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Doc who loves to travel

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Everything posted by Doc who loves to travel

  1. Yes I would watch the trends with Viking and other cruise lines. I would betcha that the south and Central American countries won’t be as stringent as European ones. There have been some cases of covid on other cruise lines in Caribbean and Europe and I haven’t seen anything about individuals/ships not being allowed into a country- except the July incidents in Iceland. I’ve been following it for our future cruise plans.
  2. You could consider the new Sky Lagoon. We loved it but we spent about 4 hours there. You could easily spend 1.5-2 hours and feel you got the whole experience. It’s a lot closer to Reykjavik. For us the active volcano hike was canceled due to high winds. It was advised to not venture out there. we Met with the marketing director at sky lagoon and got a fair amount of insight: https://www.luxurytraveldocs.com/2021/07/how-we-dealt-with-covid-19-and-contact.html
  3. Someone on the Sky just reported trip interruption on Facebook due to being on the bus with a COVID positive passenger. That's what happened to a some on our July Jupiter cruise: https://www.luxurytraveldocs.com/2021/07/how-we-dealt-with-covid-19-and-contact.html That is the one thing that will keep us from going on a viking cruise again right now. I hope it may just be Iceland? I don't want to get stuck somewhere like the one girl did in Malta. We are contemplating cruising again in November and December but we are monitoring the situation closely and haven't booked yet because of things like this.
  4. We aren't sure the risk of traveling on a cruise is worth it right now. One risk is trip interruption due to becoming exposed to a COVID positive passenger or crew member. But now that the CDEC has updated their guidance about those at high risk, exposure to the virus may be a concern too. One clear example of this risk has been with Carnival. Carnival Cruise Lines is having a difficult time with COVID-19 cases on board its inaugural sailings. Unfortunately Carnival and the cruise industry is not being transparent about the cases. A 77 year-old Carnival Cruise Line passenger died after contracting Covid-19, the company confirmed Tuesday. It is the first reported death since cruises resumed in June in the Caribbean and United States. Carnival CONFIRMED her death after TEN DAYS. She was having difficulty breathing in Belize on August 4th, and was removed from the Carnival Vista. The hospital in Belize demanded $5,000 for ventilator treatment. That was when her family air lifted her back to Oklahoma, where she died on August 14th. Carnival Carnival Cruise Line says that the passenger did not contract the virus on board. From Twitter: Cruise companies have a vested interest to not report cases of COVID-19 to the media or to passengers. While we sailed on Viking Jupiter in Iceland during July, a passenger tested positive for the virus. As a result, some passengers were quarantined for the remainder of the cruise due to contact tracing. Viking never told us as passengers, that there was a confirmed COVID case or that other passengers were in quarantine. In fact, the rumor was circulated that the case was a false positive and was never confirmed. We suspect that rumor was circulated intentionally. The Viking Sky, on the same itinerary, three days ahead of us had the entire second half of their cruise cancelled due to a COVID-19 case. According to Cruise Law News, the Carnival Vista has continued to have crew testing positive: 26 on the inaugural sailing and 16 on the next sailing. This is according to anonymous sources. Also a second person from the inaugural cruise was hospitalized in "bad shape". From Twitter: Carnival struggled to downplay these positive cases. The question remains, how safe is cruising and how many cases are not being reported? Should the companies be required to report these cases? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on August 20th that travelers who are at high risk of severe complications from Covid-19 should avoid taking cruises, regardless of their vaccination status. The updated guidance also recommended that travelers who are not fully vaccinated avoid taking cruises. Carnival's troubles continue At least eight Carnival Cruise Line guests have tested positive during the first two weeks on the Carnival Mardi Gras‘ sailings. This is a totally different ship and as was the case for the Carnival Vista, Carnival Cruise Line has not disclosed all of these cases or other COVID-19 cases on the ship. Carnival was forced to comment on the death of the Carnival Vista passenger, because the ***** page to help cover medical costs for Marilyn Tackett, the retired Sunday school teacher, age 77, from Oklahoma, gained so much attention. A guest of the Mardi Gras' posted on Twitter that he tested positive for COVID-19 when after returning home but had now way of notifying the company. From Twitter: Carnival implemented the "Have Fun. Be Safe." COVID-19 guest protocols that were updated earlier this month. All passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must present a negative COVID-19 test result from within three days of embarkation. Unvaccinated guests must take another test prior to embarkation and a third test 24 hours into the voyage if the cruise is longer than four days. AXIOS reported last week that Carnival announced new mask guidelines, which