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Judy S

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About Judy S

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    Cool Cruiser

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    marblehead, ma 01945
  1. Hello all! Well, the excitement is mounting. The "staging area" looks like a war zone with suitcases, piles of clothes and such. We are staying at the Hotel Hiberia "pre-pre cruise", and the Carlton on the Grand Canal "post-post". We look forward to meeting up with everyone onboard, or before. We finally got our cabin assignment: 642. the last time we were in Venice, we experienced the "aqua alta". This time I downloaded an app that let's you know about the tides and possibility of flooding. Let's hope for dry feet. Judy
  2. Just got our cruise documents, YAY! Still no cabin assignment, just a G guarantee. Wait and see, I guess.
  3. WOW, I'm glad I found this thread. I've been reading the "Roll Call" thread. I agree with a number of you. No need for a water taxi. From the ship, take the "people mover" for one Euro. It lets you off near the bus terminal. From there, you can take a vaporetto down the Grand Canal (or in the reverse order depending on where you're going). We found it to be most convenient. From the bus terminal, you can take a bus to the airport. A year or so ago, it was 5 Euro. We even took the vaporetto to Murano and Burano. Yes, some glass and probably lace could be made in China. Generally, you can tell by the price and quality. We bought a couple of large, heavy pieces of glass from a shop in Venice, and had them shipped. We were very pleased with that arrangement. IMHO, the best way to see Venice is to walk and get lost. Just have a good map and look for signs pointing to San Marco, the train station (Ferrovia) or bus station (Piazza Roma) or Rialto, please forgive my spelling.
  4. Hi, We just came home from the Tauck "Blue Danube Cruise" from Prague to Budapest. While we've never sailed Crystal or that level of cruise ship, I can attest that the Tauck experience was first class. We sailed the Danube on the Swiss Emerald. She is fairly new (2006, I believe), and lovely. She holds 118 passengers, but we had about 96. The cabins were smallish but we had a French balcony and were able to open the slider and enjoy the view as we sailed along. Internet provided by the boat was extremely irregular and unreliable, BUT people were able to use their own laptops with very few problems (going through locks made computer use a challange). Wine and beer was always served with dinner. The meals were delicious, beautifully presented and graciously served. The entertainment consisted of 3 classical musicians one night, some "folk talent" another, two dinners in palaces, one in Vienna with classical music, opera singers and ballet, and the other in Budapest with local Hungarian musicians and dancers. In Prague we were hosted by Tauck to dinner at Kampa Park in Prague. Outstanding! We'd definitely go on another river cruise with them. Judy
  5. Hi Sheila, We're looking forward to our Prague to Budapest tour this August. I thought I would check out cc and was surprised to see your reply. I don't check that often, and there you were. Cousin Jim
  6. We just booked the Prague to Budpest sailing with Tauck. Even though we purchased our own air travels and are arriving a day early to Prague, DH was assured that the transfer to the hotel would be included. Even though the cost was more, we chose Tauck because cousins of ours had traveled with them 12 times and the 13th has been booked. We travel on Aug. 7, and will let you know how it goes. Judy and Jim
  7. Hi All, We're a couple of seasoned cruisers (30 cruises) but never a river cruise. We're considering the Castles of the Rhein and Danube cruise this summer, and would appreciate any feedback you folks could offer. We've never traveled with Vantage and are curious...we're 59 and 61 and very active travelers. From the look of all the brochures we've gotten from Vantage, it looks like an older crowd. Would you catagorize it as an "active crowd"? I'm guessing that there's not much in the way of entertainment in the evenings, but are there lectures? discussions? meet and greets? What should we expect for weather at the end of June/beginning of July? Judy and Jim
  8. OK, I just read the CDC report. Pretty easy to find. I googled CDC and found it. There were 224 passengers and 14 crew sickened with Norovirus. That's a bit more than 12% of pax! Any time more than 2% of the passengers or crew are involved in something like this, CDC is called in. They laid out certain steps that must be taken, and from the looks of things, HAL is doing what they have to. Now, I wonder how many folks got sick after leaving the ship?
  9. Cococub, I agree with you. Some people were just pigs or simply just stupid! One day DH and I asked Desiree in the library for the quiz of the day. Before taking a copy off the pile, she licked her fingers for traction and then handed us the slobbered on pages. GROSS! We never got sick, but it's no wonder germs spread. Would you believe one woman told me (as she sat next to me in the Vista Lounge) "I'm not sick, I just have a cold" as she blew her nose yet again without Purell-ing.
  10. Hi Spender Nui and other Z passengers. We just got off the Z this morning having made the transatlantic crossing from Venice to FLL. We were in "code red" status most of the cruise with many cases of Norovirus on board. A few days ago, there was a "Nuts and Bolts" about cruising chat with the captain, hotel manager and chief engineer. Someone asked about how many had gotten sick. His answer (at the time) was 140. By the time we got off, there were many more, but no one said just what was the total number. It was apparant that the ship's crew did everything they could to contain the situation. Purell was the order of the day. The deck hands constantly wiped down everything with Virox solution. People from all departments served food in the Lido since no one was allowed to touch the buffet line. Bread and rolls were served rather than placed in a basket on the tables and no salt and pepper shakers on the tables...just those small packets. We bumped elbows rather than shake hands. The Lido was even scrubbed from top to bottom one night! All you need is a couple of people breaking their quarantine, and it starts all over again. One person can infect a whole pool even after it has been cleansed. And yes, people did break quarantine. Folks were still getting off today sick. YUCK! I sincerely hope the problem is solved. Passengers from the Barcelona to Venice sailing told us of Norovirus on their sailing. I'd be curious to see if the CDC report is public. It seemed that on sea days (and we had 6 in a row) that we were better off in our cabin rather than sitting with potential germpools. We had a good time despite the illness. I don't know how we managed, but we stayed healthy. Good luck, safe travels, and stay healthy!! Jim and Judy
  11. Hello from the 6th and final sea day for the Zuiderdam's transAtlantic crossing. We started in Venice where pax from the prior sailing informed us of an outbreak of Norovirus. Well guess what? We've been in "code red" status practically an entire week (or has it been more?). We are advised not to use public restrooms. Purell is the rule of the day. We are served in the buffet lines. The crew is doing an amazing job under the circumstances, but pax are breaking quarantine. You can figure it out by seeing someone carrying a tray of jello, broth and rice in the Lido. I think they should be locked in their rooms. So far, I'd estimate close to 200 pax sick over the course of the cruise (from 10/23 til now). I'm guessing they'll be doing a MAJOR clean up in FLL. BTW, the Lido got a complete scrubbing the other day, as did the hot tubs and pools. YUCK! Hope this all resolves and future cruisers have a better time. DH and I are OK, but we are reluctant to shake hands or touch anything onboard. As soon as I log off, I'll Purell myself and wipe down the compter. I'm surprised that Purell doesn't come out of our shower. LOL! Judy and Jim
  12. Hello All, My DH and I are considering sailing on the Pride on its October 30 Transatlantic from Lisbon to FLL. Are there any others out there on this sailing? We love those relaxing days at sea (We've been on 3 crossings so far). Any repeat travelers on this ship? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Judy and Jim
  13. Sheila, Is that you? We leave for Barcelona on Dec. 5th to board the Galaxy on the 8th. Cousins Jim and Judy
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