I have sailed with HAL before and liked it. It should have been the same this time. For the first time in my life I was to see Total Solar Eclipse. I did not want to gamble with this once in a life opportunity by trying to observe from land and be depended on weather. At least cruise ship can seek clear skies.
I was not in it for the cruise. I have seen all the ports before. We were there for one thing only,"Eclipse". We had extra sea day because of port cancellation. On the day of Solar Eclipse was some cloud with some patches of blue sky. In the distance we could see blue sky all around and light reflecting in the sea. Ship continued at cruising speed under the cloud as eclipse started. Astronomers were in contact with bridge urging to move from under the cloud into clearing and to gain some speed. None was done. Bridge staff informed that they are following way points. Just as the totality started clouds thinned and we were able to observe totality for 1min 20sec through thin clouds and then clouds blocked our view again. Totality should have lasted 2m 36s We lost half of the totality and second diamond ring. Once totality was over we entered clear skies for the rest of a day. We have been sitting under the cloud for the entire totality with blue skies all around us. We could have as well missed the eclipse has it not been for the thinning cloud. So the very reason why we were on the cruise has been denied to us for no good reason. We have not seen totality in its totality. The ship has maintained its position under the cloud with blue skies all around. Some explanation by HAL need to be made why no effort was made to get us into a clear skies just few miles away.