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Floridiana

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Everything posted by Floridiana

  1. We have these white handwritten vaccine cards and wonder whether we should ask our health department to add the information to our international yellow vaccine passports where our yellow fever and other vaccines are registered. Did anybody here who lives in Florida try to do this? If yes, did your health department help you? I am not expecting our governor to issue tamper proof vaccine cards.
  2. I tried to convince two people in my neighborhood (55+) to get vaccinated. They said "vaccine is not tested enough", "don't trust the pharma industry". It is frustrating to see this attitude.
  3. My experience is different. I did not mind the 'fishbowl'. I enjoyed looking out. Service was excellent and it was a quiet room. The huge dining room on the Koningsdam was noisy and the service was harried. I would have been sorely disappointed if I had had to eat there all the time. We were in Club Orange because we were in a Neptune suite. But I would not have minded if somebody paid extra for it. I did not acquire my 4 star mariner status to get privileges. I became a 4 star mariner by cruising and enjoying the cruises. That's what I paid for. A positive side effect were privileges.
  4. Sint Eustatius has a fuel depot. It is used by the freighters in the Caribbean. Do you mean she is moving there to refuel? The other widely used refueling station is Trinidad.
  5. A new line is going to sail this itinerary, but I threw away the material. They were extremely expensive. I was looking at this region. For your sake, I hope that the Azamara location team and 'expert' speaker will be better than in Japan. We had done our own research and it was our third time to the country. That's probably why I was most annoyed about Azamara's misinformation. cruisemom42 had better luck with Cuba.
  6. Two cruises: Circle around Japan on the Azamara Quest and Circle the Pacific on the MS Amsterdam with many ports in Japan Positive on Azamara: quality and sophistication of food; a Japanese 'ambassador' on board who helped with advice and maps for independent shore trips. I wish she had also given talks, but she didn't. Negative on Azamara: our standard cabin with balcony had no sofa, balcony was cluttered with a dining table and two dining chairs. The two of us could barely fit out there to take photos. The excursion team was uninformed about the country. The expert speaker gave three wrong pieces of information within the first 30 minutes of his talk, all on basic knowledge for anyone who has ever traveled in Japan. Positive on Holland America: friendlier and more congenial hotel services crew; expert speakers and shore excursions team were experienced and had correct information. Summary: Although we are foodies, we would not book Azamara again. There were too many negatives for us. We booked a Holland America cruise again, food is decent, crew is genuinely nice, itineraries are great.
  7. I agree. Can't say anything about ship maintenance and loyalty program, but I do not particularly like the smaller O ships, loved the Riviera. I would sail with both lines again for the itinerary.
  8. We did a circle the Pacific 82 day cruise on the Amsterdam in 2018. There was repetition of the menu but it didn't feel like it with so many choices. We were waiting for some of dishes to return because we liked them so much. It wasn't the most sophisticated menu but solid well prepared food. As to clothing, we saw everything from sweatshirts to tuxedos on formal nights and mariners who wore theme appropriate outfits for every event. If HAL gets back into the spirit, they do a great job with long cruises. Their excursion team was outstanding, their experts were great. They had a good variety of daytime enrichment activities on sea days. We don't care that much for the evening entertainment, go to bed early and are off the ship among the first in the morning.
  9. We did this cruise on the Regatta. I found the ports very interesting, but don't expect a jungle experience. The Amazon up to Manaus is wide and deep enough for ocean going cruise ships; it's actually the only 'road' that connects Manaus with the rest of Brazil. We went in November which was the end of the dry season. I think December would be better when the river is slightly higher for some of the excursions.
  10. As to Rome excursions, we did the long one with the train - not Regent. Before Covid-19 obviously. We saw all the highlights, huge crowds everywhere, not pleasant at all. Luckily we were wearing our most comfortable shoes because the walking between the various spots was about 1/3 more km that the excursion description had said. Was it worthwhile? Yes. Would I ever do it again like that? Hell no! Our adult children did a similar day excursion by bus. They have more stamina than we do. I think the train is not worth taking. It's historic and not overly comfortable. And we had a bus in the city anyway. We went back to Rome before our next cruise, took a Vatican hotel, pre-booked the Vatican museum with a local guide via the hotel and did everything else on our own. We walked leisurely, didn't take taxis or mass transportation. We saw only a smattering compared to the long excursion but at our own pace.
