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Emma Chisit

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Posts posted by Emma Chisit

  1. 12 hours ago, flashfearless said:

     

     Will likely try to make our own plans to see Alice Springs.

    What Little Monty said....

    Also, check out the Australia/NZ section of Cruise Critic.  Lot of helpful people there.  And a few from overseas who originally posted to ask advice, had their cruise derailed by coronavirus, and stayed around to chat.  Closest they can get to Australia for the time being..

    https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/564-australia-new-zealand-cruisers/

  2. 14 hours ago, flashfearless said:

     

    Could you clarify that statement about the "major summer holiday period"? 

    Exactly as zalusky said .   It's the same as the long summer holiday in the US - but with Christmas/New Year in the mix.  School finishes about mid December and doesn't start again till end of January. Mind you, since we haven't been allowed out of Australia for a year we are all exploring our own country.  So by the time 2023 rolls around everyone will be ready for a change - and might have headed off overseas again.  So you might not have competition from domestic tourists.. We long to be on a Viking cruise again - should have been on one in NZ over this Christmas/New Year just past.  

    • Thanks 1
  3. I see Viking is doing this itinerary in Jan and Feb 2023.  Be aware that January in Australia is our major summer holiday period, so if it were me i would choose February.   Also I should have mentioned - jet lag.  That would definitely affect the pre-cruise excursion.  I lived on the east coast of the US and it always took me a week to recover from jet lag after i flew to Australia.

  4. 13 hours ago, Rabbit27 said:

     

     

    I would also google time distance between each state with flight time to give you a idea how big Australia is.

     

     

    As said, Australia is a very big country, much the same size as the continental USA.  I lived in the US for seventeen years, and found that many people didn't seem to realise this.  Very good advice above to organise your own itinerary with your TA.

    This link might be useful to get a feel for the size of Australia, and the resulting impact on travel times:

    https://www.virtualoceania.net/australia/states/

    For example the Northern Territory (where Uluru is) is 1,349,129 km2 in land area, with a land border of 3179 km and coastline of 10,953 km. The Northern Territory is slightly bigger than South Africa, about two times the size of Texas, and six times the size of the UK.

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  5. I would like to add this quote from an interview yesterday (23 June) on ABC Radio National with the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt:   "I do think that the border- the international border closures will remain in place for a very significant time."

     

    Full interview was posted on the Minister's official government website - here:  

    https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/interview-with-fran-kelly-on-abc-radio-national

  6. Agree with what my fellow Aussies have said above, it isn't looking likely for international travel this year and on into next year.  The most recent information I have seen is at the link below on the ABC website, from a speech made by the federal Minister for Tourism Senator Birmingham to the National Press Club last week.  (Note that ABC is our national broadcaster - like BBC in UK, not like the ABC in the US. For those trying to make travel decisions it is as good an Australian news source as any.) 

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-17/borders-likely-closed-until-next-year-coronavirus-restrictions/12365978

     

    Quote from article:   "I do sadly think that in terms of open tourist-related travel in or out of Australia, that remains quite some distance off," Senator Birmingham told the National Press Club.  "Just because of the practicalities of the volumes that are involved and the need for us to first and foremost keep putting health first."  Asked whether that meant the border would not open until next year, he said, "I think that is more likely the case".

     

    If this turns out to be what happens, then  …..exactly when next year is the big question. The government's approach has been very cautious to date and I for one cannot see that changing.  So for the foreseeable future Australia is pretty much the Hermit Kingdom at the end of the world. 

    I wish things were different…

     

  7. 4 hours ago, flossie009 said:

    Voyager is now transiting the Suez Canal northbound.

    I think Voyager may be the distant ship in this screenshot from Norwegian Jade's bridge webcam:

    Reminds us of the cruise we should have been on last month 😞

    Flossie - Thank you so much for this picture and your earlier post mentioning that Voyager was going to transit the Suez Canal with Norwegian Jade close by, followed later by Nautica.  Last time I checked on Voyager she was near Mumbai, but I had lost track of her.  We never managed to take our first Regent cruise (originally 1 March on Voyager - Hong Kong to Tokyo) as it was one of the first cruises to be cancelled.  However we have cruised a bit with Oceania and in fact we went through the Suez Canal on Nautica in 2012.  Despite being mainly landlubbers we have clocked up well over a year of sailing days with a dozen or so different cruiselines over the years, and that Nautica cruise was one of our favourites. 

