link for my video log, and bon voyage!
On Monday 6th January 2020, we booked our 2020 cruise Sydney Reunion cruise with my Auntie, and Uncle. It was originally meant to be a ten night Queensland Round Trip cruise with the beautiful Majestic Princess departing from the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney on Wednesday 18th November 2020; but the Pandemic hit, and it changed everything.
Although the cruise was cancelled; at 4am on Sunday 11th October 2020 I got an idea in my sleep to do up a ‘virtual cruise in the place of the actual one.’ A few hours later, I woke up to have a look online to see if it was possible for me to do, and the minute I saw it was; i immediately started planning it. During the whole COVID-19 Pandemic, I discovered the truth that ‘you don’t need a ship to go on a cruise’ so in 2020 I went on a ‘virtual cruising staycation!’
J.John said, “If something has happened and you can change it... CHANGE IT. If not, change the way you think about it.” Instead of being upset that the original cruise was cancelled; 😢 I decided to turn it into a ‘virtual one’ so let’s get started.
The shore excursions finally became available through the Princess Cruises Website, and there was a lot we could all choose from. Although it was a family reunion cruise; we decided not to do everything together, and my Auntie and Uncle were quite happy to stay on boathe ship while we got off for the day. The shore excursions mum and I chose to do were:
- The Australian Zoo in Brisbane,
- Easy Airlie Beach in Airlie Beach (which is located in the Whitsundays),
- Bad Fishy Jet Boating in Yorkeys Knob (I did this one on my own because I’m younger and more fitter than what mum is),
- The Great Barrier Reef in Port Douglas; where we went snorkelling, and enjoyed a ride on the Glass Bottom Boat. This was followed by
- Scenic Cruising in Willis Island for one hour; before starting the return trip back to Sydney.
Our departure day has arrived!
Mum and I arrived in Sydney early on Wednesday 18th November 2020 to board the beautiful Majestic princess (virtual) at the overseas passenger terminal with my auntie and uncle for our ten night Queensland family cruise. The boarding went smoothly with no hassles and we were all on board together by 2:30pm.
Although mum and I originally booked a Stateroom; we were up graded ‘at the last minute’ to a mini sweet. Thanks Princess Cruises. Shortly after finding our Staterooms, we all dropped our things off and went up to the International Food court for lunch before getting ready Master station drill, and the departure from circular Quay Sydney. Unlike previous cruises; The smorgasbord on board the Majestic Princess (virtual) was set out differently. On this cruise, we had to ‘pick the ingredients we wanted, go over to the bench, and then make our own food.’ It was interesting because I’ve never had to do that before on a cruise!
The ships departure was at 4:30pm, and we sailed out through Sydney heads at 5:30pm found for Brisbane Australia. Unlike previous departure parties; this one was an absolute blast, and I loved every moment. We were all booked in for ‘anytime dinning’ in the Allegro Dinning Room, and there was two seating times to choose from. The first one was at 5pm (which was a bit too early for us), and the second one took place at 7:15pm; which was perfect a time for us and we decided to mainly attend that one for the entire cruise.
After dinner, I enjoyed ‘Game Three of the 2020 State Of Origin’ under the movie under the stars. GO QUEENSLAND... Go the Maroons! 🏈 When the game finished, I to the ‘Sea Walkers night club’ for the after party, before returning to the cabin for the rest of the night.
Day One (Sea Day):
Thursday 19th November 2020 was out first Sea Day. We woke up at 8am for a morning of pampering at the ships Beauty Salon. I got my hair styled and my nails done for the first formal night; which took place that night in the ships Grand Atrium. After lunch in the International Food court I got a drink and went to the Princess Theatre for the movie ‘The Greatest Showman’ before enjoying my first Swim in the ships pool, and watching the Billy Joel Mini Concert on (Deck 18) the Sports Deck. When the show ended, I got ready for dinner in the Allegro Dinning Room. This was followed by the movie under the stars, and the rest of the evening onboard the beautiful Majestic Princess (virtual) cruise ship.
