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Everything posted by ducklite

  1. Please don't come to Florida if you are unvaccinated. We've got more than our share of COVID here already.
  2. I'm 60. Not single but if I were, I'd be interested in meeting other singles of both genders for fellowship--meals together, maybe shore excursions, pre-dinner cocktails, etc. If I really hit it off with someone I might want to continue the friendship after the cruise and see how things evolved over time, But a hook up? Nope.
  3. We are fortunately that we get a lot of vacation time, and we have been starting to take some of the trips we want that require more physical ability for this exact reason. We'll delay Norwegian Fjord, Panama Canal, etc. until we are older and want more of a "drive by" experience.
  4. What are your hobbies? I'd look for group cruises that have a focus on them. That way you'll be sure to meet like minded people and immediately have something in common.
  5. Our social security will cover our cost to have food, shelter, and medical care as we are right now +25%. My husband has a pension (I get 100% should something happen to him) and we have enough in investments to retire right now, but we will keep working until 65 and not collect SS until 67 to maximize savings and income during retirement. In the worst case we could downsize to a smaller home and pay cash for it and cut out collecting wine, eating out, and travel which is where half of our post-savings income goes.
  6. 2020 was the longest I went without packing a suitcase in my adult life. I unpacked my suitcase after a week of business travel the last week of January, 2020, and was getting ready to pack for another week of business travel in mid-March when seemingly overnight, the world came to a stop. I work in live events, so for me, my world truly stopped dead in it's tracks. Fortunately I didn't lose my job like so many of my friends in the industry. I had a little meltdown--OK, a pretty big one--in March, 2021 as I was trying to pack to travel for the first event in over a year. I couldn't remember how. I couldn't remember all those little things I know I take along to try to ease some of the stress and create more normalcy while I'm on-site. I couldn't find my name tag (of course it was where I always keep it, but I couldn't remember where that was and tore the house apart looking for it.) I felt like I had never travelled before in my life. I overpacked by 150%. I was ashamed of how much crap I had lugged along--a weeks worth of extra shirts (I usually take one, two if it's shoulder season when the weather can change drastically day-to-day), an extra sweater (I never wear a sweater on-site--I have a lightweight company issued jacket with a ton of pockets!), a week of extra socks, four books--like I would have time for reading... The list went on and on. Five weeks later I packed for another event, and two weeks after that yet another. I nailed it both times. I've already begun packing for vacation this year, and we don't leave for 3.5 months. I knew I needed to get some cold weather items for this trip, and it being summer, everyone had winter stuff 50% off (or more!) so I wanted to take advantage. Also this trip has us in weather that could be down to zero and up to the mid-80's, so planning was crucial in order to pack as lightly as possible. Plus I'm just a little bit excited to be traveling again! My wanderlust has increased as I've gotten older. But I have a feeling there will come a day where I no longer want to do the pack/unpack each day. It will probably come in waves. The first 3-4 years post retirement we will be all over the world and typically gone 3-6 months at a time. By the time we're 70, I think it will be more long cruises so less flying and packing. I can also see us buying a Sprinter conversion and begin to travel the US and Canada so we don't need to pack and unpack as much. But who knows. Life can come at you fast as we've al learned in the past year, so make every day count.
  7. Particularly because none of them are vaccinated!
  8. FYI--If you have it, your Global Entry card works as REAL ID for domestic air travel.
  9. We will be there in December when the weather is much cooler. Keep in mind that before we go to Egypt we are going to COLD Ukraine and Austria. We are trying to keep our luggage as light as possible, and jeans absolutely make sense for most of this trip. We'll each have a pair of lighter pants, but after wearing them all day we probably shouldn't wear them to dinner. I guess we'll each pack a second pair of lighter slacks and an appropriate top. Hopefully no one has a problem with seeing us in the same outfit night after night. We're not opposed to sending a few things out for laundry on the ship if we need to. We will have a washer/dryer in Ukraine and Vienna, so will arrive in Egypt with clean clothes. We have a free day before our tour starts when we arrive in Cairo, so maybe I'll buy an Abaya to wear for dinners--they look very comfy! Thanks for letting me know that they aren't going to expect any sort of dressy outfits. 🙂
  10. So agree on the quote. I did know that there are numerous Cyrillic alphabets. I've noticed small but distinct differences between the Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, Serbian, Uzbek, and Montenegrin alphabets as I've researched various trips--either taken/actively planning, or dreaming of. 🙂
