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Everything posted by Bookishcruiser

  1. Sorry for the delay in responding. tough trip home with an extra night in Chicago due to a late flight from London. Funsies. Masks in all indoor spaces. Other than that, no real difference. Everything was open except maybe in the airports. Highlights for me were Burano/Torcello as well as all of Susan’s excursions. I also really loved the separate excursion I did to lake Como. Definitely worth an extra day in Milan. That said, the ship itself with all the great people was the best overall. I did learn on the last day that Uniworld had started with 24 passengers. Then 39. Ours was 55 and theY were expecting 64 this week.
  2. Yesterday was Torricello and Brumano. Both were absolutely delightful. There was murano in the afternoon but I stayed on the ship and enjoyed transiting the lagoon. today was the Rialto market and watching the chef buy food for our dinner. Also great. He explained what he was buying and why. Tomorrow is disembarkation, which is quite sad. It has been a great trip. The small crowds were amazing and likely not be be repeated. oh… I have been in cabin 402 which is the first cabin next to reception. It’s got a French balcony. Which means the window opens. No issues with noise. Minimal issues with crowds around the desk. 401 might have better views but I was happy with this cabin. I don’t know if I would do this class again since the opening window didn’t seem super important.
  3. For the flights, just don’t do what I did. Terrible long layover at JFK. And going home is Venice to London to Chicago to Phoenix. There is usually a nonstop from London to Phoenix on American/ British Airways but they canceled that. hopefully it’ll be back soon. It usually cheaper on the American Airlines website. For me those are the best option to and from Europe. Uniworld wasn’t an option because I wanted business class and they would only guarantee business class on the long haul flights. So, instead of first class domestically (normal), they might have put me in economy. Weird. And about the same price.
  4. Correct. No bubbles. They keep track of who is on the bus together for contact tracing. But not terribly consistently. ok. The jars appear in the first photo which is sideways. Sorry all. Not great with the tech. And the typos.
  5. Today was Chioggia. The boat’s GPS broke and we were there a few extra hours. The market was great and then we all ended up at the beach. It spite of the hiccup it was another great day. Because lunch wasn’t available on the ship, we all got 20 euros for lunch. Nice of Uniworld. we are still visiting Burano, though the shops will be closed tonight while we are there.
  6. Oh my goodness, Ritabob, I totally agree with you about the decor. I love it in all of is over the top glory. The room itself is small. The bed, a small desk on one side and a night stand on the other is the extent of it. There is a small stool on the other side (yes, it is the same print). It’s perfectly nice. The bathroom is compact but enough room. the lounge is lovely. Fingers crossed on the photos. I think they are sideways. Sorry. But note the candy and cookie jars in the last one.
  7. Today was Bologna. It was a full day... walking tour (not super), free time (super) and pasta making demo and lunch (super duper). Had our second COVID test this afternoon without issue. So that is a relief. Really enjoying the small group of 55. I’m pretty I’ve talked to everyone on the ship at this point. There has been a bit of talk about the room decor. It is very very busy. I’ve tried to add a photo but who knows. Let’s just say that there is pattern everywhere. Walls. Drapes. Even the ceiling. It all matches. Soothing it is not.
  8. Yes on other dinner options though I haven’t tried them. There is a chef’s table, I think, that costs extra. There is supposed to be a pizza option up on the sun deck starting tomorrow. And a couple of panini in the lounge. The screen was up on deck for the Europe Cup! Very well attended and lots of fun. today’s excursion was great. Chioggia walking tour, boat ride and then a truly delightful stop at a rural villa (Ca’Zen Estate) for local nibbles, wine and beer. Now on the river Po. I really can’t say enough nice things about this cruise.
  9. Just looked back at the early posts... when I may or may not have been partially asleep and missed some questions. The ship is gorgeous. Pristine. I gather some ships have some additional features. But the ship seems like new. As for lake Como, it is gorgeous. Go now. Bellagio in particular was charming. Not too busy right now. Lugano as well, though it didn’t seem quite as authentic... though that may not mean much given that they are both largely tourist towns. feel free to ask again if I didn’t answer you. I have gotten such great advice over the years here and am very happy to help.
  10. Taking one for the team 😀I went to evaluate the candy situation. Indeed there are large vats if candies and cookies behind the bar. No licorice to be found, but some yummy caramel. COVID-19 test at end of cruise is 132 euros. Ouch but really don’t know the cost elsewhere. In the better news category, I can use the OBC that I was wondering what could possibly Spend it on. No idea why but I was slightly surprised by that. The test is right on the boat. Vaccine does not appear to be required. No one from Uniworld asked for my card. That said, you have to be vaccinated to get into Italy without quarantine so not sure anyone should rely on that. There is entertainment two nights this week. A singer of various types of songs. And opera night. There are also some evening activities. Last night was a private tour of St. Marks. Stunning. And I think there is a walking tour another night.
