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About mcmarya

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    Cool Cruiser

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    No. Virginia

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  1. Since he hasn't been mentioned, we appreciated Kevin, EXC Guide on 2 Zaandam cruises. He is from Buenos Aires so was particularly effective in talking about ports in South America. He was especially helpful in offering information for those wishing to tour independently. My husband shared guest speaker duties with Jim McParland on 2 cuises and I second appreciation of him. In addition to giving lots of interesting and informative lectures, Jim shared his knowledge of astronomy up on the top deck on many occasions. This was particularly interesting when in the southern hemisphere where we
  2. The Zaandam was sailing between Buenos Aires and San Antonio, Chile all winter (their summer).
  3. The continuation of the Zaandam cruise from Buenos Aires to San Antonio, Chile was a cruise from San Antonio to Ft. Lauderdale, scheduled to arrive in FLL on April 7. The Rotterdam was originally on a Panama Canal cruise headed to Ft. Lauderdale, scheduled to arrive 3/27, which ended in Puerto Vallarta instead. I took those back to back cruises on the Zaandam last year and there were people from 34 countries on board, very few from South America.
  4. And I was trying so hard to be factual😀. I should have proofread--I meant to say San Antonio, Chile, not Argentina. And, sorry if my post seemed too positive to HAL. I am sure that management wishes they could have a do-over as do the passengers who chose to sail. And, we all wish no one who had the virus got on the ship. Hindsight is 20-20.
  5. I think there needs to be a FAQ thread for this situation which only includes the facts (and quotes from the HAL blog) since there is a lot of misinformation floating around on this one. Here are some things that could be included: 1. The ship was on a 14 day cruise departing Buenos Aires, Argentina on 3/7, with stops in Montevideo, Uruguay; Stanley, Falkland Islands; and Punta Arenas, Chile as well as Ushuia, Argentina and Puerto, Montt, Chile; ending in San Antonio, Argentina on 3/21. (The ship did not go to Antarctica.) Here is an itinerary I found online: https://www.icruise.
  6. The Zaandam was scheduled to terminate its cruise in Punta Arenas on 3/14 but the Chilean authorities would not allow it. They tried again at San Antonio/Valparaiso but were again denied. Trying to keep this factual.
  7. It is so easy to forget how quickly this bad situation we are in unfolded. When the folks on the Zaandam left home (probably no later than 3/5 if arriving one day early with an overnight flight) things were not looking that dire. At that point, nothing was closed and there were still very few cases in the US with most related to travel. I don't think there were any in South America. The following week things moved very quickly when it became apparent that community infection was taking place and things started closing down. I have a decent memory of that time because I was scheduled to sa
  8. I wonder how quickly this will be implemented? We join a cruise on 3/15 and my husband is over 70. We have to have time to get that certification so hopefully it won't be immediate.
  9. I wish it were true that no one in the US goes without health care but sadly, that is not the case. Even those with insurance avoid going to the Dr. because they have a $6,000 - $11,000 deductible and will have to pay out of pocket for any bills. Many who have insurance have to declare bankruptcy because they cannot afford to pay what their insurance will not pay. The US health care system is a mess and the situation I have described will exacerbate the coming Coronavirus epidemic here--many people have to practically be dying before they will go to the Dr. Sorry for the somewha
  10. Unfortunately, apparently most travel insurance will not cover you for an epidemic, especially if your coverage was purchased after January 21 (which mine was). Feeling a little nervous.
  11. Do you remember the cost from the port to your Airbnb? I have read that the taxis will often charge very high prices from there. Did the taxi accept USD? We will only have a very few pesos when we arrive. Thanks
  12. We are not sure if we will need a tour in St. Lucia so are not booking in advance. Is it possible to find a tour when you get off the ship if we need one? It looks like we will be docked at Point Seraphine if that makes a difference. Thanks
  13. We encountered a very aggressive barracuda swimming out around the corner at the far end of the beach. It followed my husband most of the way back to shore. Otherwise there were some interesting things to see. As long as the ocean is calm, it is OK.
  14. To go from our hotel to the airport we plan to use Taxi Ezeiza. As of today, the cost is 990 pesos and there is an online form to make a reservation for a pickup. I haven't done a dummy booking since I don't have all the information, but I don't believe there is credit card information involved. You pay the driver in cash at the time of service as far as I know. Getting from the port to the hotel is another story--haven't worked that out yet. Taxis to the port are very cheap but from the port is another story and I don't know if they accept USD. If you are just getting off th
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