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Live, Terry/Ohio, “New” Regatta: South Pacific/NZ, Pix’s


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We are arriving now in Papeete and will be docking next to Silversea's Silver Whisper.  Things are looking good here, despite the rain and weather here.  The weather front seems "stuck" over this region. But, we are starting to see a little clearing for Papeete.  Also saw James Packer's super yacht parked right next door to the Silversea ship!!  

 

We will see if the weather starts to clear or not. Late last night received this message from the tour person we were planning to use for Moorea today:  "On our island had had many floods, and a bridge is broken on one from the island, I think it is preferable to go around another day".  So plans are up in the air, again, and be adjusted.  Need to see how it goes as to our plans for today.  Maybe do the markets?  Churches?

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Wonderful scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 238,827

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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Terry, your photos are beautiful!  And you tell a great story as well!!!  All helping me re-live our Lima/Tahiti cruise two years ago on the Marina.

 

After seeing the 'food porn', I'm very happy to be able to say I'll be on Sirena on the 18th of this month and looking forward to partaking in these lovely delicacies.  With this cruise, we will now have sailed on each ship in Oceania's fleet!  I guess you could say we love Oceania!!

Donna

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Hi Terry!

 

I have been closely following your blog as we are due to be on the Regatta on March 15th.  I am so sorry you had to endure the 4 days at Sea, but it looks like Oceania made it as entertaining as possible.  I'm curious as to whether or not the Silverseas Whisper was denied portage at Fakarava for virus reasons?  That is supposed to be one of our stops.  

 

Also, many of the passengers on our cruise will need to get off early on disembarkation day to catch an early flight.  Were you delayed exit significantly?  

 

Thank you, thank you for keeping us all updated!!  Hoping for dryer weather for you and some fun days whatever you choose to do!  

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5 hours ago, Verokaren said:

 I'm curious as to whether or not the Silverseas Whisper was denied portage at Fakarava for virus reasons?  That is supposed to be one of our stops.  

It was a change set by the French Polynesia authorities, all cruise ships must come to Papeete first to be cleared.

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Just now, Silver Spectre said:

It was a change set by the French Polynesia authorities, all cruise ships must come to Papeete first to be cleared.

 

Appreciate this very good follow-up by Silver Spectre to the smart question from Verokaren.  That info matches our understanding, also, as to the new requirement for ships entering this portion of French Polynesia that they must FIRST come to Papeete to be cleared, etc.  

 

The rains hitting those on the Silver Whisper yesterday, did not, sadly go away today.  It's been on and off, plus varied during our morning and early afternoon in Papeete.  BUT, we did get out and do a little exploring of Tahiti.  Below are some visuals samples.  More to come, hopefully.  This major storm cell seems somewhat "stuck" in the region.  Hoping for the best tomorrow and Tuesday in Bora Bora. 

 

Full story at:

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

 

From late 2018, see “Holy Lands, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Greece, etc.”, with many visuals, details and ideas for the historic and scenic Middle East. Now at 18,015 views.  Connect at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2607054-livenautica-greece-holy-lands-egypt-dubai-terrypix’s/

 

As we depart our ship this morning, here are a couple of visuals representing the warm welcome that my wife and others received.  You can see the Silver Whisper in the background.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!)

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With two other couples, we grab a cab tour along the western coast, stopping at a cave and park-like setting, etc.  Sorry, no beautiful beach views as the rain and weather did not cooperate for today.  Hoping for better weather during the next four days in French Polynesia.  The variety of visuals below reflect that it was not a wasted couple of hours of exploring.  We heard reports of some road wash-outs, etc.:

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5 hours ago, Verokaren said:

 

I have been closely following your blog as we are due to be on the Regatta on March 15th.  

Hate to interrupt Terry’s wonderful blog but needed to touch base with you Karen. Also concerned about our cruise from Papeete on 4/14. If Fr. Polynesian authorities are being this cautious about arriving passengers, it sends up warning signs about our cruises. Good for them protecting their population with such vigilance as this virus spreads- fear it will be global very soon. Fr. Poly doesn’t have the medical backup.

