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Posts posted by Kiwifromkiev

  1. On 3/4/2021 at 11:43 AM, Bellaggio Cruisers said:

    Time for the CDC to re-evaluate cruising. Biden says there will be enough vaccine for all Americans by May. 

    The issue is that unless the cruise line makes vaccinations a compulsory prerequisite to board - there might be non-US travelers who have not been vaccinated yet. The other question - what about those who for health reasons can't be vaccinated - will cruise companies discriminate against them? Tough call all around. 

  2. 9 minutes ago, mrlevin said:


    Definitely.  We (almost) always book Cat H cabins; we are definitely not high flyers with Regent.  I think Regent tries to keep all their customers happy so that they become repeat customers.  Of course, there seem to be those one or two that berate the staff; that definitely won't get you anywhere with Regent.

    This makes me want (even more so) for our first planned but postponed RSS cruise to happen. It is not just the cruise line - airlines, NZ border rules (currently going away and returning one must spend 2 weeks in a hotel in isolation at $3k + time off work - not a go for most not-high-fliers I am afraid 🙂 )

  3. 11 hours ago, mrlevin said:

    Nothing is (was) too outlandish to request.  On our 25th anniversary we got Prime 7 to make us carrot cake; our favorite.  Then, we were serenaded by Ray and Nature's Rhythm.  For my wife's 50th birthday, we had a special dinner in Compass Rose (there were actually two birthdays in our group).  They came up with special menu, set up a table for 12, and we invited the Captain who accepted (Captain Knute).


    You really want to talk to Dining Room Manager as soon as you board if you want the celebration in the restaurant.



    Marc, do you think that the same treatment (generosity) would be extended to a new RSSC cruiser? It is a common knowledge in the industry that "high flyers" (or rather high floaters 🙂 ) can expect more "looking after"? Disclaimer - I am not planning any special occasions, just being genuinely curious?


  4. On 6/23/2020 at 4:51 AM, Travelcat2 said:

    Now can we get back to the topic of the value of FCC's.  Another good thing about FCC's is that there is no limit as to how many times they can be transferred.  We already booked one cruise that was canceled - transferred the FCC's to another cruise that may be canceled.  If it is, we'll transfer the FCC's again.  IMO, this is a good thing.

    TC2, how does this work - when we received FCC, it had to be used for travel within 2 years and booked within 1 (as I recall). Back in early March, it seemed that by October 2021everything would be back to normal (ha, what a joke!). So I am just trying to understand - are you saying that it can be re-booked, but only if the cruise is cancelled?

  5. 6 hours ago, napoxoguk said:

    I'm sorry, but this take doesn't align with my experience, except to the extent that gone-by days and nowadays are indeed very different.

    looking at your handle, you might have some experience with Russian language or heritage ties... I think that, by default, SP is a friendlier place than Moscow or many other cities. Nevertheless, things have changed a lot. I am not talking about tour guides - hence recommendation of a private tour in the Hermitage. However wondering the streets is a different story altogether - and I am sure you understand that in 9/10 times a foreigner can be easily picked up in Russia (and discriminated or prayed upon). It is better be safe than sorry.

  6. 1 hour ago, phillipahain said:

    was incredulous at the Malachite columns etc in Church if Spilled Blood or was it Cathedral ?  

    It is in the St Isaac's Cathedral (note - the photo is not mine, mighty Google)


    Russia - Saint Isaac's Cathedral | Cathedral, Place of worship, Church

  7. 23 hours ago, mrlevin said:

    Thanks for all the reports.  We were in St Petersburg for three days on Voyager in 2009; the first year of included excursions; we did six excursions in the three days including Hermitage with Gold Room. So, this time we want to be more focused.  Sounds like two to four hours is norm for Hermitage so we need to decide whether to take Regent tour or private guide for the day.  We also want to see Faberge Museum as we didn't go there last time.


    Go Army, I know your concerns about traveling in certain countries.  When I worked in Brussels we would take four day weekends to various cities in Europe.  We took a four day trip to Moscow where we had private driver and guide but there were times where we rode Metro or train (to airport) by ourselves.  We have also travelled extensively in China on our own.  None of those trips seemed to raise any issues when updating my SF86.


    Pappy, did you use Red October?


    Again, thanks for all the input!



    Marc, trust me - Russia today is very different to what it was in 2009. It is very different to what it was even 5 years ago. In the gone by days of the USSR people in general were in awe of foreigners and although shadowed by KGB - foreigners were reasonably safe. Nowadays, many people hate Americans, Police and special forces are corrupt and have no regard to foreigners. People are easily caught on a wrong side of the street. The bottom line - do not do it on your own. The Hermitage - a private guide is the best option. Everywhere else - stay close with your RSSC group. IMHO (and experience)


    • Thanks 1
  8. On 8/12/2020 at 3:55 AM, mrlevin said:



    PS If they close self service laundries, what about people that like to self wash more delicate items?  What about people that like to iron?  What about singles (and others) that use self service laundries as a way to meet fellow guests?  Will they totally get rid of the laundries and turn them into additional crew quarters?

