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Everything posted by shank63

  1. We are booked on the same cruise, I will get my 2nd vaccination shot in 3 weeks, DW will get both of hers in Feb- March after her full knee replacement surgery. Obviously, we hope to be cruising in June!
  2. 😢Condolences to Stan and family.
  3. We took photos in the subway in 2019 with a tour group by Alla.
  4. Florida is well ahead of some states, in North Carolina I have an appointment on the 15th for the first shot. I am in group 1b, 75 years+ old.
  5. Oops, it was Alla. Thanks for correcting me.
  6. In 2019 we did a Baltic cruise on the Marina with 3 days in St Petersburg. We used Alta for the 3 day package and were in a group of 10. The smaller private tours may not be an option under the covid protocol, but when it is available again, I highly recommend it. Alta was great, but the other tour companies such as SPB and TJs have great reviews as well. Also, the itinerary with 3 days in SPB would be my choice again.
  7. We have been on 2 Oceania cruises which were port intensive, Mediterranean and Baltic. The continuous port days can be taxing, so we booked excursions for only the ports that were of high interest for us and did site-seeing on our own for the other ports. The excursions are highly recommended for ports like Rome or Florence if you have never visited them. St. Petersburg is basically a required excursion due to Russia’s visa requirements. Many ports can be enjoyed after your leisurely breakfast, on your own or using a hop on & off bus, and return to the ship for afternoon tea at 4 pm an
  8. AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine approved for use by the UK with a projected 3 billion doses available in 2021. Hopefully this will help open some 2021 cruises.
  9. We fully expect to have our vaccinations this spring and be safe for our June cruise, but there are many moving parts which must come together. We are only 50/50 confident that the UK and Europe will be open for US visitors, so hope is all we can do.
  10. The procedures appear to be the best any cruise line can do at this time. As the covid vaccine becomes widely available, proof of vaccination may become a requirement for all travel. I hope to cruise in 2021, but not without being vaccinated.
  11. Jim, my statement addresses the Covid 19 vaccine, no other vaccines. Based on reports, there are at least 3 manufacturers with vaccines to be released within weeks with 90% - 95% effective rates. My position is simply this: with these vaccines available in 2021, why allow travel for those who chose to not be vaccinated? I totally agree with you that we cannot quit living for fear of dying. I have traveled in 2020 by air, both in the US and to Aruba, following the required masking and social distancing procedures, and required covid testing. I just think that we should be reasonably inte
  12. IMO, no one should be allowed on a cruise ship, an airplane or a hotel without a covid 19 vaccination until this pandemic has been obliterated. The same applies to all countries with ports of call for cruise ships, required vaccinations.
  13. The drug company trials show 90% and better results and FDA is in the final approval tests. While there is not 100% protection against getting the virus, I will not hesitate in getting 90% protection of getting the symptoms of covid. Few things in life are 100% certain other than death. As far as transmitting the virus, anyone who chooses not to take the vaccine must be prohibited from traveling on airplanes, trains, cruise ships and taxi cabs. Pre travel testing and on board testing have been recommended and I would highly endorse these measures for the time being. I am optimistic that w
  14. At the end of our 2018 cruise in Athens, we had reservations at the King George Hotel but were cancelled and rebooked at the Grande Bretagne which is next door. As stated, location, service, rooftop restaurant view, and food were excellent. We are booked on the Riviera out of Athens in September 2021, so based on our previous experience have made our pre embarkment reservations at the Grande Bretagne using points. The quoted rate is $650/room or so, beginning rate per night, so the O rate is basically comparable, although more than I care to pay in real money.
  15. In the last two years we have sailed on HAL and Oceania, twice on each. While we enjoyed both cruise lines, each has their positives and negatives. On the Riviera and the Marina, there are 4 specialty restaurants included at no extra charge, where we really enjoyed the food. The MDR on either line is comparable, but we liked the Terrace on O better than the HAL Lido although we used those venues only for breakfast. In my opinion, the pesky photographers on HAL along with the nickel and dimeing is what we enjoyed doing without on O. We did 7 day Caribbean cruises on HAL, but on O our cruises
  16. You will not be disappointed with Oceania, as we have enjoyed the Riviera and the Marina. Our first voyage on Viking Ocean is in June of this year, looking forward to it and hoping we sail! We cruised on Celebrity years ago, but now we prefer smaller ships.
  17. We were in 7128 (a PH2) on the Marina for a 12 day Baltic cruise last year. There was some slight vibration at times, but not bothersome to us. We would not hesitate in booking the same accommodations again.
  18. When we can book with air miles, we do. In fact, we just booked flights for the Riviera 9/2/21 cruise using AA air miles, so no issue with the deviation fees this time.
  19. We have been in the A cabin on the Riviera and found the hot breakfast nice, but as earlier noted, the dining space is a challenge. The amenity that we enjoyed was unlimited access to the spa sun deck with the comfortable lounges and the open air thalassotherapy or whirlpool. Of course, day passes are available for others in B and below staterooms. We were booked on the Marina in one of the extended balconies but got a last minute upgrade to a Penthouse which also had the extended balcony. Unfortunately, we were spoiled with the PH3 and the extra room, but not the price. IMO the B3 statero
  20. We did a HAL cruise and used their Flight Ease booking feature, and no deviation fee was charged. I wish we were Gold O Club members, but we started using O a little too late in life. Other than the deviation fee, we are very loyal to Oceania and are optimistically booked on the Riviera in September 2021.
  21. Totally agree with both points, however using O’s air for early arrival forces the $175 pp non refundable deviation fee. The non refundable deviation fee IMO is a ripoff by Oceania, but a necessary evil.
  22. Actually it was by Giambologna, the photo is of the original on display in the Piazza Della Signoria. It was carved from a single block of marble. A reproduction is in the Academia where the original David by Michaelangelo is displayed, and conversely a reproduction of David is displayed in the Piazza Della Signoria.
  23. Still waiting on the refund of our deposit for a Rotterdam cruise. As soon as we were notified of the sale of the ship, I requested a refund. My travel agent has followed up on my behalf, I have spoken directly to a HAL customer service rep and was told that it it in process. Very dissatisfied with the way HAL is holding our money.
  24. We were on our first Mediterranean cruise and our port of call was Livorno where we chose to visit Florence.
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