Day Two (Brisbane, Australia):
Brisbane was our first port for our ten night cruise. On Friday 20th November 2020, we woke up early as the ship was docking at Port Brisbane Wharf. This was the only port the ship docked at during our cruise because the rest required the use of ‘Tender Boats’ to help us to get to the remaining four destinations.
When the ship finished docking, we left our cabin for a delicious breakfast in the ships International Food court; before meeting up with the rest of the family for our day at Australia Zoo. Unlike the rest of excursions; this is the only one we (my Uncle Lindsay, Auntie Sue, mum, and I) did together because we all decided to do separate things after that. All up, the shore excursion went for approximately ‘seven hours,’ and our tour group was the first to leave the Princess Theatre to board the bus bound for Australia zoo.
It was a very big day, and we were so exhausted because of all the walking around we did. I wanted to enjoy every moment at the park so I didn’t take my travel blog diary with me. Despite this, I was able to take a lot of photos, and I found all the Park Ranger demonstrations very inspirational and entertaining. We got back to the Majestic Princess (Virtual) cruise ship at 4pm, and the ship departed for Airlie Beach shortly after that. When we got back to the cabin, I had a rest before getting ready for dinner in the Allegro Dinning Room. After dinner, I enjoyed the movie under the stars, and dancing the night away in the Sea Walkers night club, before returning to the cabin for the rest of the night.
Day Three (Sea Day):
Saturday 21st November 2020 was a sea day. Mum and I woke up to a room serviced breakfast before getting ready for the Princess Social Event which took place on the Sun Deck. This ended with a family catch up for lunch in the International Food court before going our separate ways for the rest of the day. I enjoyed the entertainment on the sports deck before watching the movie ‘The Other Guys’ in the Princess Theatre. Honestly, the movie was ‘ok’ but it’s not one I’d see again. When the movie finished, I left the Princess Theatre, and went to ‘Princess Live’ for the Trivia Challenge. It was all about ‘the history of Princess cruises,’ and I got 5 out 10 correct. How cool was that?
When it finished, I returned to the Sports Deck for the afternoon movie ‘Mighty Joe Young; before getting ready for dinner with family in the Allegro Dinning Room. After dinner, we went our separate ways again. I returned to the Sports Deck for ‘Movies under the Stairs.’ The movie ‘Stepmom’ was played on the big screen and it was a beautiful night to be outside under the stars. When the movie ended, I danced the night away in the Sea Walkers Night Club before returning to the cabin for the rest of the night.
Day Four (Airlie Beach, Australia):
Airlie Beach was the second port for our ten night cruise, and it’s located in the beautiful Whitsundays. The Majestic Princess (Virtual) cruise ship was already anchored when we woke up on Sunday 22nd November 2020 to a room serviced breakfast. When we finished eating, we got ready for the onboard church service at the ‘Heart and Souls Chapel.’ It was a fantastic service, and I loved every moment of it. Mum and I then had lunch in ‘the International Food Court,’ before meeting our tour group in the Princess Theatre. Surprisingly, our tour group was one of the last groups to leave the Princess Theatre for the afternoon session.
For the rest of the cruise, the ships ‘Tender (or life) boats’ were used for the first time to get us to the shore. Airlie Beach is a beautiful place. The water is so clear, and the sand is so white. Although I absolutely loved being there, we were only allowed off the ship for a few hours because all the passengers had to be back on board the Majestic Princess (virtual) cruise by 3pm for a 4:25pm departure to Yorkeys Knob Queensland. Despite this, I was able to take a lot of photos, and I absolutely loved the scenery.
After a Break watching afternoon Sitcoms on the big screen on the Sports Deck; I returned to the cabin to get ready for the later dinner sitting in the ‘Allegro Dining room.’ When we finished eating, my family and I went our separate ways. I returned to the Sports Deck for the movie ‘A Knights Tale’ at Movies under the stars before socialising for a little while in the ships Wheelhouse Bar, and then returning to the cabin for the night.
