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About DrHemlock

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  1. Also hoping for a reply to gbits' question above, Jan. Doesn't seem like the proper time for email inquiry to you or Marcy directly because you have enough to do without responding, but there are a whole bunch of us out here who'd like to know "all at once" whatever you can (or want to) tell us. Best wishes!
  2. Cannot say for sure whether there is pool deck noise on the R ships (of which Insignia is one) but we have experienced it on other ships. That's why, when sailing on an R ship, we always choose a PH in the front of the ship. It will be under the computer room and/or games room on Deck 9. Always quiet there. Also, there's very little hallway traffic because the corridor leads only to some officers/ranking staff quarters even farther forward. But this advice applies only to the port (left) side of the ship. Those forward PHs on the starboard side are directly beneath the gym.
  3. True re Allianz. However, to be clear for members who aren't cruise insurance mavens, the Travel Protection Program Enhancement sent by Oceania and posted above is not affiliated with Allianz. Even with the Allianz policy (which I have not read), the question remains: What if you're not sick but you've been exposed to Covid aboard ship and, therefore, are not allowed to fly home without first being quarantined for two weeks at the port where you've been off-loaded? Does that count as "trip interruption," meaning you are covered for expenses? It apparently does no
  4. I received the same notice, forwarded by my TA. I read the notice and the linked policy as closely as a layman can read any of those things. Nowhere did I see any mention of Covid. Lots of trip insurance and emergency evacuation policies specifically exclude everything Covid-related, and they say so right up front. What about this one? To me, silence on the issue means you're not covered. All well and good that this new enhancement covers you if "a physician certifies that you cannot fly home due to a sickness or injury which does not require hospitalization." That would se
  5. Mea culpa on the free bottle of wine. We've sailed O on a bunch of cruises and I forgot that that freebie comes with frequency, not cabin class. The "free laundry service" shown on O's amenity list in post #3 above is of questionable value. Three-day turnaround for your laundry when you've deliberately packed as light as possible? Ummm...probably not. Good ol' regular 1-day service works better for us and it's a good use of OBC.
  6. Well, you get a welcome bottle of decent bubbly plus a free bottle of wine with a concierge veranda. Also, your cabin will be ready about an hour before non-concierge on sailing day. Both are nice but non-essential. For us, the biggest attraction of concierge class is that we get to make specialty restaurant reservations before non-concierge pax. Penthouse and higher get first crack, then concierge about a week later, then everyone else about a week after that. (Don't quote me on the time frames.) If you like a two-top at a certain time, you'll increase your chances of succe
  7. A wise decision, I think. Our Amazon cruise several years ago was aboard Regent's Navigator which is about 1/3 the size of Marina. Even that smaller ship couldn't go upriver past Manaus -- a rather large city -- and downriver was mostly agricultural delta country as described by Hawaiidan, plus a stop at a fabricated "native village" referenced earlier in this thread that was like visiting a movie set when the company is filming somewhere else. Clearly, no one actually lived or worked there. We did take a "rainforest experience" ship's excursion from Manaus, but it was pretty
  8. https://www.axios.com/scoop-white-house-overruled-cdc-cruise-ships-florida-91442136-1b8e-442e-a2a1-0b24e9a39fb6.html
  9. Seconding Flatbush above. FWIW, I'm 6'1" and 170. The shower is okay (just...as long as you don't drop the soap) and the commode requires sitting slightly side-saddle, but it's all doable. You will find it more difficult than I do. Perhaps someone more your size will reply with a more accurate assessment. In the end, the question is how much more are you willing/able to pay for a bigger, nicer bathroom? The R-class (Insignia) penthouses are nice and so are their bathrooms.
  10. Yes, a free bottle of bubbly -- usually French; exact vintage varies -- waiting in an ice bucket when you move into your cabin. If you don't drink it on embarkation day, they retrieve the ice bucket but leave the bottle which you can keep cold in your fridge or ask your room steward for another bucket of ice whenever you want. You can also take the bottle to dinner with you in any venue; the sommeliers will open and pour without any fee or corkage charge.
  11. And the irony is their claim that we're selfish because we're trying to dictate, control their lives and ruin their freedom and happiness. I'm rooting for Darwin....
  12. Or book your own flights using frequent flyer miles. You can cancel anytime -- even the day before your flight -- without penalty, and pay only a couple hundred dollars fee to reinstate your miles. N.B.: the preceding refers to AA and UA because I have experience with both. Other airlines may vary, so do due diligence. (Try saying that three times fast.)
  13. Slightly off topic, but referencing the website linked above: For those O cruisers who cut our sailing teeth 20 years ago on Renaissance and Radisson, that same website offers the former Radisson Diamond for sale. $47.5 million takes 'er home. "Honey, did you remember to buy lottery tickets?" Oh man, we did love that ship -- thanks, Jan! -- three times, including a trans-Atlantic. Captain Neil Broomhall would allow one or two pax onto the navigation wings next to the bridge every now and then, and would occasionally allow one of us to sound the horn upon departure from port. G
  14. pinotlover: Totally. Like you, I've seen people wearing their masks doing some of the darnedest things where there is clearly no danger to anyone because there's no one else there. Although, now that I think about it, if a person is, in fact, a carrier/spreader, then the more often and for the longer period of time he/she wears that mask when not needed, it becomes more and more contaminated, thereby reducing its effectiveness -- that's why they come with washing instructions. So, unless one really enjoys doing laundry, it seems equally important not to wear the mask when it i
  15. Good one, ToxM!!! There's a frequent poster on this board who likes to go on about deciding for himself how much risk he's willing to take, then acting upon it -- which, in his case, means no mask because he's willing to take the risk of getting COVID. Well, sir, you may not be worried about the risk to yourself, but that's really not the issue, is it? If you refuse to wear a mask in close quarters in public, then you are the risk. Masks (except for the fancy ones we ordinary civilians can't obtain) don't really do much to protect you from others; their purpose is to protect oth
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