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Everything posted by LoriPhil

  1. MamaFej - thanks for your thoughts on Celebrity. Based on that info I checked availability for Alaska next August since we cancelled our Princess cruise when they switched the Sapphire cruisers to the Royal but as I'd feared - no cabins available for a B2B in the midship areas. Drat! We've only sailed with them once on the Eclipse - Southern Caribbean itinerary and did enjoy it greatly. We treated ourselves to the absolutely best champagne tasting event we've ever attended where it was all top-flight vintages, nice hefty pours and we learned lots. They even had a volunteer (yes, it was Phil) try sabering-off the cork, which he did successfully and without bloodshed. Quite an achievement when you consider it was towards the end of the tasting after lots of champagne had been consumed. I'll probably continue to ghost the Celebrity site just in case something becomes available. Would love a cruise in 2022!
  2. Loosing track of days? We do that too! Wake up and try to remember if it’s Sunday with two newspapers, a Thursday masquerading as a Friday, or Wednesday trash day. For the longest time I attributed it to being retired but realized we are so isolated the day of the week has pretty much become meaningless. We’ll, except for trash day, and Sunday mornings when Formula 1 racing is on live early in the morning.
  3. A spectacular fall day with a sunny, dry, low 80s afternoon in store. We’re heading north for lunch with 3 dear friends outside on their deck - the first time face-to-face with pals in 18 months. Excited and oddly nervous to be out of the box and interacting with even a tiny group of people and our first meal outside of the house since quarantine began. Outside yesterday and came face to face with a HUGE robustly-legged yellow bodied spider with a massive new web stretching down between our bedroom shutter and roofline. A cartoon moment when I first saw this massive spider shadow against the house and then the real critter with a rounded body at least an inch in diameter, with those front legs rearing up defensively. Ewwww - danced back and I admit I shrieked like a little girl. It’s way too big for a fly swatter to take down… hitting it with the car might work but Phil said no, leave it alone. Well fine, but he better hope it doesn’t decide to seek a way inside for the winter.
  4. FYI: we cancelled the Royal cruise on the 18th but still haven’t seen the refund on our credit card. Per Princess rep today, refunds take longer in this case because the original booking doesn’t exist anymore so they are refunding a different cruise, which requires a different manual process. Ok… but we’ll keep watch and will call again if we don’t see anything by next week.
  5. Another backdoor trick I think I learned here worked for me today after I got the dreaded black screen. I logged on, clicked Booked Guests,, clicked the appropriate cruise, clicked the "Book Excursions" option on the drop-down, and after it took me to the itinerary with Port excursions, just clicked the Travel Summary on the row of actions at the top of that page for the details. I would not have thought of trying that without these CC postings - so very helpful! In addition to our cruise, we also booked the next cabin for our sister/BIL, but I need to talk to Princess directly to get their new booking number to cancel.
  6. Flu shots scheduled for Tuesday. We’re just 6 months out from our second Moderna shot, but I’ll be aggressively pursuing when it looks like we can move forward. Interesting to hear Mary’s minor side effects and would like to hear of others’ experiences as more start getting the jabs.
  7. John - even refurbished we would not choose the Royal for Alaska cruising. While the covered balconies are nice, most people try to be on-deck for this scenic-intensive itinerary. Although a huge ship, our opinion based on past Royal cruises is that these ships don’t have adequate outdoor viewing space for the passengers, as it’s restricted primarily to the top few decks. Too many people vying for railing space to see the sights. We only book - what are now - smaller Princess ships with their greater viewing options. Love Royal for Caribbean, but not Alaska. Personal preference, that’s all.
  8. We have booked Sapphire for 2023 rather than cruise Royal in 2022. I had been concerned whether Sapphire would again be diverted, but it looks like the Diamond Princess is back cruising the Asian routes in 2023, so we’re hopeful about our chances.
  9. Wonder if you need to wait on-site for the results or if you can head to the airport and wait to check luggage until results are in.
  10. Have had multiple tests at Walgreens, which has “living in an area with high community transmission” as justification for the test, and have never been denied insurance coverage. But the Abbot at-home test sounds like a good way to go as a contingency, as we typically fly in two days prior to the cruise. I’m guessing we’ll also need test results to fly back to the US from Vancouver after our B2B, so Abbot may be the way to go for that as well. I can see it now - in Ketchikan sitting on our balcony with the laptop, cocktail in one hand and the other holding a swab stuffed up my nose. Ah, travel-tales to tell the grandkids..