  11. Cloth masks are fine. Have not seen any gators, so I don’t know about those. Yes, masks in corridors and the lounge, but not the lowering and raising thing like on planes. If you have a drink in front of you, that seems to do the trick. At the buffet, you need your mask and they serve you from the stations. It’s a slightly awkward dance, but I suspect as we get used to it, that will be smoother. On the tables, I just don’t know, I would guess no On this trip because they seem pretty firm that we need to stay at our tables. But they seem to consider the tour groups as bubbles too, and those were about 15 people each today. Venice is so lovely and uncrowded! Probably 20 people in St. Marks square this morning. When was it ever like that in recent memory. We learned today that we need a second COVID test mid week. And then one as we get off the ship at our own cost. Which is not a big deal to me since we need it to get back into the US. It is all still fabulous and I feel very lucky to be here.
  12. On the boat! WiFi wasn’t working yesterday but all is well now. Yesterday was Verona and winery lunch. Both were great. We got there early and saw Juliette’s balcony with no waiting then a bit of free time and then over to the Roman arena. Very nice. Embarkation was easy. We did a quick saliva test up on the sun deck before being allowed elsewhere on the ship. 55 people on board. Mostly Americans but one Canadian and one German group. Masks inside but not out. There is polite enforcement. The crew is quite happy to have us back. Having not been on Uniworld before, I’m not the best to discuss changes. But they did say there are usually snacks around. You have to ask for them now. Same for candy jars? And pastries in the AM before breakfast. Also, we had to pick a table last night and will stay there all week. That said, I am solo and was allowed to sit with a larger group... which includes another two solos and 2 couples.
  13. Yes! The hotel is lovely and a great location.
  14. Today was our first Uniworld activity. A Milan city tour, including the Duomo and Last Supper. Tomorrow is Verona and a winery then boarding the ship.
  15. Lake Como tour with Lugano and Bellagio was wonderful. Crowds were minimal and mostly European. But very tired after a long day. Crossing the border to Switzerland and back to Italy were non events. Protocols in Italy are masks indoors but not outside. Only the stores seem really to care. Domestic flight masks were rigorously enforced. Much less so on the international flight. Just so happy to be traveling!
  16. There is A LOT of shopping in milan. Tomorrow is Lake Como. The Uniworld festivities start tomorrow night! Looking forward to meeting my fellow cruisers.
  17. Hi all, After the challenges of changing cruises (once) and flights (4 times), I am in Milan a couple days pre-cruise. Getting here was almost easy after all that. My flights here were uneventful, with no issues with documents. Passport and vaccine card only. No COVID test needed. i had a red eye from Phoenix to JFK Monday night. Then spent the day at the TWAHotel at JFK. The hotel was very cool, a little pricy, and just a bit odd. Then, a second red eye on Tuesday from JFK to Milan. Needless to say, yesterday after arrival was a blur. Sightseeing... ok shopping... but sightseeing sounds so much better, today. A tour to Lake Como tomorrow, then the Uniworld portion begins!
  18. Got cruise docs! Deep sigh of relief.
  19. Still seems to be a go! Still no cruise documents but my TA called Uniworld today and the issue seems to be that I moved my cruise. They say I will get docs tomorrow. I will post if that happens. Booked a tour from Milan to lake como pre cruise today. Italy says I just need my vaccination card to enter but American seems to think I need a COVID test, so I am getting one just in case. No need for extra stress. So. Excited. Thank you so much for checking!
  20. As you probably saw from my post, I am struggling with my flights to Italy in a couple weeks, but I do think it’ll work. So, I think it’ll be better in a few months. Stay the course but prepare to roll with a few punches!!
  21. Finally got through to American. All is, if not well, then ok. The connections are not great. COVID tested flight meant no Italy quarantine until a couple days ago. Needed to fly direct from USA to Italy direct with testing on both ends. But now Italy has no quarantine so don’t worry.
  22. Losing a bit of steam here. Still no flight back home. American called back at 5:30 AM....18 hours later. Then hung up on me. Called back to get in line again. Still no call 13 hours later. It isn’t for the faint of heart.
  23. So... still no cruise documents. And British Airways just cancelled my return flight from London. Waiting for a call back from American. It’s been over 8 hours. I’m still excited but it’s not seamless.
  24. Nope. My TA says not to worry and it is because I changed cruises.
  25. Uniworld was scheduled to begin yesterday with Milan, Venice and the Gems of Northern Italy. The cruise portion actually begins tomorrow. Has anyone heard whether it actually went? Thank you.
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