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Everything posted by TravelerThom

  1. No, not every year. 2024 has no month with 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays and 5 Mondays. Not surprising that you don’t win those bags of money.
  2. I cruised the Dniepr on the Viking Lomonosov before it was extensively renovated and became the Viking Sineus. The boat is a refurbished Soviet boat, built I think in East Germany, significantly larger than a Rhine-Main-Danube boat. My cruise was in the good old days when a number of days were spent in Crimea (not happening now). The currently scheduled Viking CRUISE ends at Tulcea and proceeds by land to Constanta and Bucharest (Bucharest being on neither the Black Sea nor the Danube). There are other Dniepr cruises (eg Imperial River Cruises), but Viking is the only line that markets extensively to US travelers. I have also cruised all the way from Constanta to Amsterdam, but broken into segments (many of which I’ve done more than once). I have spent 10 days on land in Romania mostly doing castles and churches in Transylvania. There are old threads discussing Dniepr cruises, but I find the CC search too frustrating to use. Thom
  3. Direct personal experience: I am 74 and in independent living in a Continuing Care Community. 15 days ago (23 July) prepaid qPCR were offered on a voluntary basis and were taken by 156 of the 350 independent residents. 17 of those 156 returned Positive (over 10% - ouch!). Over the 15 days since testing 1 of the 17 Positives has developed symptoms and has been hospitalized; the remaining 16 have been asymptomatic the entire time. Minimum age: 60s, median age about 80, several asymptomatic Positives are in their 90s. Am I surprised? Quite frankly I have a lot of questions about all this, but that is the one sample that I am personally part of. (I tested Negative.)
  4. Schengen Zone immigration is at your initial port of entry (for this discussion Amsterdam or Paris) as in the US, but unlike the US Schengen Customs are at your destination airport. You have entered Schengen when you got your entry stamp, but your luggage hasn’t entered Schengen until it is carried out the Green (or Red) Line door from baggage claim at your destination airport. Generally you will not see a Customs Inspector, but you are probably being remotely surveilled and they do have the right to stop and inspect your goods.
  5. Since it is the Shedd Cemetery, I’d think that’s where the old Shed went....
  6. I’ll disagree; not at all like changing within the US. Coming from North America to either Amsterdam and Paris, you will be entering the Schengen zone, and if you are destined for any of the 26 Schengen countries you must wait in an often quite long line to clear immigration and get your required Schengen entry stamp. Then generally there will be additional security before you get to your transfer gate. At busy times this can easily add an hour to your transfer.
  7. So.... §1: Cruises won’t sail until there is a “reliable vaccine” §2: You don’t believe that there will be a reliable vaccine, yet you plan on sailing anyway I’m having a difficult time understanding any logic in this.
  8. I have near 100% confidence that those people will NOT be adequately complying. Even if they did wear a mask they are not going to make the effort to use it properly. The risk of being quarantined on a ship a la Diamond Princess until I’m actually infected is not worth it IMO. After nearly a hundred cruises it will be a long time (if ever) that I’ll be back on a cruise ship. An added advantage is not having to wonder when OR IF I’ll finally get refunded from yet another cancelled cruise.
  9. Note that the discussion you reference is under departing specifically by airplane. This relates to aircraft security and has no effect on whether you could visit Israel (indeed since this deals with leaving, obviously they let you in). Israel takes aircraft security seriously, unlike TSA which is mostly theatre to make you think they are making you safe. BTW those social rules that one must observe in Dubai focus primarily on public drunkenness, public sex and/or excessive PDA, obscene clothing and excessive criticism of the government. I will grant that the UAE is not the best in dealing with human rights.
  10. Can you document this? IME there are indeed a number of places that deny entry if your passport stamps indicate visits to Israel; Dubai is not one of them. Passport stamps from hard-line anti-Israel countries will certainly get you extra questioning before being allowed into Israel, but Dubai stamp do not trigger extra interrogation.
  11. Well according to the article YOU provided a link to (you did read it, right?): “There was no reason to suspect COVID-19 when the ship docked in Tromsø based on the symptoms the four of the crew had,” said Hurtigruten communications manager Rune Thomas Ege in a prepared statement the company issued.
  12. I follow Lincoln’s twitter feed. It took awhile, but I finally found where he posted this on February 23, 1865. 😳
  13. And some people don’t even have a clue what you’re talking about. 😳 There is a fine line between pushing it fast enough to have enough momentum to catch the engine versus pushing it so fast down the hill that you are unable to make the jump in, and the car ends up in the creek without you 😏 Or so I’ve been told....
  14. I think Miss Vicki “accidentally” dropped a “k” as in: there are just 100k reservations left that are waiting more than 30 days for a refund. Whats the difference between 100 and 100,000 between friends?
  15. In the last week AZN increased from under 54 to almost 65 probably based on expectation of a favorable announcement. Short term traders are taking their profits now that the announcement has been made. Stock almost always over correct.
  16. Your first question involved several paragraphs disparaging the CDC and then asking would we ignore CDC guidance. Your second question is NOT an honest representation of what you had previous discussed, so don’t lecture us on what what your “Question was”.
  17. As of now NOTHING anywhere in the world is definite for October.
  18. You must be younger than I am. Documented Smallpox (re)vaccination within 3 years was required for traveling outside North America (and for return to the US) until smallpox was eradicated in the 1970s. My International Vaccination Certificate dates from the 1960s. India required Polio Vaccination coming from Pakistan in the 1990s. Needless to say I have several documented Yellow Fever vaccinations, required (among others) by South Africa for arrivals from most of Central Africa.
  19. My worst cruise rip-off nightmare is getting billed yet again for the bottle of water that was never opened, and left right were I found it. A few years ago RCI was billing about every third person for bottled water they never drank. Financially it was not worth the time to call, complain and finally get the $7 or whatever refunded. I think (hope) RCI has finally ceased that as an ongoing ripoff scam.
  20. For many people the cruise is so much better if they can afford it. Not everyone has unlimited money and cares to spend $1000 a week for two drink packages.
  21. One scenario: Tomorrow: Sure we can give you the higher price. A month from now: Oh sorry, even though you paid the higher price we can’t give you the increased OBC. GOOD LUCK!
  22. And in the Andes they compensate for lack of central heat; sleep with a bunch of them to stay warm (al la 3 dog night). Cuy is generally considered to be “peasant food” and is most commonly seen roasted on a stick at road side stands, or in touristy restaurants; not usually seen in upscale restaurants unless they have a substantial tourist trade. The Cathedral in Cuzco has a rather famous painting of the Last Supper where the entree is cuy.
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