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Sekhmet

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About Sekhmet

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Malvern, Worcestershire, England
  • Interests
    Travel, Ancient Egypt, Heritage Railways, Cats, Family History
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Princess, Oceania, Cunard

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  1. Interesting to see that two (small) American operators have followed suit in making vaccinations mandatory: "American Queen Steamboat Company and its sister company Victory Cruise Lines will become the first North American cruise operators to require all passengers to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition for setting sail, beginning July 1, 2021." Quoted from article on CruiseCritic
  2. We have had this happen to us once on a Celebrity Galaxy cruise to the Baltic and St Petersburg - here's the reason: On 2 June 2001, while departing Amsterdam in the Netherlands for a two-week cruise the Galaxy touched bottom on an outskirt of Forteiland at Ijmuiden due to heavy northwesterly squalls, resulting in major damage to the port side propeller. The ship returned to the Port of Amsterdam for inspection and disembarkation of the passengers. The cruise had to be cancelled as the Galaxy went into drydock at Blohm + Voss in Hamburg, Germany. There it was discovered that all fo
  3. We're quite comfortable with this. As has been mentioned in other threads, mandatory vaccination against certain diseases in certain countries isn't unusual; Yellow Fever being the one that immediately springs to mind, which we've had at least three times over the years for travel in Africa and South America, and our vaccination record and certificates are kept with our passports, health cards etc. Whenever we are planning to travel somewhere more out of the way, we seek the advice of our Surgery Practice Nurse who matches our itinerary against the current health recommendations, and w
  4. I can confirm this - we have had a Saga cruise booked for quite a long time, which is due to sail in October this year, and have just had a letter spelling out the details. A specific point is made that exemption from receiving the vaccine, as well as choosing not to be vaccinated will both mean not being allowed to cruise with Saga. They also say that, in order to allow guests time to be fully vaccinated, their return to service had been pushed back from 3rd April to May/June. The UK vaccination programme should mean that most eligible people will have been offered the vaccine by then.
  5. I can confirm this - we have had a Saga cruise booked for quite a long time, which is due to sail in October this year, and have just had a letter spelling out the details. A specific point is made that exemption from receiving the vaccine, as well as choosing not to be vaccinated will both mean not being allowed to cruise with Saga. They also say that, in order to allow guests time to be fully vaccinated, their return to service had been pushed back from 3rd April to May/June. The UK vaccination programme should mean that most eligible people will have been offered the vaccine by then.
  6. As a general rule in Europe from the UK, little other than a passport is needed, although as the post-Brexit arrangements evolve, things may change. I'd suggest using the Foreign Office website: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice as a starting point. If you've not seen it before, it lists over 200 countries and territories, and each includes a section on entry requirements, health, safety and so on. Currently, there are also the temporary (hopefully) COVID rules. Cruise brochures and your travel agent, if you've used one, should also offer useful information. Hope this helps.
  7. JB, This brings back memories of a similar route about 10 years ago, but also including Sochi. It does have the hallmarks of the now-defunct Voyages of Discovery - was that the line? It was our first visit to Istanbul, and covered many of the sights you listed, except the Topkapi Palace. The reason being that, on the day we were there, the Government had closed the Palace to tourists in order to make a promotional film to attract more tourists! Pure irony! However, we did get to see the Palace on a subsequent visit.
  8. This is also what we saw last year en route from New Zealand to Fiji. We were awakened about 7am (first light) by an arriving helicopter which hovered above the landing pad. We watched on TV via the bow camera as a crew member and stretcher were lowered to collect a passenger and then winched back up. The passenger's spouse stayed on board for two more days until we reached Fiji and she could get back to New Zealand. We learned later that we had turned around about 4am to sail back towards the Bay of Islands in order to meet the helicopter at the earliest opportunity, around a 75 mile
  9. Our first two cruises were in 1996, the year of our Silver Wedding celebrations. The first was a short trip out of Mombasa to Zanzibar, Comoros and Madagascar as part of an East Africa trip organised by the African Safari Club. The ship was the 5000t, 200 passenger "Royal Star". Later that year we took our first trip to the Caribbean and our first cruise on a big ship - Norwegian's "Seaward". Well, it was big then at 42,000t and with 1,500 passengers! A back-to-back visiting both the Western and Southern parts. For our Golden Wedding in January 2021, we booked another Caribbean
  10. I'm sure JB will come up with lots of useful information as usual, but meanwhile you might like to look at the Heritage Railway Association website www.heritagerailways.com The site includes a map with links to the individual railways, museums, tramways etc. The Mid-Hants "Watercress" line is probably the nearest to Southampton, and the Swanage isn't too far. Unfortunately, the railway on which I am a volunteer, the Severn Valley Railway, is a little too far away for your brother-in-law to make it there and back in a day. Hope this helps.
  11. Does this mean other bands may be similarly disadvantaged? Do we have to get used to the heavy metal band BD/ED? Or the Norwegian pop band B-ib? And the reggae band from Birmingham - VC51?
  12. Just spotted this in a different thread (courtesy of sparks1093 of Vermont), and thought it fitted well here. "I just told our suitcases that we aren't going on vacation this year. Now I have emotional baggage."
  13. Agreed, need to test out plans if possible before moving forward. For example, I am a volunteer on a heritage steam railway which we are planning to reopen to the public in August, so next week we are running three trains a day using only railway staff as passengers to find out if the safety plans are robust, and alter them if not. Seems sensible?
  14. I was sent a picture yesterday, with the title "One for the Girls". It showed a personnel man interviewing a young lady for a job. He said to her "I'm looking for someone who can do the work of at least three men!", and she replied "Oh, what a disappointment - I was looking for a full time job".
  15. We've been lucky enough to have made over 40 cruises across 18 different lines, with Berlitz star ratings from 2 to 4+ (some of these are no longer sailing), and for us, we also consider the combination of both itinerary and ship. For example, our California to Hawaii and back trip had eight sea days, so the ship itself and its facilities were important, and we chose Cunard for this one. On the other hand, for a Mediterranean cruise with a different port almost every day, the ship is a lot less important, so itinerary would be the main factor and we've been happy with ships rated towards the
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