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Everything posted by CalgaryMac

  1. The Canadian government extended the border closing to the end of November. The government is starting a trial at the Calgary Airport and the Coutts land crossing where travellers are given the option of quarantining for 14 days or taking a COVID test. If negative the traveller is expected to repeat the test about 1 week later and if that is negative then the traveller is no longer quarantined and can travel freely. I assume that there will be penalties should you not get the second test. Details will need to be explained. Some travellers are now scheduled for court appearances with the potential to receive fines and/or jail time for noncompliance with health department directives. We won't travel until we know that Health Canada has approved regimens for travel on airplanes and on ships.As much as we would like to take cruises we decided that our health had to be a priority - death would be bad enough but living with ongoing symptoms after recovery could be just as bad or worse. Take care everyone!
  2. Given that there seems to be considerable evidence that wearing masks reduces the risk for the wearer and others, we will wear masks on cruises. It was not long ago that we all saw on the news the conditions on a number of cruise ships caught in the early days of COVID. I am not a gambling type of person so will do what is practical and evidence based to reduce risk. I hope that others will do the same. It is disheartening to read that some people still dismiss the benefits of mask wearing.
  3. Our cruise through the Panama Canal on the Wonder was cancelled and we have no other reservations. We live in Canada and our government has banned nonessential travel which obviously includes vacationing. We can travel within Canada although flights are nothing like in pre-COVID days. We tested negative and have had no symptoms. We are retired so it is easier to stay home as we have no concerns about work, getting kids to school, etc.. Luckily we have a great patio and the weather has been warm this summer. We have lots of streaming services on TV and we have reduced our television stations significantly - tired of news about COVID and the US election (all discouraging). We had to adjust to a new shopping experience - we have never had to wait in lines to get into a store in our lives. Luckily businesses and people adapted and shopping is as easy as pre-COVID. My doctor now does my health monitoring over the telephone and our pharmacist has stayed effective and efficient as he always is. Initially medications were being rationed (only 30 day supply at a time) but that has ended. Our city has mandated mask wearing in indoor public places. The vast majority are abiding by the rules. Fines are being levied on people who routinely make no effort to wear a mask. Americans are not allowed to cross the border except for essential trips. Some have flaunted Canadian regulations with pretty significant consequences. One man from Alaska repeatedly visited tourist spots over a few days (Canadians are reporting cars with foreign license plates). He now must appear in court and faces jail time as well as a $500,000 fine (YES - $500,000!!). Americans can travel through Canada if they are on the way to Alaska but are not to visit tourist areas and are to travel directly without unnecessary stopping. So we are living okay and our mood is positive. I look for potential cruises in the future but am kind of alarmed at how much future cruises on Disney are filling up. Some have few accommodation choices left. Mind you flights to departure ports are currently in short supply which adds to the challenge of travelling. We have had great times visiting the US and going on cruises but we are thinking that those days might be passed.
  4. Having a COVID specific thread seems beneficial if it is accurate and related to Oceania’s protocols. I do want to know what the protocols will be and I am also interested in knowing the success or non success of the protocols. We will wait until there are protocols supported by a public health agency (e.g. Health Canada, CDC) and that there are effective responses to issues that develop. However the information needs to credible and substantiated not only opinions or feelings.
  5. All the comments make me think that Oceania could be our next trip. We are okay with the clothing options.
  6. We experienced our first homophobic interaction on a cruise in February 2019. The woman sitting behind me in a restaurant hit my chair and apologized (or I hit hers and apologized). We exchanged a few pleasantries and then she stated (not asked) about our being gay. It turned out that she was a religious fanatic and started to quote Bible verses and then referred to us as sinners. I told her that we don't believe in religious fantasies so her quotes were wasted on us. She suggested that we had chosen our lifestyle and in response I told her that the day I accepted myself and came out was perhaps one of the most exciting and memorable days of my life. I asked her what it was like when she chose to be heterosexual. She became confused - to her being married was the only choice she was aware of. Precisely! The saddest part of it was that she has a gay son who is a professor at a university. His being gay was her focus rather than his achievements. She said that she never has conversations with him about his being gay - smart son to avoid the diatribe. We might be perceived as unfriendly but it is because we are generally a quiet couple content to do our thing. I love to talk to anyone while my partner takes time to open up. To his chagrin he thinks that I talk too much and wishes that I would stay quiet. Not likely to happen in this lifetime! We don't know the stories of the other passengers so what we see as unfriendly might relate to something totally different. We can send then positive energy and wish them well - quietly if that is best. Take care everyone and let's hope COVID gets figured out sooner than later. We are eager to go on another cruise - Panama Canal!
  7. We received a refund for a cruise that we cancelled. We received 100% back ($13,000 or so) as we cancelled before the deadline. At the time we were warned that the refund might take longer than usual as the banks were also dealing with increased activity due to so many people needing to cancel. It all worked out but as people mention it was later than was normal.
  8. We cancelled a cruise scheduled for November and got a 100% refund as we cancelled early. I saw the other day that the cruise has been cancelled now. We would love to plan and go on a cruise but until there seems to be better consensus about how to keep everyone safe, we will just wait it out. We might all need to get used to wearing masks and keeping our distance in the next few years.