 

But I too am loving the gorgeous photos. Thank you Terry.

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Hi Petoonya, 

 

Yes, it seems as though they are closely monitoring the pax, and I completely understand given the population and medical limitations.  I doubt Oceania will cancel unless all of the ports close down.  I am sure there will be an increase in cases in the U.S. in the next few weeks, but hopefully, not so many as to cause red flags to foreign ports for American pax.  I don't know if there are any action items for us other than wait and see how it plays out. 

 

 

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Terry, you certainly have had a very challenging cruise.  Thank you so much for continuing to share your wonderful attitude and photos with us.  All has been normal on Riviera since we embarked on Wednesday.  After two sea days, we docked yesterday in Aruba and today in Curaçao.  No changes in the treatment of disembarking and reembarking passengers in either port.  Tomorrow we arrive in Bonaire.  

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Just now, GeorgesGal said:

Terry, your photos are beautiful!  And you tell a great story as well!!!  All helping me re-live our Lima/Tahiti cruise two years ago on the Marina.   After seeing the 'food porn', I'm very happy to be able to say I'll be on Sirena on the 18th of this month and looking forward to partaking in these lovely delicacies.  With this cruise, we will now have sailed on each ship in Oceania's fleet!  I guess you could say we love Oceania!!  Donna

 

Great that GeorgesGal likes and encourages "food porn"!!  Need some more?  See below.  Plus, more to come.  That is both a threat and promise!!

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Completed last summer Calgary, Jasper/Banff National Parks, Western Canada Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure, Vancouver, sailing up to Alaska, post-cruise excursion to Denali, etc.  Lots of visuals and details from our first visits to these scenic areas!!  That live/blog is at: 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2682584-live-terryohio-silver-muse-alaska-canadarockies-pix’s/

 

From yesterday's Brunch Buffet in the Grand Dining Room, below is an example for the Eggs Benedict that I ordered and that the kitchen prepared.  Second were the four different desserts that I picked out of the many, many options during these spectacular feast.  Don't worry, I did not consume all four of these.  Just did reasonable sampling and testing.  For scientific purposes, of course!!:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!)

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From last evening in the Toscana speciality dining area, here was first item, Fritto di Calamari con Salse a Scelta, with two different dipping sauces.  Second was Risotto all’Aragosta with nice seafood items included, especially the lobster.  As my main entree is was Osso Buco alla Milanese, an oven-braised veal shank in a porcini-enhanced stock, served with saffron-Infused Risotto.  They also provided at my request some extra sauce on the side.  Was this Osso Buco great??  Look at the next visual,  reflecting the successful results!!  It was a challenging decision in picking this item.  Had been strongly considering a veal choice with lemon sauce.  My waiter wisely encouraged the Osso Buco.  Smart!!  My biggest complaint about Toscano?  Too many excellent options to consider.  Even in visiting there twice during this cruise, their menu offers so many spectacular choices!:

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Here was my dessert choice.  Of course, I picked this one for the fruit?  Gotta stay healthy??!!:

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Here was my wife's main-course choice of a pork chop.:

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Just now, bennybear said:

Wow, so enjoying your photos and descriptions.  We hope to go to French Polynesia this fall.   Safe travels!

 

Just arriving now in famed Bora Bora.  Skies and weather looks better (but still challenged) after passing through heavy rains during our sailing last night from Papeete to Bora Bora.  Will see how the morning weather here holds up??!!  Appreciate the kind comments from bennybear.  Yes, hope you can make it to French Polynesia this fall.  

 

Bora Bora/French Polynesia:  We will have two full days, March 2-3, Monday-Tuesday, tendered in Bora Bora.  Originally we were scheduled to be the only ship in port both days, but understand the Silver Whisper will be joining us tomorrow/Tuesday.  This island is located about 140 miles northwest of Papeete.  Yes, Bora Bora sounds exotic and has gained a reputation to match its special double naming.