  11. Sounds good, too soon to organize anything anyway.
  12. Anybody here has been to South Africa? I am trying to figure out which African overland tour on this 2023 itinerary we should book select.
  13. To come back to my question about the entertainment on the Cloud. We are looking at the world cruise. It would be extremely boring to have just experts on board for the length of the world cruise. After all, the itinerary is not comparable to a true expedition with zodiac outings. Silver Spectre's experience from Fort Lauderdale to Lima does not bode well. Can any body chime in?
  14. Thank you for responding so promptly all of you. Very kind. My husband was ready to book today, but I am not ... yet. My previous experience with an expedition ship outside of Ant-/Arctic waters is very positive when it comes to high end delicious food and super service, but the entertainment was almost non existent. They had some lectures but nothing else on the sea days. Although I don't need a lot, sometimes it's nice to look forward to a local expert, maybe a local dance group, a water exercise class, interviews with the bridge and engineering officers etc. My husband likes to play bridge. Although I bring my kindle, I like the ship to have a library. What could we expect on the Silver Cloud with plenty of sea days? So far, one expert each for 6 segments is listed.
  15. Another newbie! My husband and I are looking at are a very long cruise on the Silver Cloud in 2022 (great itinerary!). We never considered this line before because it is too formal for our taste. The Cloud, however, is an expedition ship. Do they still have regular formal nights with cocktail/evening dresses, tuxedos, dark suits, ties? We really don't want to be the odd ducks out who flee to the casual restaurant while everybody else genuinely enjoys dressing up to the nines. That would be ok for a short cruise, but on a long cruise we would probably feel like outsiders in polo shirts and slacks. Our previous cruise experience includes Hapag-Lloyd, Ponant, Oceania, Azamara, HAL. Can somebody please enlighten us?
  16. misterkevin is correct. The length of the cruise is an important factor for young professionals. Not many Americans have the luxury of long vacations like Europeans.
  17. Good to know. The government canceled the big heiva Festival this summer. Obviously the islands are not quite open yet.
  18. Today we got the cancellation for our family summer cruise around the UK on Mein Schiff 3. It was about time. Our flights had been canceled already. American cruise lines were a bit more prompt with the cancellations. All of Alaska and Canada are closed. All Europe cruises canceled as well. 23 cruise ships are at anchor near Manila waiting their turn to disembark Philippine crew. The ships then go into cold layover with minimal crew, maybe in Malaysia. Somewhere outside the Hurricane belts I would say.
  19. Some countries are on complete lockdown. We are signed up for alerts in Peru because our cruise was supposed to end in Iquitos. The following came in today. Event: Beginning tomorrow, Monday, May 18, children under 14 are allowed to take a short 30-minute walk outside with an adult each day. Remember to stay within 500 meters of your residence, wear a facemask, and maintain social distancing (at least two meters or six feet) between you and others. This special exception is allowed only once per day and only during non-curfew hours. For more information, please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 webpage at https://pe.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information. 23 cruise ships are outside Manila waiting their turn to disembark Crew from the Philippines.
  20. Quite understandable. How are things in the UK? Social distancing, face masks?
  21. Today the refund has arrived on our account. I credit our letter for it - inspired by directionfinder's sucess.
  22. After 6 weeks of no refund but e-mails and a letter about other things from H-L, we wrote a letter to the CEO. The letter is on its way right now. The law in Germany says that refunds are due within 14 days. I am extremely disappointed, not sure I will ever book another cruise with them.
  23. I saw an interview with a magician on another (smaller) ship that returned home to Germany with her passengers. The artists on board started offering additional programs to the ones they were hired to do to keep passengers happy. For example, the magician did individual i-phone classes on how to organize photos etc. The buffet closed to avoid food spoilage because the ship did not know when and where it could replenish supplies. Everything worked out fine in the 30 days at sea. And like the people on the Costa ship, back on land they were amazed to experience how the world had changed in the meantime.
  24. No news on refunds yet but other news. By the way, all passengers of the Hanseatic inspiration flew home on regularly scheduled commercial flights, no charter. https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/22801-hapag-lloyd-to-double-drydock-expedition-ships-bringing-crew-home.html
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