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In Italy for Uniworld for cruise!


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Hi all, 

 

After the challenges of changing cruises (once) and flights (4 times), I am in Milan a couple days pre-cruise.  Getting here was almost easy after all that.  My flights here were uneventful, with no issues with documents. Passport and vaccine card only. No COVID test needed. i had a red eye from Phoenix to JFK Monday night. Then spent the day at the TWAHotel at JFK.  The hotel was very cool, a little pricy, and just a bit odd.  Then, a second red eye on Tuesday from JFK to Milan. Needless to say, yesterday after arrival was a blur.  

 

Sightseeing... ok shopping... but sightseeing sounds so much better, today.  A tour to Lake Como tomorrow, then the Uniworld portion begins! 

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Our first real river cruiser reporting from "on site" this year! 🎆🙂🙂

 

What an exhausting journey so far, makes me tired reading it.

 

And you are in Italy with them being in the football Euro final. 

 

Have a fabulous time.

 

notamermaid

 

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It's so exciting to hear from someone traveling.....FINALLY!  Have fun. The Venice cruise was our first "river" cruise, and we've been hooked ever since. Looking forward to hearing about the renovated ship.

Robin

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So excited to hear you are in Milan.  Anxious to hear about your cruise.  Planning on

seeing Lake Como after the same cruise in October.  Thinking of staying a few nights

and would appreciate hearing what you did/thoughts.  Ciao! 

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We did this “cruise” with Uniworld a couple of years ago and booked it again for august 25 this year.  Enjoy the bus tour portion.  We stopped at a winery for lunch, it was spectacular!  Let us know how the new protocols for travel go…and how much fu you’re having!

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Lake Como tour with Lugano and Bellagio was wonderful.  Crowds were minimal and mostly European. But very tired after a long day. Crossing the border to Switzerland and back to Italy were non events.  Protocols in Italy are masks indoors but not outside. Only the stores seem really to care. Domestic flight masks were rigorously enforced. Much less so on the international flight. 
 

Just so happy to be traveling!

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Hi Bookish, how is the atmosphere on the river boat? Are you required to wear a mask in public areas (other than eating and drinking)?  Are people open to socializing outside of their groups? Enjoy your trip! We're looking forward to our Burgundy/Provence trip in September.

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On the boat!  WiFi wasn’t working yesterday but all is well now.  Yesterday was Verona and winery lunch. Both were great.  We got there early and saw Juliette’s balcony with no waiting then a bit of free time and then over to the Roman arena. Very nice. 
 

Embarkation was easy. We did a quick saliva test up on the sun deck before being allowed elsewhere on the ship. 55 people on board. Mostly Americans but one Canadian and one German group. Masks inside but not out. There is polite enforcement.  The crew is quite happy to have us back. 
 

Having not been on Uniworld before, I’m not the best to discuss changes. But they did say there are usually snacks around. You have to ask for them now. Same for candy jars? And pastries in the AM before breakfast. Also, we had to pick a table last night and will stay there all week. That said, I am solo and was allowed to sit with a larger group... which includes another two solos and 2 couples. 
 

 

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Verona! Oh I am envious. I fondly remember the arena. And am happy to read that you are on the ship. What you describe sounds like the hygiene protocols I have read about in connection with the IG River Cruise association. No open food where people might mix and share food or touch food, like biscuits at the coffee machine, etc.

 

Thanks for reporting from your trip.

 

I hope your cruise is and will be even more fun than your land portion ☺️.

 

notamermaid

 

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21 minutes ago, Bookishcruiser said:


 

 Masks inside but not out. There is polite enforcement.  The crew is quite happy to have us back. 
 Also, we had to pick a table last night and will stay there all week. That said, I am solo and was allowed to sit with a larger group... which includes another two solos and 2 couples. 
 

 

I’m part of a group that should be on this trip in September.  Hopefully you can answer a couple of questions for me.

 

What sort of mask?  Is a cloth mask acceptable or do you have to wear the blue one?  When you say inside, does that mean in the corridors and lounge areas?  Do you lower it to eat and drink and then raise it again?