    Meanwhile I have been checking in regularly on the ever-expanding large group of ships in Manila Harbour (not that we have sailed on any of those).  However we were booked on an Australia circumnavigation on Queen Elizabeth - which also was cancelled.  So I had been keeping an eye on her (via Marine Traffic) while she was anchored in a northern Australia port "awaiting orders" and I followed her slow journey to Manila with a companion P & O ship.  Actually from the deck of our house we saw her sailing way out to sea on her journey north. Probably the closest we will get to her. 

    "Watching" via Marine Traffic or Vesselfinder all the cruise ships dispersing all over the world is very sad to see -  I hope they are all heading to safe harbour and the crew returned home safely.. 

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  8.  

    Scheduled sail date:   3/01/20     

    Cruise cancelled by Regent:   2/20/20  

    Refund request date:  2/20/20         

    Deposit only refunded (15% of total fare):   3/8/20

    Remainder of cruise fare refunded (85% of total fare) :  5/15/20

     

     

    SusieQft.   Thank you very much for taking on this task. 

     



    • Thanks 1
  9. 3 hours ago, ArtsyCraftsy said:

     

    Quote :  "We're tentatively scheduled for both of those (Esperance and Fremantle -- with an overnight in Fremantle), plus Burnie (I'm excited about this one -- Tasmania!), Phillip Island (Cowes), Melbourne (overnight), Portland, Adelaide (overnight), Kangaroo Island, Port Lincoln, Albany, and Busselton.  After Fremantle, we'll have 7 sea days to Sri Lanka.  As of yesterday afternoon when the list was distributed, only Fremantle had been officially confirmed.  So the others are subject to change."

     

    Please enjoy your time in Australia - and Welcome.  Regarding your port stop at Kangaroo Island (our third largest island) the following link from the local tourism authority has the most up to date information about the effects of the bushfire that started on the 3rd January 2020.  They state "The majority of the Island is unaffected by the fires, and is open for business."

    https://www.tourkangarooisland.com.au/kangaroo-island-fires

    (And no - I have never been to KI, but will be going this year - and already researching.)

     

     

     

  10. No apology necessary!  And thank you for the good wishes.  As you can appreciate this a stressful situation for us.  However this is a  truly heartbreaking situation for our northern neighbours. 

    As I am in Australia I am in much the same time zone as the SE Asian ports so greatly affected by this evolving situation.  So I am able to monitor local news sources in real time (at least those in English). 

    I will only post factual information with an attributable source if it seems relevant to the thread title and no one else has already posted it.  I will not post my own opinion or my own speculations - although both exist.

     

    Thank you Flossie for starting this relevant and very specific thread.

  11. 4 hours ago, Belfast Taxman said:

    i can only recommend that future Voyager cruisers keep a very close watch on events.

    Referencing your recommendation above, believe me I am.

    We are on the1 March Manila to Tokyo Voyager cruise.  This was always a mostly Japanese cruise - which is why we chose it.  Two ports, the original departure port of Hong Kong as well as Keelung,Taiwan  were not in Japan and have now been cancelled.  

    This link below is from NHK World Japan about which Wikipedia  says - "  NHK World-Japan is a Japanese state-owned international broadcaster owned by NHK. The service is aimed at the overseas market, similar to BBC World News ...".  

    For those who may not be able to access the link below it reports that the first death from coronavirus has occurred in Japan, a woman in her 80s who reportedly had not been outside the country.  Her son-in-law, a taxi driver, also has the coronavirus. 

    https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200214_15/

    I saw this last night just before going to bed.  This morning it is on other media like Japan Times .

  12. 11 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

     

    Thank you for posting this.  Another good reason why posters may want to hold off on posting what they are receiving.  Information seems to be flying around - some relevant to our particular cruise and some not - some true and some not true.  Stick with information from Regent or your TA (if your TA does not have answers, they can get answers from Regent Corporate in Miami).  

     

    P.S.  As an aside, I am waiting for my new passport (last one filled up) so when I board Splendor next month, it will show that I have not been anywhere!  I would have to take my cancelled passport in order to prove where we have been.

