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Posts posted by FredT

  1. While I agree with what Hank just said, I look with amusement at our next three cruises booked.   Star Clippers (Med) P & O (Iceland/Norway) and Ambassador, (Africa) As well, had this crazy war not happened in the Ukraine, we had a riverboat cruise booked from Moscow to the Sea of Azov (Vodohod).     Not ONE of these cruises was listed or shown on the computer with our local TA or the "Big Box" agency we c/sometimes use......


    PS and every ONE of these lines caterers to Americans....   



    Ya GOTTA keep researching!


  2. I looked at this thread with interest.   The problem (as I see it) with almost all the OTA's is that if they do not have a business agreement with any particular cruise line, they simply do not show their cruises.... 


    At least for US cruisers this includes "most" foreign cruise lines that do not cater to the North American customer. 


    My best   reference in my searches has been the same as EssiesMom... cruisetimetables.com, or one of the the other two Location" based search engines.  And I tend to use them in any case so I can see "who" will be in any given port on any given day.... (If there are 4 3000 passenger ships in most of the ports on any particular itinerary, I am simply NOT interested in it!)

  3. 22 hours ago, chefchick said:

    On the subject of cocktails…boarding the NS tomorrow.  I like a VERY dry martini, or a (not too sweet) old fashion- is finding the right bartender more of a priority than the right “bar”?  Also, I prefer Belvedere or Grey Goose for vodka and Buffalo Trace or Woodford for bourbon, are these available under the HIA package and for those of you who have sailed recently, available readily on board?  I sailed Royal Caribbean recently where they were literally out of stock of ANY brand of bourbon 😱 

    If you can still see this, try the bar in the Casino.   We just got off the NS (8 hours ago) and found the bartender there the best one on the entire ship... (In terms of making oddball drinks "correctly")

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  4. Fully vaxed and boosted, HATE the mask mandate.  (It makes no sense in todays world....     Having said THAT however, I will wear a mask on my way to a cruise as long as the cruise line is requiring a negative test a day or so before we board.  In other words, there is no way I am going to take ANY chances I dont have to that may result in me being left on the pier!   

  5. OK...   Totally confused here.  (But what else is new?   I "assume" bacon is still available at the buffet in the mornings.   So this must be a new thing at the "upcharge" restaurants?   I simply can't get my head wrapped around it.  (For this poor old boomer, bacon is a BREAKFAST staple, right????)

  6. Hmmm....  When we were last at Cartagena (2019) we hopped a cab to the old city.  Aside from the usual pushy vendors at the entrance, we were pleasantly surprised at the LACK of any street vendors throughout the city.   We also found that with the limited time in Cartagena a day wandering the old city was PLENTY, and the fact that we could duck into any bar or restaurant of our choice when we got overheated was a big plus. 

  7. 2 hours ago, Denarius said:

    New guidlines apply in respect of the EU as from 1st March




    The 270 days limit on primary vaccinations is detailed in the section headed "Vaccinated and recovered  persons", which also makes clear that it does not apply to those who have had a booster. Individual EU countries may or may not elect to adopt the EU recommendations.

    Got it.....   So if you have  gotten your "booster" the 270 day restriction does not apply.   Things are just getting more and more complicated..... 

  8. OK....  I am confused.   I read the "HEALTH & HYGIENE PROTOCOLS ON BOARD" document you attached... Then I went to their web site and downloaded the same (And the only mention of health protocols that I could find) document from there.  Neither one mentions a 270 day time frame.   So where is this written? 


    I am not doubting you, but before I get into the same situation, I would love to get more of a firm handle on this.....

  9. 5 minutes ago, conwakr said:

    What airlines are asking? None that I have flown on in the past year.

    I have been on American and Jet Blue 6 times over the last 2 months.  Boarding passes always printed out from home, no one ever asked anything about Covid at the airport.   (But come to think about it, they "may" have asked on one of the numerous pages that flash up on checkin online that ask if you are transporting anything illegal, want a credit card, need a rental car, want to upgrade to more legroom, etc etc etc.) 