Day Five (Yorkeys Knob, Australia):
The Majestic Princess (Virtual) arrived sailed into Yorkeys Knob at 6am on Monday 22nd November 2020. We woke up at 8am to a yummy room serviced breakfast before getting getting ready for the day at our third port. It was a beautiful 26 degrees outside, and it was the perfect weather conditions for ‘Jet Boating.’ Because of mums age, etc; I actually did this one on my own. Mum just came along for the day. On our way to the Princess Theatre to meet up with the rest of the group who came Jet boating with me; mum and I purchased a morning coffee at the ships caffe.
The sessions went for just 35 minutes (which was a bit disappointing because it wasn’t long) 😢 and I was booked in for the 10am session. We left the Princess Theatre with our group at 9:30am for our Jet boating Adventure. The photos were ordered prior to doing the safety training for the ride, and they were sent to me by SMS shortly after the adventure ended. When the absolutely amazing ride finished, I dried myself off, picked up my things, and went to a local cafe for lunch before returning to the ship for the rest of the day.
I then enjoyed a relaxing drink on the pool deck. This was followed by a walk around the Promenade deck because I wanted one final look around at this amazing place before the ship departed for Port Douglas (our second last port for the cruise). The departure took place after 4pm. There was another cruise ship in the area and I was able to enjoy my first ‘horn battle’.... yay!
When the ship was finally at sea, I remained on the Sports Deck, and finished watching the sitcom TV Shows that was playing on the big screen. I then enjoyed a relaxing facial at the ships Salon, before returning to the cabin to get ready for ‘Casual Photo night’ with my Auntie and Uncle in the Allegro Dinning Room.
After dinner, I went to the Sports Deck to watch ‘Fast and the Furious’ at Movies Under The Stars before meeting my family in the ‘Princess LIVE room’ (on deck 7) for the Princess version of ‘Have you been paying attention.’ The game was designed for the passengers to participate in. I was one of the contestants, and my full time score was ‘120.’ How cool was that? When the game finished, I went to the Sea Walkers Night Club to dance the night away before returning to the cabin for the night.
Day Six (Port Douglas, Australia):
Mum and I woke up at 7:15am Tuesday 22nd November 2020 to a room serviced breakfast, and the ship was still arriving at Port Douglas, Australia. Our final shore excursion was a visit to ‘the Great Barrier Reef;’ where we went snorkelling, and enjoyed a ride on the glass bottom boat. When the ride ended, we had lunch at a local cafe, and did some Duty Free shopping before returning back to the ship by tender boat for the rest of the day. Although everyone had back on board the Majestic Princess (Virtual) by 4pm; the ship didn’t actually depart for Willis Island (our final port) until 4:43pm.
After Dinner with my family in the Allegro Dinning Room, we went our separate ways. I went to the Sports Deck to watch ‘The Hunt for Red October’ at Movies Under The Stairs.’ It was a very long movie and the Sea Walkers Night Club was already closed so I returned to the cabin for the night as soon as the movie finished.
Day Seven (Willis Island, Australia):
On Wednesday 25th November 2020, mum and I woke up at 8:45am. We had Breakfast in the International Food Court because the Majestic Princess Virtual was still at sea because we didn’t arrive until 10am, and the place packed when we arrived because everyone wanted a good view of the Island. The ship arrived on time, and it was worth the wait because the view of the Isl from the ship was absolutely breath taking.
As well as being a very small Island; Willis Island is actually a ‘Weather Station in Queensland,’ and the final port for our cruise. When the Majestic Princess (Virtual) arrived ‘it didn’t actually stop;’ it slowed down and a Tour Guide spoke to us all over the air ways before getting off the ship. This was where the ship started its two sea day trip back to Sydney.
