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Everything posted by crusinbanjo

  1. Seems that the retirement of the S Class ships could come back to bite………. If this takes hold in other islands, luxury lines like SS or Seabourn will be the only options
  2. While I totally agree with your statement, what is keeping Mrs Banjo and I from cruising right now is the constant testing, masking and fear of a possible positive test at the cruise terminal, or worse during the cruise. We cruise to take a break and relax, as well as to see much of the world that we have not seen before. All the stumbling blocks that must now be navigated make cruising much less desirable for us.
  3. Glad the hip replacement went well. Since my last surgery, knee replacement, I am not looking forward to more for my hips, but it may be unavoidable. Keep up the great work!
  4. Thanks Terry, for all you do to keep us informed. Although I have been posting less and less, I am still keeping up with my reading. Mrs Banjo and I are still hoping that cruises we have booked for March and May will sail with some relief from the current testing, masking and covid passport requirements. All of these requirements are taking much of the fun out of travel and holding us back from cruising right now. We are seriously considering canceling both cruises and just remain in the US for another year or so, or until the madness subsides.
  5. I saw this thread on the Holland America board. This could put a serious damper on traveling to and from the ships. I checked the government website, (Netherland), and they now list the US as “Very High Risk” which, if I read it correctly, would require a quarantine period, even if you are just transiting through. Mrs Banjo and I are booked for March of next year and we are already getting nervous that the cruise won’t be able to sail. YIKES!
  6. Very well said and sadly you are correct. Mrs Banjo and I have not made any SS bookings for the very same reasons. We are watching, waiting and praying that the CV-19 pandemic winds down sooner rather than later and we can get back to seeing the world on SS ships.
  7. It depends on the airspace designation. at Ketchican, around the airport it is Class E, (controlled airspace) but much of it is Class G, (Uncontrolled), so to fly VFR you would need to have minimum 1 mile visibility, and remain clear of any clouds, (and flying in those conditions is very dicey, even in flat country). The safe altitude, where you are above obstructions in the fiord area, is anywhere from 3900 ft to 8400 feet depending on where you are. But in Alaska pilots like to always stay below the clouds. So about ATC, you cannot fly IFR without filing an IFR flight plan and receiving a clearance from ATC, (you could technically fly IFR without a clearance if you never leave Class G airspace, but then you could not land because the airports are all in Class E or higher airspace). in IFR conditions, the controllers and your clearance will tell you where to be, how to get there and at what altitude. They are very strict with the rules because it's safety first, always. They will also provide separation service from other aircraft, and guidance to published approaches for landing at airports. I have no particulars on this particular flight, but it sure sounds like the pilot should have canceled the flight, but I also know that weather changes VERY quickly in Alaska and controlled flight into terrain, (crashing), because of diminished visibility is one of the most frequent accidents in Alaska, much more than in the lower 48. Here's what the AOPA has to say; "Even though the pilots flying for the high-end fishing lodge have instrument ratings and the airplanes are IFR equipped, they seldom fly in, or above, clouds. Pilots are taught to maintain visual contact with the ground at all times, and to follow rivers if necessary over the lowest possible elevations. Almost all the airspace in that area is Class G, which requires just one mile of visibility while remaining clear of the clouds. And clouds are a nearly constant companion, especially during the summer when rain, low ceilings, and fog are common near the cold ocean waters."
  8. Also, flying in IFR conditions, a glacier would not be very visible and a very real collision hazard. If an IFR flight clearance had been issued, the aircraft would need to be at “safe altitude” or above for that area ATC would never issue a clearance into an unsafe area. As an IFR certified pilot, I totally agree with your assessment. A 900 ft ceiling, 2 miles visibility is not adequate for VFR, and as everyone now knows quite dangerous. Flight should have been canceled.
  9. If the plane was having an in-flight difficulties, the pilot can declare an emergency with ATC and set his transponder to a specific code so radar will track them. If a crash happens, the Emergency Location Transmitter will activate automatically. Very sad news.
