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Everything posted by helengp

  1. Kevin York...I don’t think it makes any difference. If TUI cancel now or after FCO advising against all but essential travel, they still have to offer credit or refund. I expect they are waiting as it is possible Italy might lift the restrictions after the initial lockdown, and then cruises could leave from Italian ports.
  2. MXDRew.....I do get why we need to slow the spread...obviously! But my point is, that as this virus won't fizzle out, will be with us for good, and a vaccine is a long way off, how long could we sustain the isolation/shutting up shop scenario? The economic cost is going to be huge.....many many people will see their jobs disappear, businesses will fail, and so on, so my point is maybe we need to not be so draconian in our response and try to balance better economic need with that of health. I just don't see shutting everything down for months as a viable option.
  3. Yes I too am getting increasingly worried about our Naples cruise in May. I really don't want them to cancel it, but as we booked it specifically as it visited Venice, which is now under quarantine, I am wondering what they are going to do.....and if Easyjet cancel our flights to Naples, we will struggle to get to Naples anyway. Interesting times....but isolating everyone and shutting up shop seems a bit ridiculous really. This is a virus...it won't suddenly disappear and will be here for good. Vaccine very many months away, so do we continue with these measures for months and months and months?
  4. Vital signs.....I think you only need to self isolate on return from anywhere in Italy if you have symptoms. It is still only returning from the lockdown areas that require automatic self isolation, symptoms or not. Our cruise goes from Naples which so far is still ok to travel to/from. As is Venice. Whether that will still be the case in May....who knows. But by then I expect the spread in the U.K. to be as bad if not worse than Italy, so I expect advice will have changed again.
  5. An awful lot of scaremongering going on! Go and enjoy your holiday. We are off to France next week and are looking forward to our Marella cruise in May. Considering many who get this virus will have no symptoms at all, or minor ones at most, it's really not worth fretting over! We just have to hope Marella don't cancel the cruises......
  6. As this virus spreads it will be almost impossible to keep tabs on everyone you have had contact with to see if they've been exposed or tested positive at a later date. I work in a customer facing role and see 20-30 complete strangers each day. How am I supposed to know if any of them tests positive in the weeks after I've seen them? So I could quite honestly answer a ship medical questionnaire stating I had not been in contact with anyone in the previous 14 days etc. only to discover later that that wasn't true. It is going to be impossible to police and the only way to handle this is to assume that wherever you go over the next few months you will almost certainly be exposed to this virus. If you are worried about that, don't travel.
  7. We are also due to depart Naples in May. I just called Marella and they advised that you would be asked the question about visiting Italy in the preceding 30 days, and you would of course answer 'yes' as you couldn't get on boat without physically being there, but they would then ask you exactly where you'd been, and as long as it wasn't northern Italy, you could board. All subject to FO advice of course which could change to include whole of Italy in which case they said they would offer an alternative itinerary or refund. Hope this doesn't happen, but at least we'll get our money back if it does.
  8. Definitely OK to go in a cruise with a cold! Can't believe any of you seriously expect people to forgo a holiday that's cost more than £1000 each simply because of a cold. The number of times I have got on a plane and sat next to someone with a cold....annoying indeed, but you can't expect people to give up their plans for such a minor illness. Obviously, flu is different...if you had genuine flu you wouldn't want to travel anyway...the only place you want to be is in bed. But a cold....seriously?
  9. It would seem that things are moving quickly with this virus, but again the press don't help by scaremongering. In response to Vitalsign I would say that you can not ask people to cancel a holiday just because they have a cold. I get at least one cold each winter....usually a bit of a cough, sore throat, sneezing etc but it's normally gone in a couple of days. I can't see my insurance paying out on that basis. So I would always travel if I just had a cold. I don't know a single person who wouldn't! And I am distinguishing here between a common cold and flu.
  10. Just a small observation, The age demographic on tui ships is probably 50 plus years old. I would estimate that a percentage of these passengers have underlying medical conditions so there will be a lot of people with coughs, colds sore throat etc from before this coronavirus outbreak. Well that doesn't always follow....we are both 55 and fit as fiddles with no health issues....but we still get the odd cold! Especially after getting off a plane! I'm just hoping this all blows over and that we can do our cruise!
  11. The 28 days was I understood a reference to the 28 day period immediately before travel....i.e. the advice not to travel must still be in force at some point in that period. So if you are due to travel in May and there is a directive not to travel now which is then lifted next month, you would still be expected to travel and couldn't use the past 'directive' as reason to cancel.
  12. I think the 'fitness to travel' is a grey area and certainly if they stopped you from boarding because you had a common cold, that would be open to challenge as many people get colds and they have no ill effects on others. I suspect they would ultimately have to refund you if your illness was not a risk to others. Certainly it's open to interpretation and legal dispute! I paid the balance on my credit card so I am hoping that I find all else fails they would reimburse me as the goods I had paid for were not provided.....but don't quote me on that!
  13. I just checked my annual insurance policy and it specifically does not cover me for cancellation due to government advice not to travel. Apparently, I should have purchased the travel interruption upgrade! I asked to add it on now, but they said it could only be purchased at the time of buying the policy. So I have bitten the bullet and yesterday have purchased a second annual policy and have included the travel disruption section and this does cover cancellation if government advises not to travel. We have 4 holidays this year including our cruise from Italy in May with Marella. Paying an extra £100 for a second policy therefore seems prudent, if somewhat annoying!
