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Everything posted by knotheadusc

  1. I hope you can make it happen! I've done five cruises with Hebridean, and it's always a wonderful experience! It's definitely not your average cruise!
  2. Ooh! We stayed in a fabulous suite at the Molino Stucky the last time we were on SeaDream. It was the only room left in the hotel and my husband was using Honors Points. Got fantastic views of the canal before we connected with SeaDream in Rome. Great shot!
  3. Watching Below Deck has made me NOT want to charter a private yacht (not that I could afford it). I'd rather not know what the staff thinks of me, and that show makes it seem like there's a lot of trash talking that goes on. It probably does anywhere, but I'd rather not spend that much money knowing that someone on staff is commenting on my fashion sense, looks, high maintenance quotient, or psychotic aversions to things like mushrooms. 😉
  4. A Scottish barge cruise would be fun. I love Scotland, but I seem to have a disaster every time I go there. We have done a bunch of Hebridean Island cruises, though, and they're pretty amazing, even if I did get horribly seasick last time as we passed through the aptly named Cape Wrath! I think I'm just ready to try something new. I've been eyeing French Country Waterways for years.
  5. it’s definitely not bad, although I would prefer Belgian beers. honestly, I am not unhappy to be in Germany. But it’s time for a change of scenery.
  6. I want to get back to writing about travel instead of writing about hanging out in my backyard, getting loaded on German beer.
  7. I have been dying to do a barge cruise forever. Since we've been living in Germany, my husband has become a true Francophile. I have always enjoyed France, but it's become a favorite place for us, now. And on a barge, the chances of rough seas and seasickness are practically nil, right?
  8. That sounds kind of exciting. I wouldn't mind booking one of those, except Germany is currently being really strict about allowing travel to and from the UK. I hope the cruises go off well and Hebridean includes the different itineraries in subsequent years.
  9. Yabba dabba doo! Still dying to meet Jim Avery. We were somewhat devout SeaDreamers who got distracted by Hebridean Island Cruises. Love them very much…. But missing SD and warmer climes. Maybe our next cruise will be SeaDream, although we both want to try barging in France.
  10. I haven't been on SeaDream since 2013... but I was eyeing the Oslo to Bordeaux cruise last night. It looks awesome.
  11. The prices do change when you aren’t in the States. I’m in Germany, and they’re listed in euros here.
  12. Ditto to the Hilton. It has really beautiful facilities.
  13. I am in Germany and the vaccination campaign is painfully slow. We are able to get the shot on the local Army post and some vaccines are supposedly coming... maybe by June, I'll get my shots. I'm just glad I don't have to wait for the German economy. The vaccines are in very short supply and we've been on partial lockdown since November. It sucks... I am so ready for a trip.
  14. I seem to remember visiting a Celtic cross on Islay. I’ll have to look and see where else we went. The whisky made my memories a little fuzzy. I actually went to Islay on a couple of different Hebridean cruises. We went on one that included Northern Ireland, so we only hit one distillery on Islay that time. I just remember thinking the scenery was so astonishing. I saw a lot of wildlife, too. And there’s nowhere else I feel more at home, either, even if I am technically American.
  15. Thanks very much for reading and the extra information! I long to go back to Scotland someday... when COVID-19 is no longer such a menace! I would especially love to visit Islay and maybe stay there a week. There are more distilleries to explore.
  16. Love the title! Hope COVID-19 doesn’t anchor the cruise industry in 2021.
  17. Yeah, it’s been awhile. I remember eyeing those cruises myself and being kind of glad we didn’t go then. But that doesn’t mean that area isn’t worth a visit. You should be prepared for logistical hassles, though. I remember the border guard in Bulgaria was very disappointed when he saw that we had the right stamps for our time there. He thought he was about to snag $200.
  18. It is a very interesting part of the world. One thing to remember about Bulgaria is that their head expressions are different. If they shake their head, they mean “yes”. Nodding means “no”. I have been wanting to see more of the Balkans myself and was eyeing SeaDream for the chance, but things never lined up logistically. I think if you can do it, you should.
  19. I haven't been on a SeaDream Black Sea trip, but I have been to the Black Sea. Granted, I did it when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer and went by bus, having ridden all the way from Yerevan, Armenia to Istanbul via Georgia, then onward to Bulgaria. That looks like a very interesting itinerary. I have been to Burgas and found it to be a lovely city. We also visited Sozopol, which is a beach town in Bulgaria, not far from Burgas. I understand it's now a place where stars like to congregate, but when we went in the 90s, it was pretty unspoiled and cheap. Istanbul is, of course, an amazing city that will blow your mind, if you've never been there. Having done three SeaDream cruises, I can tell you that you'd be in excellent hands. The staff is amazing and you will be pampered. If it were me, I'd definitely consider that a cruise worth taking... but I'm going to hold off on cruises until the vaccines are more available. Below is a screenshot I took from a site about Sozopol. You would probably have the chance to visit there if you wanted to. I can attest that's what Sozopol looked like when I was there, plus we found a room for about $3 a night. I'm sure that's no longer possible.
  20. I think this was probably bound to happen sooner or later. However, I also think it's common sense that during a pandemic, it's best to go straight to wherever it is you're going, minimizing contact with other people. We were lucky enough to get to travel to Austria, Italy, and Switzerland back in August. We noticed that the rules in those countries were more lax than in Germany-- particularly in Austria and Switzerland. Switzerland was notably very much like life as usual. No one was wearing masks or anything. Now, all three countries are locking down as their hospitals are filling up with COVID-19 cases. We finished our trip just as things were on the upswing. We were lucky to escape unscathed. I think people are still going to be infected regardless, but it does seem prudent to do whatever you can to avoid risks. Partying in Miami before a cruise does seem risky to me, although it's understandable that the temptation was hard to resist. People are starved for fun. Hopefully those who got sick are feeling better now.
  21. What a shame! Hopefully, those on board who had negative results can at least get some fresh air soon.
  22. It will be interesting to see what they do to make the ship safe, especially given the clientele. Many passengers are quite elderly and may be at a higher risk than others. However, I must admit that Hebridean Princess is a great way to cruise and the crew is especially amazing.
  23. Ugh... that is depressing. A year ago, we were embarking on our latest Hebridean cruise, and I'm seeing all of the memories of that on Facebook. COVID-19 is ruining the cruising industry. I would have loved to have gone on one of the Norway cruises with SeaDream. Now, it's hard to tell when we can cruise again without significant risk. I feel so sorry for the crew.
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