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Stefan_Varong

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Everything posted by Stefan_Varong

  1. I don’t want to attack your heart, perhaps you can report about your own experience. I have no own experience in this case, I just know that the official Italian information states that those without vaccination need to go into self-isolation. There are a few exceptions, but children are not mentioned among the exceptions. Here the rules for list D countries including special rules for the UK from the Italian government: https://www.salute.gov.it/portale/nuovocoronavirus/dettaglioContenutiNuovoCoronavirus.jsp?lingua=english&id=5412&area=nuovoCoronavirus&menu=vuoto&tab=4 BTW testing is part of every cruise of not only Costa, but an EU rule, Costa takes samples from all passengers from countries having higher infection rates than Italy by PCR test, right now this are indeed most if not all countries from where may be entered into Italy. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OQgsAE4SRnlLCo5BstaKs9QxhX5f-OxR/view What should be added is that the rules could change until the cruise of lynyrd skynyrd, just for sure not yours. But since Italy is not loosening rules generally (I think we all heard about the tight rules for employees in force since a few days) they might be adapted to a changed situation in the UK to both the better and the worse in the view of the Italian authorities.
  2. Reminds me to something one cruise line employee said when handing out stickers: “Couples should stay together, except they want to be divorced.”
  3. We are British are there many British aboard - Usually British are aboard of Costas, but not in huge numbers. Will the ship be operating at full capacity - No, not allowed. Is it true under 12 aren't sailing - No. Costa has no age limit and on the Mediterranean there is legally no vaccination needed for EU citizens and EU residents. This is different for Caribbean destinations, Emirates and the World Cruise. But be aware for British citizens living in the UK there are different regulations. They must be both vaccinated and tested to enter Italy, as far as I know tested to enter Spain. This means practically no UK based kids under 12, but for examples Italian children of all ages. Don’t forget to fill the forms for both Spain and Italy. Can you only go ashore with Costa excursion party - Yes, a legal requirement on all ships under Italian flag (Costa is) and all ships visiting Italy.
  4. Just book the excursion three times separately. Generally there are no reservations in myCosta for getting together on one bus, one tuk tuk, one gondola, or one whatever. Everybody will get a personal ticket, no matter whether there are three guests sharing one cabin or using three separate cabins. Of course couples in one cabin can do different excursions as well. Aboard stickers will be given for different groups (one bus, one tender boat…) and these are given away per group on first comes first served basis, this way the guests will be directed from the ship. Whenever guests want to stay together they should collect their stickers together. Later when groups are split up further just stay together again, no matter whether it is about transportation or being seated at the same table. While three in a single tuk tuk seems a bit narrow to me in all the other situations mentioned it should be no problem at all. Costa staff has always been helpful when it comes to keep a party together.
  5. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences how a Costa cruise looks like these days. Gives me a peace of mind for my upcoming long stay on the Deliziosa soon.
  6. For quite a lot of lines this is true, just not all. Among the international present lines my Costa example generally handles 50%, while surcharges and taxes come per person and by this the payable price remains below the nominal 50%. And Costa offers world cruises every year, which was the question. I also looked at a Cunard world cruise and that was not at double rate. NCL has a system that definitely does not double the price, although I don’t know how the prices are actually calculated. British Marella also generally offers way lower surcharges for solo travellers. However, I came along cruises where a single supplement of more than 100% was asked. I understand that there is a surcharge, but I definitely don’t pay twice the price or more.
  7. Yes, I am booked on the Costa world cruise 2022 for about 50% single supplement, which fits into their usual price policy.
  8. Sure, of course we should have a drink together. I am happy finally to sail again, and to have a good time.
  9. Since I will stay a while in Venice before our cruise I’ll need a print shop for tickets and luggage tags. I found one close to Rialto Bridge, offering everything around copies, internet, digital and paper data: e copie da Toni, C. Giazzo, 5645, 30122 Venezia
  10. Costa says: "Those who come from one of the risk areas and embark in Italian ports or, otherwise, have been in close contact (distance of less than 2 meters for more than 15 minutes) with people who live in one of the risk areas in the 14 days prior to boarding, they must necessarily show up at the boarding terminal at least 4 hours before the ship's departure time, to allow them to carry out the diagnostic test using an RT-PCR molecular swab . The test is required to allow guests to board the ship, and is mandatory for guests over the age of 2 years." According to this list https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OQgsAE4SRnlLCo5BstaKs9QxhX5f-OxR/view travellers from the UK have this PCR test requirement and antigen tests are way faster than PCR tests.