  11. Interesting--I'll keep that in mind moving forward!
  12. We aren't! We have taken some amazing trips in the past 10 years. A three week trip including a two week cruise to Italy/Croatia, Montenegro, and Greece with time on the front and back in Rome and Athens; French Polynesia; and a dozen other European countries. Of course we've also done several Caribbean cruises. We've both been to every continental US state and a decent chunk of Canada--much of it for free due to our employers! We just don't feel ready to retire. We both love what we do for a living, and feel that it keeps us on our toes. And yes, the stock market has helped bolster the value of our retirement accounts, but we have lived through enough downturns to know that is never guaranteed. If we were to retire right now, we would not be able to take some of the trips we want to take. For example, our "retirement trip" is the Lindblad/NatGeo cruise that begins in Ushuaia, Argentina and ends in Dundedin, NZ. 35 days aboard the Endurance in Antarctica, over $50K each for the cruise fare alone. The plan is to get off and spend the next several months in NZ, Australia, and various parts of Asia, some via land and some via cruise--too early to really put much together, although hoping for a couple of interesting longer itineraries from Windstar. Ideally from there we'd take a cruise from Japan to Alaska. That's why we'll continue to work for another five years. By the way, this year we are headed to the Ukraine and Egypt--hopefully we'll be able to enter Austria in between to spend some time with friends there. 🙂
  13. We start the trip in the Ukraine prior to a currently unknown country (hopefully Austria where we know the water/food are fine) before Egypt. The Ukraine is also an iffy place in terms of food and water sanitation, and we are spending some of our time there in a more rural area, so we are going prepared. 🙂
  14. We've also been very disciplined at saving. (We could retire now, but we'll work until we are 65 to max out the savings so we never need to worry about saying "we can't afford that" for something we'd like to do, that should be within our means. About 10 years ago when we were hitting 50, we took a look around at the people we knew, and realized that life comes at you fast. Sometimes very fast. Too many had died far too young, become disabled, or were facing life altering illnesses. We had a couple of personal medical scares. So we decided to begin traveling. We noted our bucket list places, and then looked at the places that will get more challenging as we age. With the exception of the very top bucket list places, we have been knocking things off based on how challenging the travel might be as we age. I'm careful with our travel dollars. We usually have one "splurge" on each trip--as long as it fits our budget. We usually go with AirBnB's, having breakfast and about half the dinners in the rental. That also allows us to pack lighter as we do laundry while there.
  15. As part of our travels this year we are on a three day Nile cruise in December. We are trying to keep our packing as light as possible as we are going to the Ukraine and either Austria, Serbia, Greece, or Israel depending on borders being open prior to arrival in Egypt for our final week. We are planning on jeans and base layers/fleece tops depending on the climate the entire trip, but if we each need to bring a pair of slacks and a collared shirt or risk being turned away, we'll do so. Hopefully our tablemates won't care if we wear the same clothes three evenings in a row. 🤪 The ship we are supposed to be on is the M/S Tulip. I have hunted high and low, and haven't found anything discussing dinner dress code. Has anyone sailed on that ship who can shed some insight?
  16. I'm late to this topic, but for anyone else looking for this information... We spoke to our PCP and she suggested being fully up-to-date on all the normal stuff (Covid, MMR, influenza, pneumonia, shingles depending on your age, DPT, etc.) and also wanted us to get Hep A and B. She also referred us to a travel medicine clinic who suggested Typhoid and rabies. We will definitely do Typhoid before we leave, we're still thinking about rabies, but leaning towards it as our travel plans for the next few years include a number of high risk regions. Our PCP also gave us prescriptions for Cipro which we will fill and take with us. It's our understanding that in Egypt is' not if but when the "Pharoah's Revenge" will hit you, regardless of how careful you are.
