Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

Everything posted by sippican

  1. In light of yesterday's tragedy on Viking Polaris when it was struck in the Drake Passage by a rouge wave, how does the PC rating impact a ship's actual seaworthiness? Should the ice rating be the only consideration? The ship was returning to port early due to a passenger injury, when a medical evacuation was not considered feasible.
  2. The new Viking Polaris was heading back to Ushuaia early due to injuries suffered by a passenger when a zodiac "exploded". According to reports, a rogue wave struck the ship during a storm in the Drake Passage, causing severe damage to the ship, one fatality, and other serious injuries.
  3. Are you scheduled to sail? We were scheduled to sail on Polaris on 12/6, but are hearing others on the pre-cruise excursion have been notified of the cancellation. Passengers on Octantis were read a statement from Viking that there was one death and others critically injured on Polaris. Those passengers currently on Polaris have not received any such news. Those in the impacted cabins have not been allowed to return to their cabins to retrieve any of their personal belongings until the investigation is finished.
  4. Unfortunately, the Marine lab mentioned above closed some years age. I'd just like to add a few random observations. Having experienced Bar Harbor and Acadia both during high season summer, and shoulder season, late August, September (when most cruise ships call), I can assure you that the crowd level is ridiculous during both periods. During our recent cruise call in September, the restaurants were overflowing, the shops full and the passengers loaded down with shopping bags on the returning tenders. The load in Acadia Park was similar, but remember, the cruise passengers use tours or excursions, so the traffic was a bit lighter than summer. If the cruise tourists not spending money was a strong argument, that logic would apply to cruise ports elsewhere, particularly in the Caribbean. The main reason seems to come down to the permanent residents and very wealthy part-time residents that just want their quiet island back.
  5. What are you proirities? You have chosen two top of the line ships (owned by the same company). You will be spending a great deal of time off-ship as the Galapagos are the real reason for the trip. My friends did sail Flora and raved about it. You will be doing basically the same excursion sites and experiences, so the differences will be ship amenities and cost. Do a ton of homework by reading reviews, etc. It is doubtful on here that you will find someone who has sailed on both, but you never know. We sailed Xpedition twice with only 48 aboard for a much lower price and loved every minute. Although the ship is older, it is lovely with a great crew.
  6. While I agree with many of your points, an additional consideration is safety. Cruising to Antartica can't compare to other destinations for many reasons. The remoteness and unpredictability of weather conditions should influence anyone to consider safety before anything when considering an expedition cruise company. The polar class rating on the vessel, experience of the crew, equipment upgrades, etc. are all of great importance. The recent Quark tragedy is a somber reminder to all (and they are a very experienced company). https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/expedition-cruising/two-die-quark-expeditions-zodiac-incident-antarctica?fbclid=IwAR2ISymuxWfbHFwc8XgcuYCmmZj7DJ2_RY1Fj9YaBbpar65FLzDelosBfuI
  7. Check out Atlas - new ships and very attractive pricing! I am booked on Polaris in two weeks after much research. I think I would have considered Atlas had I known because the submarine on Viking holds little appeal for me. Regarding our Viking booking experience, customer service has been horrible. I work in the travel industry and their customer service is among the worst I've encountered, while their price is one of the highest. We booked Viking business class air and have ended up with one business class ticket, and one in economy. Despite being told otherwise by one Viking Rep., they have refused to refund the cost of the business class upgrade for one passenger. It is over 4K and they have issued a voucher, The voucher must be used prior to sailing.(There is nothing to purchase!) There are BC seats available on the same flight, but strangely, I ws informed their "contract doesn't allow them to book" If we had the refund, we could book it ourselves. I've spoken to supervisors. I asked if calls were recorded and was told yes. I requested they review the call where I was told they would issue a refund and was refused because " It doesn't matter at all. The representative told you wrong." I will never book another cruise with Viking for myself or clients. Read the refund policy very, very, carefully and purchase the best cancel for any reason travel insurance you can find. Hopefully the cruise will be worth every penny!
  8. https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/expedition-cruising/two-die-quark-expeditions-zodiac-incident-antarctica?fbclid=IwAR2ISymuxWfbHFwc8XgcuYCmmZj7DJ2_RY1Fj9YaBbpar65FLzDelosBfuI Quark has been in the business of providing expedition cruising for 30 years. So sad for the families of these victims.
  9. It is still puzzling that there has been no effort to reduce visitors from all other sources. Cruise ships mostly call after the peak tourist season of summer. If you've even been there during July and August you know that Bar Harbor is an absolute zoo. Not a parking place to be had, should to shoulder on Main St. How is it that residents are accepting of the impact of motor vehicle tourist traffic, but not cruise ship visits? The CAT ferry is once again running following the multi-year cessation that resulted from a similar resident initiative. This is a tourist town. Saying that only a few profit from cruise ships makes no sense. We visit Acadia/Bar Harbor each year in August. This year I had the opportunity to visit it as a port of call while cruising off-season. The stores and restaurants were full, tour operators bustling and crowds downtown. How is this different from any other high season day? Sure, passengers are not spending their money in hotels. Can that be the driving force? The tourist-driven small businesses will just shut down earlier and the well-to-do residents that have infiltrated the island will enjoy their peace and quiet for a longer season.
