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Everything posted by CalgaryMac

  1. I wonder about this myself but at the moment I can manage easily and 2 weeks is about the longest I want to be away from home. However as my health changes I might need to make changes to how I travel rather than pushing the envelope with respect to arranging treatments. At some point I think that I will find the extra effort and worry concerning medications and treatments might change my desire to travel.
  2. We always book our own flights as I have found that the flights offered through the cruise line are not always the best priced and sometimes the route suggested is a milk run across North America. We like to travel business class and find it easier to book ourselves. I normally Strat with a site like Kayak to see which airlines might be offering sales and then check the specific site of the air line that we think suits us best. We have found some really good deals over the years.
  3. I am the chatty one in our relationship. My partner wishes I would sit quietly and leave people alone but it is not my nature. He feels that it is like I am interrogating people but to me it is just a chance to hopefully meet interesting people or people with interesting stories. I find that most people are great and only a few are avoidable.
  4. I have been watching the new series. It appears to be pre-COVID as there is no mask wearing and there is no mention of COVID in the show.
  5. My partner was planning to get a second dose of AZ but when we tried to book the appointment for the second shot the web site stated that there were no locations where AZ was available. So he chose Pfizer. That was fine until we heard more reports of the mixed vaccinations not being accepted by the US. He went back and got to Pfizer last week. I wish the governments had made an effort to work this out long time ago.
  6. You are lucky that you can identify other gay people. My gaydar has never worked so a meeting or a sign would help me. However I find that religious fanatics usually have no problem identifying me as gay.
  7. I think we travel less since retirement. When we were both working we seemed to pack 3 or 4 week long cruises or hotel vacations in a year. Work always seemed to add pressure to be home. Now we take 1 or 2 2-week cruises a year. We like the extra time to relax. We have not been away from home for over 2 years largely due to cancellations and COVID uncertainty. We have a Hawaii cruise planned for October 2022 and after that we’ll see what the possibilities are.
  8. There needs to be more limitations on Americans if we want to select countries that are experiencing high rates of spread. No country seems to be spared so best to get vaccines spread as widely as possible.
  9. I am also pleased to see a place for Canadians to discuss cruising. We had to cancel a booking (or rather it was cancelled) and it seemed discouraging whether or when cruising would resume. We have a booking for October 2022 (Vancouver-Hawaii-Vancouver) on Holland America. We have a number of friends who liked HA. I would like to see cruises that go from Canada's west coast to Canada's east coast with some stops along the way. We took a cruise to Hawaii from Vancouver and the large number of Canadian passengers seemed to change the tone somewhat. Thanksgiving happened during the cruise and Princess made extra effort to celebrate with Turkey dinners and a huge Canadian flag in the lobby.
  10. I have two Pfizer vaccinations and my partner has an Astra Zeneca and a Pfizer. Astra Zeneca was unavailable for a second shot so we went with Pfizer. Due to this policy about mixed vaccinations we are likely going to have to cancel our cruise. Fortunately we have until July 10, 2022 to cancel and receive our deposit back in full. There needs to be a universal policy based on vaccine effectiveness regardless of the brand of the vaccine. Also it needs to be based on science and medical experts - not the politicians who seem to try to take over the discussion.
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. All the comments make me think that Oceania could be our next trip. We are okay with the clothing options.
  16. 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!
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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