 

We have scheduled a private water exploring/snorkel/lunch with Maohe Nui.  This 3/4 day program includes a polynesian show and this firm has gained great TripAdvisor reviews.   We will travel much in an outrigger canoe.  Our Polynesian Feast is prepared by two cooks in a traditional earth oven made with volcanic rocks covered by banana leaves. We will watch the opening of the oven and listen to the explanations of the guide. The table is set in the lagoon, with an umbrella to protect guests from the sun (and maybe the rain?). On the menu will be suckling pig, chicken with local spinach, manioc, plantain bananas, bread fruit, raw fish salad with coconut milk, and finally a traditional dessert made with bananas and vanilla, as well as fresh tropical fruits.  The lunch comes with a good bottle of Moët and Chandon champagne, or red/white wine depen

 

From various publications, they cite Bora Bora's turquoise lagoons, soft white sands, and sunsets in setting the scene for romance and beauty on "an island so nice they named it twice."   We will mingle with tropical fish as you move around Coral Gardens or Tupitipiti Point.  We will soak up the views of the once-volcanic Mount Otemanu. From Moon Handbook, they summarize that  Bora Bora “is everyone’s idea of a South Pacific island.”   From Lonely Planet:  Ah, Bora Bora. The stuff of dreams. How not to be mesmerised by this stunning palette of sapphire, indigo and turquoise, all mixed together in modern-art abstractions? And these sand-edged motu (islets) and soaring rainforest-covered basaltic peaks? With such a dreamlike setting, Bora Bora is, unsurprisingly, a honeymooners’ choice. But there’s much more to do than clink glasses with your loved one in a luxurious hotel. The good thing is that you can mix slow-paced sun-and-sand holidays with action-packed adventures. Diving, snorkelling, lagoon tours, hiking and parasailing are readily available. What you shouldn’t expect, though, is a thriving nightlife. Bora Bora is a quiet island.

 

From "Tales of the South Pacific", this book gives the reader a sense of being there during the Second World War in the Pacific theater. It is not a chronicle of the war itself or military history, but this James Michener book is full of military anecdotes. 

 

Among other info/background for Bora Bora: hotels are few and fancy, ranging from $400–$2,000 per night for the lowest standard rates. The average cost for a week-long holiday in Bora Bora could start at around $11,000 for two.  The sharks in Bora Bora are not dangerous. They live under the green lagoons and are used to the presence of people. The most common type you'll see is Blacktip reef sharks.  The major settlement, Vaitape, is on the western side of the main island, opposite the main channel into the lagoon. That is where we are preparing to drop anchor now.  The deepest spot in the lagoon of Bora Bora is about 100-150 feet deep. Vast areas are no more than 5-10 feet deep. The ocean drops off very rapidly just off the barrier reefs of the Society Islands with 5,000 foot depths being vey common.  The official currency of Bora Bora is the French Pacific franc (CFP). One U.S. dollar is equivalent to approximately 103 CFP.

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Barcelona/Med: June 2011, with stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Great visuals with key highlights, tips, etc. Live/blog now at 250,727 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

Remember this famed book cover?  We are here now!!.:

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Does anyone  here remember what Bora Bora used to be like?  I went there a few times in the 1980s and stayed at the legendary Hotel Bora Bora, now closed and demolished.  It had the most wonderful setting at Point Matira and you could simply  fall off your deck and snorkel with manta rays.

 

Back then, there were no hotels out on the motus and I remember taking little boats out to these little islands and sand bars where the likes of the St Regis, Four Seasons and all the others now stand in unsightly rows.  Back then, it was truly paradise . . . 

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Terry - I do hope that you will have some nice sunny weather during your stay in Bora Bora because it's the colors of the lagoon that make it magical and unique and there are no colors - all shades of blue, green and turquoise -  in the lagoon without the sun.

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2 hours ago, Fletcher said:

Does anyone  here remember what Bora Bora used to be like?  I went there a few times in the 1980s and stayed at the legendary Hotel Bora Bora, now closed and demolished.  It had the most wonderful setting at Point Matira and you could simply  fall off your deck and snorkel with manta rays.

 

Back then, there were no hotels out on the motus and I remember taking little boats out to these little islands and sand bars where the likes of the St Regis, Four Seasons and all the others now stand in unsightly rows.  Back then, it was truly paradise . . . 

