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Everything posted by mariners

  1. Marc, I think the interprovincial travel pertains to the Quebec and East Coast cruises as those would be between different provinces. Of course, things could change in Canada at any point in time regardless of the election. All one has to do is check out the latest news from BC and Alberta reporting on COVID cases and the changes that those provinces are implementing because of the increase in cases. As to interprovincial verification on highways, the borders were closed between Manitoba and Ontario (except for essential workers/health reasons/etc.), and the RCMP definitely manned those highways and all vehicles were stopped to verify information. They shut down different highways, and implemented a system to control access to ensure the rules are followed. My suggestion for people booking cruises/trips that stop in Canada is to be prepared for last minute changes.
  2. Each province in Canada has different criteria for vaccinations. Alberta is already vaccinating the 12 - 15 year olds (and older) who have health conditions with risk of severe outcomes from COVID. Some other provinces, including the one where I live, will allow appointments to be made later in May for all children/adolescents in this age group. Currently, for most provinces, the aim is to vaccinate as many individuals as possible with the first dose of the vaccine. The difficulty in vaccinating the "most vulnerable" has not been a lack of a vaccine for them as they were made a priority. As is occurring in other areas of the world, the hesitancy is based on a variety of factors: prior negative experiences with the medical system, homelessness, addiction(s), mental health issues, anti-vaxxers ... As with all of us on CC, I can't wait to be on another cruise. That being said, I would not go on a cruise with the current CDC regulations/guidelines. I also would not go on a cruise where people (crew and passengers) did not have to show proof of vaccination. I'll remain on the sidelines until I see what happens once cruises start up later this year.
  3. We had twelve people in our group for a 2019 sailing. Although we had Select dining and had set up different times for dinner based on the times we were in port. Once onboard the ship, the Maitre'd requested that we dine at the same time every night so that they could set up two tables for six with the same wait staff for all of us. That is what we did. He also requested that we let them know ahead of time if any of us had reservations for the specialty restaurants so that they could adjust things accordingly. On some nights, one or more couples chose to go to the buffet, and we also informed the Maitre'd on those nights. When the number of people were reduced, we usually were given a larger table that would seat everyone who remained in the MDR. We preferred the tables for six over the larger tables as it was much easier to have conversations. All of the tables were in the same area so that we could have the same wait staff (who were excellent).
  4. The USA currently has the level 4 warning for Canada. Vaccinations are ramping up as we are finally getting a larger number of vaccines that had been pre-ordered. We also owe a big thank you to the USA for providing us with 1.5 million vaccines, to North Dakota for providing our truckers who are crossing the border with vaccines, and to the Blackfeet Tribe in Montana who provided a vaccine clinic for Canadians. Hopefully, if vaccinations take place as currently projected, the level 4 warning will be removed by late summer/early fall as the majority of the population could be vaccinated by that time. That being said, I have no clue as to when cruises out of Canada, on either coast, will begin again, but I don't believe that it will happen in 2021.
  5. For those who are interested in the Reflection and the evacuation of some individuals: https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/new-blast-at-st-vincent-volcano-cruise-ship-helps-evacuees-1.5390622
  6. Thank you for sharing this photograph. I hope that my grandchildren will try to embrace other cultures, countries, etc. the same way. Although there might be different opinions, if we want to be global citizens/travellers, we should all be prepared to do our best to show our respect for those countries we visit. I cannot wait to get the vaccine so that I can return to India and hope to be on a Regent cruise when I do so!
  7. Thank you, Cancun01, I will follow up with the same company. It's the medical insurance that matters to us.
  8. Cancun01, thanks for your response! The information that I was provided by insurance companies, including the one from the Snowbird site, was that cruises are Level 4 so the policies do not provide medical insurance at this time. As much as we'd love to be on a cruise ship, we will wait until that level changes before we book a new cruise.
  9. Thanks, Roland4. We have often used "self-insure" for trip cancellation and interruption; however, we always ensure that we have Emergency Medical as well as MedJet Assist. As we don't get our first vaccine until later this month, and then have to wait until whenever to get the second dose, I guess we will spend time exploring our beautiful province (those parts where we are permitted to travel depending upon COVID and, also, the fire/travel restrictions that have just been put in place). Thankfully, Crystal cruisers are generous and provide "virtual sailings" to those of us who cannot join them onboard. I hope that everything will work out for your September Endeavor sailing.