  11. Costa has facilities for both antigen and PCR tests aboard to perform all required tests. While for debarkation in Italy a test is not mandatory, in Spain it is. It should be no surprise to Costa that people need the one or other test at the end of a cruise for flying home. Every country has different rules and these permanently change as well. Impossible to know what will happen until May next year.
  12. The Toscana shall join the fleet in December indeed. Here a press statement about the newest Costa ships: https://www.carnivalcorp.com/news-releases/news-release-details/costa-cruises-continues-its-gradual-restart-2021-2022-its-three
  13. Yes, they have a photo package (Costa calls it “All You Can Photo”) for all pictures taken from all travelling in your cabin all around aboard, during boarding and so on, except photos taken in special “Shade” sessions, these you can book separately. In my next booking the price is 149 €. I have no kids, but often saw the groups around the ships, so at least they offer a lot of activities. There is no real all-inclusive formula with Costa. The basic tariff is with very few exceptions without drinks (coffee with breakfast for example is always included), while Premium is at least with Pranzo & Cena (drinks during lunch and dinner), sometimes with Brindiamo (smallest package that includes bar service as well). But Premium comes with other components as well, from free breakfast in the cabin, which is said to be in the better places on board (I don’t agree in all cases), to 10% off on the next cruise. Everybody in a cabin must use the same package with two exceptions. The smallest children don’t need one, and the only available package for all under 18 contains no alcohol of course - and is cheaper. General price for Pranzo & Cena (alcohol free, some wine and beer in restaurants only during lunch and dinner) is 20 €, Brindiamo (most alcohol free, some wines, beer, spirits, long drinks in all locations) 30 €, Più Gusto (adds a range of cocktails) 35 € and Intenditore (adds most high priced products and mini bar) 48 €. The young ones get Giovani (most things without alcohol everywhere) for 20 €. If you have a package included you can upgrade for just the price difference to every more expensive package.
  14. Yes, Italy, Spain, and France as well are pretty strict at this moment. But I think that this has a reason in the bad experiences they all made. Right now Italy announced further restrictions, lucky enough these restrictions don’t limit tourists further. Greece is a bit more relaxed in this context. Entering Italy from France doesn’t exempt you from being fully vaccinated plus PCR test if you have been in the UK just before. You need to fill-in the PLF and declare where you have been within the 14 days before entering Italy. This has been changed about three weeks ago from quarantine for all from the UK, if the situation in the UK improves further it may become easier. I am travelling from Hungary to Italy and for being vaccinated I don’t need a test. Based on the situation here Italy requires either test or being vaccinated or being recovered. You see, not only every country has different requirements, but also different requirements for different countries.
  15. Generally Italian law applies for Costa. A green pass is only available to those with residence in Italy, but in many cases the national passes have the same value, besides all EU apps and passes the UK documents are accepted as well. Please be aware that entering Italy itself from the UK without quarantine (five days ended by a negative test) needs both: vaccination and a negative test not older than 48 hours. This will have consequences for your child of course in both cases, if boarding in Italy and leaving board when boarding happened elsewhere. So much about Italian law. Boarding a Costa involves a test, for arriving from many countries (including UK) this needs to be a PCR test - at this moment for boarding in Italy and Spain. This is done in the terminal. Further testing half way for seven day cruises is a Costa rule for everybody as well. For participating in excursions where a green pass (or equivalent) is required being vaccinated is enough, in all other cases a test will be done to ensure that the test will be still valid. Required is a green pass when the excursion is visiting in Italy a museum or a restaurant (table inside). As far as I know France has similar rules. This could result in being tested every second or third day for those not fully vaccinated. For debarking in Spain a fresh test is required for everybody. Since testing is required in many occasions a valid test may be available anyway, otherwise on request it must be possible. Don’t forget to use the needed forms before arriving to the different countries.
