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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

Recent Profile Visitors

634 profile views
  1. OUTRAGEOUS and beyond ludicrous to see that photo of the bar staff posing with his mask below his nose!!! The NOSE is where the virus goes in and out, genius. Anyone (like the other bartender, or the writer of this post who apoarently took the photo but didn't notice he was out of compliance, or the CC reviewers who published it) deserves ire. Wonder if he was one of the CREW who ended up testng positive??? For me, this idiocy completely negates any of Sea Dream's attempts at safety for its passengers.
  2. We're 4-star Mariners on HAL, Elite on Celebrity, usually stay in suites. We got spoiled by the Prinsendam and really prefer SMALL ships, which are non-existent in the mainstream lines anymore. So we're transitioning to Oceania, Azamara--not true luxury, they say, but at least smaller. Our TA said, well, the expedition ships are small. But we like to eat really good food, ideally listen to some live music, dress up a little, visit the spa... Expeditions don't seem to have those features. Then she said Windstar. Again, we don't want to be barefoot-sailboat silent. We considered Tauc
  3. Cloth towels and tissues near the door are standard on HAL ships.
  4. 4-star Mariners, we always stay in Neptune suites. You are mistaken about the fridges; they are not BROKEN, they are actually coolers. Perhaps they did indeed find you a fridge that cooled more, but it is actually in your documentation--in the fine print, even on their website--that it's a cooler, not a refrigerator. That is why they advvise you to request a fridge in advance if you need to keep your insulin (for instance) at a certain temp. Also in your documentation. And if you are not in a suite, there is now an upcharge for a fridge instead of a cooler...
  5. My speculation is that the family didn't want to stay on the tour but that was the only way to go ashore, so they took it and then peeled off from the group when they could, thinking they could just link up at the end of the tour. Have done this myself many times--including telling the tour leader my plan, and arranging when to rendezvous (have even signed waivers from time to time saying they didn't have to wait for me). But NOW, for MSC--and the other lines--it would be a nightmare to try to maintain the bubble if people violate the policy--never mind contact tracing & all. S
  6. Wow, excellent questions. Have taken 100s of tours over the years, innumerable episodes of peeling off from the group to find a WC. And no more browsing in shops to find the best pottery? That cute bistro, etc.? Would we be relegated to the artificial, highly controlled shopping areas that have become so common? What will that mean for the economies of the many places that depend on cruise tourism?
  7. I'm still communicating badly, lol! We're NOT having anything to do at all with the OLife Choice. You are exactly correct about having to pay for it! The OBC that we ARE getting is due to the suite. So we're not paying for it.
  8. Agreed! The rare times we've used the transfers is when it would be too complicated otherwise (to IJmuiden from Amsterdam--though I understand that port is not going to be used anymore anyway; to Rome from Civitavecchia--have done the train but not really worth it). We do try to share a ride when it's a bit of a hike, especially if folks are staying at the same pre- or post-cruise hotel. I see that Ravenna is replacing Venice as the departure port for RCCL--that would likely be a ship's transfer as well.
  9. So the OLife option--which includes air/transfers/free internet and one additional perk (shorex, $300 OBC , or bev pkge) is $800 more than the cruise-only fare. Of those OLife perks, we would only choose OBC because the others are moot in one way or another. But fine print is that it covers $715 or so air credit--plus a deviation fee of $195! So really OLife would cost $1,000; instead, we'd decline the air and take their $500 credit. Thus we'd end up paying $800 for the privilege of "free" $300 OBC and "free" $500 air credit. (I have found a raft of perfect flights for $174 RT, plus we wi
  10. Not confused, I just explained it confusingly, lol. O Life Choice is marketed as "Offering you the flexibility to personalize your vacation experience, this package includes Roundtrip Airfare* and Free Internet, plus choose one: OBC/shorex/bev pkg." We chose the OBC as the preference among the optional suite perks--this is separate from OLife Choice, so we are not paying for it except as part of the suite price (we agree; why pay for something as a "benefit"? Crazy). Free wifi is a given for suites.
  11. Well, we just jumped! Having to cancel our most recently booked cruises (Maasdam this past April; X Eclipse coming up Feb) along with losing a month-long land trip to Spain this Sept, has made us itchy to book SOMEthing for the future... A year and a half from now, things should be settled down somewhat. We're HAL 4* & Celeb Elite; we prefer smaller ships, but with the loss of the Prinsendam, that's done. A bad HAL cruise this past Dec and X's move toward ever-bigger ships have pushed us to see what else is out there. No expedition ships; we like to be spoiled. So O and Azamara were
  12. 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 Ce
  13. 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)?
  14. 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 th
  15. 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.
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