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Everything posted by GastroGnome

  1. Our daughter cruised with us on X from about 13/14. (Shes 22 and still cruising with us...) We never had any problems for her or with her. But we did have a couple of cruises where there were kids who got out of hand and it is that which tends to be less popular. There is a kids club which includes the teen hangout. That either works for you or it doesn't - that tends to depend what the other teens are like on board. DD has made life long friends amongst teens on board - and had difficult times. Just stay alert to what the teens might be doing and support your boys if the choices are less than sensible. One memorable (?!) time on Reflection a family was disembarked becuase of the behaviour of thier teens. For me I would rather have a well behaved teen in a venue that some adults. But if the teen needs some teen time they can take it to another area of the ship and thats fine too. Just be aware of what the boys are up to - I'm sure you know this but holidays are not a time to abandon parental resposibilty! I'm sure you will have a great time and welcome to the X family!
  2. You just turn up. There are times that are busier than others and that rather varies cruise by cruise. For example the 8pmish slot - just after the first theatre show - can be busy. You sort of learn to work it out. Which I guess isn't very helpful but it really does vary cruise by cruise! If you have a large group or a very specific time you want to dine you can speak to the host, the concierge or your butler. But it isn't usually possible to "book" a table. We've only had a problem with waiting at Luminane on one cruise - Oct 2019 canaries if it makes a difference - and they had sorted it out by the third night.
  3. Santander is in Spain - and stated on this list as open. Tromso is in Norway - also listed as open. Hamburg is in Germany - also listed as open. I only based my statement on the contradiction between the ports on this list stated as open and the general statement that EU is "shut". And I didn't say anything about Italy. There are no Italian ports open at the moment. Although the Italian Governement says international travel will resume from 1st June.
  4. We have what X calls "amenity credit" on a July booking now cancelled. This is OBC given in compensation for something that went wrong, as distinct from OBC as part of a booking perk. We deal direct with X and our booking agent just lifted the amentity credit from the July booking to our next in October. If that falls we can simply lift in on again. But OBC as a perk as part of a booking can't be lifted forward other than as part of the "lift and shift" offer. It isn't entirely clear from your post if this is amenity credit or a booking perk. Once carries forward - the other does not. If its a deal breaker it might be an idea to reach out to X and confirm.
  5. It is indeed a daunting task - and at the moment geographically incorrect. The UK ports have never closed so it isn't entirely correct to say they have re-opened. But more amusingly - the "EU block" is described as still closed - which is not accurate. (Actually on re-reading I don't know what the EU Block is supposed to be - the schengen free travel zone, the origional 12, the extended EEA? The UK is still actually part of the EU..) But ports in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Spain and Germany are listed as open.... Its a horrible task and thier efforts are actually very much appreciated. Travel and Tourism across the EU is opening up now. We are emerging - turtle like - into our "new normal"!
  6. Well its morning for us now... so (having had the sense to put my breakfast card out last night before I read the post...) I'm going to get up late - I don't have a tour, its a sea day. And I'm going to have breakfast on my balcony. Served by..ohh...choose favourite Bulter.. Ceasar who always has such a lovely smile. I'm going to sip champagne. Maybe browse the "Today" sheet and decide that actually I want to read a book on my balcony. The Porch for lunch (I'm on Silhouette). Blackfish Tacos, seafood tower, Paella. Black coffe with sugar and a sambuca on the side. Little nap in the afternoon before dressing for a formal night. Quick switch in Bulters to the fantastic Nadia who would drop in in case I needed help pinning up my long hair. A show - Euphoria I think. Dinner in Luminae...Brasied Octopus to start - I love that. Too many mains to choose from... perhaps a scallops from the starter menu as well. DH will finish with that chocolate surprise thing they pour the hot brandy on. I'll persuade the waiter to pop over to Murano and knab a plate of cheese.... Sit in the sunset bar sipping Brandy and watching the sun go down.... We will be there again. Next sailing July 4th (might not hold..) October 9th (possibly a better bet) Decemeber 24th, May 2021 something - we have to be back by then! And August something 2021... Thanks OP. Great dreaming!
  7. The restriction does not prevent the ships leaving US waters. Only that they cannot board crew or passengers. As long as they can get across they can restock and recrew in europe if they wish. Several lines are also europe based and their ships are already here. Some ports are closed to minimize the risk of importing infections - that is bound to continue for a while. But it is far too soon to say categorically that the baltic season - or any other european season - is definitely cancelled.
  8. British ports are not closed - to cruise ships or anyone else. There are no lines sailing at the moment - and with our lockdown restrictions travelling to board a ship would be "non essential travel" but we are not closed. When cruising returns the UK will be there.
  9. I'm with you OP. We've got sailings booked through 2021 now and are exploring 2022. Glad we got out 2021 sailings booked before CV though - prices are going astronimical!
  10. Hear Hear.... X seems to be supporting its people reasonably well. As with local merchants if we want X to survive we need to give them our buisness. Book that next cruise. Take your cancellation as FCC. Make that final payment. We don't normally do takeways becuase I'm a bit of an avid cook. But we are making a concious effort to buy takeout from our favourite local retaurants right now. Its all they - and their staff - have. Buy local meat. Shop at local shops not the big chain stores (They have more stock right now anyway!) If there was anything like that for cruise staff I would happily contribute. If anyone from X is looking at these boards (and if not I don't blame you - it depresses us!) let us know. Is there any benevolent fund or anything we can do to support crew?
