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About winegirl

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Wine, food, travel, books, politics
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  1. With regard to the cruiser who wanted to book a trip within France: Here is a recently updated link to the US Department of State website with details on travel there: https://fr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/ Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter France? No Broad restrictions on non-essential travel from many countries outside the European Union, including the United States, remain in place. The French government has defined essential travel as entry by French citizens, residents of France, all foreign (including United States citizen) students (with appropriate visa or
  2. As another person mentioned, we've also had very good experiences on AMA Waterways. Not "all inclusive" like Uniworld but the ship, food, cruise director and itineraries were excellent.
  3. I also echo comments about Uniworld's Seine cruise on the "Joie de Vivre." We took this cruise in October 2018. The ship was beautiful, food was great, staff superb and our cruise director was surprised at how well the passengers bonded and had a great time. The lounge was rocking every night due to well chosen singer/entertainers who got everyone up on their feet. I took my spouse, my daughter, my brother and sister in law and everyone really enjoyed this cruise and cruise line. In Normandy, we opted for the trip to the American Cemetery and D Day beaches, since the others had
  4. Saw this today, report published by The Points Guy: https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/tips/170-days-and-counting-cruisers-cry-foul-as-crystal-cruises-refunds-fail-to-arrive The fact that a major travel insurer won't cover Crystal (and others) is a bad sign. I like Windstar but they are apparently also having financial troubles of a major sort.
  5. A relative of mine, who had two months ago landed a great job with Holland American, was just laid off. Fortunately, that relative has another gig with a tech company in Seattle. The mainstream cruise lines are laying off massive numbers of employees: https://cruiseradio.net/cruise-lines-continue-to-layoff-employees-while-not-sailing/ I would not feel comfortable giving deposits to any of them right now. I don't want to find myself on the list of creditors in a bankruptcy. It's been enough of a hassle getting a refund from United for flights we booked and they cancelled.
  6. Re: Christmas Markets-- I am German and from Wisconsin, so we are used to cold weather. And the culture in Germany is so reminiscent of my upbringing. I did not realize how much my immigrant grandparents influenced me. I was really glad my daughter was along to get a taste of that. Winter is my husband's favorite time of year, since we can enjoy winter sports and no lawn care! That being said, if you do book for a Christmas Markets cruise, layer up. The stop in Strasbourg was the coldest, windiest day of the cruise: it was biting cold, and we were off the ship from morning unti
  7. If you book on Uniworld's Joie de Vivre Paris to Paris, you will be pleased. It is a gorgeous ship. Top notch staff, excellent dining. We cruised Uniworld in October 2018, when we took our adult daughter, my brother and sister in law. They were veteran ocean cruisers but did enjoy the river cruise and Uniworld's product quite a lot. That being said, I don't think you can go wrong with AMA Waterways as well. We used AMA for Christmas Markets on the Rhine, and Tulip Time. Both cruises started in Amsterdam, which is one of our favorite cities, and very easy to visit. Everyone s
  8. Live in suburb of Milwaukee. Two brochures from Oceania today. Offers some September cruises in Europe. We had planned to go to France in October, but dropped the plans when the second airline we booked with cancelled the flight we booked. We'll try again next year. When I went to see what flights were available from the US to Europe, there were slim pickings from Chicago O'Hare and the flight arrangements were unattractive. As for the postal service, my sister in law is a USPS carrier in the CIty of Milwaukee. She says the USPS makes money on the parcel service that they carry
  9. There are two big issues to overcome: First, financial viability of cruise lines. Some will survive, but I am speculating some will cease operations due to lack of cash flow. This will shake out over the next couple years. Second, regaining trust of potential cruise passengers. Given all the stories about illnesses contracted on cruise ships, I see a lot of online comments from people who are not interested in cruises for this reason. Some of these people would never be cruisers. However, many like myself, having never contracted any illness on a cruise ship, would l
  10. We like small ship sailing, after having sailed on Holland, Oceania, Seabourn, WIndstar and for river/canal cruising, AMA, Uniworld and I think it was Abercrombie & Kent (long time ago in Burgundy.) I choose the cruises for our family: I pick based on itinerary and low passenger count. After using Holland for Alaska inside passage, we decided we definitely did not care for a ship with 2,000 passengers. Even Oceania Insignia, with 700, was bigger than we preferred (but the dining, port intensive itinerary were great.) Ships carrying those numbers seemed too busy for our tast
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