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Azamara Cruisers - How are things where YOU are


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3 hours ago, AllisonJames said:

Here in Texas it is just about 100 degrees day after day and we are truly missing our summer trips to the U.K. to enjoy the cooler weather and the gloriously green landscape! Hopefully we will be back next year!

I’d struggle to cope with that. It’s lovely when I’m on holiday, but a bit hot for every day!

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We have lived in Athens, Greece for 3 years after moving from mid-America. This move was primarily to make us more efficient in our cruise travel. For the 1st two years it worked wonderfully but since we got back from a Cape Horn South America cruise in January we have been suffering from a longing for far-off places not visited. (called 'fernweh' in this thread)

 

We keep trying to plan a Greek Island trip but things keep changing almost every day. The Greeks are very protective (they have one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates in Europe) but because of this protectiveness they change things very quickly. A recently planned trip to the Greek island Paros will have to be delayed due to recent changes that have give us an unsettled feeling.

 

This COVID-19 cruising issue is taking longer to conquer that I anticipated ... hopefully 2020 will bring a brighter future for cruising and travel in general. Good Luck to All!

 

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In Yorkshire our Mini heatwave seems to be over, today it is cool and overcast with thunderstorms in the forecast for the next few days.

I know we do sometimes moan about our weather but we get plenty of variety, which suits me fine 

Edited by Bloodaxe
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12 hours ago, Baynanno1 said:

 

Never say never indeed!

We had many trips across the pond from east coast Australia to west coast USA.

It was quite a while before we decided to go further . . east coast USA and Europe.

It's not so difficult if you can break the trip as we did with a few days on the west coast en route to New York.

Even between Sydney & LA or SFO we have stopped a few times in Hawaii en route one way or the other.

Hope you make it one day when we have a Covid-19 vaccine.

Well, if we DO have relatives in San Francisco! But if we don’t make it to Australia, I hope we get to meet onboard one day!

Betsey

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7 hours ago, GlobalMethod said:

We have lived in Athens, Greece for 3 years after moving from mid-America. This move was primarily to make us more efficient in our cruise travel. For the 1st two years it worked wonderfully but since we got back from a Cape Horn South America cruise in January we have been suffering from a longing for far-off places not visited. (called 'fernweh' in this thread)

 

We keep trying to plan a Greek Island trip but things keep changing almost every day. The Greeks are very protective (they have one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates in Europe) but because of this protectiveness they change things very quickly. A recently planned trip to the Greek island Paros will have to be delayed due to recent changes that have give us an unsettled feeling.

 

This COVID-19 cruising issue is taking longer to conquer that I anticipated ... hopefully 2020 will bring a brighter future for cruising and travel in general. Good Luck to All!

 

I was quite impressed when I first read on this forum that you'd moved to Athens to facilitate cruise travel, GlobalMethod.  So practical!  Hopefully the city will sustain you until you can board a ship once again.  Have you taken overnight or day trips to Delphi as you wait and watch?  I continue to hold that trip as a travel goal...  We spent several days on Aegina before sailing with Azamara last June - and there are so many more islands to explore!  Good luck with your planning, may the 'fernweh' eventually be banished for us all.

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15 minutes ago, Ithikan said:

I was quite impressed when I first read on this forum that you'd moved to Athens to facilitate cruise travel, GlobalMethod.  So practical!  Hopefully the city will sustain you until you can board a ship once again.  Have you taken overnight or day trips to Delphi as you wait and watch?  I continue to hold that trip as a travel goal...  We spent several days on Aegina before sailing with Azamara last June - and there are so many more islands to explore!  Good luck with your planning, may the 'fernweh' eventually be banished for us all.

As I wrote, things can change very rapidly here in protective reactions to COVID-19 ... we have been reluctant or it has just been complicated to travel anywhere recently ... we are just a 20 minute metro ride to the ferries for travel to many islands ...fortunately, the 2000 restaurants in the Athens area have been able to sustain us until things become more settled! ... 🙂 ... Happy Travels!

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On 8/8/2020 at 7:54 PM, Baynanno1 said:

 

Never say never indeed!

We had many trips across the pond from east coast Australia to west coast USA.

It was quite a while before we decided to go further . . east coast USA and Europe.

It's not so difficult if you can break the trip as we did with a few days on the west coast en route to New York.

Even between Sydney & LA or SFO we have stopped a few times in Hawaii en route one way or the other.

Hope you make it one day when we have a Covid-19 vaccine.


Thanks for mentioning this alternative.

 

Not wishing to “enjoy” that long flight we have thought of breaking up the endeavour with either a stopoff on the American west coast or at Hawaii.

