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Posts posted by BVILady

  1. They do want to sell you their insurance, on which they do know what is covered. I have heard from another Cruiser also living in Europe that the Insurance they do offer is quite reasonable priced in comparison what we will be charged booking from the US-office. Check out their price and then work out what you do have all covered by your credit card and what you might be missing. Then go from there. I assume they want to be on the safe side with all the different countries they are visiting and not being held responsible for whoever they are leaving behind. Their shipping-agents in the different countries will have to take care and assist any passengers left behind and they will want to make sure to not to get stranded with a large bill. Several cruise lines will not let you board without proof of insurance, I know for example MSC and P & O have required it from us.


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  2. Eli_6 in your case I would look into b2b cruises in a certain area, even if you have to spend a few days in a port and fly to different ports to pick up a different cruise-lines. Like do New Zealand and Australia and add some Asian Cruises one year and a different summer do European cruises, Med East and West even Dubai and maybe Suez Canal and then Northern Europe. It should be easy to work out. I have traveled with my now Adult Children all over Europe in the past, spending a week in different locations and maybe a 1 week cruise, including river-cruises. You really get to know the area this way, and we traveled by train between destination and stayed in Apartments I used to book through Corporate Housing, now much easier to book through booking.com

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  3. All World Cruises I have seen so far start in December or January. Maybe you can book a segment on Royal Caribbean. Usually you have about as many sea days as you have port-days, so you might be able to work out a manageable schedule for home-schooling. The exposure to all these different countries will be a learning experience anyhow. Would have LOVED to have been able to do that with my parents or to have been able to take my children.

  4. I would recommend to call Costa, I have been able to choose my cabin with the lady at the call-center. It might also be that you are booking late and that the cabin-category you are trying to book is already booked. I always book premium to have a choice of my cabin. Interior cabins and the most expensive cabins are usually the ones booked up first.


  5. I am using Credit cards to pay everywhere but am concerned about that. Where I only have to pay small amounts in locations I feel are questionable I just use a visa debit with a small account-balance. If your credit card gets compromised and gets cancelled it will be a big problem with payments you have automatically charged to them and how are you going to pay your large bills on your trip? I do like to get points on all these transactions. Having a new card expressed to you is one thing, hopefully you can pin that card by phone. Something I really want to avoid.

  6. The 2 banks I am using are not large international banks, but have always been able to use them when traveling. The only problem I did have with an ATM card in Italy where the information was stolen at the ATM (street-side ATM). Since I do check my accounts constantly when traveling I wasn't out to much money and got reimbursed. they took money out of my account on Friday/Saturday/Sunday to make sure I wasn't able to advise my bank right-a-way.

  7. Carnival Corporation's Costa Cruises brand has offered the Costa Magica as temporary housing for Ukrainian refugees, should the Italian government need it.

    "We have offered the Italian Government the Costa Magica to be integrated into the National Civil Protection's plans as a potential temporary hub for Ukrainian refugees, should the number of arrivals in Italy increase in the coming weeks as a result of prolonged conflict," the company said, in a prepared statement.

    The 2004-built ship is currently out of service ahead of its transfer to the Carnival Cruise Line brand later this year and is currently docked in La Spezia. The ship has just over 1,350 staterooms.

    "Our thoughts are with those affected, including the families of our many Ukrainian employees who are understandably concerned for their loved ones. As an immediate support to the needs of the population affected by the impact of the conflict, we have already donated medical supplies and medicines necessary for the treatment of injuries and common diseases," Costa said, in its statement. 

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  8. 18 hours ago, Alex71 said:

    My Costa ist overwhelmed. Looks like folks are mass-cancelling their excursions.

    I don't understand that, I have been dealing with several cruise-lines, right now booking excursions on Royal Caribbean and MSC, Costa has the best quality in their excursions at the most reasonable price, so alone for the peace of mind to be on the ship when it leaves is well worth it. Was on HAL in Manila on ships-excursions twice where we were the last people back on the ship, not sure whether the ship did have to wait for us. Booking excursions for the Costa World Cruise 2023 right now and happy so far with the excursions offered.