Sounds rather like La Digue when it was only ox carts and bicycles.

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2 hours ago, Fletcher said:

Does anyone  here remember what Bora Bora used to be like?  I went there a few times in the 1980s and stayed at the legendary Hotel Bora Bora, now closed and demolished.  It had the most wonderful setting at Point Matira and you could simply  fall off your deck and snorkel with manta rays.

 

Back then, there were no hotels out on the motus and I remember taking little boats out to these little islands and sand bars where the likes of the St Regis, Four Seasons and all the others now stand in unsightly rows.  Back then, it was truly paradise . . . 

That is true of many places in the 80's. Everyone in China wore Mao suits - the only difference was whether it was green or blue. Today the young ladies in Shanghai dress like Parisian models. The number of cars on the street at any given time could be counted with 2 hands. The right bank of Huangpu river in Shanghai had nothing but rice storage depots - today it is Pudong with a zillion skyscrapers.

Or you could have had Machu Picchu almost exclusively to yourself.

All those things have changed forever.

Edited by Paulchili
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On 3/1/2020 at 6:00 PM, Verokaren said:

Hi Petoonya, 

 

Yes, it seems as though they are closely monitoring the pax, and I completely understand given the population and medical limitations.  I doubt Oceania will cancel unless all of the ports close down.  I am sure there will be an increase in cases in the U.S. in the next few weeks, but hopefully, not so many as to cause red flags to foreign ports for American pax.  I don't know if there are any action items for us other than wait and see how it plays out. 

 

 

Karen,

Want to be sure you saw my new post about French Polynesia's new health requirements for passengers and flight personnel arriving at Faaa airport in Papeete. A health certificate dated 5 days prior to arrival is required. It is evolving.

https://www.presidence.pf/evolution-des-mesures-prises-par-le-gouvernement-pour-eviter-lintroduction-du-covid-19-coronavirus-en-polynesie-francaise/
 

https://www.service-public.pf/dsp/covid-19/

As of March 2, 2020, every person (including flight personnel) must present on board a flight to French Polynesia, a medical certificate certifying the state of health free of any sign of infection at coronaviruses.

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46 minutes ago, Verokaren said:

Thank you, Petionya! Well, this is a big development indeed. I wonder how Oceania will handle this?  This is difficult for those of us traveling early.

I believe that the takeaway here needs to be that a Doctor must be consulted within a few days of departure yet far enough out that test results may be confirmed.

What IS the turnaround time for that sort of thing? 🤒

 

 

Edited by StanandJim
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7 minutes ago, Verokaren said:

Thank you, Petionya! Well, this is a big development indeed. I wonder how Oceania will handle this?  This is difficult for those of us traveling early.

Especially since the document states no requirements for the conditions of proof of health. I made an appt with my health care provider for 2 days prior to my departure to hopefully cover contingencies. But sent the info along to my TA to get her input. Worst case scenario we just rebok for next year as difficult as that sounds. 222

 

2 minutes ago, StanandJim said:

I believe that the takeaway here needs to be that a Doctor must be consulted within a few days of departure yet far enough out that test results can be confirmed.

What IS the turnaround time for that sort of thing? 🤒

 

 

I've been told that the turnaround for confirmation of COVID-19 test is 1-2 hours similar to that for rapid flu test. But without symptoms hard to imagine that expensive test would be required. My guess is that a professional's listening for lung sounds is about the best that can be asked, not that that is any proof someone is not carrying the virus.

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14 hours ago, Paulchili said:

That is true of many places in the 80's. Everyone in China wore Mao suits - the only difference was whether it was green or blue. Today the young ladies in Shanghai dress like Parisian models. The number of cars on the street at any given time could be counted with 2 hands. The right bank of Huangpu river in Shanghai had nothing but rice storage depots - today it is Pudong with a zillion skyscrapers.

Or you could have had Machu Picchu almost exclusively to yourself.

All those things have changed forever.