     

    Travelcat2… In response to this earlier post of yours (post #321)  - You are welcome.  I am normally a private person and do not post anything personal on a public forum.  Nor do I engage in speculation.  However, as I posted in my post #306 that you referenced above, we sought clarification from our TA , escalated to Regent USA as a result of posts on the 1 March - Hong Kong to Tokyo roll call.  (Now Manila - Tokyo).  Which information we duly received and which I posted above and on the roll call. 

    While dramatic situations often arise in the world of cruising, and it is exciting for those not directly affected to speculate, I hope all can remember that this is a terrible ongoing situation for so many people.  We in Australia are very close to it all and heartbroken by what we read..

  13. 2 hours ago, flossie009 said:

    This is not what all guests booked on the March 01 Voyager cruise are being told by their agents.

     

    I hope this is not the case and that it is the result of confused communications.

    However, if it is the case then Regent need to share the "very good reason" with affected customers to avoid ill-feeling.

     

    We are in Australia.  Yesterday we asked our TA for clarification of this issue and she then contacted Regent Australia who escalated it to Regent Head Office in the US.  We received advice from our TA this afternoon (Australian time) that Regent Australia has been advised by the US Office that "the offer of 100% FCC is not correct."

    Our TA also said "'To compensate for the itinerary change the offer that Regent are giving is 25% FCC for any future cruise booked within 12 months for travel within 2 years.  If you cancelled you would get the 25% FCC for a future cruise plus a refund of the Port Taxes."

  14. 2 hours ago, manuwolf said:

    Where do you got this information from??? We have friends on the Westerdam on Feb. 29 leaving from Yokohama. They had 2 more changes in their itinerary but they are still scheduled to sail. This is the latest news from 3 hours ago - we keep each other updated.

    Can we please stick to facts in this roll call?

    The situation is difficult enough so no need to create more insecurity, especially by people who are NOT scheduled to sail on March 4 or March 18.

    Please!

     

    Statement on Holland America website:

    https://www.hollandamerica.com/blog/ships/ms-westerdam/statement-regarding-westerdam-in-japan/?source=122648

    Holland America Line has been notified that the Japanese Government will not permit Westerdam to call in Japanese ports. The ship had been scheduled to call to Ishigaki Island, Naha, Okinawa, Nagasaki and Fukuoka (Hakata), before its scheduled turn in Yokohama on Feb. 15, where the next cruise was scheduled to embark. The ship is not in quarantine and there are no known cases of coronavirus on board.

    (Above excerpt is only the opening statement - more detail at the link posted.) 

     

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 2
  15. The website of the Kangaroo Island Tourism, Food, Wine and Beverage association has comprehensive information here:

    https://www.tourkangarooisland.com.au/kangaroo-island-fires

    and here:

    https://www.tourkangarooisland.com.au/sites/tki5/media/banner/ki-fires-2020/kangaroo-island-fires-2020-faq-15012020.docx.pdf

    We have yet to visit KI and were planning a mid-year land visit - so will go ahead with that based on the information at the above links.

    • Like 2
  16. 14 hours ago, CZEE said:

    How is the condition of this ship?  I noticed that only half of the rooms were refurbished in 2017. That being the case, some rooms are going to be rather tired. 

     

    How would one know if a particular room was refurbished or not?

     

    Thank you. 

    CZEE    Sorry - I went off topic with talk of hairdryers...This press release from Princess  seems to say all cabins were refurbished in 2017.  Did they stop before they finished?

    https://www.princess.com/news/news_releases/2017/06/Pacific-Princess-Emerges-from-Drydock-with-Modern-Touches-Amidst-Traditional-Charm.html

    This Cruise Critic thread has a link to a video of the ship post-refurbishment:

    https://boards.cruisecritic.com.au/topic/2505193-pacific-princess-post-refurbishment-tour/

     

    Focuses more on the public spaces however and they needed it.  We were on her in 2013 and she did look tired then.

  17. 27 minutes ago, Spikesgirl said:

    Yes, and it doesn't work very well...

    Thanks Spikesgirl - I feared as much - but hoped for better.....  Those old-fashioned hairdryers are useless for drying thick hair like mine.  Have been in a mini-suite on Oceania (same small ships) and they had a decent dryer - but have not been in one on Pacific Princess.  (PS. book of faces a mystery to me too..)