say that all guests are required to wear masks indoors. However, Carnival’s COVID protocols state that: “Vaccinated guests are not required to maintain physical distance on board the ship. It is recommended that unvaccinated guests maintain physical distancing as follows: Outdoors – Remain at least 3 feet from others when not wearing a mask and not in your cruise companion group.” From various posts on Twitter and Facebook it appears that those protocols are loosely followed. Thinking of cruising? What can you do? Good luck if you would like to know how many people infected with COVID-19 from being aboard cruise ships. Clearly you won't be provided that information by the cruise industry. Fortunately, the CDC is making efforts to inform the public. A table on the CDC website, which promises to be updated several times a week, assigns each ship a color status—green, orange, yellow, red or gray. The color-coding is based on both surveillance data collected over the previous 7-day period as well as the findings of any CDC investigations. (When cruise ships notify the CDC of a suspected or confirmed case of the virus, the agency determines whether an investigation is needed.) Green status means the ship has no reports of cases of COVID-19 or COVID-19-like illness. Orange status means the ship has reported cases of COVID-19 but is below the threshold for CDC investigation. Yellow status means the ship has met the threshold for CDC investigation, which includes one of the following criteria: at or above the investigation threshold for crew COVID-19 cases, at or above the investigation threshold for passenger COVID-19 cases; or state or local health department notified CDC of passenger COVID-19 cases occurring within 5 days of disembarkation. Red status means the ship is at or above the threshold for passenger and crew COVID-19 cases. Based on CDC’s investigation, additional public health precautions, such as returning to port immediately or delaying the next voyage, will be taken to help ensure the health and safety of onboard travelers or newly arriving travelers. Gray status means CDC has not reviewed or confirmed the cruise ship operator’s health and safety protocols. This status only applies to cruise ships arriving in, located within, or departing from a port in Florida that chose to not follow the CSO on a voluntary basis. The major limitation of this system is that it only informs us about cruise ships operating or planning to operate in U.S. waters. For example, we cruised in Iceland during July 2021 on Viking Ocean and data on that line is not available. Click here to see our series of videos from Iceland on YouTube.
  5. We went to Messin - great fish pans and not super expensive. https://messinn.com/english/ Apotek. Great food and desserts. Not cheap. https://apotekrestaurant.is and Kol. Excellent, gourmet but not cheap. https://kolrestaurant.is photo of our scallops from Apotek. great presentation.
  6. Cute! We bought ours on Amazon. https://amzn.to/3B91dLe Two pack and easy to throw in the bag. We didn't have a lot but we had a missed port due to covid on Viking Jupiter July 13. Per reports northern Iceland is the bad spot.
  7. It happened on our July 13 Jupiter sailing at least to one couple. We were never contacted by any others that had a bus contact quarantine. https://www.luxurytraveldocs.com/2021/07/how-we-dealt-with-covid-19-and-contact.html
  8. And quarantined on the ship, according to someone we know who was, means no leaving the room and no service inside the room. Everything is delivered to the door and you would have to clean your own room. Not that I don't do that at home, but on a cruise is different...
  9. That is exactly what happened on July 13 Jupiter- bus exposure but quarantined anyway despite negative tests. Doesn’t sound like things have changed.
  10. You can leave cabin but you must provide sample before eating or drinking. We left our samples in the room. It was helpful to me to leave tube in the bathroom by my toothbrush to remind me before brushing my teeth. A little video about how to do it but it is not rocket science!
  11. We know one couple who were quarantined due to contact tracing for 5 days on our sailing July 13 with negative covid tests all along. While it seems most contacts have not had this happen, we aren't sure why this couple was singled out. Maybe Viking has got their act together since then.
  12. Here’s what we used in July Rain suit pants https://amzn.to/3iFGQxZ Rain suit jacket get one size larger to fit over jacket/fleece https://amzn.to/3wTR2aR
  13. We wore all our warmest things on a few days. We didn’t have long underwear but fleece under puffy coats and fleece pants /long socks. It’s cold if windy or rain. We went on July 13 Jupiter
  14. Checkin at the airport took a couple of hours (standing in line at Delta) for us. Bring something to do on your phone, like a crossword, podcast, whatever, to keep you entertained. That was a few weeks ago but maybe they have improved. The only people that checked in quickly were business class.
  15. I documented our experience here. To me being quarantined and have trip interruption is the biggest risk. I know of short and long quarantines.
  16. That have fleece blankets out there. We usually had breakfast or lunch outside
  17. I put my packing list in post 1513 the day we left. We pretty much used everything but our hiking poles which we could have probably used anyway. We are pretty fit but didn’t really need them. Great trip!!!!!