  10. Have any Canadians who are planning on going on one of the cruises found insurance that will provide coverage? I have not found any insurance that will cover Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, or Emergency Medical. I have been told by my credit card providers, and the insurance agents whom I contacted that it is not possible to be insured on a cruise at this time because of the Canadian government's travel advisory. As well, it is also not possible to purchase insurance for land travel to a variety of countries due to the Canadian government's travel advisory for those countries (although, there are policies that are available for travel to the USA). However, as others have stated, travelling to the USA still has the quarantine requirements in place and one would have to be prepared to follow whatever rules the government has in place at the time of the trip. Does Crystal offer insurance that would provide enough Emergency Medical coverage for Canadians?
  11. Jimmcdaniel, I agree that the chance of someone who has a heart attack is much greater than someone who passes away because of COVID. However, in my experience sailing to many areas of the world, there has never been an issue with someone being airlifted off a ship or admitted to a hospital for "regular" medical issue. That being said, the reason that I believe that havoc might take place is because COVID is "different". It doesn't matter what you or I believe; it only matters what actually happens and how countries/passengers/people respond. I hope that you get to sail the Abu Dhabi - Cape Town cruise. We'd love to return to Muscat although it likely has changed since we were there on Song of Flower. The Seychelles are fabulous whether you like beaches/snorkelling/diving. Richard's Bay was one of the highlights of our cruise. However, the sea can be quite rough in that area and I'd recommend listening to the Captain about the sea and weather. I hope that my comments on this thread were interpreted to be supportive of Regent as that was my intention. If not, I will have to be more verbose :).
  12. Although it doesn't include the information you would like it to include, I think the Press Release is a brilliant move. I, totally, agree with mikenbob's comment (#2). As well, this release also keeps NCLH in the news, in a positive way, and might attract new customers who agree with their approach to equality ... Before COVID threw a curve ball, I/we had spent the last couple of years researching World Cruises. Crystal and Regent were both on the list. Luckily, we had not yet booked anything so have not had the issues that many of the passengers have had in getting refunds from cancelled cruises in a timely fashion (mainly from Crystal). So, although I/we love Crystal, there are lots of issues that need to be resolved before I/we will choose to sail on them again. I am impressed that Regent is not just "going with the flow". My biggest concern is that multiple cruise lines will be sailing soon, and it will only take a couple of ships with outbreaks to create havoc. The latest news on the vaccinated population could, potentially, create issues (unless these issues have already been addressed and I have missed the relevant information) as there is no 100% guarantee that passengers will be COVID free even if they are vaccinated. See: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/Articles/ID/2720/Cases-of-COVID-19-vaccine-breakthrough-confirmed-in-Washington-state NCLH might be taking a "wait and see" approach. Perhaps, they want the data from these initial sailings to ensure that they have the "best practices" for when they start sailing. For me, all of the above makes Regent a cruise line that we will, if all goes well, sail on again in the future.
  13. Bellagio Cruisers, on a different thread, you posted that you had cancelled your 2021 cruise and have planned a land trip to Israel. I recently read that Royal Caribbean will be sailing out of Israel beginning this spring. I realize Royal Caribbean is not Regent and you will not get the "Regent Experience", but it could be an option to explore.
  14. GOARMY, typically, I don't comment on most threads as I would like to stay away from any discussions that appear to be political. In this day and age, it seems that politics has become part of every discussion including on CC. I responded to this thread because the title is "Aren't Vaccines a Game-Changer?" My response, that might not have been clearly stated for those people who don't know me, is that a vaccine is only a "Game-Changer" for those individuals who have received the vaccine I believe that I have information regarding Canadian policies/vaccination rates/etc. that would be beneficial to provide to other posters. For me, hearing from people who live in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Asia, etc. has helped me to make decisions regarding future cruises. It's also helped me plan for pre and post cruises. One of the issues with message boards is that we often don't "know" each other. We have to trust that what people write is what they actually believe. We have to interpret information, if we haven't met an individual, based on current posts as well as previous posts made on this board. I (we) have met so many wonderful individuals whom we first connected with on CC. We continue to plan to sail with them in the future. (Wendy, I hope that we will get to meet again.) As I initially stated, vaccines can only be a "Game-Changer" for those people who receive the vaccine. And no, for those people who don't agree with my posts, I don't have a sense of humour when it comes to COVID. I will, however, burn my bra, but that's because someone with a sick sense of humour created them in the first place. :)
  15. Pcardad, I cannot wait to stop wearing masks, or having to follow other protocols necessary at this point in time. I also look forward to having the freedom to get together with other people both at home and when we travel. My "personal tolerances" really don't matter in the "big picture" as, for me, I will follow whatever guidelines/rules/etc. are outlined/required when I make the decision to cruise, or travel, or have people over to my home ... I believe there are other individuals ready to sail as soon as possible. For those individuals, I understand why they are prepared to get on a ship sooner rather than later. That being said, many/most countries where the ships might sail are not prepared to have tourists/cruise ships at this point in time. When individuals/groups discuss "burning masks", I assume that they are making a choice that works where they live. It does not work where I live. As long as my health allows, I will be sailing somewhere in the future. I look forward to meeting you. All the best. Safe travels.