  9. We cancelled a cruise scheduled for November on Disney. We had paid the fare in full and were able to get a full refund so long as we cancelled prior to the deadlines indicated by Disney. We received the full refund relatively quickly. I am glad that we cancelled as it is not just the cruise portion of the trip but the challenges with flying and the fact that the Canadian government has been extending the "ban" on nonessential travel outside of Canada. The situation has not improved substantially and we have all our money. Disappointed about cancelling but a vacation is not fun when there are many challenges.
  10. I was unsettled by posts on another board where some CC contributors were suggesting faking a doctor's signature so that the form could be handed in as required. The medical form is only as credible as the people handing it in to a cruise line. It is disappointing.
  11. We cancelled our trip scheduled for November 2020. There is so much uncertainty about COVID that we felt it was more prudent to stay home and wait until the situation is more settled. Should I get sick from anything I prefer to be in my own bed and I prefer to have access to our medical system. On our last cruise there was a respiratory outbreak and at each port there were people subject to medical evacuation by ambulance. I don't think that I would feel comfortable with the medical services available at some of the ports that cruise ships stop at - ones in Nicaragua for example.
  12. Given that many people with COVID can be asymptomatic it is pretty difficult to know who among us (or on a cruise) has the virus. More importantly is whether I want to deal with the virus on a personal level should I catch it. I much prefer to forego travelling and be close to home and our medical system should I become sick.
  13. We cancelled our cruise through the Panama Canal scheduled for November 2020. It is a long way off but given the uncertainty with COVID we decided to wait until the air clears. We wanted to get a full refund (which we have received) so decided to cancel early. It did take longer for the refund to be processed through our credit card and we were cautioned by Disney that the process was taking longer than normal. Given the volume of work on the part of Disney as well as the credit card company the delay seemed reasonable to us. The credit card company was so overwhelmed that they were not answering their phone or taking messages. They did have a process for people needing more immediate help.
  14. Thanks for sharing your experience. We are taking the EBPC in November and hope that by then it will be a go. It's great to know that Disney puts the passengers first.
  15. We have only cruised 4 times. On the 3rd and 4th cruises we decided to try a different cruise line because they offered a wider variety of 14 day cruises and we like the longer experience. We didn't have the best experiences on either of these cruises so we will go back to the original line.
  16. Your travel insurance is invalidated if you lie about your health and I think forging a doctor's signature would equally disqualify you. I was brought up to be truthful - what's happened with people?!
  17. Insurance companies are changing their policies so they won't cover any losses if you book now as the impact of COVID is well known to us all. Besides I think governments are making the decision for most of us - Canada is not allowing cruise ships to come to port and many other countries are doing the same.
  18. Anything can happen and if you are flying on the day of the sailing then you must trust your luck.
  19. Respiratory infections can be deadly to some people and if you are prone to them I have to wonder why take the risk? I really like cruising but only so long as my health is not compromised by potential risks. Death woiuld be the ultimate consequence but chronic consequences of an infection could end up being worse.
  20. Do you have cancellation/travel insurance? We purchased this for a cruise in November 2020 on the Wonder. The insurance kicks in if one of us is directed by our physicians not to travel or if the government issues direction that cancels the cruise. Canada has banned cruise ships from landing and travel is curtailed both in Canada and the United States. There is no indication of when these restrictions might end. I would likely cancel and keep my money given the risks. We have until early July to cancel with a full refund so we are monitoring the situation closely.
  21. Like others who have reported I take more medications than needed for the trip. I take them in their original bottle and they \usually last 90 days. I have heard that bringing a prescription for your medications might good in case things last longer than planned.
  22. We were on a Princess cruise last year an d there was a respiratory outbreak. A number of passengers were sick and there were some who had to be evacuated by ambulance at various ports. Despite this Princess did not alter operations such as changing the way buffets function (no changes at all) and we had concerns about the cleaning of the room. We likely won't take a Princess cruise again given our experience and also based on what we are reading about Princess and COVID-19. We were on a Disney cruise when a GI outbreak occurred. They changed the buffet operations (served food from a crew member) and we felt more comfortable with how cleaning was done (e.g. having any used glasses replaced with machine washed glasses). We also bring sanitation towels and go over all services and other places where bugs could hide. I read in the Orlando paper today that Disney plans to increase cabin cleaning during their cruises in addition to door knobs etc. We also need to all do our part - wash hands, don't go if sick. There is nothing worse than being away from home when you are sick even if it is a Disney cruise.
  23. We are scheduled to take the Wonder though the Panama Canal in November. Canadian health officials are also recommending not taking cruise vacations. November is a long way off so we plan to sit and monitor. We can cancel with full refund before July 9. Otherwise we bought cancellation and medical insurance ($1400 for two of us). The insurance only applies if our physician tells either of us that we are not well enough to travel or if the government issues a statement shutting down cruise trips or Disney cancels the sailing. We are okay with the limitations as we are looking forward to going.
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