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About Unibok

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    North America
  • Interests
    Travel and food, walking and hiking, sacred and spiritual sites, writing and reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Anywhere I can get to; I'm trying them all!

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  1. Unibok


    Just FYI on timing ... my SS cruise was cancelled on 10 March, 5 days before we were scheduled to embark, when India would not allow the Spirit to dock. The cruise refund appeared in my account about 10 days ago, and the refunds for my air and hotel are still in process. My additional 25% future cruise credit has already been applied to a voyage I really hope to take when face-to-face connected life resumes. 45-60 days is a reasonable expectation at this point. Processes, normally slow, are even moreso under the current challenging conditions. Wishing good health to you all,
  2. Final update: I'm home! One friend left home-made muffins in my freezer, and another stocked me with groceries and fresh flowers. Wishing you all well -- good health, good friends, and good distance!
  3. Charles! I've been wondering how you are. Please give my best to your lovely bride. My Baltimore segment is doing very well, hunkering down in her apartment. The theatre company has been very generous with their apprentices, making sure that they all have grocery money, and finding ways for them to do online professional development work to continue getting paid. We've heard of other theatre companies having to kick their apprentices out of housing and fire nearly everyone, so she is very fortunate to be with Baltimore Center Stage. They are doing everything they can to keep all of their employees supported. Their generosity and personal strength has been inspiring. She says the weather is lovely now, perfect for long solitary walks. Looking forward to sailing with you again someday U
  4. Brian, thank you for looking out for me. I'll be on my way home in a few hours, albeit reluctantly. "Indefinite" would have been fine if it meant a few more months, but if that turned into a year or so, I'm not prepared. Qatar Airways is still flying, and at least 2 legs of the flight are filled to the brim. I'll let you know when I'm home safely and starting my 2-week self-quarantine. U
  5. I really appreciate these updates, Stumble. Although a large part of me would love to be trapped on the Spirit indefinitely, the realist in me worries about everyone concerned. Glad to hear that folks are holding up well.
  6. Thanks, Brian and all. I've often liked to think that I am equally at home in a village with no plumbing as I am in Silver Wind's The Bar, so perhaps my stint in the windowless depths of the Mumbai airport has proven that once and for all. I truly appreciate your COVID update, as the news I'm getting is slow and heavily filtered. My Luxor days are over, having gone there 2 weeks ago. My current plan is an Ayurvedic resort in Sri Lanka, starting tomorrow. From what I can tell, Sri Lanka still has only 1 confirmed case. I'm not due in Greece for a month, so there's plenty of time to monitor, and pivot again if needed. THANK YOU again for the Greece updates. You are a good friend, even if we've never met 🙂
  7. Thanks, friends. I've been on a DIY grand adventure again, having left North America in early January (before COVID was even a twinkle in anyone's eye). A few days in Qatar, 3 weeks in Cambodia, 3+ weeks in parts of Sri Lanka I've never explored, then 2+ weeks in Egypt -- which included private meditation time deep inside the Queens and Kings chambers in the Great Pyramid (wow!). The Spirit B2B was going to get me over to Greece in the most interesting 26 days I could imagine. The visa error was entirely my own, although I will give partial credit to the miserable Indian eVisa system that has been overloaded for the past month. Long story short, US citizens are no longer able to do visa on arrival, which meant I arrived unlawfully and was basically put in a windowless holding cell for 3 days. Not fun, but also I have to say I was never afraid for my life -- just frustrated and rather helpless. On the upside, I also learned that with knitting needles and a bit of yarn, you can make friends with women pretty much anywhere in the world, including my armed guards at the Mumbai airport. I kept thinking the 3 days in hell would be worth it once I actually embarked on the Spirit and had that first plate of handmade pasta and an herby amaro. But no, once back in Cairo (with security escort!), I found the email cancellation of the Mumbai-Dubai-Piraeus. I had actually booked that one within days of it appearing, so the disappointment is real. Right now I'm drowning my sorrows at the lovely Conrad in Cairo while I regroup. Hmm ... 26 days of adventure to fill before heading to Greece ... where to go??? Given my misadventures in Mumbai, I will likely return to a place I know well and feel comfortable, one that will still keep me away from the chilly northeast, but will also keep distance between me and the worst of the outbreaks. Now that the cruise has been cancelled, I am so glad I spent 2 layover days in Doha on the way to Cambodia. It's a lovely human-sized city amidst all the new oil megalopolii, and I especially loved the Museum of Islamic Art. It's one of the few museums I've left feeling like I had a much stronger understanding of what I was looking at. Until my next misadventure ... be well, all!
  8. Wow, I'm just catching up on email after being detained in the Mumbai airport for 3 days (talk about being held prisoner!). Eventually they sent me back to Cairo, since there was a problem with my visa. Thank you for the on-board updates -- it looks like India closed their ports around the time I arrived. All in all, I'm glad I didn't get stuck there, and that they shipped me back here. Obviously I'm disappointed in the cancellation of this B2B. Sending best wishes for all who are affected in one way or another.
  9. I'm also scheduled to depart on the 15th from Mumbai, and I checked in with my SS agent this morning just to see if she had been hearing anything that maybe I should know. She replied with reassurances and made sure I had the most recent official statement. Lesliedrew, have you spoken with anyone as SS about the fact that you are coming from Washington State? That certainly seems relevant. I'd be very interested in hearing how they counsel you. Wren2, I share your concern, especially as I fly to India tomorrow. Should SS change the embarkation point, I assume they would need to get us all to the new place? As of now, India is fairly low in the rankings, with only 30 reported cases in their gazillion-person population. Most of our port stops are also currently quite low, despite their proximity to Iran. Some ports may well be closed to us, but I'm still hoping for the best. It does seem that SS is monitoring things closely, and is making informed decisions on a daily basis. Fingers and toes crossed, wishing the best for everyone involved, no matter where in the world they may be, Unibok
  10. My Spirit voyage is due to depart in 2 weeks from Mumbai. So far, the itinerary remains the same, but we have all been asked to complete form detailing our whereabouts and transfers for the 14 days prior to embarkation. It's the same form Denny01 shared earlier in this thread. As the situation changes, SS will have the ability to contact passengers coming from or transferring through certain places. Here's my attitude: proceed with plans until I hear otherwise from SS. Should things change and they need to deny me entry, I will have a very hefty refund to spend either going elsewhere, or for staying here in Egypt a bit longer.
  11. Best of luck getting the rest of the way home, and thank you for writing in to keep us informed. Wishing you a complication-free experience next time!
  12. What do you know about Crete in May? Warm enough? Any potential snorkel sites?
  13. Unibok

    Middle East

    Hi, Sued, I am on the same cruise (B2B, Mumbai to Athens), wondering the same. Please continue to post updates as you learn more. I am not inclined to cancel, as I booked it as a slow and fascinating way to get from Asia to Greece. It'll still be slow and fascinating whichever ports we visit, but I am quite in love with this itinerary. Fingers crossed that sanity and peace will prevail.
  14. She can make her own dining reservations, if she chooses, as early as 120 days before sailing through her MySilversea account. It is not always necessary, but many people do opt to make some reservations so that they are guaranteed a meal in each of the venues.
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