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Everything posted by Shorex

  1. Starting with #3: "3) Looking at travel insurance, what happens if husband or wife tests positive for COVID? Is only that person's coverage invoked? Or can one actually get the entire price of the cruise and airfare paid by the insurance? (I've never had to deal with travel insurance before)" For all of our many insured cruises, and two were expeditions to Antarctica, the terms and conditions of the insurance would provide coverage if one of the couple became injured or ill pre-cruise and thus canceled the cruise. There was no expectation that the healthy partner would cruise. Covid was treated as any other illness that would preclude travel. Be aware that the insurance usually does not cover 100% of costs incurred. Recommend you visit the travel insurance board on CC: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/499-cruisetravel-insurance/ and that you pay a visit to https://tripinsurancestore.com/ for specific answers to your questions. "2) Are we fools to book at all with a cruise line offering no consideration for Covid risks, while forcing us to be exposed to a greater risk of possible infection via a forced night's stay in Buenos Aries?" No. Prepare for covid risks by purchasing a travel insurance policy that meets your needs and covers other potential risks. The burden is on the traveler to protect their financial interests. "1) Are we fools for paying so much, when we could seemingly go twice for this price in a less elegant ship, and with less-esteemed naturalists? Absolutely everything is included, down to "open bar" and all gratuities, but still... pricey. " No. It's so easy to compare numerous cruise lines that do expeditions to Antarctica. Do the research, put together a spreadsheet, and figure out the best expedition for you. Our first expedition was on the Marco Polo (now defunct), an old ship with a fantastic expedition staff that was led by Peter Hillary, son of Sir Edmund. Second expedition was on Seabourn, a luxury experience and great in a different way. One thing to note: the expedition leaders from all the cruise lines tend to know each other and support each other. They share info between cruise lines about ice conditions and weather. Antarctica can be the adventure of a lifetime. If you go.
  2. PG may or may not offer this excursion: https://aquasafaribora.com/en/ On two separate cruise stops in Bora Bora (it was so great the first time) we booked this excursion. And we would again!
  3. Have not been on both -- however, the primary difference is that the Paul Gauguin is a luxury cruise ship and the Aranui 5 is half passenger ship, half cargo ship. Recommend you check out the review here on CC: https://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=1234 Click through all 6 headings. Youtube is another great resource. Here are two on the PG: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVuoEvFvQ5c https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcNXKoRI13U Here's one about the Aranui 5: My opinion is that the PG would be more kid friendly, but either way your family will have a great adventure.
  4. If medical coverage is important, then definitely look at buying your own insurance. An important factor for us is that the medical coverage is primary, not secondary. With secondary coverage you must first submit all medical bills to your insurer at home, wait for a ruling (almost always denied if you received treatment outside of the US), and only then submit to the travel insurance company. It's important to read the fine print of policy, not just the overview.
  5. Question for those on-board now: is the jacket/parka provided by Seabourn enough for an Alaska cruise? Or should we be bringing a cold weather jacket of our own? Thanks for sharing the information.
  6. I know of cruisers who have used both Luggage Forward and Luggage Free successfully - from home to cruise port or hotel and cruise port to home. The service is not inexpensive. I would recommend studying the website for each service and then giving them a call. Ask about pricing, tracking, insurance, etc. There may be other similar companies.
  7. Every now and then, someone asks about packing cubes. The discussion always goes the same way. Those who utilize them and are happy with them express their opinion. Those who have no interest or need for them express their opinion. The OP who asked for information, receives information and subsequently makes an independent decision. In the end, no one really cares how anyone else packs.
  8. We have also cruised on numerous lines and the OBC policies were always the same -- that OBC could not be used for a deposit on a future cruise.
  9. Cruise lines are very reluctant to provide visa advice, especially when the traveler does not hold a US/Canadian/UK/EU passport. They want to avoid liability if their advice is incorrect or even simply misunderstood. Personally, if I held a Taiwan passport I would go to a Mexican embassy or consulate to discuss the necessary documentation. And I would have plenty of backup proof to show RC personnel who will be doing the doc check at the pier. One thing experienced cruisers know is that not getting off the ship at a particular port does not excuse them from having all the necessary paperwork. The ship will be in Mexican waters and subject to all the laws of Mexico.
  10. Have a look at tripinsurancestore.com for a master class in travel insurance. If you still have questions, "Call Steve, Deanna or Kim at 888-407-3854 or 816-282-6858, or email us for the right Travel Insurance advice from the most recommended travel insurance website." Steve is an insurance broker, but you will never pay anything extra for their advice or guidance. There is another travel insurance website that has been recommended: https://www.insuremytrip.com/ Between the two resources, you will find the right plan for you.
  11. We will be disembarking our cruise in Italy in early July. The cruise line offers free tests administered the day before for those flying back to the states on the day of disembarkation. Check out the health protocols on your cruise line, perhaps they do as well.
  12. Windstar does have numerous cruises focusing on Japan in 2023. Just click "Asia" on the "Find a cruise" link on the home page and they all appear. Just scroll past the cruises that spotlight other areas. We do have one booked for late 2023 but we are not committing any non-refundable funds until there is virtual certainty. Opinions of a few posters on cruise critic will not mean anything. As to when Japan will open to tourism, everyone is guessing.
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