We are in the Red Sea – and last evening we had an announcement from the Captain (Dimitrios Flokos) that we had a medical emergency on board and we would be turning back and into the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia -not a planned stop on our itinerary! So I included their flag.
At about 3 AM. we were at that port and a woman who had chest pain was taken (with her husband) off the ship and into an ambulance. Norm went up to the top deck to snap these shots of the port:
We don’t know anything about the status of the passenger, she was on the segment from Barcelona to Dubai, not the world cruise. I hope they will keep us posted and that she will be OK.
And yesterday, the man in the stateroom next to us (Joe from Australia) was on his balcony and leaned over to offer Norm a beer from Jordan. Much to our surprise, here is the kind of beer it was:
And here is the Fanta and Coke Light (as they call it in this part of the world) that we had in Petra!
We have 2 more sea days and tomorrow we enter the Gulf of Aden which is the part that is next to Somalia. The piracy drill was to leave our rooms and sit on the floor in the interior hallways. Deck 5 has many hoses out and extra people on watch, although they don’t expect any problem. The Captain hosted a question and answer session yesterday with the HR manager and the General Manager. He said that pirate activity has decreased dramatically in the last 4 years due to the presence of Navy ships, etc, and that cargo ships are most often the target. This is for 2 reasons – one – they are lower to the sea and easier to board, and two, there are often only 6 – 8 crew aboard, not 650 passengers and 400 crew, so much easier for them to overtake. Our ship also can go fast and it is hard to pursue.
Our captain has been aboard cruise ships for many years but during his training he worked on cargo ships too. He said that the main difference is that “cargo doesn’t talk!” He talked about 400 tons of water a day that go through the desalination process, explained the sewage treatment system on board and also talked about his own career.
We were invited for dinner with Carol Harrington, the destinations manager, and had a lovely evening with her and another couple, Barbara and David, who are also on the world cruise.
Our next port, Salalah, Oman, will be on Tuesday. We will visit a Souq -a traditional market, the Grand Mosque and the Al Balid archeological site.