    Loritd thanks also for your reply  - I need to cut down on what I pack as we are also doing a longer trip than just the Princess cruise.....heaving bags on and off trains really concentrates the mind on what is essential.  So... taking an hour to dry my hair or packing one less pair of shoes ...hmmm...

     

  18. 3 hours ago, Loritd said:

    I am  not sure about all the rooms but we were on her in October and I didn't think she look tired,  just lots of dark wood and low ceilings. A very classic old style cruise ship. Our cabin had been completely redone in light colors and was very nice (we had a mini-suite). We would sail on her again in a heartbeat. The crew was outstanding and it was nice not having to wait in lines for anything. 

    May I ask - is the only hairdryer the old-fashioned one attached to the bathroom wall?  We are in a mini-suite also in September.

  19. Thank you everyone. In doing the research, I have found TripAdvisor to be helpful, too. We may end up with a private tour using a recommended local individual or a guide from GuidedToursIsrael.com.

    GoIsrael.com also has some really useful travel information for us. Really looking forward to this trip.

     

     

    In 2012 on an Oceania cruise we used Guided Tours Israel to collect us in Haifa (our Ashdod port stop was cancelled), drive us to Jerusalem, visiting Masada and the Dead Sea en route and then an overnight stay in Jerusalem. Our guide (who lived in Jerusalem) was excellent, and it was just the two of us with him so we had a personalised tour. GTI would have booked our hotel as well, but we prefer to choose our own so we booked that independently. Oceania did not offer any excursions which combined Masada and Jerusalem and we wanted to see both,which is why we organised a private tour. We have yet to take our first Viking cruise (coming soon), but if we like the experience we plan to book another on board. The cruise which includes Israel would likely be our choice - and we would book with GTI again. They came highly recommended on Trip Advisor and on Cruise Critic.

  20. emma chisit.... i know, i know...i owe you an email but can you see why i haven't written? It's hard to watch where you're going at Petra--I want to look up...not down!!! btw....i think i met a couple who was on your HAL Jan Antarctica cruise. They loved it, but worried about the stuff falling from the skies and how it might impact their cruise. (sleet, rain, snow??) .

    Yes..this part of your cruise is such hard work - but so rewarding. (So funny to be referencing Antarctica given the heat where you are right now, ) Hey - cruising can't always be relaxing around the pool with an umbrella drink. Enjoying all the photos and stories from OP dkbustr as well as your photo blog - brings back great memories. Thanks so much to all, know it's also hard work updating your CC threads and blogs when you've had long tiring days. And umbrella drinks are beckoning...

  21. I hugged Dave as we stood in front of the Treasury, a lifelong dream of mine come true. We had made it!

     

    That first sight of the Treasury - amazing, eh! So glad you made it. When we did our Nautica cruise in 2012 I thought I might negotiate a horse cart for the return trip but one look at folks cowering in fear when the carts belted down on the way in cured me of that idea.

    Boy, these few days of this itinerary - Jordan , Egypt and Israel - are pretty hard work though also the best bit. Keep looking down - uneven surfaces and not watching where you put your feet = a few casualties on our cruise.

  22. Skyring,

     

    Excellent commentary and pictures!

    Please advise what camera you use. We currently need to upgrade and impressed with your photos!

     

    I agree - thanks … love the photo of the Lanzarote group, makes me laugh…so joyful.

    And thanks also for the Vueling post. We have to get from Barcelona to Bari at the end of a cruise in October. Vueling had many terrible reviews - but the alternatives are complicated. Had been putting off booking in the hopes of some other solution, but after reading your post we just went ahead and booked (and have joined their frequent flyer programme as well! )

  23. No worries, Mate. Haha, learning the language...... Yes, you had prepared us for this. Just such a change from Circular Quay but then it looks like most of the ports I ever took ships to.:cool:

     

    Welcome to my home town (although like helenandfrank we live "near Brisbane". In our case on the Sunshine Coast about an hour's drive away.) Sorry you have scored the Grain Terminal dock; the P & O ships are frequent visitors so I guess they lock in the closer dock at Portside on the Brisbane River. Hopefully they will put on a shuttle into the CBD for you. We are in the grip of a heatwave so be careful and stay hydrated when out and about - you may also get some showers as rain is in the forecast for today.

    Following your cruise with great interest as we are taking our first Viking cruise - also on Viking Sun - in October. Hope you have a wonderful day in Brisbane.

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