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  1. I called Hurtigruten first thing Monday morning (after booking online the prior Friday night (customer support is closed Sat-Sun)). Told them when I went to book flights on Saturday, that's when I noticed how bad the situation was in Argentina, including the LEVEL 4 - DO NO TRAVEL warning. While they're hoping that will ease up by November, they were willing to make an exception to their normal policies and OK'd a cancellation of our booking and will refund our deposit by check within 2 weeks. We breathed a sigh of relieve they would refund our $5k after we realized we'd made a mistake in not checking the Argentina situation first. I don't know whether they OK'd the deposit refund because we'd only just booked (and they basically treated it like a grace period), or whether they think the November sailing is in likely danger of cancelling anyway. I suspect it's probably some of both. The customer service rep messaged their boss while I was on the phone and got the OK to refund within a minute. Hopefully the situation in Argentina improves dramatically by then and everyone already booked can sail. But with November only 4 months out, we just didn't feel that was very likely. It was important that we get back into the US for work right after the cruise, but presently that requires another PCR test (in Argentina) within 72 hours. We don't have that time after the cruise. Hopefully that requirement will change, but we'll wait to rebook until it does first. We already got caught on a COVID cruise situation in March-2020. We were on a 2-week Celebrity cruise from Dubai to Singapore that only made it a week before getting stranded in Mumbai as countries started closing down. Fortunately we'd booked air through Celebrity for that one, and they were GREAT about getting us home from Mumbai. They even refunded the full cruise fare, even though we got 3 ports in. Can't speak highly enough of how they handled the chaotic situation. But we don't want to get stuck in a similar situation again. And I don't get the impression that Hurtigruten would be as accommodating as Celebrity was. They seem to be focused only on their cruises, while getting to/from home is our own responsibility. I'm not sure if they'd be of any help getting us home if things go sideways. With life mostly back to normal in the US, I think we just got lulled into forgetting it's still a mess in many other countries (like Argentina). https://ar.usembassy.gov/covid-19/ https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/argentina-travel-advisory.html
  2. Well, I should have looked closer. While the cruise looks fine, Argentina doesn't. I didn't realize there's still a LEVEL 4 - DO NOT TRAVEL Advisory in place by the US State Dept. Disappointed Hurtigruten's US website doesn't allude to that. I know they're hoping that clears in time, and they don't want to scare customers off, but still. Anyway, the credit card charge for the deposit hasn't even processed past PENDING stage yet, so I'm hoping they'll just terminate the booking since it's only been 1 day. I screwed up by not checking Argentina better first, but hopefully Hurtigruten is more understanding than their website is.
  3. Hi all. I know it's still a bit risky to book a 2021 cruise like this, but we took the chance today and booked this one. I'm mad at myself for missing the deadline on a sale last week that would have saved us almost $2000 per person, but at least we still get the free single supplement for a 2nd cabin (there's 3 of us). I'm hoping we can find an estimate for when the flight(s) from the cruise returns to Buenos Aires after the cruise. The airport is a ways from the center of the city and it would be a lot easier not to go back and forth again after the cruise. There's an 11:30pm flight back to Denver, which would seem to be pretty safe. Anyone have a clue? I assume they use charter flights? 500 people looks like too many for regular scheduled flights.
  4. I've never even bothered to look at our status. Looks like we're Select. Website says we're supposed to get a discount on 1 bag of laundry for a cruise of 12+ nights (which this is). So maybe we'll be able to get it for $20.
  5. Woah! For the same small bag? If that's the case we may just pack more prudently. Thanks.
  6. We have a 15-night cruise coming up next month on the Celebrity Constellation. It's been a few years since we've cruised on a Celebrity ship and I get my cruiselines mixed up. 🙂 Does Celebrity do the $20 "everything you can stuff in it" laundry bag?
  7. Just a follow-up... As I hoped they might, the Lufthansa flights became available on their website to reserve seats (for a fee) today. I've been checking once or twice a week. We're a little over 6 weeks out from the flights. That's about the time I've heard that group reservations like this actually get ticketed and become available. Advanced seat assignments were $40 for one leg and $30 for the other (standard economy class).
  8. Maybe not for free, but they did for purchase on our last flight with them. For both the "domestic" leg (Krakow to Frankfurt) and the international leg (Frankfurt to Denver). For this cruise, we have Denver to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to Dubai legs on Lufthansa. On our last trip I booked through United directly (not a Celebrity flight add-on). I booked Standard Economy through United. That got free advanced seat assignment on the United flight legs, but not the Lufthansa ones. But I was able to go into the reservation on the Lufthansa website and pay the $40 to choose advance seats for those legs. It's not even allowing me to do that this time. I'm guessing that since ETNs aren't showing up either that the reservation simply isn't ticketed yet. Hoping that when it is, the advanced seat assignment option becomes available (even if for a fee).