 

Re the table selection process — the group that I will be with normally rotates tables among the group members.  I do not know the size of the group this time, but we’ve usually been about 24 folks.  Our last Uniworld cruise we had one eight top and three six tops.  (Another couple that we had met on the first day of the trip regularly joined us.). Would this be allowed?

 

I’m a bit anxious about taking this trip.  I’m following your posts closely to help me decide if I should just bite the bullet and cancel.

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this thread.

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Cloth masks are fine. Have not seen any gators, so I don’t know about those. Yes, masks in corridors and the lounge, but not the lowering and raising thing like on planes. If you have a drink in front of you, that seems to do the trick. At the buffet, you need your mask and they serve you from the stations. It’s a slightly awkward dance, but I suspect as we get used to it, that will be smoother. 
 

On the tables, I just don’t know, I would guess no On this trip because they seem pretty firm that we need to stay at our tables. But they seem to consider the tour groups as bubbles too, and those were about 15 people each today. 
 

Venice is so lovely and uncrowded! Probably 20 people in St. Marks square this morning.  When was it ever like that in recent memory. 
 

 We learned today that we need a second COVID test mid week. And then one as we get off the ship at our own cost. Which is not a big deal to me since we need it to get back into the US. 
 

It is all still fabulous and I feel very lucky to be here. 

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We are looking so forward to this cruise in October.  We were wondering about the candy jars!! They are usually out on a table.  My husband loves the licorice in one of them.  Glad to hear about the tests too.  Think that is a great idea.

I am hoping the number of people will be low as well.  We usually stay at the same table so that is not

an issue for us.  Will the test before disembarkation be right on the boat?  Curious what the cost will be.

Thank you for posting this information.  Look forward to reading more.  

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Bookishcruiser,

 

On Uniworld they use to have snacks in the bar probably no more but I bet you could order something. The cookies near the fancy coffee machine probably are gone too, I understand this may be the way going forward.

Second seating

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Thanks for the useful information from your trip. Just a few questions:

1. How is evening entertainment? Do they have a piano player? Last time we did a Moselle river with them they didn't have anyone and evenings were pretty boring.

2. Is vaccination required?

Enjoy the cruise and Italy!

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Taking one for the team 😀I went to evaluate the candy situation. Indeed there are large vats if candies and cookies behind the bar. No licorice to be found, but some yummy caramel. 
 

COVID-19 test at end of cruise is 132 euros. Ouch but really don’t know the cost elsewhere. In the better news category, I can use the OBC that I was wondering what could possibly Spend it on. No idea why but I was slightly surprised by that.  The test is right on the boat. 
 

Vaccine does not appear to be required. No one from Uniworld asked for my card. That said, you have to be vaccinated to get into Italy without quarantine so not sure anyone should rely on that. 
 

There is entertainment two nights this week. A singer of various types of songs. And opera night. There are also some evening activities. Last night was a private tour of St. Marks. Stunning.  And I think there is a walking tour another night. 
 

 

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Just looked back at the early posts... when I may or may not have been partially asleep and missed some questions. The ship is gorgeous. Pristine. I gather some ships have some additional features. But the ship seems like new. 
 

As for lake Como, it is gorgeous. Go now.  Bellagio in particular was charming.  Not too busy right now. Lugano as well, though it didn’t seem quite as authentic... though that may not mean much given that they are both largely tourist towns. 
 

feel free to ask again if I didn’t answer you. I have gotten such great advice over the years here and am very happy to help. 

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4 hours ago, Bookishcruiser said:

COVID-19 test at end of cruise is 132 euros. Ouch but really don’t know the cost elsewhere.....

Thanks for your response. It's really Ouch considering you'll need a simple rapid test to get back to US. PCR is not required. 

As for the entertainment I meant regular piano music other cruise lines have every night when there are no other evening activities.

Apparently Uniworld just tries to limit evening interactions between guests: less folks in the bar after dinner. 

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