  17. This could all be avoided by a few steps. 1. The CDC could require anyone cruising from a US Port show either proof of being fully vaccinated OR proof that they have had COVID and have sufficient antibodies. 2. The CDC could require anyone cruising from a US port obtain travel insurance that covers a government ordered quarantine should the ship have COVID cases. 3. Due to #1, the risk of anyone on board contracting COVID are very slim. 4. Just like with airline passengers, the CDC can require a COVID test performed no more than 72 hours prior to returning to the US. That testing could be performed on the ship 2-3 days prior to returning to port. The CDC should waive that requirement for cruises lasting four days or less. 5. If there was a positive case, the cruise line would then be responsible for setting up a "quarantine hotel" or space on a military base, etc. and the transportation of all passengers to the facility and then back to the port/airport at the end of the quarantine. The cost of this to be borne by the passengers via their insurance. While this might not work on the large ships, it is certainly viable on ships like Windstar and even the smaller Regent/Seabourn/Crystal/etc. ships. I'll bet Disney could also easily do it on their classic ships. They could do the PCR test on everyone the morning they arrive at their private island, fly the vials to a lab in Miami, and get results in 48 hours.
  18. I don't believe shorts are allowed except at the beach BBQ. Otherwise what you suggest is fine. If you are talking about the evening event, you won't need a bathing suit. The daytime event happens while everyone is on the beach, and then yes, you'll want your bathing suit.
  19. Good God I hope not. I can't imagine any Windstar passenger being even remotely interested in ships that large. Most are 600-800 or so passengers, and with what I understand they are quite long in the tooth. I suspect that they will go to one of the Asian operators. They might be perfect for a Chinese line.
  20. We would not cruise if we had to take cruise line shore excursions. They are typically either drive by's or spend way too much time waiting for people who disrespect the time of others or at "special shopping locations." We were planning on exactly one ship sponsored shore excursion on the Baltic Cruise this past summer, and it was to the missile silos in Lithuania. Other options didn't make sense.
  21. We had booked a cruise for fall of 2020 which was cancelled due to dry dock issues (irate that the ship wasn't in dry dock and was redeployed for a different itinerary the same time frame). We rescheduled for a different cruise which was cancelled due to Covid. I get that. Rescheduled for a different cruise in the fall which was cancelled no reason given a week after we booked it and months before they cancelled the fall sailing season. We wanted to rebook a different cruise over the summer of 2021, but the amount that they wanted for a deposit was far more than I was willing to let them hold onto for over a year, so we forfeited the whopping $300 in FCC's we had earned and got our deposit back. I don't see the point of letting Windstar hold thousands of dollars for a cruise they may or may not cancel for any number of reasons, including chartering the ship.
  22. Well, as someone who lives within driving distance of KW who has in the past and would continue to spend long weekends there, I can say we've avoided it due to the level of cruise ships dropping off thousands of day trippers. With the small ships we would never notice, so would be far more inclined to vist.
  23. Windstar also has itineraries from time to time that include a stop in Key West. Max passenger load is 350-ish.
  24. They did a lot of polling of people who were prospective visitors to Key West. A disproportionate number stated they wouldn't visit when it was cruise ship season. They did the math, and decided they will lose the cruise ship business in favor of the people who visit and stay. The amount of revenue that type of tourist generates is millions more than the cruise ships--with much lower impact on their quality of life.
  25. I have several friends who live and work in Key West. Two of them are native's. While Key West welcomes tourism, they want the type that comes, spends the night in a hotel, has three meals a day, and then partakes of some of the local nightlife in the evening. The large cruise ships were docking, people were getting off, walking around, not spending a dime in Key West, and leaving. That is not the type of tourism they seek, and their vote said that loud and clear.
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