  11. We are working with a remodeling company for the kitchen but the 8-week project start date has been pushed back, with an additional delay up front for asbestos mitigation, so bottom line is late fall/early winter build. I’m 3-years past my third bout of cancer and with the rise of Delta in our community, am freaked about having any crew spending days in the house (even with plastic barriers) with closed windows and doors. Can’t relocate for that time because of the cat. No, seriously, the cat. Discussed with the builder this morning and we are going to push back the project start until spring when the house can be open to fresh air. Appreciated that their first concern was that we are comfortable with the project so no pushback at all. Well… drat, but we were both relieved about the delay, which reinforced that it was the right decision for us. At least the new fence is in, and the deck will be replaced with composite material in two weeks, with porch screened in by November. Ironic that the projects using outdoor crews will all completed during the warmer weather. So yes, we hate it too!
  12. I’m concerned that this same redeployment will occur for our May 2023 Alaska B2B. Will see what other ship options are available in case we need to be prepared for a change. Spoke with Princess today and we aren’t able to cancel our August 2022 cruise until Sept 17 when the new booking numbers etc have been assigned. At that time we have 3 options - refund, future cruise credit, and I assume the third option that wasn’t actually mentioned was taking the cruise. Well drat!
  13. They haven't listed Royal on the Alaska Cruise itineraries so I'm guessing it will be a few days before we can check to see cabin availability. Wondering if it will truly be inside passage (love the Seymour Straits!) or cruising west of Vancouver Island.
  14. We're disappointed as we also chose the Sapphire over the Royal originally because of the superior outdoor viewing option on the Sapphire and now need to assess whether she's worth it to us, and if we can change cabin locations, as we wouldn't have selected the same cabin on the Royal as the Sapphire. Wonder where she'll be deployed? Ah well, we do have Sapphire booked for May 2023 as well - I'll be interested if that one still sticks.
  15. Am fine with testing, though it might be tight for travel to Vancouver for Alaska cruising next year so I'll be interested to see where we are in the process at that time. But I didn't read the Princess fine print - thought it would be a 100% vaccinated passenger requirement in 2022, which is why we booked a cruise.
  16. Yay! After several follow-ups with the state and the hospital that hosted the vaccination clinic, my first covid shot from February is finally showing on my official state vaccination report so it now matches my card. So glad I checked (months ago) and noticed the information was incomplete and had the time to get it corrected, rather than be surprised right before a cruise. Lots of room available for additional boosters through the months/years. Ummmm, time to start packing yet?
  17. All cruise lines are in the same boat with masking ☺️ so it’s responsive to the OPs question about the environment on a ship with people wearing masks.
  18. I recommend verifying that your state records are accurate prior to traveling. My DHs’ records on file with the state show both covid jabs but mine only shows my second shot in March. I’ve emailed image of my vaccination card and details to the state Health Department to update the records, but will follow up as this is the second time I’ve had to reach out and was assured corrective action would be taken. If I’d assumed all was well until I was headed for a cruise, I would have been panicking.
  19. Pleased to see this come down from the CDC. I will feel safer cruising under these conditions than I do when I’m shopping, since our county has the lowest vaccination rate of Colorados large-population counties and the highest number of new delta cases in the state. At least everyone is vaccinated on the ship, which will be a relief.
  20. The joys of retirement and hunkering down - letting my hair grow and just pulling it back into a braid, with an occasional trim every 4 months or so. I’ll probably cut it back to shoulder length before we cruise in the next year or two but it’s down to my waist now, so I’ll have lots of length to donate when that finally happens.
  21. We’re booked B2B on the Sapphire May 2023. Sorry the Coral is no longer sailing this itinerary, but Sapphire is a nice sized ship and I like midweek departures. Wohoo!
  22. Yep - we booked Sapphire B2B May 17, 2023 as a contingency in case next year doesn’t pan out… OR if we decide to do Alaska both years. Late 60s and retired now so we will hope to increase cruising a tad, provided the kitty-sitter continues to be available. Last evening about 10 minutes after I filled the bird bath, our neighbor texted over a video of the mama bear and her two cubs strolling in our yard by the birdbath. Don’t need to go to Alaska to sight wildlife, but we do need to go for that fabulous water, eagles and the lovely cruise experience. Also need new sweatshirts and tees that we always get portside.
  23. The Alaska 2023 cruises are posted now. Elites can book right now, but I think others must wait a few days before they can (not sure of the timing there, but we can see the Alaska Cruises, ships and dates and plan accordingly).
  24. What a terrifying picture! Is he safe right now? Best wishes for all those in harms way.
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