  18. Somehow they knew when my battery was low and sent a charger to my room. I wore mine faithfully. Attached my room key to it with a hole punch. I hung it with a mask on a hook by the door. I go on cruises with magnetic hooks. https://amzn.to/3zSF439
  19. We've put together a video playlist, articles and packing list from our recent Iceland cruise on Viking Jupiter. We were on a cruise where one of the other passengers tested positive for Covid about half way through the voyage, and we missed one port as Viking worked out the kinks, unlike the Viking Sky. In our opinion, positives were and are bound to happen statistically. Viking should have had action plans in place for each and every port with local, regional and national officials and airport in Reykjavik for departure. This is how they failed their passengers. The Viking Sky passengers received a voucher for 50% off a future cruise. Viking Jupiter passengers who missed one port, and may we say one of the ports we were most anticipating, will not receive any compensation. We do not know how the quarantined passengers on Viking Jupiter will be compensated, if at all. They received a letter from the guest services manager and the captain and hopefully, they will be fair. The right trip insurance policy should cover out of pocket expenses for them. In addition, we wish Viking was more transparent about the policies that will be followed when you are "traced" to a Covid positive passenger, so that future travelers can make their own decisions whether they are willing to trek to a distant place only to be quarantined. Here is our full written review of the covid situation. And we documented our experience as it unfolded onboard - at the time we knew some information from the announcements and other passengers and were aware of the Viking Sky saga.. We flew into Reykjavik on Delta through JFK. Air travel is really busy right now and even though people are wearing masks, many are eating and drinking in lounges without their masks, then getting on close quarter in a plane overnight. People are eating and drinking without masks onboard and likely have falling masks when sleeping and snoring away. Perhaps this is the risk period for travelers? This was our first cruise with Viking Ocean after more than 50 cruises worldwide and we were impressed with the quality of the ship, lack of "nickel and diming" and level of service. Despite all of the snafu's we will return to take more Viking Ocean Cruises in the future. In Reykjavik we visited the new Sky Lagoon. See our full review here. and a brief introductory video here. We met with the marketing director for a better understanding of the new geothermal bath. We saw the Volcano area and a lava tunnel. Video introductions to come. For Viking excursions we took: Golden Circle Tour - rainy and cold but beautiful - We took the viking umbrellas which we were glad to have. The waterfall was our favorite. We planned kayaking in Isafjordur but it was canceled. We ended up on included Isafjordur and Bolungarvik tour. This was lovely, especially Bolungarvik. We went for a long jog otherwise in the town along the fjord. It was cold and windy. We had an unanticipated sea day in Akureyi due to Covid scare, so we missed Northern Iceland's Natural Beauty. Seydisafjord - we did included walking tour and went for a long jog around the fjord and town. It was 45 degrees and really windy. Djupivogur - Took the long bus ride to the Ice Lagoon. We have our warmest day of about 60 degrees there. Sunny and beautiful. We did a short video at the lagoon here. We felt the bus ride was long but worth it to see the varied terrain of East Iceland. We brought Ipads to watch downloaded movies if we got bored. Heimaey - this is a beautiful island full of history and we took the Eldfell hike. You could do this on your own as it is within 1 mile of the tender stop and easy to find but we enjoyed the insight our guide gave us. It was really sunny and windy and the wind was cold. There was a mist in the air from the volcano near Reykjavik. We did a short video about Eldfell here. It is worth going to the museum to see the history of the eruption. There are shuttles back to the tender from the museum or you can walk about 1 mile back. It was colder and windier than we expected July 11-20. We used everything we had from lightweight teeshirts to fleece and jackets. We didn't use our hiking poles but we are pretty fit people. Lots of passengers used them. Here is what we packed and/or wished we had. Some have links to find them. Women’s Fleece pants https://amzn.to/2oGqugs Eddie Bauer men’s https://amzn.to/3zcIFJf Fleece jacket full zip to remove easily on hot bus https://amzn.to/3wQkrD4 Rain suit pants https://amzn.to/3iFGQxZ Rain suit jacket get one size larger to fit over jacket/fleece https://amzn.to/3wTR2aR I brought my thermoball jacket - lightweight and felt great over a fleece. https://amzn.to/3BeHmv4 Backpack rain cover https://amzn.to/3exXhLm Gloves with touchscreen fingers for phone https://amzn.to/2UVS6xN Selfie stick with quick release clips easy to use with gloves https://amzn.to/34rERUE Backpack https://amzn.to/3irNcAO Hiking trail sneakers https://amzn.to/3Bt4shV Long socks Entertainment for bus ride Battery with two charging cords for bus https://amzn.to/3zddb5B Knit hat great for windy days rather than a baseball cap https://amzn.to/3BnKrsY Head mesh for midges https://amzn.to/3kxlkhb Covid vaccine card cover https://amzn.to/3rjQh9X Kiwi camp spray use on question able things before you leave https://amzn.to/2VRvejq We donate profits from our sites to charity and hope to inspire meaningful and healthy travel. This was truly an experience for both of us! We truly enjoyed Viking despite everything that happened. We are optimistic they will work out the kinks. Iceland was an incredible place to see and we will probably return in the future! Great people and definitely lots of "Natural Beauty!" We'll update this post as we get information together! PLEASE ask any questions that you have...tipping, taxis, gear, etc... Glenn and Michelle
  20. Viking has not been very transparent about how they are using the contact tracing data. On another thread one person on July 13 Jupiter cruise only had to stay in their cabin for 1 hour due to contact tracing and not 5 days. I don't think the one hour person knew where their contact occurred (like others on a bus for example). I do not know if any others tested positive. I know at least 2 did not.
  21. The Jupiter case was confirmed not a false positive. https://www.luxurytraveldocs.com/2021/07/how-we-dealt-with-covid-19-and-contact.html
  22. That’s what happened on Jupiter 7/13 but not so many passengers. Quarantined can go home after negative pcr test administered by Iceland. Covid positive have to stay. https://www.luxurytraveldocs.com/2021/07/how-we-dealt-with-covid-19-and-contact.html
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