 

The connections seem a little more difficult on the latter but there are other obvious advantages. 
 

 

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5 hours ago, nordski said:


Thanks for mentioning this alternative.

 

Not wishing to “enjoy” that long flight we have thought of breaking up the endeavour with either a stopoff on the American west coast or at Hawaii.

 

The connections seem a little more difficult on the latter but there are other obvious advantages. 
 

 

Hi Nordski,

A bit of info for you re: getting to Australia.


We live north of NYC and just went to Australia last October.   Since I wanted to fly business class using miles, I had a bit of a challenge finding such flights.   We flew first on Air Canada on a reasonable paid economy fare to Vancouver for an overnight.  The next day we met up with a couple we had met on a cruise last June.   Then we flew Air Canada to Australia in business class using miles.  Our flight was to Melbourne but I am sure they also fly to Sydney.    The late departure  was conducive to sleep.

 

I must say that the flight and crew were spectacular.  We've flown in business class for overnight flights about 10 times in the past 7 years and this was one of my favorites.  (maybe only topped by the return flight from Auckland on Air New Zealand).  The crew was terrific, service was excellent, food very good.  And the best part was that my DH, who never sleeps well even in biz class, slept 11 of the 16 hours!! 😄  The flight to Sydney should be a bit shorter.

 

Don't know what flying/service will be like when travel like this resumes, but wanted to share our experience.   

Hopefully, Canada will let us in again one of these days........

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31 minutes ago, the mice said:

Hi Nordski,

A bit of info for you re: getting to Australia.


We live north of NYC and just went to Australia last October.   Since I wanted to fly business class using miles, I had a bit of a challenge finding such flights.   We flew first on Air Canada on a reasonable paid economy fare to Vancouver for an overnight.  The next day we met up with a couple we had met on a cruise last June.   Then we flew Air Canada to Australia in business class using miles.  Our flight was to Melbourne but I am sure they also fly to Sydney.    The late departure  was conducive to sleep.

 

I must say that the flight and crew were spectacular.  We've flown in business class for overnight flights about 10 times in the past 7 years and this was one of my favorites.  (maybe only topped by the return flight from Auckland on Air New Zealand).  The crew was terrific, service was excellent, food very good.  And the best part was that my DH, who never sleeps well even in biz class, slept 11 of the 16 hours!! 😄  The flight to Sydney should be a bit shorter.

 

Don't know what flying/service will be like when travel like this resumes, but wanted to share our experience.   

Hopefully, Canada will let us in again one of these days........


Thanks for that information. We keep looking longingly at Air New Zealand and its stellar reputation.


Our neighbours solved one piece of the flight dilemma by taking a cruise out of Vancouver that eventually arrived in Sydney.

 

And now, to try and undo the damage to this thread by my taking it off topic, let me bring it back to conditions where we live.

 

Air Canada has taken some deserved heat for its refund policies. But, so far we have been treated reasonably well. It really helped, of course, that we had bought refundable tickets.

 

We have a number of Air Canada pilots and attendants living in our neighbourhood and they have been advised that service will not return to “normal” for the next two years. in the pursuit of better profit margins, Air Canada has also loosened its policy concerning distancing on board.

 

Interestingly, despite my beliefs, some epidemiologists argue that flights are not the danger I thought them to be. Air exchange and hepa filters are very efficient. Therefore, unless the disease carrier is right beside you, he/she is not a great danger.

 

Thus, perhaps in two years time, maybe that business class flight to Sydney will be a viable option both financially and in terms of the risk to our health.

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14 minutes ago, nordski said:

Interestingly, despite my beliefs, some epidemiologists argue that flights are not the danger I thought them to be. Air exchange and hepa filters are very efficient. Therefore, unless the disease carrier is right beside you, he/she is not a great danger.

 

This reinforces my preference for planes with 2 seats on the outside of the aisles.  DW and I form our own little bubble.

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8 hours ago, nordski said:


Thanks for mentioning this alternative.

 

Not wishing to “enjoy” that long flight we have thought of breaking up the endeavour with either a stopoff on the American west coast or at Hawaii.

 

The connections seem a little more difficult on the latter but there are other obvious advantages. 
 

 

 

We have flown into and out of Vancouver, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

 

Direct long haul flights have on different occasions landed us in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

 

Back on the topic of the thread . . the torrential rain has stopped and cleanup underway in much of NSW. People are returning to evacuated towns. In some of those, rivers peaked lower than anticipated.

And on the Covid-19 front, a month after the cluster brought upon our small coastal town by visitors from Sydney, another case has been diagnosed and the local High School closed.

