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Everything posted by Neverlookback

  1. We are on the Ovation as of Saturday and masks are required in indoor areas. The N95 masks were in our suite upon arrival instead of the nice Seabourn cloth masks. Most folks are wearing the N95 masks, but you see more and more of others including the Seabourn cloth mask being worn. I will probably switch to the Seabourn cloth mask at some point as the N95 masks are extremely tight and uncomfortable for my big head. No mention of the outbreak last week, but the mood on the boat is a little somber. Not sure if this has to do with the masks or the newness of the crew as there are few members of the crew on board from our cruise in July/August. We will be tested every 3 days now instead of weekly. Hopefully measures will go back to the ones we had in July/August at some point. We have a positive outlook on traveling and will do our best to adjust. We were at the Colonnade for lunch yesterday upon embarkation and thought of the new N95 as a good diet tool. 🤣 I did not want to put the mask back on to cruise the buffet a 2nd time and therefore saved on a few calories. Continued well wishes for those directly affected by the outbreak last week.
  2. Unfortunate news, but our life's adventures will carry on. 🤞 We are headed back to the Ovation on Saturday for 4 weeks from Athens to Lisbon. Had our PCR tests today at Quest Diagnostics and waiting for results. Will keep everyone apprised of how the cruise has changed with the current outbreak. Prayers for those affected and that they reach home safely from an unfortunate and difficult situation.
  3. At this point not enough folks are getting vaccinated and although it should be incrementally better next summer, cruise lines are making decisions on how best to sail and have a reasonable chance to follow the itinerary. While cruises have gone well so far since the restart, I would guess being choosy with itineraries won't be until 2023 at least.
  4. From the Seabourn FAQ The link provided in the comment was very helpful for us. There is mention of Seabourn working with Quest Diagnostics with 1500 locations in the US. I got on their website and they provide PCR testing within 1-2 days and apparently the testing is free if you provide your insurance information. We live in a somewhat rural area and was pleased to see a Quest Diagnostics location about 10 minutes away. We now have appointments for the Wednesday morning prior to our cruise that departs Saturday 10/9 from Athens. This is much better for us as we now don't have to stress over the busy airport option of getting tested. Thank you!
  5. You are exactly right. It's not shared, but the hand held device the waiter has in their hands to take your order has your profile pop up, even with your picture. I believe this helps the staff build a connection with the guests.
  6. I can't confirm they read the CC forum, but during our 3 week cruise in July to Greece, there were subtle indications folks on the Ovation were reading the forum comments. As it pertains to the FCC issue that would be a corporate issue that I don't know whether it's being seen online and falling on deaf ears or not.
  7. Just saw in the small print this is an antigen test and therefore unacceptable.😔
  8. The various choices are still confusing for me. I search the Abbott BinaxNow website and can't find specific info on whether it's antigen or PCR. Only that it's approved for providing proof when traveling although not specific which ones. Not sure why Seabourn would have different requirements for sailing from Athens vs Miami. I have not seen where Greece added requirements from our cruise in July. I believe it's Seabourn that has added the additional PCR requirement along with other cruise lines based upon the Delta variant. Hoping for more clarity from my TA.
  9. An article popped up in my notifications showing a new home test kit approved by Carnival for $70. Interesting and looks like a great option if acceptable to Seabourn also. I did some further online research and saw nothing official from Seabourn, but Seabourn was mentioned in the articles.. I also found a YouTube video where the person is using the home test kit with the Emed Procedure. Looking at the Abbott BinaxNOW tests YouTube videos it appears the test kits are the same, but the Emed component is someone online watching you administer the test. Watching the example you can hear the person online and she is reading from a script and just verifying you are following directions and not cheating the test by watching you. If you follow the test procedure properly and show a negative test result, they immediately send you a digital certificate showing you are negative which is supposedly good for travel. As a side note, my wife is filipino and we can tell from the Emed person's voice that she is filipino and most likely working from a call center in the Philippines. Again, the process is not working with a medical person, but just a third party confirming you are following the directions properly and not cheating. The process seems like a great idea to facilitate getting testing prior to showing up for embarkation. Would be great if Seabourn would provide further information and clarity. We are traveling Oct 9th on the Ovation and this would be extremely helpful to do from home and eliminate stress of doing at the airport or elsewhere. Has anyone heard anything additional specific to Seabourn? https://www.cruisehive.com/carnival-cruise-line-provides-home-test-kit-option/56039
  10. I would normally trend toward the red meat dishes on my own and have found this has opened my experiences to foods I would normally not try. The staff also gets a taste test and review of the evening's menu each day before the dining room opens. I know this would not work for most folks, but I have fun with the staff and it puts a little stress for the waiter as he always wants me to be happy with his choices. Overwhelmingly great choices and always enjoyable for me. After a few days the girl at the desk that seats us would only bring the one menu for my wife. Have fun, it's your vacation!
  11. We always find someone in the dining staff that we enjoy and then request their area each evening. Never an issue. The last two cruises I have had tremendous fun with the waiter by having him bring me his choices from the menu from what he thinks is best. Often they will be creative and I end up having awesome flavors that I most likely would not have chosen. It's lots of fun for me and the waiter as I never see the menu. This has become one of my favorite parts of the cruise. My wife orders from the menu and while her food is great, often I will have the better overall meal.
  12. Don't overthink this... If you arrive early, go to the terminal to check in. You will receive the normal friendly Seabourn welcome. Safe travels.