  16. Wow! This thread is definitely enlightening! For those of you who are mask burning, I presume that you will spend your time around others whom have chosen to burn their masks, or where masks are not required. However, that rules out much of the world in terms of travel. It certainly rules out coming to Canada, and our borders will stay closed and, even when they open, travellers will have to follow the rules that are in place here, not the rules you wish were in place. Perhaps, those of you who choose to burn your masks, and are looking for an immediate return to cruising where the ship is the destination can convince Regent to designate a ship for that purpose and passengers. I, for one, will not be joining you. Our statistics here confirm that following protocols currently in place are working; we (almost all individuals) wear masks, we distance, etc., I will not be boarding any ship in the near future. It appears that changing cruises from 2021 to 2022, and considering other cruises for 2022, and 2023 will work for me. Wishing all of you who cruise before that time a wonderful cruise with others who share your philosophy; however, that being said, please be mindful of the crew, and other individuals working on the ship or living in the countries you visit. For so many of them, their main concern is having an income, and that dictates the choice(s) they must make.
  17. Thanks for providing the information, Wendy! I'll contact her during the week to see if there is something that could work for us.
  18. Wendy, this itinerary is fabulous, and hits many places we would love to visit. Given the governments "Avoid all travel on cruise ships ...", I haven't found any company that will provide insurance for cruises. Have you found any insurance companies that will insure Canadians?
  19. Initially, I suggest you choose whether you want a beach location, or to be in the heart of the downtown area. If you choose the downtown area, I highly recommend the Palace Downtown which is in the "Old Town" area. There were many areas of interest within walking distance, the suites and service were fabulous, and we loved staying on the ground level where we could walk outside onto our large patio and watch the light shows. We wanted a more "local" experience, and the location of the hotel was perfect as there were only a few "foreigners" at the hotel. Everyone was very gracious and helped us to understand what the local protocols included. There were markets right beside the hotel and the Burj Khalifa and mall were within walking distance. Food everywhere was fantastic, and that included restaurants/shops in the malls. Something that we found unique was that there were not security guards outside jewellery shops; instead, they were located outside the perfume shops. I'm not sure what the current regulations are for people arriving in Dubai, but, if you drink alcohol, I recommend packing your own bottle to enjoy in your accommodations. As with some other posters, we did not use a guide. We checked out travel information before we left home, read information on CC as well as other travel sites, and chose what we wanted to do ahead of time. We also got information from friends who had travelled to Dubai. It looks like a fabulous trip! Cape Town, and the surrounding area, is amazing. If you can swing it, I recommend spending some time on a land vacation there, too.
  20. Roy, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother, and also your own health problems. Your photos are a positive contribution to CC, and they often brighten my day. They are appreciated. Wishing you all the best.
  21. mrlevin, I can't give you a definitive answer, but there is a daily update on COVID in Manitoba: CBC News, CTV News, and Global all provide Manitoba updates. Our borders are closed to other provinces unless people self-isolate for 14 days. The South of the province has different regulations than the North. Flights in and out of Winnipeg are minimal, and that includes Perimeter Aviation, as well as a couple of the small airlines that fly to some Northern communities. It's impossible to take the train at this point in time. Essential goods are having to be flown into communities as travel by winter road is not being permitted. Given the problems with getting a vaccine, issues with community spread, etc., I think it is unlikely that Churchill will have a tourist season in October. I also think it is unlikely that our cruise out of Vancouver in September will happen, and our October cruise will not happen either.
