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Everything posted by dritan

  1. This morning we left our lovely hotel via shuttle, arriving at Malpensa at 9.40 for our 10am transfer. We had instructions to meet at exit 7 and easily found our Costa rep. She was able to scan my NHS Covid pass. Slightly worrying when it didn't recognise the first QR code but that's because she needed the second one, which was fine. Interestingly she took note of the date to ensure it was less than 6 months ago. I was sorted. My daughter got through the check as she is 11 and the pass is only required for 12 years up. Finally, I showed my 13 year old's negative antigen test and she checked the time to ensure it had been taken within the past 48 hours. We were all cleared for the bus. Was impressed by the Costa reps thoroughness, which I appreciated as I'd made a lot of effort to comply with all the guidance😀. She even carried cellotape so we could attach our luggage. So we are now travelling to Savona with about 15 others. All social distanced on the bus. This is a Godsend as it stops my 2 from squabbling. So far, so good.
  2. We were having a chat on the recent Firenze thread about UK passengers embarking with children and I promised to report back. Thought I'd create a new thread in cases any others are curious. As a UK passenger, I hadn't seen much on line about the process. I am travelling with 2 children aged 11 and 13. For the flight the guidance requires that we all need an antigen test up to 48 hours before the flight. Not sure if I'm allowed to state the service I used but happy to recommend on a private message. As we would be using a Costa transfer from Malpensa airport which requires compliance with the Italian Green Pass, I timed our tests to ensure it covered my 13 year old for the bus. At Luton airport we were only asked for our Covid tests and not our locator forms or my vaccine proof. Again at the gate we just had to show boarding passes and passports. At Milan airport, we had to through a police check and fill out a form in the queue. Again we just had to show this new form and passports. The passport queue was more painful just because we were tired and it moved really slowly. But just needed to show passports . The two stop process took an hour but this meant our luggage was sitting waiting for us. We were staying at The Hotel Villa Malpensa who provided a shuttle car both directions. Would heartily recommend. I would caveat the above with the usual mention that this is just my experience and rules can change. And I'd much rather have all the forms and not need them, than need them and not have them.😀
  3. Thanks for your response Stefan. Will definitely feedback on my experience and yes the situation particularly in the UK is changing all the time. It was a big travel news here in the uk when the quarantine requirement was lifted for UK travellers to Italy at the end of August. I had to cancel our MSC Med cruise in August due to this issue. As a result many sought clarity on the children situation as 12-15 year olds were not being offered the vaccine. It was announced that UK children would not have to quarantine when travelling with a fully vaccinated adult but all passengers would need the antigen test. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/entry-requirements I can see from your email that indeed the italian website does not specify children but I'm pretty confident the above applies ( uk government website). Will feedback on our return.
  4. Just a small correction on this one. Under 12s are allowed into Italy - children if travelling with vaccinated adults just need to have an antigen test. Equally for getting onto the costa ship, all UK nationals ( along with most others to be honest) will need to do the PCR test at the terminal. ( had minor heart failure there as we are flying in two days time for our Costa Smeralda cruise 😉 )
  5. HI I thought I'd share my update in case it helps anyone in a similar situation in the future. ( I get that this is a really unique situation though). After some chasing, Costa finally confirmed on Monday that my friend would not be allowed on the ship if she didn't have a schengen visa for the France and Spain stops ( despite Italy not needing her to have a visa). They also confirmed that she couldn't just "stay on the ship" as implied on the french embassy website. So we managed to get a fast track appointment and hoping that she gets her visa and travel document back before 22nd. We got the notification that is in being processed and that 10 working days is their standard with many happening before that. So fingers crossed.
  6. That's really handy especially as the "test to return" is still in place for a few weeks. Do you mind me asking how long the onboarding took on Day 1. I've just been given a 3.30 check in time with a 6pm sail time - and am a bit bummed as I've heard it takes 2.5 hours. Not sure why as MSC was a one hour process end to end, and Celebrity was only 30 mins. Not sure why Costa's takes so long?
  7. Hi again This is a "hit and hope" type question in case anyone has encountered this situation. So on top of the challenge of covid testing, I've added to the stress by inviting along a friend who lives in the UK and holds a Refugee Travel Document from the UK authority. To cut a long story short - we've worked out that she does not require a schengen visa to enter Italy ( for either the flight and the cruise starts and ends in Savona). However, we will be making stops in France and Spain, which seem to require a schengen visa. Since it has taken us several weeks to get any kind of clarification from embassies, we can no longer meet the time frames for getting this visa at either the UK's Spanish or French consulates. I expect there has been an upsurge in applications this week due to the easing of travel restrictions announced by the UK govt. I'm trying to find out if we can get on in Italy and she stays on the ship for the French and Spanish stops, and then goes on excursions for the remaining Italian ports. Costa have said to leave it with them but that was over a week now and they dont really seem to understand my question. Has anyone got experience of having ports of call in the schengen area where they have been allowed to stay on the ship if they don't have the schengen visa. We are trying to avoid having to pay around £250 for an expedited schengen visa as the cost of this cruise would end up being less than the cost of testing and visas combined!! Thanks
  8. So the UK have cut the requirement for a PCR or antigen test before departure to the UK - so one less requirement. Hurray! Now if only Italy would remove the antigen test for entry, things would be much smoother;-)
  9. Thanks Stefan for the info. As ever, the watch word is too keep vigilant with all the ongoing changes. Nothing here is insurmountable, just a bit of hassle but worth it in the end.
  10. My recent cruise in greece and Croatia was straightforward in comparison were a ship shore excursion was only required in Mykonos.