We are staying safe at home, with minimal contact with others.

 

Stay safe everyone . . . hope to see many of you next year!

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9 minutes ago, Baynanno1 said:

 

And on the Covid-19 front, a month after the cluster brought upon our small coastal town by visitors from Sydney, another case has been diagnosed and the local High School closed.

We are staying safe at home, with minimal contact with others.

 

Stay safe everyone . . . hope to see many of you next year!


Our schools will be opening on the first week of September. There is considerable controversy as to how to do this safely in both our primary and secondary schools.
 

We also are an area that is attractive to those from nearby urban centres. Went with my youngest daughter on a hike at a local provincial park. I had never seen so many at this park on an early Sunday morning

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Stay safe @nordski 🙏

It seems that as soon as restrictions are eased slightly, there are some people who appear to not realise that there are still restrictions in place. It only takes one or two to do the wrong thing and the virus takes off like wildfire. A second local school has been closed today due to more cases.

Missing my family in other states I am currently unable to visit. 😟

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8 hours ago, Baynanno1 said:

Stay safe @nordski 🙏

It seems that as soon as restrictions are eased slightly, there are some people who appear to not realise that there are still restrictions in place. It only takes one or two to do the wrong thing and the virus takes off like wildfire. A second local school has been closed today due to more cases.

Missing my family in other states I am currently unable to visit. 😟


Thanks for those kind words and, of course, I have the same wish for you and your loved ones.

 

Despite great success in “flattening the curve” here, it does appear that the most affected demographic is shifting to the 20+ in general, and men in that age group in particular. Given their energy and interests that is not surprising.

 

Concerning that age group, most of our universities are moving to primarily online learning for at least the first semester.
 

I understand that in Australia there is some contention over financing universities, particularly considering the loss of foreign students. I only know this vaguely because I am a great fan of the very popular Emperors of Rome podcast which initially featured the delightful Rhiannon Evans of La Trobe University. I am on her Twitter feed.

 

The research on younger students continues, and it appears that the optimism that they are not carriers may have been misplaced.

 

On a lighter note, our local ice hockey team, The Toronto Maple Leafs, once again ignominiously exited the Covid-shortened season in the National Hockey League. (It’s actually a North American League). It has been over 50 years since this storied franchise has had even a shot at the championship,

 

I hope no famous Australian Rules teams have frustrated their fans similarly. 😄

 

 

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3 hours ago, nordski said:


Thanks for those kind words and, of course, I have the same wish for you and your loved ones.

 

Despite great success in “flattening the curve” here, it does appear that the most affected demographic is shifting to the 20+ in general, and men in that age group in particular. Given their energy and interests that is not surprising.

 

Concerning that age group, most of our universities are moving to primarily online learning for at least the first semester.
 

I understand that in Australia there is some contention over financing universities, particularly considering the loss of foreign students. I only know this vaguely because I am a great fan of the very popular Emperors of Rome podcast which initially featured the delightful Rhiannon Evans of La Trobe University. I am on her Twitter feed.

 

The research on younger students continues, and it appears that the optimism that they are not carriers may have been misplaced.

 

On a lighter note, our local ice hockey team, The Toronto Maple Leafs, once again ignominiously exited the Covid-shortened season in the National Hockey League. (It’s actually a North American League). It has been over 50 years since this storied franchise has had even a shot at the championship,

 

I hope no famous Australian Rules teams have frustrated their fans similarly. 😄

 

 

Our schools are due to resume on September 8 and appear to be a hybrid of remote and in person learning, Burlington, where I live, is also a college town, and students are starting to flock back to campuses. In spite of stern warnings/ regulations to quarantine upon arrival, and social distance, it is pretty clear that this is not happening. Given all of this, we are anticipating an uptick in cases. I have been redeployed to the Contact Tracing “Surge Team”, so at least we will be prepared if/when it happens. 
 

And is hockey over already, @nordski? We are finding watching baseball to empty stadiums just not the same. 
 

And @Baynanno1, would love to see an Australian rules game some day. Although it would certainly have to be explained to me! 😂

Betsey

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18 minutes ago, Mackdogmolly said:

Our schools are due to resume on September 8 and appear to be a hybrid of remote and in person learning, Burlington, where I live, is also a college town, and students are starting to flock back to campuses. In spite of stern warnings/ regulations to quarantine upon arrival, and social distance, it is pretty clear that this is not happening. Given all of this, we are anticipating an uptick in cases. I have been redeployed to the Contact Tracing “Surge Team”, so at least we will be prepared if/when it happens. 
 

And is hockey over already, @nordski? We are finding watching baseball to empty stadiums just not the same. 
 

