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About sofietucker

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Beautiful Tidewater, VA
  • Interests
    gardening, reading, live music (esp jazz & blues), snorkeling
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Holland
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Wow! Great info! It was actually a travel agent who told me that, lol. I should have done my due diligence and checked wikipedia before posting. But thanks so much; I now have learned that: Amber mining in the DR is incredibly dangerous and primitive (foxhole mining) Much Dominican amber famously has inclusions and is transparent A great deal of the Dominican amber is young, aka subfossil copal resin--which can be determined by seeing if the surface turns sticky with a drop of acetone nailpolish. The hymenoptera protera tree also existed in Africa, Indonesia and Central America, from whence copal also was exported to make varnish and resin The blue amber is made from said tree--and so also found in Indonesia Personally, I haven't enjoyed my 3 previous visits to the DR, which involved soldiers with machine guns guarding the tourists... Guess that's why I haven't learned about the amber (which weirdly, was not featured on our ship's shopping & port info, as recently as this past December). Emerald shops in Cartagena felt safer, lol. If an itinerary takes me back there, I will have to hunt down the $$$$ Amber Museum.
  2. On a Caribbean cruise in January, we were in astonishingly glass-like waters while traveling between Aruba and Grand Cayman. My manicurist and I discussed other seas--calm and rough--that we experienced; she said the worst she'd been in, besides Drake's Passage, was Bass Strait between Vistoria (Melbourne) and Tasmania. Whoa! We'll apparently be passing through next February on our way out of Melbourne to the Pacific--and back! Anybody have experience? How long does the ship actually stay in this "notoriously rough" water (sez Wikipedia)?
  3. Wow, the snark in both of your replies to me. I do read several outlets of national and international news every day, including that about cruise lines, the status of ships and pax still at sea, as well as those whose passengers have disembarked, travel advisories, etc., so yes, I am aware. I would not dream of trying to contact HAL; as Orlando Ashford has said, the current policies are temporary. I do have a message in to my TA, marked "not urgent" because I have until Dec 31st to sort out rebooking with HAL, and 11 months untili my next booked cruise. I do read this website's forums for information. Others--including travel agents and ships' crews & staff--who post here often have professional insights/inside scoop/personal experiences to share. Isn't that why you are here as well? I have found a great deal of useful information on the CC forums, both over the years and as recently as today. In fact, I have actually learned some things on this very thread. I suppose we all respond differently to the uncertainty and stress of the local and world situation. Take care of yourself and stay healthy.
  4. yep... Not my point. I want to know if I will get my cash back from cancelled cruise for which I was only given FCC and apparently I may now be barred from future cruising, making my FCC moot.
  5. I'm pretty upset that after we have had to cancel next month's cruise (HAL, Sea of Cortez), Celebrity has now offically said no one over 70 and no one with health conditions, incl diabetes, without a doctor's note. I'm 65, have both heart stuff and diabetes. And have finally reached the good-bennies categories on both cruise lines. Wondering what will happen with our South Pacific cruise in February on Celebrity; none of my ethical docs would write me a note, I bet. Plus, though we took to FCC on the HAL cancellation, will I ever be able to use it if they won't let me cruise? Or will they refund the $$? HAL's entire demographic is elderly, and they are nowhere near cultivating a millennials culture among their cruisers. But every single person I know 70 & above has diabetes/heart/COPD/kidney/Parkinson's, or SOMETHING.
  6. We have a South Pacific booked for Feb 2021, but feel it's about 50-50 on whether those islands will be accepting ships by then. We also have an extensive, expensive, escorted land tour booked for Sept 2020 in SPAIN and already not holding out hope...
  7. Actually, that's exactly what we're about to do: buy our tix for a Spain trip in Sept., rather than waiting til this summer. (Yes, they've been under the radar: have over 900 covid-19 cases--and over 50 deaths--but perhaps the cycle will have run its course by then. If not, then by next Feb. )
  8. Philadelphia's yard did the same back in tha day
  9. We are in the same boat [sic]. Delta is now issuing full credit for any flights taken by March 31st; but keep checking American as the situation is fluid. PS--they're now flying their wide-body jets in the US, so if you do decide to keep your flights for an in-country vacay, it may be cushy...
  10. We both have conditions, me heart, him suppressed immune. So we're cancelling our April 15th HAL cruise & hoping American will extend its fly-by-March 31st to also let us cancel our flights... Since Allianz' (wonderful in the past) new policy denies reimbursement for pandemics, grrr, we're willing to eat the Marriott non-refundable hotel if we must.
  11. This is completely second hand: I have read is that folks who DID eat in the CO loved being able to watch the chefs prepare their meal in the open kitchen. And make their Belgian waffles...
  12. Aw man! First our beloved P-dam is sold, now this one (we sail on her in a month)... Might look into the British line, Cruise & Maritime, that has a few small ships.
  13. All the cons you list are exactly so, in our experience. We book aft suites whenever they are available, in spite of finding this to be the case, because of those pros... Would rather have the huge balcony than more in-room space; we earn our lounge goodies with that long walk, lol. (BUT!! look at photos before booking a lowest-deck aft. Equipt alongside may ruin your view). We did have one in Dec that, for the first time ever, we were seasick, but also due to high seas and gale-force winds--for 2 days! We've had to gently remind the stewards about one issue or another, from time to time.
  14. We also have been in the Baltic a couple of times during heat waves. Start with short sleeve or even tank top underlayer, add another shirt or light sweater, bring a rain jacket. The Swedes will be sunbathing when it's in the 60s...
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