  13. From your profile signature, it's apparent you are well traveled with many cruise lines. I have always based my travel choices on past experiences, price and itinerary. I have never considered a company's website as being even remotely a consideration. We are back on Seabourn Ovation in October. Safe travels.
  14. I don't begrudge folks in the PH suites for having coffee machines as part of the perk for the larger, more expensive suites. For me, I am happy in any Veranda suite and happily will walk the apparently long distance to Seabourn Square to get my morning coffee, donut and interact with the wonderful Seabourn staff, ie. Amra and Yuri on the Ovation. My apologies to others if I may be a little unkempt at this time in the morning. We have a Nespresso machine at home and I have no interest in having this appliance in my Veranda suite. Safe travels.
  15. Not sure if this is reassuring or not, but when traveling to Greece and then back to the US in August airport reviews of the vaccination/covid test information was cursory at best. They are basically "checking a box" to see that you have documentation. This was the same at both Newark and Athens airports. No one has the time to read the details of your documentation and they are not looking for counterfeits like you might see with a drivers license in the US. I would honestly not sweat this detail and would feel confident being vaccinated and having the normal CDC card.
  16. I can confirm they have gelato near the pool at the bar. 😀
  17. We very much enjoy the experience of the various places to eat with Seabourn. A few minor changes, improvements we have noticed since being on the Ovation 2 years ago. The ice cream has greatly improved at Seabourn Square and assuming its the same elsewhere on the ship. Inquired last evening and was advised they had upgraded the ice cream machine to a product from France. The ice cream in the past was a bit icy and it's now much creamier. Second, the donuts at Seabourn Square have improved quite a bit. In the past they looked much better than they tasted, a bit like frosted bread. They are not the world's best donuts now, but a huge improvement. A third items is the bread sticks in the MDR. These have always been good, but for us now, even better. With the inquiry last night was advised they have revised the recipe a little and added additional parmesan. They have an even better flavor and texture. In my opinion a nice improvement. As you can see from my posts we very much enjoy Seabourn. The crew continues to be the best part and we look forward to more enjoyable travel time with all of them in the future. Steve
  18. Spetses was nice, but just a typical stop in the Mediterranean. It was extremely hot and therefore we did not stay long. Nice walking, shopping area near the tender drop off. It was not a marina day and I remember having one since we have been on, but don't remember where it was. Sorry for the lack of info regarding Spetses. Pleasant place, but nothing memorable.
  19. It has definitely been hot! Suggest getting out early at the various ports and going back to the ship early. We have not seen a cloud in the sky for nearly 2 weeks. No regrets on going to Greece and finally traveling again. Would definitely consider other itineraries in the future when they become available due the heat. Pulling into Spetses this morning.
  20. I would guess 50% or less this week based upon the MDR not being busy. I would again guess all of the Seabourn Greek cruises are going to be light due to folks not being comfortable yet with traveling until 2022. If you have an opportunity to go in 2021 I would jump on it. We are having a great time and only having to wear a mask when going inside a place of business. Safe travels.
  21. We are in the middle of our 2nd week and have heard nothing regarding future restrictions. We are in Rhodes this morning and the Celebrity Apex has also arrived. I doubt I will hear anything specific to their ship, but will pass it on if we do. The folks choosing to venture out early with travel on Seabourn are going to be surprised and very happy with their decision. We had the sail away party on deck yesterday from Paphos and it was as normal, awesome. Safe travels to everyone.
  22. A bit of clarification to the above previous post, my wife actually had her results delivered to the room later that the same evening. It appears the testing is done weekly and we will receive a report each time. So far have not heard of anyone having problems or needing to quarantine. Weather has been sunny, hot and have not seen a cloud for 10 days. Have seen some older folks struggling with the heat at a few of the ports. We are in Rhodes today.
  23. Nearing the end of the first week on board and everyone was given a post card notification in their rooms Thursday evening with a scannable code for the on board covid testing. Time was set for Friday, 7:30am to 10am in the Grand Salon and was very well organized. They had four separate cubicles where you were quickly tested with a swab in your nose. It went fine and would again suggest tilting your head back as I previously learned on this forum. Results are to be known within 30 minutes. We went and had breakfast and then went on a tour. When we got back to our room I had the attached report at the slot next to the door. I am guessing I was given the report incorrectly as my wife did not receive one and we are on the cruise for two more weeks. I am assuming this is for folks leaving the ship Saturday morning and will be used to document covid status back to everyone's home country. My wife and I received blue stickers in our security card holders and believe this is used to verify you have been tested and remaining onboard. Inside tip... we went on the wine tasting trip in Napflion and it was awesome. We are not wine connoisseurs by any stretch, but the winery was gorgeous, boutiqueish and the guide Helen was awesome! They had a wine authority from Athens also onsite to provide further insight and he was very passionate and informative. Very enjoyable for a small quiet, port. You can feel the happiness and relief from the locals that travel is restarting and we felt the same towards their efforts.
  24. Seabourn will have a representative at the airport who will be with the driver. Only a guess, but Seabourn is not going to have you waiting at the airport to delay your boat check-in. We are on the boat this week and found the check in process not to be rigid as to when you arrive. If you arrive early and your room is not ready yet due to passengers departing earlier that morning, I would assume they will park you in the Colonnade where lunch is normally served until the room is ready. This is a nice area with lots of food and have done this in years past. Cruise has been awesome this week and we have booked 28 days from Athens to Lisbon in October. Have seen a few other boats at the various stops, but definitely not crowded. The earlier adopters of traveling again will be quite happy in my humble opinion. Safe travels. Steve
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