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  1. I think perhaps you have misinterpreted the poster's tongue-in-cheek comment about "not trying to sell you an insurance policy." As an insurance professional, I think his/her point was that the insurance industry regards an individual who is unwilling to fly as someone who may not be in compliance with their travel policy. Seriously, how are you going to get home from half way around the world without flying. I think that's what the poster was trying to convey.
  2. We recently had to cancel a cruise because of illness with this agency and paid the $100 cancel fee. I knew about this fee going in. I also knew that they offered me a cruise rate which was over $200 better than any other that I could find at the time of booking. So I took the chance....and lost. Maybe the fee is reimbursable under my insurance plan and maybe it's not. We'll find out. If it isn't....so be it. We've also lost other money on this trip, but health concerns come first. I also prefer to book with agencies that have no fees, and if all things are equal, I will. Otherwise I look for the lowest evaluated fare. It's a calculated risk, but at our ages, there are lots of risks.
  3. There are (I read) three confirmed cases of the coronavirus in St. Barts. Possibly the ship was denied docking to protect the passengers and crew from being exposed. Even if that wasn't the reason, it may be a good thing that no one disembarked there.
  4. Thanks for your responses. We probably will give them a chance to see what they can offer.
  5. My SO contacted norovirus years ago on the Tahitian Princess, and he was quarantined to the cabin. Princess did not quarantine me, but I quarantined myself to make certain the virus wasn't spread, and I never did get it. Fortunately for us, we had booked a mini-suite, and I spent time on the balcony reading, napping, and watching the tenders go back and forth to the islands. The quarantine was lifted on the third day when he was no longer symptomatic. We agreed that we were so glad we had the larger cabin with a balcony and fresh air. He was sleeping a lot, but I felt fine and even though it was only two days, I'm just a bit claustrophobic and was getting restless. I was also getting sick of Princess club sandwiches! I am highly sympathetic to everyone on that quarantined ship.
  6. The cruise we are considering booking currently has a $500 air credit offer. Right now there is very reasonable airfare available, and we would prefer to book our own flights. The last time a cruise line booked our flights there were problems we'd rather not repeat. If we choose not to use the air credit, is it a "use it or lose it" situation, or would we be able to get any kind of credit from Seabourn on our cruise fare?
  7. Sorry about my previous meaningless blurb. I hit the wrong button. Here's what I was trying to say: I recently completed my first Seabourn cruise. Like many posters on Cruise Critic, I have been cruising for many years (since 1970) and have sailed most of the mass market lines. Obviously, cruising has changed greatly, and the two of us were disenchanted with our last few cruises. So it was time to try something new. We have always enjoyed small ships, and, for me, it's not seeking a "luxury" experience as much as a more "civilized" experience, which means no lines, no noise, no loud music, no racket in the halls, respectful fellow passengers, etc. With that in mind, we booked a Silversea cruise to Alaska in June and a Seabourn cruise to the Caribbean in November. The cruises were both enjoyable and different, but that close together, there was no way I couldn't compare them, even though I know that I am comparing one specific cruise against another and one cruise may not be representative of the line. For me, the food was comparable on both lines. Our service on Silversea was far superior to Seabourn both in the dining room and our suite. Please bear with me when I say that our Seabourn suite attendant was the worst we have had in many years on all the lines we've sailed. She was a sweet woman, and I feel she did her best, but try as we may, we couldn't seem to get our suite serviced before 2:00 pm. or to obtain clean glasses and our soda of choice replaced. Not what we expected. That said, I absolutely loved my Seabourn cruise. The entertainment blew me away. For a small ship, the talent of the onboard entertainers was quite impressive and unexpected, whereas the cast show on Silversea reminded me of a high school musical. At times the ship felt dead. On Seabourn there was always something going on, and the staff and crew went to great lengths to make the social activities special. We were on a 12-day cruise, and we had six or seven invitations to a hosted table with both entertainers and officers. We accepted three and enjoyed them tremendously. It gave us a chance to meet some of our fellow passengers, and we enjoyed the easy socialization. There was life on this ship, and I had fun. It's been a long time since I've said that about a cruise. So here's the thing about surveys. People fill out a check list. On paper, rating item by item, our Silversea cruise might have come out ahead. But in the intangibles, and the things that mattered most to me, Seabourn was ahead. I'd gladly sail Silversea again if the right opportunity arose BUT I'll definitely make it a point to find another Seabourn cruise.
  8. We just booked our first Seabourn cruise this past week to the Caribbean, and I have just received our confirmation and booking number. Since the cruise is in November, we had to pay in full. We have no cabin credit for this cruise, so If anyone has a coupon you wish to share....and it can be used after final payment....please let me know. My email address is october609 at yahoo dot com. Please put "Seabourn" in the subject line so I don't miss it.