 

Yes you are quite right.  However, I think I'd rather see Shanghai now rather than in the 80s and I'd rather see Bora Bora in the 80s than now.  I've not been to Machu Picchu but being as old as I am means I did sort of have Petra, Angkor, Palmyra (RIP), Ephesus even the Taj Mahal roughly to myself.  Leptis Magna is always empty, especially now. 

Edited by Fletcher
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40 minutes ago, Petoonya said:

Especially since the document states no requirements for the conditions of proof of health. I made an appt with my health care provider for 2 days prior to my departure to hopefully cover contingencies. But sent the info along to my TA to get her input. Worst case scenario we just rebok for next year as difficult as that sounds. 222

 

I've been told that the turnaround for confirmation of COVID-19 test is 1-2 hours similar to that for rapid flu test. But without symptoms hard to imagine that expensive test would be required. My guess is that a professional's listening for lung sounds is about the best that can be asked, not that that is any proof someone is not carrying the virus.

I get the impression, Petoonya that you skew to the younger and more vigorous end of the Oceania demographic.

 

Many (most?) of your compatriots won't present as healthy enough to get way without the test-  

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42 minutes ago, StanandJim said:

I get the impression, Petoonya that you skew to the younger and more vigorous end of the Oceania demographic.

 

Many (most?) of your compatriots won't present as healthy enough to get way without the test-  

I skew to 68 years and don't know how vigorous but yes, pretty damn healthy appearing 😉

I've worked around doctors all these years and know that any doctor would laugh in my face were I to ask them for a COVID-19 test so that I could cruise. The test is too expensive and too precious in numbers to be administered to those wanting to cruise. Who knows? That may change in days to come.

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1 hour ago, Fletcher said:

 

Yes you are quite right.  However, I think I'd rather see Shanghai now rather than in the 80s and I'd rather see Bora Bora in the 80s than now.  I've not been to Machu Picchu but being as old as I am means I did sort of have Petra, Angkor, Palmyra (RIP), Ephesus even the Taj Mahal roughly to myself.  Leptis Magna is always empty, especially now. 

It’s like Maui over forty years ago, when there were dunes where the big hotels are. And the Mona Lisa and Pieta not behind glass.  And Stonehenge without fences.  Glad we have been able to but still glad to visit this beatific world.

 

Terry, we have the same tour booked in Bora Bora, it sounds amazing! 

 

Hoping this covid 19 is history by this fall!

Edited by bennybear
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Just now, Paulchili said:

Terry - I do hope that you will have some nice sunny weather during your stay in Bora Bora because it's the colors of the lagoon that make it magical and unique and there are no colors - all shades of blue, green and turquoise -  in the lagoon without the sun.

 

Many discussions and questions as to how ALL of these serious virus situations will affect travel, where we can go, etc., etc.  

 

It is nearing sunrise for our second day in Bora Bora.  Weather and clouds look a little challenged, but it was much worse and questionable yesterday.  How did it turn out?  Below are only a few visuals to verify that we super enjoyed a great first day in Bora Bora.  The Silver Whisper is do to arrive here soon, but we have not seen the Silversea World Cruise ship, yet.

 

Due to limited time in the next few days, my posts and pictures will be a little limited.  Busy schedules with much to see and enjoy!! 

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Wonderful scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 238,827

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

Here was our initial welcoming as we arrived in Bora Bora with great uncertainty as to if and how the weather/rain might treat us.  Our luck or results.  See more below!!:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!)

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Below is an early picture when Bora Bora's famed mountain was super green and highly visible.  Patrick is guiding our boat as we headed to our first stop to get "up close and person" with some of the different sea creatures here in French Polynesia.  The second picture shows us being with the Rays!!  So much fun with them and their velvet-like skin!  Despite threats and potentials for rain, all worked out well for the weather yesterday and being able to do so much with Patrick from Maohe Nui tours.:

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For just the nine of us, we had an incredible Polynesia feast at a drop-dead wonderful location around on the other side of Bora Bora's main/central island. Plus, Patrick doing some fire showmanship, then playing his musical instrument, etc.  Were folks happy?  See the final picture as proof positive!!  Many more visuals later when we have additional time.  Busy schedules today, tomorrow and Thursday.:

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