  22. I am now of the belief that we are unlikely to cruise in 2021 and that our September and October cruises will be cancelled. I cannot see any way that vaccines will be available for many different countries, and will not likely happen in my own country in that time frame. As well, there are issues of people choosing not be to vaccinated, wear masks, follow guidelines, etc. Right now, when we get to cruise is the least of my worries (although I still dream of cruising). Most importantly right now, we all need to work together to try and ensure that everyone in the world has access to the vaccines, medical interventions for those who become infected, etc. that will help to defeat this virus. There are ways that each of us can make a difference in what happens if that is what we choose. Wear a mask or masks, keep our distance, wash our hands, and follow all of the guidelines that are given by experts. One also has the choice to donate to those who are less fortunate and help them through this pandemic. Sympathies to those of you who have lost loved ones to the virus, and a big thank you to those of you who are providing care and essential services so that the rest of us can continue to dream.
  23. mrlevin, I'm not sure how much of our (Canadian) news is at the forefront of what is going on in terms of cruises in the future. However, if you look at what's happening right now in provinces where cruises would typically port, unfortunately, I can't see any way that they will open up to cruises before the fall (if then). We have a cruise booked leaving from a Canadian port in September, and, for multiple reasons I believe it only has a 50% chance of sailing: cruise lines choosing to sail from Canada, cruise ports where the ship will be going to allowing the ship to dock, vaccinations in Canada that allow us to travel if vaccinations are required, tourists allowed into the country without the need to self-isolate ... Travel within Canada is restricted and self-isolation/quarantines are in place. In some provinces, the numbers of infections are increasing and the provinces are deciding upon what additional protocols need to be put in place. In those provinces that don't have an increase in the number of infections, strict protocols are already in place. (There is no travel from "outside" areas to the East Coast.) I cannot visit my granddaughter on the East Coast and she cannot visit me. I cannot visit with my family who live less than five minutes from me as I am not permitted to go and visit, even outdoors, on someone else's property. I cannot go to any store and buy anything other than essential goods/food. Our restaurants are closed except for take out/delivery. Our hairdressers/barber shops are closed. The regulations for each province are different, but every province is trying to prevent the virus from overwhelming the medical system. I am hoping that I will have the vaccine by the end of summer. I am also hoping that I will get to take my booked cruises in the future. However, that being said, I want our country, and other countries, to focus on ensuring that the future will allow the next generation (and those after them) to experience the world, different cultures, the excitement of planning trips, etc. I feel so lucky that I had the opportunity to travel before COVID had an impact on the world. "What a wonderful world". My thoughts are with the crew and those people (travel agents/cruise consultants/cruise contractors/etc.) who are not in a position to worry about taking a cruise; so many of them are worried, rightly so, about how they are going to provide for their families. So, mrlevin, it will hit the Canadian economy, but that, IMO, means nothing compared to the loss of peoples' lives. I hope that our government continues on its current path even though that means no cruises out of Canada. All the best.
  24. Roy, Keith, Roland4, TrulyBlonde, BWIVince, and so many more posters, you give me hope that cruises will continue in the future. Most of all, my hope is that all of us can spend time with the people we love, our friends whom we miss, and all of us can help those who are less fortunate. If nothing else, CC has opened my eyes to how deeply divided the world has become, but it has also opened my eyes to how many people share the same life philosophy regardless of their political affiliations. Wishing everyone a healthy year ahead. All the best.
  25. I have tried to research where you got your information to determine if I have missed some clinical information that had been provided on other sites. So far, I've not found any legitimate scientific/medical site that confirms what you have written in your post(s). Although I live in Canada, I have been following various media throughout the world. I find it interesting how individuals are dismissive of any media that does not confirm or endorse "facts" that are based on information that the individual wants to be true and, it appears from what I am reading, considers everything else to be "fake news". It has been my experience that I cannot have a conversation/debate/etc. with anyone who believes that one cannot believe anything the "main stream" media has written. Perhaps, gmarsh, you will be the person who proves that experience to be wrong. If, however, you write about your "beliefs" rather than anything based on facts, it will reinforce my previous experiences and I will bow out of this thread. Wear a mask, keep your distance from those not in your household, and follow protocols that have been proven to work based on science.
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