  10. I never thought to check the app. We were told our menu/show was new, and being tested on Summit only. The theme was about becoming a great chef - the storyline was enjoyable as was the food (sorry I do not recall the menu specifically).
  11. Most stations are self-serve, but there are some where you are still served by staff. There is drink service in the lounges and around the pool. We found it was sometimes faster to go up to the bar and order.
  12. Onboard now! Although the staff shortage is noticeable, everyone is doing their very best. Food and entertainment has been excellent.
  13. We are currently in Summit. None of the options above were offered (sorry I did not take a photo). We were told the menu we had was brand new. .
  14. My DH and I are both in our 70s, We recently took our 2nd trip to the Galapagos. He has a very bad knee, our companions are both challenged by uneven terrain. Celebrity will do everything in their power to make sure you access the activities to the fullest. We had a 90 year old lady on our first trip and they customized experiences around her ability. It's a shame you believe the Galapagos is not a possibility for you, You are missing out on the trip of a lifetime.
  15. Since the Celebrity trips to the Galapagos and extensions are all-inclusive, I will be eager to see what Silversea offers, that Celebrity does not.
  16. As a New England resident who visits Bar Harbor beach year, I read this with interest. One comment has me laughing, claiming the cruise ships help create a "schlocky" tourist trap atmosphere. As one who has. visited for over 50 years, I can guarantee that Bar Harbor has been filled with tourist traps since I was a girl! The number of signatures on the petition is hardly a representation of the full-time island residents. The claim that Bar Harbor cruise calls can be considered international travel is stretching it a bit - most cruises actually originate in Boston, and yes, do call on Canada. The port calls are mostly in the fall, dumping no more passengers than would be in town on any busy summer day. Saying the ship passengers plan a strain on the town is puzzling, they do not need lodging, they might eat lunch there, and they provide a boost to the economy in an otherwise slower season. To my knowledge, the CAT is once again running from Bar Harbor to Nova Scotia. Strange that there has been little said about the daily ferry from NS dumping tourists, vehicles, RVs, tour buses, etc, into the town. Struggling to understand the rationale of it all.
  17. Interesting suggestions. However, we are booked for Antartica and were told they will not inform us of our flights until 75 days prior to sailing.
  18. To be clear, did you never download, or fill in the app? If you did complete the app information, no one would ask to look at it because, as stated by others, it is tied in with your passport information.
  19. As with. any travel abroad, the traveler, YOU, are responsible for finding out what documents are required for travel by your transportation carrier and the countries you will be entering. We visited Canada last fall and no one held our hand and told us to complete the ArriveCAN requirements. But, as regular travelers, we checked the airline and the Canada requirements, just as we do for every other trip, cruise or land.,
  20. Not sure which ship you are considering. We've cruised twice on Xpedition. Once at full capacity of 100, and last fall with 38 on board. We love the ship and never even considered Flora. I have clients who have sailed on all three ships. and all absolutely loved the experience. There is no better time of year - the Galapagos is a year-round destination because you will experience different experiences depending on the season. As far as itineraries, they are all fantastic. In fact, on the same day, one group may see something and the next group, something else. My advice is to read up a bit on the seasons in the Galapagos. If there is something that is an absolute "must see" for you (such as young sea lion pups), aim for that period. Otherwise, book what is comfortable for your timeframe and wallet.
  21. The gasp was intended to be sarcasm. My lightweight expedition/ hiking pants are very plain, solid colors, no way to differentiate if they are just slacks or outdoor friendly material. They easily serve double-duty.
  22. Agree completely! I understand completely why this question came up. Celebrity Cruiseline has a dress code for dinner. That being said, their expedition ships in the Galapagos take a much more relaxed view of the published standards. Luggage restrictions play a huge part in many regions of the world! Durning Galapagos expeditions, many go to dinner in slacks and a clean top (sometimes, even the clothing they intend to wear the next day - Gasp!). Dresses and skirts appear very rarely. Heidi 13 - no need for your snarky comment regarding Carnival and NCL! If you can't be helpful ......
  23. As someone who is no longer a youngster, during my entire life I've never known anyone who has died from the flu or strep throat, or had lingering health impact. Sadly, that is not true of covid. We know five who are suffering from long covid, and lost our best friend to the virus. DH is a cancer patient so perhaps we are more anxious of the virus than the flu or strep. You are lucky indeed.
  24. Getting covid can be much more of an "inconvenience" for some!
  • Create New...