    I think during these times you (and everybody else - regardless of their SSS or the equivalent on another line) should be happy with any measures put in place to minimize places of potential transmission, not to bicker about your "lost entitlements". As to washing more delicate stuff -     if need be, you can always do some special items in your cabin. It's a minor inconvenience after all.

  9. On 7/3/2020 at 11:26 AM, Travelcat2 said:

    Sometimes Regent follows Oceania, sometimes Oceania follows Regent and other times they do their own thing (after all, they have different CEO's).  I would not count on Regent changing the date for final payment.  IMO, we are fortunate that we can cancel and get FCC's.  Under normal circumstances, many people would have to pay a penalty for canceling.

    TC2, with respect - at the moment FCC appear to be quite an uncertainty as nobody knows

    1. When cruising resumes

    2. If cruising resumes - will the ships be accepted in all ports, some of the ports or none?

    3. Will cruisers be able to travel to their cruise destinations or will be restricted by quarantines in their country of residence (i.e. 14 days on arrival)?

    With these questions in mind, even125% FCC is not as attractive option as it may seem.


    When we took the option of 100% FCC in March - i was confident we will be able to cruise in October 2021 (18 months later). Now - not so confident at all ...


    But...remain hopeful still!


    • Like 2
  10. 3 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

    At this moment, I feel fairly confident about our November cruise this year and October cruise next year.  It is cruises in January, February, March and April 2021 that I'm concerned about.  A lot may depend upon how quickly they can find a preventative vaccine or a cure.  Trying to stay positive.


    TC2, why are confident about November, but not January, February, March and April? I mean, if it is ok to cruise in November (unlikely, IF) - then months after that should be ok too?


    • Thanks 1
  11. 3 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

    I now predict that cruise lines will do what the United States is doing ......... extending the shut-down until April 30th (at which time it will be re-evaluated).  I could be wrong........ I could be right........ we'll learn tomorrow.

    sadly, what the US is doing is not necessarily a beacon of hope for many  ... 😞 ( I don't want to start the political discussion here, just merely noting - how many of us would be happy to go on a cruise now if the situation was like the current on in NY, or CA?) 

    • Like 1
  12. On 3/24/2020 at 1:28 PM, Travelcat2 said:

    I feel like I'm living in the Twilight Zone! 

    P.S.  Off topic........ for years I followed psychic Sylvia Browne (who passed away about 7 years ago).  One of her predictions had to do with a severe illness that would affect your lungs would hit the world "around 2020".  This illness would suddenly appear and would disappear just as suddenly only to return in 10 years.  Do I believe it?  Not necessarily but the part about the year and lungs does make me wonder.......

    There are a lot of various theories doing rounds. One does not know what to believe. However, I do think that humans needed this wake up call to re-valuate our values, what's important and what's not. We are (in NZ) at the end of day 3 of a 4-week (at this stage, could be longer) lock down. And suddenly you understand that so many "important" things are not really matter that much! Today I did not have garlic whilst making an Italian dish, oh shock horror! normally I would have jumped in a car and drove to get it. Today? I just laughed it off and used garlic salt instead. Nobody complained, and the wine tasted even better! (mind you, it was a 2010 Merlot, but who counts, right?  🙂 Hope you and your DH weather this out and enjoy Regent again, soon!

  13. New Zealand has closed its ports for all cruises from tonight until 30 June. All passengers arriving in NZ ( with exception of a few Pacific islands ) must self isolate for 14 days. There are other restrictions in place too. We are now one of the highest restriction imposed countries. Although deemed good for health , negative impact on economy will me massive. 

    • Like 1
  14. 21 minutes ago, TrulyBlonde said:

    Please, I know who you think provided that info. False!  When the birthday photos on your blog etc. came out, I was quite amazed at the age. I also complimented both of you, and I think your husband looks very fit and would have guessed he was between 70 and 80. I think he is adorable.

    Now, let's talk about Elder Abuse!

    I am sorry, I do not know you, TB, and neither I know TC2. However, somehow your posts about her and her DH appear to be  "backhanded" compliments. If you are genuinely concern and find TC2's DH "adorable" this is really a good time to stop.


    • Like 1
  15. 10 minutes ago, wcsdkqh said:

    It is not an invasion of privacy if TC2 discussed age and health in prior post. You can’t have it both ways.


    41 minutes ago, TrulyBlonde said:

    I assume you are discussing my comment about your husband's age. When you did your blog on your last cruise when it was his birthday, his age was discussed. That is the only way I knew it and you posted numerous photos.

    Did not mean to offend you, just concerned for the both of you.  It puts him in a very high category for something to happen if he gets exposed to COVID-19. 


    Most of us would not have seen this discussion. There is no reason to disclose other person's information, even if you did see i somewhere. There is a reason why most - if not all - people here use handles. if a person is concerned about someone's age just referring to your/your DW/DH etc "age" or "age to be of a concern" is sufficient, without going into specifics. IMHO

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