After enjoying the spectacular view of the Island from the ship, I went to the International Food Court for lunch with my family. When we finished eating, I left my group and went to the Princess Theatre for the movie ‘Rush Hour 3.’
Dinner time came, and we all went to the Allegro Dinning Room for the later seating. I’m a huge party animal and the 70’s Ultimate Deck Party was on tonight so when I finished eating, I went to the cabin to get ready for the party. Everyone was encouraged to get dressed up as their ‘favourite 70’s Character’ and it was so hot that night because of the tropical Queensland weather so I went as ‘Rizzo from the movie ‘Grease.’ The party finished with everyone dancing the night away in the Sea Walkers night club. It was a fantastic way to celebrate ‘all things 70’s,’ and when the party finished, I returned to the cabin for the night.
Day Eight (Our Second Last Sea Day):
My family woke up at 8:30am on the second last sea day, and enjoyed a yummy breakfast together in the International Food Court. When we all finished eating, we all went to the Vista Lounge for the Line Dancing Class which started at 11am. My Uncle Lindsay and Auntie Sue had never done a Line Dancing Class before but they both absolutely loved it. When the class finished, we remained in the Vista Lounge for the Bingo Tournament, and (unlike my last cruise) I actually won a few times... yippee!
It was then time for lunch, so we all returned to the International Food Court to eat before going our separate ways. I went to the Princess Theatre to watch the movie ‘Odd Ball,’ and (later) a walk around the Promenade Deck; while the others went off and did their own thing before meeting up for our second last dinner in the Allegro Dinning Room.
When we finished eating, we went our separate ways for the rest of the evening. I went to the Sports Deck to watch ‘The Avengers - Age of Ultron’ at Movies Under The Stairs.’ It was very late when the movie ended so I went to the cabin for the rest of the night instead of going to the Sea Walkers Night Club.
Day Nine (Our Final Sea Day): 😢
It’s final sea day for our family cruise. Mum and I woke up to a room serviced breakfast before going our separate ways. I started off at the Sports Deck to watch the movie ‘Red Dog’ on the big screen before going to the Vista Lounge for the final Line Dancing class at sea. When the class ended, I went to the ships Karaoke Suite for the first time with my family where I sang ‘Show Me Heaven by Maria Mckee’ and I dedicated it my Auntie and Uncle who absolutely loved my second Princess Cruises performance.
When the Karaoke Power Hour ended, the we all went to the International Food Court for lunch before going our separate for the rest of the afternoon. I went to the Princess Theatre to watch the movie ‘Snow White and the Huntsman before returning to the cabin to pack because tomorrow the Majestic Princess (Virtual) sails back into Sydney.😢
After our final dinner together in the Allegro Dinning Room we said our final goodbyes to our amazing waiters who did a fantastic job during the ten night cruise and went our separate ways. I went to the Sports Deck to watch the final Movie Under the Stairs. I then went to the Sea Walkers Night Club to dance the night away before returning to the cabin for the final night on board the Majestic Princess (Virtual).
We’ve arrived home:
At 5:30am on Saturday 28th November 2020, the Majestic Princess (Virtual) Cruise Ship sailed into Sydney Harbour, and I woke up just in time to quickly get dressed to film the ships arrival. When the ship docked, I returned to the cabin to collect the rest of my belongings before leaving the cabin and going to the International Food Court for (Breakfast) our final meal on board the ship.
After breakfast, we purchased a take away coffee from the ships cafe and took it to our disembarkation area to wait for our group number to be called out. My mum, Auntie Sue, Uncle Lindsay, and I disembarked from the ship together at 11am, and it went smoothly. We got off the massive cruise ship, collected our luggage, and walked back to Circular Quay Station and court the train to Bondi Junction. A Taxi met us at the Station. We put our luggage in the trunk of the car, and went to Lindsay and Sues place for a few days before flying back to Melbourne.
Thanks everyone at Princess Cruises for a fantastic virtual cruise.
I look forward to doing the cruise ‘FOR REAL’ one day.