  10. I am reminded of a fancy restaurant that my brothers wife insisted we go to with them. After dinner, on the way home, we stopped for a burger!
  11. Hoping that is the case as well. Mrs Banjo and I would like to visit friends Down Under, before they are much older. Currently, they are in lockdown again over the Delta mutation, vaccine rollout has been really slow there, so…….. who knows!
  12. Mrs Banjo and I rarely bought trip insurance, but for the future bookings we have, I am buying, but not from the cruise line. We will be buying from private sources that are widely available.
  13. I don’t know the numbers, but from what I have read, the Sinovac and Sinopharm are not very good at preventing cv-19 infections. The China vaccines, (I believe), were widely used in Brazil, in India, and other places where infection are still not under control.
  14. Thank you Terry, you always have the best info and have kept up with this since the beginning.
  15. Ha, or at least getting ready to start cruising again! Mrs Banjo and I booked two cruises on Viking for march and May of 2022 and with all the crap seeming to continue, we are already getting nervous that these might face cancelations........ or worse...... they could end up as bubble cruises.
  16. Thank you, we are excited to cruise on Viking. We have cruised on Silver Sea, Regent, Seabourn and we always loved the ship size and IT’s. Additionally, we were frequent cruisers with Holland America, but with all the S class ships now gone, we are moving on from HAL and Viking seems like the best match. Never liked the BIG BOATS.
  17. Mrs Banjo and I booked our first ever Viking cruises. The first being the Norther Lights cruise in March. This is a bucket list cruise for Mrs Banjo, so I hope we get great views of the "Lights". The second is a wester Med cruise in May that will attach nicely to a small group land tour of Tuscany. I want to thank all the Viking Board contributors for the excellent postings. These were a big help for us in evaluating the cruise line. Although not Technically our FIRST cruise on a Viking ship.........(see photo below).... We are looking forward to joining the fleet and a return to cruising after CV-19
  18. Wishing you all a great cruise. I’m so jealous..... haha
  19. The Wind was our first SS cruise as well, back I think in 1996? She was brand new at the time and the Cloud was the only other SS Ship. I remember when they announced the first of the new builds and the reaction of the Pax when they said the new ships would carry 500+ pax...... everyone groaned. Mrs Banjo and I have been in love with the Wind and the Cloud ever since and all but one of our SS cruises have been on one or the other.!
  20. Mrs Banjo and I always check with the airlines for schedules and pricing, (particularly for Biz Class), then compare to what SS is offering us. The last time, they were able to books the flights I requested, after a few discussions, and it worked out great. I wanted to fly direct from Boston to Hong Kong then from Singapore to Tokyo then direct to Boston. SS wanted us to fly via Dubai which would have added 15 hours to our travel time. If they had not been able to do this for us, I would have booked it myself. So it always pays to be informed about what is available and the deviation fee is really a small price if you get the right flights.
  21. Yep, Mrs Banjo and I sailed in the Pinnacle Suite on a Baltic cruise. Wish I could afford that experience more often!
  22. I have to agree. Mrs Banjo and I have cruised on Silversea, Regent and in 2019 on Seabourn in the past and will be trying out Oceania in the near future as a replacement for HAL.
  23. Mrs Banjo and I watched “The Love Boat” even before we were married. I think it was her mother’s favorite show. Anyway, because of that show, we booked our first ever cruise on the Island Princess to Alaska in 1990. In 1992, we booked her I sister ship, Pacific Princess, from Tahiti to Hawaii. We were hooked on cruising and on small ships. Sad to see the superstars of true entertainment passing away....... Rest In Peace Captain.
  24. Her is a picture of the Ryndam from a few years ago. Mrs Banjo and I were on a Western Caribbean cruise out of Tampa. Great memories of cruising that was convenient to get to and board, good itinerary, great service, good entertainment and a great ship.
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