  9. We just came back from a 10-day Alaskan cruise last week which was round trip from Vancouver. We are frequent travelers in our 70s and have been to Alaska many times on both land trips and cruises, and we have sailed several times in and out of Vancouver. Never have we experienced so much trouble getting through the Vancouver airport. Even though we had transportation furnished by the cruise line and we disembarked on a weekday (Thursday) with little activity at the port, it was still a 45-minute drive to the airport and after arrival, it took us well over two hours to get to our gate. Check-in lines were very long to check ourselves in and pay baggage fees, print boarding passes, print luggage tags, apply luggage tags, and after the agent weighed the bags, she gave them back to us to haul them to the conveyor belt and place them on the belt. The lines going through Canadian security/customs for international flights were also long and slow. Canada does not have the TSA precheck; everyone takes off their shoes, etc. After you get through with the Canadians, you get to go through American customs. After all that standing and a lot of walking, we were wiped out by the time we got to our departure gate. You didn't mention whether your mother and her companion flew often and knew their way around airports. If not, you might want to seriously consider a roundtrip out of Seattle which means that they would go through Canadian immigration at their port stop, and most cruise lines do that on the ship. That only leaves American customs to deal with on return. SEA-TAC is a big airport, too but I still think it might be easier to deal with for people their age. Both Holland America and Princess have trips out of Seattle that go to Glacier Bay. It's a wonderful thing you are doing for your mother. I hope you find a trip that works well for her and for you. Good luck.
  10. We also did our trip last week with Gastineau, although it was the photo safari, a somewhat pricier option but ideal for the camera enthusiast. There were 10 of us on the photo safari, and several of us (myself included) didn't even have a camera. My other half is the amateur photographer, and he got hundreds of pictures, mostly of a pod of orcas but with a few humpbacks thrown in. We've done a number of whale watching trips, but the boats that Gastineau uses with the sides that flip up and wide, open windows are great boats for whale watching. I'd use them again. They do have to be booked through the cruise line, though.
  11. Gardyloo…..You are so right. On our last land trip to Alaska, we did exactly what you recommended and enjoyed it tremendously. Spent 4 days in Nome, driving every available mile of road, even went to Teller, which was an eye-opening experience. I think I recognize a couple of those musk ox! Got some up close and personal pictures very similar on the road by the schoolhouse just outside of Nome. We also got a spectacular view of The Mountain on our flight back to Anchorage. We're doing just a cruise next month and have flightseeing in Ketchikan (with Michelle at Island Wings) and another flight out of Haines (with Mountain Flying Service) over Glacier Bay. We had booked with Michelle on our last trip, but she cancelled because of weather conditions. That may happen again this time, but we'll leave it up to her and respect her decision. Had we not taken air excursions, we would have missed some of our most memorable experiences in Alaska, including our two fly-in bear trips to Katmai. We recognize there is always a risk involved, and I have to admit I was a bit nervous on a couple of flights on those small planes, but it's not enough out of my comfort zone to consider canceling.
  12. I'm guessing this is just word play from Princess trying to make their Natural History Tour sound impressive. If they were offering a more inclusive tour, I'm sure they'd play it up big time. I can't imagine it would be even less than the Natural History Tour, but my experience with Princess tells me it's possible. The last time we were there in September several years ago, we'd take the Park shuttle early in the day, and upon our return, we would drive the road back and forth several times looking for moose. I was shocked at how many Princess Natural History Tour buses I saw leaving the Park, one after another after another. I'd hate to think that someone who doesn't know better and really wants to see Denali gets stuck with only that tour. I think I'd avoid anything that vague without checking it out. People should know exactly what they are getting when they sign up for a trip to Denali.
  13. We've done both....the train and driving ourselves. Both are scenic routes. The train gets the edge for comfort and stress free travel, and the car gets the edge for flexibility. Seward is a neat, quirky little town, though, and I have always enjoyed spending time there. One of my all-time favorite Alaska excursions is the Kenai Fjords boat trip out of Seward. If wildlife is of any interest to you, you'd have time to do a 6-hr. National Park cruise, whether you choose the train or car. A good chance to see whales, stellar sea lions, puffins, otters, in addition to glacier viewing. Something to consider if you still have a few bucks left after a week in Alaska!
  14. You might also want to check out the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge for availability. On our last road trip we stopped there on our way north to Denali and Fairbanks and then again on our way back to Anchorage. It's in a beautiful location and very conveniently located right off the highway about 40 miles from Talkeetna.
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