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Everything posted by RD64

  1. Howard yes- the rules change every five minutes - and even more frequently. I am going to wait until Winter 2022 before I make any definitive cruise plans.
  2. If you have your heart set on sailing the Grand Canal into / out of Venice, perhaps it is time to adjust your expectations in the short term. More realistically, you should plan accordingly for Trieste, Marghera, or Monfalcone.
  3. If you have your heart set on sailing direct into / out of Venice proper, the reality is that in the near future it is not likely. In reality, the ship will dock in Trieste, Monfalcone, or Marghera and you should plan accordingly.
  4. You can also fly into Trieste (TRS) Ronchi dei Legionari!
  5. Perhaps I am biased because my family is from Trieste. Trieste is Italy / Austria/ Slovenia all rolled into one - very tourist worthy, and an undiscovered secret. The cruise ships dock right in the heart of the city, across from the incredible Savoia Excelsior hotel, right near Piazza Unita d’Italia - the largest piazza in Italy - and all within walkable distance of the train station.
  6. Aliaschief - ships of MSC and Costa depart regularly on cruises from Trieste. The QE2 was a regular caller as well. And don’t forget, the Rotterdam was originally supposed to depart from Trieste on her maiden voyage next month.
  7. I agree with VMax - Trieste is an excellent alternative.
  8. Apologies - yes - Nieuw Statendam! I however read Nieuw Amsterdam. Too many Nieuws.
  9. I was just checking out the April transats - the Nieuw Amsterdam itinerary looks like the best of the four. Mind you the NA free sauna does not have any windows, and is rather small.
  10. Howard (from Jersey) As someone who often travels solo I hear your concerns. Sometimes I just want to travel as an “International Man of Mystery” and not talk to anyone. On a cruise a few years ago, I wanted a table for two - by myself - it was the end of a busy year, and I just was not in the mood for small talk every night. That being said, I certainly won the sympathy vote - people felt sorry for me - would encounter me on deck, or in a bar , and invite me to dine with them. Sometimes I would accept, and sometimes not. on the last cruise I did pre-Covid, an 11 day transatlantic, the first night I ate with two random couples. We had such an enjoyable first night, filled with so much in common that we ate together almost every night for the remainder, and we still keep in touch. That being said, I am sure that the spa/ gym / sauna services will soon be back to normal. There is nothing more relaxing than a pre-dinner steam/sauna mid Atlantic. cheers.
  11. I think that MSC will launch this product as a true luxury concept. Hopefully it will have a European focus! Although, it does remind me of Costa in the early 1990s. At that time Costa attempted to launch a “Euro-luxe” version of its mainstream Costa line for the new Classica and Romantica. The effort was criticized as being neither Euro nor Luxe. The venture was quickly dropped and the ships became part of the regular Costa fleet. At the end of the day - fifteen years ago, I am sure most cruise line executives dismissed MSC as a non-competitor. Look at them now! If anyone can make a success of this concept it will certainly be MSC and the Aponte family.
  12. I saw a pic posted earlier (can’t find it now), but the saunas on the new Virgin ships look massive - with windows. Not sure if they are co-Ed or unisex.
  13. GraphicGuy - it is not Canada’s fault that there are no cruises to Alaska. Perhaps you should look at your historic American laws and assign blame where it is appropriate. This is an American government issue - not a Canadian issue.
  14. Why do people still expect Canada to resolve an American problem? If the American government wanted to allow foreign flagged cruise ships to sail from American ports without a stop at a foreign port - then surely they could do so with the stroke of a pen.
  15. It is a toss up - window vs no window. The older Carnival ships had / have it right. Big windows and side by side sauna / steam. The Vista class on HAL (including Noordam) seem more of an after thought. On Princess the Ruby / Crown / Carib have nice spacious sauna / steam facilities, albeit with no windows.
  16. I like the windows concept - nice to see the sunset at night, or the sun shining in in the middle of the afternoon.
  17. Graphic Guy why are people still blaming Canada? It does not appear that your American government is in any rush to solve American bureaucratic problems.
  18. Jorge and Hannah - cruise director and assistant made a great team. I hope they are back when cruising resumes.
  19. Holland America’s Veendam used to dock in Hamilton for three days, on a seven day cruise.
  20. Every Ontario school board (on their website) has a COVID advisory page that lists every school in the school board - and the number of student infections, teacher infections, and the number of classrooms which are closed. I have a friend who works for one of the GTA school boards, and she is at home for 14 days as one of the students in her class was diagnosed with Covid. That class is one of the classes currently listed as “closed”.
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