  9. I have used TA's twice. The first time I had to cancel because of Covid, I had booked 2 cabins through a TA and one direct. On the ones booked through the TA I had to pay something like $ 70.00 fee's for each booking, the booking direct I got all my deposit back. The second time there was a lot of forward and back with name spelled wrong and similar petty things. That was a Royal Caribbean cruise, I booked 2 cruises 3 cabins each. When I had to cancel one cruise I wasn't going to get my deposit back and finally was supposed to get a FCC instead, still has not happened (6 or 7 months now). I have several bookings directly with Costa and have a lady's extension in the US-office, she could not be more helpful. I actually deal with her now also including my friends reservation which was through a TA where she is not getting any calls returned. I have one booking with MSC direct because I couldn't get the one rate I wanted work on their website and again have her Extension and she has helped me more then any of my TA's ever. But again maybe I have just been unlucky or my cheap cabins are the problem. Right now I saved $ 1500 on one cruise and $ 4500 on a second cruise all on my own.

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  10. I do hope things will change before our trip in July/August. Just mentioned 2024 because I thought it was funny to send me that for a 2024 cruise, but they basically just want to cover all their bases and not been told in 2024 that I had not known about it. 😁

  11. Being also booked on RCA and MSC this summer and having done some research it looks like it depends on the regulations of the country and in all ports in the Med we are going to stop cruisers will need to take excursions offered by the cruise-line. It is what it is, just grateful to be able to travel and cruise again.

  12. A few days ago Costa released the first excursion to book for the World Cruise 2023. There are always 15 excursions included in the price, none of them have been released yet, but they do have another special running now "My Exploration Package" at Euro 129.00 ($ 143.00) which is one full day and two 1/2 day excursions and any additional excursion booked will be discounted by 25 % for Costa Club Members (you just sign up online to become a Club member). I had previously calculated $ 150.00 per excursion per port in my calculations but what I see now, excursions are much more reasonably priced. Most of them are below $ 100.00. So looking forward to the experience and my reasonable finale bill.

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  13. On 3/15/2022 at 10:01 AM, vinonme2 said:

    Thank you all, and a special thanks to BVILady.  The vivid description of your experience has gotten me even more excited and looking forward to this new adventure!   

    You very welcome. I have been thinking of you, maybe you should consider to do a Safari separate to the Cruise, you will see much more. I had been traveling with friendlyplanet.com which has everything included also flights. I had opted booking without flight because of my departure/arrival airport. Just a thought, I am not aware of your situation and circumstances including place of residence. I did have my son with me but there was also a couple from California independently booked with our dates who had missed their flight but friendlyplanet made it work.

  14. thanks at Costa the excursion package is 1 full-day and 2 half-day and all other excursions 20 % off, so hoped it would be like that. MAYBE saving 10 % doesn't seem worth it, but with having to take cruise-ship excursions what choice do we have 😁


  15. Just got another confirmation for my trip in 2024 and they are stressing that excursions with Costa will need to be taken in countries which are insisting on bubble-excursions. Should you not follow this regulation you will be kicked off and will have to pay for your trip home and not be entitled to any refund. Right now it seems that Italy is still insisting on that rule. Wondering about that, being also booked on a cruise with Royal Caribbean which is stopping in Italian ports and they do offer transfers so you can take your own personal tours. But that will be July 2022 so who knows what will change by then.