  14. Hello Rool. Yes, we travelled as a couple and found it easy to chat to other couples particularly when on the tours (2.5 hours on a coach you can't help but get to know some of your fellow passengers 😁). That said, we enjoy our own company so preferred to spend the evenings in the quieter areas rather than throw ourselves in to communal activities. We loved sitting out at the bar on deck 5 watching the world go by.....and as we were there during the UK general election, we quite often found ourselves putting the world to rights with likeminded travellers. We chose to eat in the buffet, but did venture in to the more formal dining rooms once where as a couple we were seated on a larger table with complete strangers......but we soon all got chatting. That said, we preferred the buffet for choice and speed.....we are not big on long dining experiences! So, really you can make what you want of it.....you'll enjoy it whatever! And there were multi nationalities.....the predominance of Greek travellers was not an issue....many of them speak English anyway and they were all very friendly.
  15. We were on this cruise same time as the couple making the videos....I have watched them and have spotted my husband sitting out on deck 5. They really captured the spirit of the cruise and the tours and it's been great to see their videos to remind us of what fun the trip was. If you are doing this trip you won't be disappointed.
  16. Hello Jam12. We did this trip in December, outside of school holidays, and there were very few children on board. We met one couple with their 2 teenage boys and they all seemed to have a good time. We felt safe everywhere. We did the tours in Egypt, Rhodes and Kusadasi but did our own thing in Israel, Cyprus and Athens. In Egypt, the coaches travelled in convoy with an armed escort and we had an armed tourist policeman on each coach. That said, we never felt any kind of threat at all and in fact found the Egyptians to be friendly and very happy to see tourists in their country. Normal caution required with street hawkers and people trying to sell you stuff at pyramids etc. Bags scanned going in to museum...all as you would expect. It was all very well organised and a great day, the only downside being 3 hours each way on coach.....but so worth it! I am sure you will have an amazing time.
  17. Hello Twizzlers.....the time at the pyramids was ok.....we stopped first at the viewing platform area to get the whole panoramic experience, and then the coach took us back to the main pyramid where we had free time to explore around the pyramids and to go inside if you wanted. We then got back on coach to return to the sphinx and had time there to view that and take pics and buy any souvenirs from the many side stalls. It was a bit rushed.....but considering we had to pack so much in to one day, I think they did it very well. After the pyramids the coach took us to a papyrus workshop and shop....just for half hour, which was a bit pointless, but obviously trying to get tourists back in to these places, and then to lunch at a hotel....excellent food, and then to the museum to see Tutankhamun exhibition which for us was the highlight.....and then back on coach for the 3 hour journey back to Port Said. It was a long day.....6.30am start but we wouldn't have missed it for the world.
  18. Hi. We just got off this ship on Monday, after doing the Athens to Athens 3 Continents cruise. We had a fabulous time. This ship tends to do port intensive itineraries and that is what we booked for.....the ship itself is small and old, but absolutely perfect for those wanting a more laid back experience. Even though it's an older ship, it is very well maintained.....the staff cleaning continuously, polishing the brass, sweeping the decks etc. We had an inside cabin on deck 5 which was very well appointed, plenty of storage, good en-suite shower room and lovely coastal picture painted on wall.....and lots of mirrors to make cabin feel bigger. It was very comfortable. Our cabin staff were excellent, everything was clean and tidy. The food is good.....we ate in the buffet as we like to try various things, but you could have had a more formal dining experience too. We didn't go to any of the evening entertainment as we we're knackered by the long days in port, but fellow passengers said it was good and as expected. the 3 included tours were excellent, with good guides and in Egypt we had excellent security with an armed tourist policeman on every coach, and an escort. We felt very safe. And lastly the staff.....they were so nice and friendly, and couldn't do enough for us...and what interesting young people they were....from all corners of the world. I would thoroughly recommend this ship and company and are already looking to book again next year!
  19. Typing this from the ship as we finish our cruise. It was wonderful! The week has flown by.....so many highlights, but particularly Jerusalem and Ephasus. Ship brilliant, staff amazing, food really good particularly the buffet. Weather was mixed but we managed to stay dry. But it is December! I will right a longer review once home. But it was really great!
  20. We have been told both verbally by phone and by email from the cruise company that we do not need to get a visa in advance as this will be done at the port with a stamp in the passport that will allow us entry for the day. We are really looking forward to the trip and will certainly post about our experience when we return. 😊
  21. Thanks for your reply...yes, you are right! The cruise starts 9th December....we leave home the 8th. Got confused. Thanks for the visa info. I also emailed them and have just received a reply notifying me of the same. Good to know. Thanks again, helen
  22. Thank you for the reply. Our own country's information re visas suggests one is necessary, although there are some geographical exceptions. But I think for where we are going, one will be necessary. It is a bit worrying that the cruise company are telling us we don't need one.....would hate to arrive that morning and be told 'no visa no tour' ☹️
  23. Hello. We are booked on this cruise in December....leaving Athens on the 8th. This will be our first ever cruise.....very excited. One thing I can not get a definitive answer on, is do we need a visa for the trip in Egypt? We leave the ship at Alexandria and have a day visiting the pyramids and Cairo before rejoining the ship in the evening at Port Said. I contacted the cruise line and they said no visa required! But Egyptian consulate website suggests everyone visiting needs a tourist visa (can be got on-line as an e-visa) so I wondered if anyone knew any more about this? We will do our own thing in Israel......no visa there i think. any ideas/advice very welcome, thanks Helen
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