  11. It really depends on what information you read - and indeed your personal circumstances. We're booked on 4th July and 9th October both out of Southampton. I'm beginning to fear July may well not happen. But I certainly have not given up on October and as things stand I have no issue with making final payment for July (due in May). For that matter I'm on another line on 23rd Dec - and I haven't give up on that either!
  12. We've got two still standing - Baltic leaving 4th July (that one may fall) and Western Med 9th Oct. And Dalmation Coast summer 2021. (And Viking River Cruise for Christmas 2020 - but wrong board for that!) There are so many places I want to go / go back to. I too would settle for pretty much anywhere. To sit in the Porch on a sunny sea day. To watch the sun set from the balcony. Luminae...Martini bar....Tuscan....world class bar.... Hang in there Chemmo - we'll get back to it! Stay safe.
  13. Absolutely. A balance - but for a perfect balance.... lets also think of the crew and land based families who are loosing livlihood and buinesses.
  14. Who knows? You have your answer. 50% say deadhead. 50% say reschedule. I understand the drive for information - but there isn't any. We will find out when we find out.
  15. Also perhaps look at the time differences? You might get through quicker if you call in the middle of the night? The banner says the lines are 24/7. I guess personal contact to cancel does stop someone maliciously cancelling your booking.
  16. Thank you thank you thank you for posting. Absolutely right. Brought a tear to my eye and light to my morning to read this amongst all the folk complaining about not getting enough FCC, not geting enough notice etc. Absolutely thoughts and prayers are with the crews and thier families.
  17. I think the thing is... no-one knows! Appreciate you want clarity - we are due to cruise July 4th (no relvance to that date in the UK) and would love answers. But we are not going to get them. There is a massive balance for governements in slowing the virus enough that health systems are not overwhelmed and limiting the economic damage that inevitably follows. Cruise lines will see a similar balencing act. Stopping long enough that they don't loose more money hand over first with quarentined ships or empty ships and getting going fast enough that they do not go broke. Malthusian though it is - once enough people have caught this restrictions can relax and the world can settle to find whatever its new normal looks like. But in its wake will be devastated families, broken buisnesses and a load of people with more toilet paper than they know what to do with!
  18. What they normally do? A situation like this happened before? I don't think there is any "normal". This isn't X's fault - they have done the best they can, gone over and above what they are legally required to do. Why should they pay for flights not booked through them? Let alone pay compensation for your choice not to do so. Not sure about calm...but perhaps we could breifly consider the bigger picture? Crew unable to retun home. Crew who will loose jobs on which thier families depend. Dockworkers, local tourist industries. Small buinesses. Yes some have lost money becuase there wasn't suitable travel insurance etc. Yes "holidays of a lifetime" have been lost. But I would venture to guess that no-one complaining about this is reliant on a food bank. Wondering about how to feed thier family without income. Facing the loss of a buisness, or a home. Much as I like my "first world" problems - we are all far better off than many in this difficult and changing situation.
  19. There will come a tipping point where enough people have already caught CV-19 that the risk / cost of having a cruise ship dock is off set by the need for revenue, employment and the tourist euro. The way cases are escalating in europe (and will in the UK in the next few weeks) predicts peak transmission by mid April. Although May crusies might still be impacted to some countries June, July and August are far from a write off at this point. The situation is actually eased if non EU passengers don't travel as there is reciprocal health arrangements throughout the EU meaning the cost of treating an EU passenger from a cruise ship is no different to treating your own citizens. Treating a non EU passgenger requries that you need to be able to reclaim the cost from travel insirance which is not always possible. (FAD... passengers will always be treated, But governments need to look at money.) Once we stop trying to quarentine ships, which has massive cost to the host country in food supplies, medical aid, security etc and to the country of nationality in arranaging flights and home based quarentine, things will start to ease fairly quickly. There may be an ongoing impact for people with underlying health conditions which might make them more vulnerable or more expensive to treat and they may continue to be barred. but the industry has to try to normalise as best it can as fast as it can to survive. And lets not forget those who depend on the industry for a livelihood and whose situation at home would be truly desperate should that wage be lost.
  20. Given the general choas I would not worry over much. They are not going to deal with your cancellation any differently from the hundreds of others - both voluntary and forced. Look at the numerous other threads about the length of time it takes - and the various small amounts that come back in bits and peices. Wait 20 days or so and then see what has managed to make its way back and what not. ETA - other thread are syaing 6 weeks. no reason to believe that is not so. Just wait.
  21. Apparently it is correct https://www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/royal-caribbean-brands-suspend-us-operations-for-30-days.html It is only US sailings, not world wide. I doubt they had much choice given the US statements. Wow - thats a lot of replies whilst I was typing! I clearly type slow!
  22. 14 now... Ama Waterways; Avalon Waterways, Aida, Celestyal, Costa, Disney, Olsen, Princess, Saga, Scenic, Uniworld, Viking, Virgin and Windstar. Most have re-start dates in late April / early May - but Virgin is saying August.
  23. Actually part of it is. The Northern part of the Island is within the UK, the Southern part is not.
  24. Different countries are taking different approaches. As you say there is no inherant logic in different requirements for the carribbean - only that the countries themselves impose the additional restriction. The move to making FCC only more explicit just brings it in line with the "Cruise with confidence " gaurentee. Otherwise you would have folk who want a cash refund rather than FCC wasting everyone's time by turning up and saying they have transited a prohibited country simply to get the refund.
  25. Thanks Bill! Wise words and a much needed antidote. Keep calm and carry on cruising!
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