  16. just subdued colors not bright neon to attract and disturb the animals. You will love it, a lot of times you are going to be right next to them. I could hardly believe how close we got. We got great pictures with lion's and lion-babies not more then 12-15 feet from our SUV. Our SUV was closed with open windows and a roof which moved up, so you were able to stand up and take pictures from there also if the view was better then from the window. My son spotted a Leopard and we followed it and got fantastic pictures of it. We also followed a Chita hunting for quite a while. Saw Hippo's in the water about 21 feet away and we had gotten out of the SUV for these. Plenty of Elephants, Giraffe's, Zebra's, Gazelle's and their family, Buffalo's and the large amounts of various birds. Couldn't believe how large Ostrich's are. Had a large Crocodile in the river right next to one Lodge and one Lodge had been at a watering-hole, so just sat on the porch in front of the room in the late afternoon for hours watching the animals come by in just unbelievable numbers. Enjoy!


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  17. On 9/11/2021 at 12:24 PM, NevadaGuy said:

    Supposed to cruise on 9/25 on the Meriviglia. Unable to download tickets. MSC claims my FCC is being "reviewed by management"? MSC current BBB rating is D-. Wonder what it takes for an F.

    what is BBB rating, where can I find these ratings?


  18. On 3/10/2022 at 10:55 AM, deec said:

    thanks for vest information!!! 

    I also love Kolb's blog and just bought a vest on sale on amazon. I am always cold, so that will be a life-saver for me on my upcoming WC's. I am just amazed what you all can learn on CC, so far I picked up luggage-shipping, day-use hotels and now the heated vest 🥰

  19. I just wore sneakers (trainers), Reebok's. You don't really get off the SUV during a game-drive. Good walking shoes for when you do go into a village in rough terrain. And yes as 2552phxcrzr said it get's chilly at night. But since World Cruises are usually Jan./Feb/March/April you always need to make sure to have plenty of sweaters and jackets anyhow. Since I am living in the Caribbean I had been wearing sweaters all the time in January in Kenya, being an old lady doesn't help with getting easily chilly. I had gotten one of these safari-hats with mosquito-net - what a laugh, just sitting in the closet now, never used and will never be used.

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  20. I made the mistake purchasing Safari Clothing for a Kenya Safari but it was not necessary at all. Just don't wear any bright colors and you are going to be fine. Would probably avoid black and real white also. What ship are you going to be on? My World Cruise also has several stops in Africa but we don't have excursions for there available yet.


  21. 11 hours ago, rkacruiser said:


    I understand!  Last got home on January 31, 2020 from what I fear will have been my final three cruises.  For more cruising, the desire is there; the financial resources are there.  But, my physical condition keeps reminding me:  "is traveling again the smartest decision you have ever made"?  

    So you were lucky to get some cruises in just before the lock-downs. My son and me had been on a Safari in Kenya in January 2020 and I almost didn't go since I had slipped on wet tiles and dislocated a disk. Thank the lord that I am so tight-fisted, everything was prepaid and at that date not possible to cancel and I made it and surprisingly did good thanks to all the tips of my PT. A friend of mine fell last year and she is as good as bedridden can barely move around, so that shows you how fast it can go. So I exercise, walk the hills to get my heart-rate up and stay positive as far as it concerns my physical fitness. Got a treadmill for rainy days at least my daughter makes use off, so not the usual wasted money for exercise-equipment.  Somehow I need to be outside with a goal and a point to get back to, exercise equipment get's to monotone and boring for me. My friend coming with me on the January 2023 cruise will turn 78 in the first month of the cruise and is a little concerned. But she is like me and hiking the hills for exercise, as much as we are actually able to. My contract already calls for a fuel-surcharge and I am completely okay if they do increase that with the great rate I do have, just hoping it will be reasonable. So I hope you rkacruiser, Heidi 13 and everyone else having future WC plans stay healthy and be able to get onto your planned World Cruise (or two 😁😄😁) And let's all hope that this craziness is over soon.

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  22. I know nobody is going to be able to predict the future. But I am going to be so upset if after 2020/2021 and as it comes to World Cruises 2022 my plans for the World Cruise January 2023 are going to be cancelled again. I know that is a minor problem in comparison to people in the middle of a war losing loved-one's. Just venting. I am not getting any younger 🥲😪😪🥲

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