  11. Ah so easy peasy then!!!! Looks like I'll need to do further research to make sure we jump through all the loops. If I can manage to get my son vaccinated with 1 dose here in the uk(the policy on 12-15 year old is changing) and its within the time specification, it appears my son would be considered "vaccinated" by Italy so shouldn't need the green pass related testing for excursions in Italy but he wouldn't meet French green pass rules as they require both jabs. Added to the fun is that we are flying into Nice which under French entry rules would only require my son to have a pre departure antigen test. But if we get a Costa transfer from Nice to Savona will the fact we are getting a pcr test at the port mean the vaccinated adults are covered for Italy entry requirements???? Its all very complicated.
  12. Hi I know this isn't a very active forum but thought I'd give it a chance. If anyone has recently been on a Costa ship can you explain a few things? Is there PCR/Antigen testing at the end of the cruise? ( I recently was on Celebrity where this was done and covered me for my return to the UK requirement). I can see they do one mid cruise but no mention of end of cruise. I will be travelling with a 13 year old who, because of UK policy, won't be fully vaccinated when we travel. This means that in order to get a green pass he will need a negative test which Costa state they can provide on the ship. Whilst this is fine for the rest of us as we are fully vaccinated, does this mean he will need to get tested every few days and issue with a new green pass each time? Many thanks
  13. That's great news. We are going on that cruise during the half term. I'd been holding fire on final payment until I was feeling more sure that it was actually going to happen. I'm going to call tomorrow and do the final payment and take it from there. We are staying in Nice the night before, so know I can either go for a train to Savona or a pay for a transfer from Costa from Nice station. Just depends on what time they give us. In a worse case scenario, we can stay closer to Savona the night before.
  14. As a mum of a 13 and 10 year old, this is frustrating. Luckily I cancelled out October half term cruise a while back and opted for a Costa cruise instead. At this rate they seem to be the only Med cruise company were UK 12-15 years old have the option to cruise.
  15. Thanks OP. Will hopefully be on board next week. Any info on theatre entertainment would be much appreciated.
  16. Thanks all. I got there in the end. Just did minimum bid from inside to veranda. Glad I didn't go too mad as only realised after that I'd be charged double. (I'm a solo and got the Apex with no single supplement). Time will tell.
  17. Completely new to Celebrity so sm sorry to hijack the thread but what is this move up tracker? On my recent MSC cruise I had the option to bid for an upgrade, is this something similar and is it available for UK customers? Thanks
  18. Beamafar- just a note to say that I was able to hold out on final payment (I had paid deposit only for a cruise due to leave on 27th Aug from Rome) until 30th July when it became clear that UK passengers wouldn't be allowed on board. I didn't have any chasing emails from MSC and to be fair I was able to move my deposit to a future cruise in May. As the Italian govt will need to announce an update on their 5 day quarantine policy before 31st Aug, is it worth holding out on final payment?
  19. Thanks Hayley. Looks like I'll have to keep trying with the agency and if that fails decide if we cancel and use our money on a cruise next year instead.
  20. Hi I wonder if I could get some advice from uk cruisers here. Last month I booked an Anthem of the Seas cruise via an agency. At that time there were no 4 berth cabins available so we went for 2 connecting balconies. At the time we were at a particularly low point and my husband agreed basically I think, to cheer me up a bit. But it was a lot more than we'd usually pay. I've noticed last week that there are now a number of 4 berth balconies for our sailing and have contacted our agency to see if we can move it and use the saving as OBC. This would amount to approx £700. They have put this through to RCI last Wed but say they have not been able to get a response. I've called the agency several times for follow-up. Should I just be patient or is it worth contacting RCI directly ( will they even deal with me considering I've booked via an agency?) Also if we decided to rebook via cruising with confidence, how long have others waited to get their e voucher /code? Many thanks
  21. No, the decision today was to allow international cruises to depart from UK ports as opposed to UK cruisers being allowed on international MSC cruises ( which they aren't at the moment). Added to the fact that we are still waiting for the Italian govt to make a judgement on whether they will lift the mandatory quarantine for all UK travellers into the country, it was all getting too late in the dayy. We decided to bail and put the money into a UK cruise. Not ideal but rather that, than no cruise in August with MSC having £1000s of our money.
  22. I've sent an email back as I couldn't get through earlier - so will see what happens next. Have to say that a similar call a few weeks back to Costa to move a cruise with changes to the ship, date and people going was all sorted pleasantly and quickly without all the hassle of FCC. Was really impressed with them.
  23. LOL - it just seemed like an email response from a "time before Covid". The worrying aspect was that the responder's job title said " Senior MSC Agent".
  24. Had an evening of being bamboozled! I've recently had email exchanges with MSC regarding the deposit for our end of August Seaside cruise. In the last exchange, I'd said that as the UK is not allowed on MSC ships we had decided to use our deposit for a future cruise credit. ( although this fact is on the US website, someone posted it on another thread. The UK site still only refers to the decision to the end of July - frustrating as that is). I've also decided to cancel my end of Oct cruise which also has just the deposit paid. My ultimate ask was to have a FCC for the two deposits to use when I was ready to book a cruise in 2022. I believe this is in line with the "stress free cruising" outlined on their website. Was surprised to get an email today ( 7 days since submitting my question) saying "Should you wish to look into cancelling your booking referencexxxxxxx or xxxxxxxxxxxx this will be as per Terms and Conditions and cancellation fees will incur, i'm afraid it is not possible to received a Future Cruise Credit Voucher. Please kindly advise how you would like to proceed with your bookings." Am I going mad? I tried to call but got cut off after being on hold for 30 mins and interestingly their website has a " we're really busy with calls" notification as soon as you go on it. I've not seen that before.
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