  10. We are one of those who just (And I mean JUST) canceled a spring cruise.  Reasons?   Lack of employees at our business, questions about the pandemic (travel) requirements,  and (significantly) the in ability to get a straight answer from either the cruise line or airline as to travel requirements/cancelation policies should either the political or medical situation change (Our cruise was a med/black sea cruise)   


    DARN!!!!    (Third cruise we have canceled in the last 18 months)  


    To make thigs worse, the NEXT cruise we have booked looks iffy as our daughter in law just let us know she is pregnant with our first grandchild..... And the due date is 2 weeks after we get back.   

  11. The reality is that HAL does not sell ANYTHING on the ship.   Every store is simply a space that HAL rents out to a third party.  THEY are not going to go to the expense or time to make up and stock "ship specific" items in small numbers....  The Number crunchers would rather simply stock that generic crap that sells across all of the ships (and different lines)    


    That explanation was given to me on our last HAL cruise by the manager of one of the clothing stores on board.....   


    Or think of it a different way.   By renting out the "space" HAL has guaranteed income from it, with absolutely NO employees to pay to run the shops/ no buyers/ no shipping of inventory/no supply side labor/  no risk....   One simple check comes in each month for ALL of the fleet. The accountants in Seattle must LOVE that!


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  12. We did a windjammer years ago..... ABSOLUTELY no comparison.  These three ships are purpose built to be cruise ships.  Marble bathrooms in each stateroom, good AC, large comfortable 2 story dining room, GREAT food (And mostly locally sourced)  2 full bars, and lots of comfortable lounging areas. 


    Yes, you pay for drinks.  (All drinks, soda and booze) 


    Yes they do have shore excursions, but as the previous poster noted they are pretty bland.   


  13. 1 hour ago, ontheweb said:

    Our cruise where we found no one wanted to dine with others was a Western Mediterranean cruise on the Epic. I always thought that the huge size of the ship also contributed to that attitude as we found the ship less friendly as a whole, not just for sharing dining.

    You may be right there.    We were on the Spirit (2000 pax) and found that the guests/dining/entertainment were just fine.  (But then again, we have not been on anything larger since our kids stopped cruising with us in High School)   If any complaints, it would be NCL's well known policies of nickel and diming you for EVERYTHING on board.  (But as we knew this going in, it was not really an issue for us) 


  14. But, no going back to the original question,   we would really like to try Viking Ocean, BUT, given their cost, it will have to be a really fun(Unusual) itinerary.   And there lies the issue, as Viking seems to be VERY "vanilla" on their ocean itineraries . There was one (pre pandemic) that has their ship go up and over the top in Norway (into the White Sea) that we really liked but it was solidly booked.   If we ever see that again, we'll jump.      

  15. 24 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:


    Because NCL pioneered the idea of "freestyle dining" (and still emphasize it), they attract many people who do NOT want to share a table. I agree that reading their forum makes it pretty clear. It's one reason (among several) why I generally avoid them -- not fun as a solo to dine alone every evening.


    While I agree with the thought (Freestyle dining attracts more people who do NOT want to mingle)   Our last NCL cruise (Just as the pandemic was ramping up) proved the opposite.  We always asked for a large table, 17 nights) and found them populated with REALLY nice and friendly people.   Of course this was on a Med/mid east cruise, so maybe the "class" of people was different? 

  16. On 10/29/2021 at 12:23 PM, denny1700 said:

    No one bothered to mention a PCR test.

    Then a paragraph later:

    On 10/29/2021 at 12:23 PM, denny1700 said:

    Why was the PCR test requirement BURIED in a long email attachment a month before sailing

    And more to the point, Over a hundred other passengers DID read the requirements and had no issues with them.   

    Second you keep harping on "EU Protocol"  There IS no such thing as an "EU Protocol".... Each and every EU country has it's own policies and entry requirements.  (See the US CDC website, it lists every country and their current requirements)   The cruise line HAS to go with the strictest requirement of any port it is to visit.  