  9. I booked flights with Celebrity Flights for an upcoming cruise. Combination of United and Lufthansa flights. I'm pretty sure Celebrity uses some sort of group rate fares, and I read somewhere they don't actually ticket the flights until a few months before the flight (it's about 10 weeks prior now). I do have record locators for each airline segment though. I can go in now to United and select seats, no problem. But Lufthansa tells me that I can't select seats until 23 hours before the flight, at check-in. But it also shows "Not available" under the spot for Electronic Ticket Number(s). Does that mean the flight hasn't been ticketed yet? And does anyone know if seat assignments then become available on Lufthansa once it finally get ticketed?
  10. Thank you so much! It's great to hear it confirmed from someone who's actually done it. The official India website is seriously lacking in such information.
  11. Does anyone know whether for a cruise with 3 consecutive India ports (Mumbai, Goa, Cochin) we need the 30-day eTourist visa ($25 USD) or the 1-year ($40 USD)? From what I've read, the 30-day is supposed to be a double-entry visa, while the 1-year is multiple-entry (not 100% sure if that's correct though, I just read it on TripSavvy). Some people say 3 consecutive India ports means it only requires a single entry, but I can't find that listed officially anywhere. In fact, I can't find anything about # of entries anywhere on the official website, only external travel sites. Obviously I'd prefer to just get the 30-day and save a little money but if there's a real question I'll just get the 1-year to be safe. Does anyone know for sure which is needed for such a cruise? (We're not going anywhere else in India other than the 3 cruise cities.)
  12. Thanks Anne. Appreciate the info. I almost went with one closer to the creek (Raddison Blu). I looked at the Hilton too. All the hotels looked nice, actually, so it came down more to ease of using the metro. If there's more stuff to do/see by the creek, maybe I'll switch. We effectively just have 1.5 days at the hotel. Flight arrives 10:30pm so we just go straight to bed around midnight and probably sleep for 10 hours after the long flights and jetlag. One day of seeing things via Metro, and half a day the next before we head to the cruise port midday (although it stays docked for a night so we have an extra Dubai day from the ship to see things). With such a short hotel stay, I didn't think we'd be hanging around the hotel area much at all, so I just went with easiest metro access.
  13. We have a March cruise starting in Dubai, and we're staying 2 nights in hotel (the ship also docks an extra night). Never been to Dubai before so I did some research. The layout kinda reminds me a little of the Las Vegas Strip, in that the properties and things to see are huge and spread out and not very walkable. It doesn't appear to me that there's any core "Old Town" area to stay in like many European cities have, where you can just stay there are walk around and see the best stuff. Looks like it's gonna take transportation to see much. So instead of picking a hotel near some destination, I picked one with the easiest access to the Metro. I chose the Somewhere Apartment Hotel in the Dubai Creek area (next to the Deira City Center Mall). The subway entrance is literally on the sidewalk in front of the hotel. Looks like a nice hotel, although every hotel I checked looked really nice and had surprisingly good prices. I thought Dubai would be much more expensive but there's tons of decent 4-star hotels for under $150/ni (USD) after taxes. It's also very close to the airport. After 20 hours of flights to get into Dubai late night, the shorter the ride from the airport the better. We might even just take the subway since it looks like there's escalators on all of them (not sure about elevators). Wouldn't want to drag our luggage up stairs.
  14. There's so much variance in flight searches and fares. The routes with more competition (as Amsterdam probably has from major US cities) probably show the better fares on more of the usual search engines. My flights were less common (Denver to Dubai, Singapore to Denver) thus could be why I had such great variance between searches. Celebrity Flights was $1013, ChoiceAir $2200, United $4000, and Orbitz/Expedia/Priceline/GoogleFlights were in the $1500-$1800 range. If you haven't tried those latter 4 (and other 3rd party search sites), I'd check them too. They tend to have many differences as well. August is a long way off. I'd feel comfortable holding off for a good fare to pop up for another 4-5 months if needed. Should always be able to get at least a reasonable fare on Celebrity if a good sale doesn't pop up by then.
  15. Did you check it directly on the Celebrity site? Go into ALREADY BOOKED, then BOOK FLIGHTS. I found drastically cheaper fares that way than going to ChoiceAir.com. I expected them to produce the same results but it was very different.
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