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Everything posted by matamanoa

  1. We too have been checking out the test requirements for returning to Canada from the States and the test has to be done within the 72 hour limit for us to get back on the plane. We have seen the tests cost anywhere from $150 and up, depending on where you get it done, so the $200 test you quoted is not unreasonable. You might have to change your return flight to accommodate the time needed to get the required test. Perhaps your ship will change their policy for those flying directly home and give the test on board before disembarkation.
  2. We have a lot to be thankful for. Barb
  3. We also opted for the train and it was a very pleasant trip. We had breakfast on board and there was narration all along the way. You could move around and it was nice having someone else do the driving.
  4. You are not guaranteed to see any fall colouring on any given week as the changing of the leaves depends on rainfall and temperature. We liken it to going to Alaska with the promise that you will see wildlife. It's all a matter of chance. With the changing of the leaves, Mother Nature is in charge. We took a cruise out of New York going to the Maritimes and ending in Quebec City in early Sept. a few years ago and there was no colouring to speak of. On the other hand, it was one of our favourite cruises and we would do it again. Barb
  5. Haven't received anything as of this writing.
  6. We always arrive the day before a cruise, just in case something comes up with the aircraft. Gives us time to make an alternate plan and less stressful that way.
  7. Winchester is in the South East part of England and is about an hour north of Southampton. Barb
  8. We have never used Princess flights but always have been able to book a transfer from the ship to the airport. Alternately, you can take a short taxi ride to the Embarcadero subway station, which has an elevator so no stairs for you and your luggage, and take the train straight to SFO terminal. Barb
  9. I'd rather have two weeks in a "normal" cabin than one week in a suite. I don't spend much time in whatever cabin I'm in and so would like the extra time at sea. Barb
  10. Something else to consider if you are flying into the Netherlands and then leaving on a cruise which goes to the British Isles. There may be different Covid and vaccination restrictions in going from one country to another. Hopefully by 2022 all these things will have been ironed out and there won't be any problems. Our last stop on the cruise is Le Havre, which is, of course, in France, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. We have cruised mainly with Princess in our 25 year cruising history and have always enjoyed being on their ships. Not having tried Celebrity, I can't offer an opinion on that line.
  11. There is no doubt that cruising this year is going to be confusing and disappointing for many. Aside from the unfortunate cruisers who were caught up in the first wave on a cruise ship when Covid first hit, this fall is really the first time that the cruise lines will be cruising after many waves, having vaccines, and border restrictions around the world to contend with. By next year, when things are more clear about different brands of vaccines and what conditions are like around the world, there should be more straight answers and less confusion when it comes to getting on board a ship. There are so many people in Europe who were given the Astra Zeneca vaccine that it would be detrimental to exclude those folks from traveling anywhere based on the shot they received. America stockpiled many millions of doses of AZ and are now only trying to give it to countries where vaccines are not readily available. There will be more testing done to assure people that the AZ jab is not only viable but reliable in its efficacy and rules and restrictions will be made clearer as to what vaccines are allowed throughout the world. We are now just seeing, for the first time, the effect vaccination could have upon the world and things could be very different next year when more is known about the various strains, how fast they transmit and whether being vaccinated is going to keep them under control. This is JMHO. I would not have considered cruising any time this year, no matter how much I want to get back out there on the high seas. The first cruisers are going to be the "guinea pigs" if you will, and there are going to be many things that need to be figured out before cruising returns to how we have known it. I have a cruise booked for Aug. of 2022 and hopefully by that time, all the wrinkles will have been ironed out. Barb
  12. Interesting. I guess we should do the math. Thanks for your observations. Barb
  13. Please keep in mind that hurricane season extends into the fall, actually up until Nov. This may alter your cruise itinerary. Barb
  14. If you break down the cost of a cruise, it is an economical way to travel. You have all your entertainment on board, your meals, your accomodation, not to mention all the activities that are available. As you are a first time cruiser, traveling during Covid is not ideal. Yes, you can only take the ship's excursions and while some of them are pretty good, it really is a good idea to go by yourself or with a small group of fellow passengers on a private excursion. Your options are unlimited. On the ship, you only have to unpack once which I guess is the same as being at a resort but if your holiday takes you to various places, the packing and unpacking gets to be tedious. My husband and I enjoy cruising for the many varied itineraries that it affords us and we enjoy being in different ports every day, although we like our sea days too. I do hope that you will give cruising another try post Covid and see what a difference it makes not being subjected to so many rules and restrictions. We have mainly sailed on Princess, with a few cruises on Holland America and Royal Caribbean over the 25 years that we have chosen this way to travel. They are not top of the line luxury cruises (which we cannot afford) and we have not been on a cruise that we were unhappy with. We've met some amazing cruisers on board and also through Cruise Critic, which is a wealth of information and lets you get to know some of your fellow passengers by joining the roll call for your particular cruise. Through the roll call is where we have set up most of our private small party excursions and we've had terrific ones. I hope this helps. Barb
  15. I contacted my friend again and she really didn't have an exact answer as rules are constantly changing. She took her information off of the internet and it was still stating that the UK was unsure whether unvaxxed children would still have to quarantine. So I'm afraid it's not much of an answer and not much help to you at this point. I wish I could have a better answer for you but you are as much in the dark as the rest of us at this time. If only we all had a crystal ball! Barb
  16. Your cruise sounds wonderful. What I would like to know is how you are doing Hawaii and Alaska in 16 days? Barb
  17. Thanks Elaine, I will do that closer to the time. Right now, rules are changing by the day and things could be quite different by next year. We also have to find out what to do in the case of a b2b but on two different cruises. We get off of the first cruise and right onto the second cruise the same day and each cruise line might have different criteria. It's all so stressful!
  18. I e-mailed a friend of mine who lives in Essex and she works in the medical related field. She is a paramedic and also a nurse practioner who is allowed to give jabs. She said that there would be no lifting of restrictions over the next few months for those from red listed countries but she expected an announcement in the next few days for people from amber listed countries who have had two shots of vaccine and a negative PCR test. They would be exempt from quarantining.
  19. Thanks CruisinCanucksTwo, (Love your name BTW!) I, too, feel that by next year, things will have calmed down. Countries will have come to an agreement about vaccination passports and whatever else is required to travel freely. Personally, we wouldn't travel if we have to do a quarantine, much as we wouldn't cruise if we had to wear masks all the time, practice social distancing, be limited in what excursions we can plan for, etc. We would rather wait until the world is in a better place and we can travel without fear of getting stuck on a ship or in a country abroad with illness all around us. By Aug. of next year, when our cruise comes up, we will have already had our booster shots for 2023 and we can move on with peace of mind. Barb
  20. BTW - the forms that we received by e-mail, confirming our vaccinations, did not have a watermark either. Barb
  21. Bruce and I are also wondering if by next year in Aug. when our first post pandemic cruise comes up, whether we will still have to have a 72 hour pre flight covid test. If so, that means we would have to add some extra days on after the cruise to get the test done. That means extra expense for hotels, the kennel where our dog will be, the test itself - so much stress and uncertainty. Barb
  22. There's always next year to look forward to! Barb
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