    On 10/29/2021 at 12:23 PM, denny1700 said:

    Obviously, he had the discretion to let me board if he had really wanted to.

    Nope.... If he HAD let you on then the cruise WOULD have been banned from any port that did have the more stringent requirement.  


    On 10/29/2021 at 12:23 PM, denny1700 said:

    The owners threw in the extra requirement to make for lost profits from the 18 months or so there were no sailings due to the Covid shutdown.

    Really?   And you know this HOW?????   


    As someone who is about to make their first "post covid" cruise myself, I know I am going to be fanatically researching EVERY port, EVERY country, and checking by both phone and writing many MANY times before we get on a plane what the COVID protocols are that DAY.   Cause in the real world, no one cares if you are an American, no one cares if you have had health issues. (Except to not let you travel) no one cares what you think.   You dont meet the rules, you stay on the pier.  


    Sorry but in this Covid world "caveat emptor"  applies more than ever.  

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  17. Well, I just got off an AA flight from Orlando to Westchester (That was cancelled in Charlotte)  AA had no issues giving all of us hotel vouchers, food vouchers,  and rerouting us the next morning..... (And I was a lowly coach passengers.   Maybe this is a "CYA" thing?

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  18. On 8/21/2021 at 11:48 PM, FWFrog said:

    The same is true for travel insurance.  Star Clipper is the only company among the four that I have contacted that are requiring insurance.  While this may sound prudent, I asked if there were any requirements or minimum coverage and the answer was "no" and you just need "COVID travel insurance" and "there are many kinds".  If you have ever looked into travel insurance, you find that most have so many exclusions that the provide very little real coverage unless you experience something catastrophic (need to be airlifted  somewhere or evacuated). 

    In speaking to a cruise line  representative , I got the distinct impression that this requirement is specifically so that if you get to the embarkation point, and then test positive (And are denied boarding) you "may" have some recourse.  (Or at least the cruise line can claim)   


  19. In todays covid world, with airline schedules changing almost daily, you are lucky that your FLIGHT was not changed, (and changed and changed) the equipment was not changed, (and changed and changed) or one of your two flights was not simply cancelled.  More so than I have ever seen in my 50+ years of flying the old adage "Time to spare... go by air" is appropriate this summer.    

  20. On 8/2/2021 at 5:22 PM, rkacruiser said:



    Well, first, Port Stanley is so damn small that "usually" there is only one ship in port.  (Although I have heard a couple of recent horror stories of 3-4 ships in)   But in our 2 stops there it was just us.   


    THEN, you have volunteer point.   An hours drive in SUV's (no busses, you are going "overland" to an absolute BEAUTIFUL beach that could be in the Caribbean and filled with penguins.  The glory of this place is that there are no fences, no boardwalks, no tourist stands.   You are told not to walk up to the penguins, but they can walk up to you (And the juveniles DO) You can also walk down to the waters edge and watch the penguins time their entry into the ocean to avoid the leopard seals (Waiting for the penguins...) 


    As there is a "guide"  (Your driver)  for every 4 guests you also get a GREAT running commentary on the island, it's history, and ecology. 


    In summery, on both visits it is the most memorable port we have ever visited.



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  21. Great airline.  (Our favorite)  BUT, remember that they do not "interline" with anyone else, so if your flight gets cancelled, you can only rebook on them.  This is not an issue with their more popular routes (Where they have 2-3 or more flights daily) but if you book to somewhere they only fly once a day.....)


    Of course this also goes back to "Rule number 1"   (NEVER fly to your departure port the day your cruise departs..... NEVER)

  22. To the original question....   No I do not think that there will be another "pause" UNLESS there is another Diamond Princess scenario.  Then all bets are off and(In my opinion) over half of the cruise lines we know and love will permanently cease operations.  


    In a nutshell, that's why I am cheering every time I hear of another line saying '"100% vaccinated ONLY.  

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