  16. You won't be alone on the Epic, I'll join on October 6th in Rome.
  17. The man who is going to sail with Costa again is both European and aware that American expectations are sometimes not fulfilled on European lines, which I mostly see as cultural phenomena. Who is - as some reviewers here on CC - scared that not only English is spoken has just expectations that don’t fit. I live on a continent where dozens of languages are spoken and I don’t understand most of them, so my expectations in this direction are definitely different. Of course it is my choice to go with Costa on the world cruise, but I’ve no reason not to go with them. Of course there are minor reasons to complain, but these are mainly the other side of the Mediterranean medal that adds so much to a successful holiday. Back to MSC. I sailed the Fantasia and the ship itself was fine. If she would be sold to another line and trained staff and serious officers would be aboard I could imagine sailing on her again. Food on MSC was eatable, but for sure not of better quality and pretty far away from the real Italian kitchen. Watered down? Yes, perhaps - with a lot of water. However, I got on a diet when I had breakfast in the buffet and had a greasy plate. The next one was dirty as well. This mustn’t happen of course, but even worse: the staff wasn’t interested how dirty things were. The minimal reaction I expect in such a situation is that plates would have been taken away and replaced by clean ones. I expected too much and took bananas and oranges instead. The last morning I spoke with a Dutch couple who had experienced exactly the same. Worst are definitely the safety concerns based on what happened when I was aboard. In Haifa everybody without ship excursion was told to go to the atrium. I went early for having a coffee down there and stood by this soon very close to the staircases. More and more people were pressed into the atrium. Nobody was allowed to leave the atrium, but who walked down the stairs or arrived by lift was pushed into the atrium as well just opposite to my spot. A real man hunt with extreme rude staff in the role of the hunters. Soon parents took their children onto the shoulders, because there was no space left on the ground. I am generally not fearful, but looked where to escape to - just in case. It was just luck that nobody got panic, otherwise many death and hundreds of injured passengers would have been the result. Confronted with these and many more facts MSC didn’t even respond. Perhaps MSC is good enough in transporting containers, but for sure me never again!
  18. MSC is definitely a no go for me. Never seen so serious security problems, such a lack of respect for guests, and dirt as the only time I sailed with them. There are many others offering world cruises as well. I am booked on Costa leaving Venice in January 2022 for a 127 day world cruise. I hope corona restrictions won’t make the voyage impossible.
  19. Congratulations! My level and points are still exactly the same, collected between 2017 and 2019. Costa states “Expiring points 15 June 2022: 0”
  20. The alternative cruise facility in the industrial port of Marghera is now available, roughly 17 km by car from Piazzale Roma in the historical centre or 5 km by taxi boat. https://www.adriaports.com/en/cruises/venice-cruises-start-again-but-from-porto-marghera/
  21. Indeed, things are changing very fast these days. According to Reuters and other sources quarantine is lifted only for those arriving from the UK with completed vaccination AND showing a negative test result.
  22. Sounds as the TA knew what he did. There always were people travelling together but paying separately, just Costa needs to know to be able to link the two numbers to one booking. Yes, the "YouTube experts"… Very popular in Europe as well.
  23. I'll be on a NCL cruise in the Western Mediterranean between Spain and Italy in October and guests arriving from the UK and boarding in Barcelona were informed a few days ago that they are not allowed to leave ship in Italy.
  24. Costa is going to prevent groups to be mixed too much, but is not telling who you may spend your time with or not. In most cases travel companions book together and this makes them to be seated together as well. If I were you I’d ask Costa as soon as possible to be seated together, because you are travel companions anyway. This completely independent whether today’s rules will be still applicable in January or not. Your table always will be allocated before boarding, if booked on premium tariff you can ask for early or late seating and large or small table in Mycosta, but not to be seated with another person. Otherwise you might need to see the maître D for be seated together as soon as possible. Costa tours I have been on were everything between great and bad, as it’s always depending on the guides. Sure, there are always tours that fit into one’s interests and others are clicked away immediately. Although I prefer smaller groups or just doing a city on my own when docked not far away this regulation is no problem for me.
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