And @Baynanno1, would love to see an Australian rules game some day. Although it would certainly have to be explained to me! 😂

Betsey


Oh, hockey isn’t over for those teams that have some semblance of playoff quality.
 

For example Les Canadiens from the city to your north are moving on to the playoffs. There used to be a hard core rivalry between The Leafs and Les Habs. Not anytime recently. 😢

 

Some of our local universities are also having some students on campus even though courses are largely online.
 

I hope we have systems in place such as the one you have been assigned to. 
 

I should also mention that The Toronto Symphony has cancelled all of their projected concerts for this coming season.

 

It does appear that they are forming plans for small groups to gather for chamber music etc. These would be offered in a social distancing format.

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We are still experiencing a very hot summer here in the NYC 'burbs with little if any rain in our local area.   Luckily our complex was spared any impact from Tropical Storm Isaias but the same cannot be said of all parts of the area where some people are still without power one week after the storm.    It is strange to read the news and realize that we didn't have any impact other than a few branches down (not trees) and a single lightweight chair blown over on our deck.  

 

Not sure where to post this, but it's an interesting perspective.    While most of us are probably tired of lockdowns and social distancing and many of the posters here are just longing to get beyond the pandemic and back to cruising, we may, perhaps, not realize the toll that it really takes on the crews of the ships (article covers more than just cruise ships).

https://www.fodors.com/news/coronavirus/tired-of-lockdown-we-talked-to-workers-stuck-on-ships-who-would-love-to-be-able-to-go-home

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3 hours ago, the mice said:

We are still experiencing a very hot summer here in the NYC 'burbs with little if any rain in our local area.   Luckily our complex was spared any impact from Tropical Storm Isaias but the same cannot be said of all parts of the area where some people are still without power one week after the storm.    It is strange to read the news and realize that we didn't have any impact other than a few branches down (not trees) and a single lightweight chair blown over on our deck.  

 

Not sure where to post this, but it's an interesting perspective.    While most of us are probably tired of lockdowns and social distancing and many of the posters here are just longing to get beyond the pandemic and back to cruising, we may, perhaps, not realize the toll that it really takes on the crews of the ships (article covers more than just cruise ships).

https://www.fodors.com/news/coronavirus/tired-of-lockdown-we-talked-to-workers-stuck-on-ships-who-would-love-to-be-able-to-go-home

Yes, thanks for posting and putting things in perspective.

Betsey

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13 hours ago, the mice said:

We are still experiencing a very hot summer here in the NYC 'burbs with little if any rain in our local area.   Luckily our complex was spared any impact from Tropical Storm Isaias but the same cannot be said of all parts of the area where some people are still without power one week after the storm.    It is strange to read the news and realize that we didn't have any impact other than a few branches down (not trees) and a single lightweight chair blown over on our deck.  

 

Not sure where to post this, but it's an interesting perspective.    While most of us are probably tired of lockdowns and social distancing and many of the posters here are just longing to get beyond the pandemic and back to cruising, we may, perhaps, not realize the toll that it really takes on the crews of the ships (article covers more than just cruise ships).

https://www.fodors.com/news/coronavirus/tired-of-lockdown-we-talked-to-workers-stuck-on-ships-who-would-love-to-be-able-to-go-home

 

Thanks for posting the link.

 

I feel for all those crew and their families whose lives have been turned upside down.

 

It is a bit of a glitch to be unable to cruise at the moment (okay a big glitch) but no earthly comparison to what crew are experiencing either stuck on a ship or unable to rejoin a ship.

 

Hoping for an effective vaccine so they and others similarly affected - either having lost jobs or being unable to work due to restrictions - can get back to what they know and in most cases love and depend on to survive!

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On 8/9/2020 at 11:44 AM, Bloodaxe said:

In Yorkshire our Mini heatwave seems to be over, today it is cool and overcast with thunderstorms in the forecast for the next few days.

I know we do sometimes moan about our weather but we get plenty of variety, which suits me fine 

 

The cooler weather only lasted for one day, it has been really hot and humid since.

Parts of the country have had thunderstorms and flash floods, we have escaped that so far.

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Read there was very heavy rain in Scotland leading to a serious train derailment in Aberdeenshire, with report of 3 deaths so far.

So sorry to read this news.   Makes me realize we have so little to complain about.

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I was a little premature with my previous post saying our heatwave was over, well it really is now.

Today is overcast with drizzle and temperatures of only 18 C  a good 10 C down on recent days.

Thunderstorms forecast for tomorrow and very mixed for the rest of this week,.

The Barbecue is back in the garden shed, it was nice while it lasted.

 

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