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About iancal

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  1. Cuba is a very popular winter destination for Canadian. I believe that we form their largest group. We were there a number of years ago. What surprised us? So many Europeans. We had one group at our AI from Belgium. They were staying for two weeks. Same with some folks from France. The other suprise....more Americans that we thought. At that time we met a number who live close to the Canadian border. They routinely buy AI packages from a Canadian destination. Their passports get stamped...but on a piece of paper.
  2. We have been watching four different international air fares from Canada over the past several months. Hope to be able to grab one them in the fall and one for winter 2022. We have no plans to book, just watching the pricing until we know that we can go. Athens: Fall(with return from London or Paris): fares are up by about 20-25 percent Morocco: Fall Return fare. fares are down by about 12 percent. Asia: (Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur) in early Jan: No change but this is par based on previous years Mexico: Fall Cancun and Puerto Vallarta.
  3. It will be a challenge for us. Our on line TA left the business over a year ago. We will either get a recommendation from someone or go back to using that on linw bidding site where multiple TA's provide a price on the specific ship, date, itinerary, cabin that you have selected.
  4. The challenge might not be the country's medical facilities but rather how far you might be from them in the case of a medical emergency. We have spent a number of winters in Southern Thailand. One of our hosts, a Swiss expat, explained the medical realities of living where he did in the event of an emergency. Sometimes time is critical. He resolved himself to be history if he was ever in need of urgent care. By the time he was transferred to a proper facility he would be deceased. That would not be the case if was living in a major center like Bangkok.
  5. I am scratching my head wondering why on earth anyone would think that opening up the economy without restrictions is 'good progress towards back to cruising' Or good for anything other than perhaps a few fleeting bumps in a politician's poll numbers. Nothing could be further from reality.
  6. Exactly. People need to stop day dreaming about cruises opening up in the next few months and face the hard reality of the numbers. Understand what the CDC position is. Understand what limitations other countries are putting in place for vistiors. Besides, only the most ardent supporters would actually believe what politicians say about the matter. The goal of the cruise lines is to get you to book cruises that have no chance of leaving the dock. Then, convince you to leave your money with then and book yet another cruise some time in the future. Mind you, th
  7. I do not believe that people want to see the truth about covid. They do not like the numbers that they see or the conclusion that those numbers draw hence their predisposition to ignore them. The very best way to determine when cruising might open up in various parts or the world and who those countries will admit is to look at the covid numbers and the covid trends. Comments, statements from the industry and from politicians are by their nature self serving and inaccurate/manipulative at best.
  8. I do not blame them. Just look at the mess St. Thomas is in. Who wants to stop there now?
  9. There is no 'right' answer for this. It is really about what is right for you. We are frequent travelers who do a fair amount of research. By the time we are ready to book we have the data that we need. Nor do we need a new best friend TA. Strictly a business transaction for us. Booking a cruise for us is like buying gas. It is a commodity. This may not be so for others. Does not matter where we book our cruise....everything will be the same. So it comes down to price and service. Just do what you are comfortable with and get on the right ship
  10. We were hoping to take a land vacation to the Med area in mid Sept through to Nov. Over the past month our confidence in our ability to do this has actually decreased. We are not even bothering to follow flight prices etc for several destination alternatives as I did a month or so ago. It is not about whether or not we will get vaccinated because we will. The covid numbers/stats do not look good, a third wave complicated by new covid variants is potentially on the horizon. We have now move our expectation and hope towards a Jan-March snowbird trip.
  11. I believe that the market will respond with offers from cruise lines that have not cut back. The real question is are people willing to pay for items that have been cut from the mass market lines? I believe that it is possible to avoid those cut backs by paying a higher fare and moving away from the mass market cruise lines.
  12. I would think that it depends on the level of service that you want and are willing to pay form. We are low mtce. We call our TA to book the cruise and the cabin. We call her back if we need a re-price. We find that our on line TA agency keeps better hours than some of the cruise line call centers. When we want to change or upgrade our cabin we simply call our on line TA and it gets done then and there. No issues. Apart from the TA provided OBC more than once our TA has given us a heads up on a better offer from a similar cruise line. On one occasio
  13. What is it about the covid numbers that people do not seem to understand or want to comprehend???? Either in their own location or in other parts of the world. Simply because a person happens to have been fortunate enough to get both covid vaccinations does not mean that worldwide cruising will start up next month or even in the next 90 days.
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