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About naturelovergirl

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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    travel, singing, nature, reading, cooking, hiking
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Florida continues to figure out the complex steps in reopening. The theme parks have all started on their planning and procedures for this. Universal Orlando parks open with restrictions at the end of next week. Disney will open with restrictions in mid-July. Again, I stress the word “restrictions”... it will not be what we all considered to be normal for a long time. It will be interesting to see how it all goes for the parks and for tourism in general. I believe how it all turns out here will be a litmus test for many other branches of big tourism and for the entertainment business- everyone will be watching and learning what works and what needs tweaking. Personally, we have been making bread, hiking, walking, and trying to keep our spirits lifted. We miss our lives before the pandemic- especially our work In the performing arts... which will unfortunately not return for a while. Each step towards normalcy helps, but we still have so far to go. Stay safe and find beauty in the small things.
  2. Yes, we watched the concert last night too... and thought they did a good job despite the differences. We watch and love the concert every year.
  3. A few more places and businesses are opening in Florida with restrictions and modifications. We are not personally ready to try them all at this time, but are interested to see how they go. We are continuing to practice social distancing while enjoying hiking or riding bicycles at our recently opened Florida State Parks. This has seemed like a great solution for us- be outside, get exercise, and to explore all while maintaining safe distances. Although we have been exclusively cooking this whole time, we do plan to pick up some carry out from some favorite local restaurants soon- we want to support them. We had a separate cancellation for a resort where we were waiting on a refund because of the pandemic... and it took until today- just one day shy of 60 days- for that refund to come in. So, certainly things are taking time with travel refunds... but that came through around 60 days. Hope you all are well and finding joy where you can.
  4. Hello from Florida. We have had some restrictions lifted in the state- we are in what they refer to as Phase 1. Honestly my husband and I have only chosen to take advantage of a few small things as part of this phase... we are kind of in a wait-and-see mode. We have not been to any of the recently opened limited capacity restaurants (not really interested in that yet), but we have GREATLY appreciated that some of the lovely State Parks have opened with restrictions and social distancing rules. We went on a beautiful bicycle ride and then a terrific hike on another day. Both activities were completely socially distant, but gave us a sense of "normalcy" which has been lacking of late. Salons did open here last week with stringent regulations (masks, clients waiting in the car for appointment, and limited capacity), and the place I go, specifically, opened up this weekend. They have outlined all of the modifications they are making- and I feel confident that they are going to do their best. I have made an appointment for the end of the month for a haircut. As a person with extreme wanderlust, I am constantly aware that my love of travel is a bit (or a lot) hobbled at the moment. I long for the day when I can travel again. Still, I am realistic and aware of the magnitude of this global quandary. It has also shuttered our small business until life gets back... and so that is an additional loss in our normal existence. We miss working very much. Still, we try to find the joy where we can. Luckily, we are resilient, and have the moxie within ourselves to keep life vibrant. Stay safe, everyone. (Thanks HostHattie for the Gavin & Stacey pic of Nessa... We are Americans who absolutely loved Gavin & Stacey! It is almost impossible for us to say the words, "I Know" without saying them like Nessa)
  5. Just finished week 6 in Florida... Our families in other southern states have continued to stay secluded and well- since we both have elderly grandfathers in the high risk group with mothers who take care of them, this has been important to us all. We have been able to continue sending grocery delivery to our grandfathers... It has worked so far. Personally, we had been getting only deliveries to our home since we went into social distance... but... My husband had his first actual trip to the grocery store this week- masked up and sanitized like a science fiction novel (we came to the conclusion that we could trust that he would take every precaution) He arrived at opening and was pleasantly surprised to see people in the store also being respectful and cautious. This was a departure from some of the stories we had heard from others of people not taking this seriously. He was also able to buy us almost everything on our list. So at least in our area he had a good experience. Grateful.
  6. On a side note from all of our many steps surrounding this Cunard cruise cancellation- We were very pleased (surprisingly so, honestly) with the good customer service from our travel insurance, the airline, and our lodging in Vancouver... no cancellation fees and prompt refunds on the lodging and insurance... we will be waiting on the airline refund. After pondering over it some more, we decided in the end to just take the refund of our deposit from Cunard. At first we were on the path of FCC, but we started talking about pros and cons of both ways. It was only going to be an extra $50 bucks we would be gaining in the FCC. Since it was only the deposit amount, and we were not going to rebook at this time, we decided to just wait on the deposit refund... So we will be in the waiting process like the rest of you... we shall see how long it does indeed take. We will still plan on returning to Cunard... and would love that to be next year... but in the end, we decided to make it our choice.
  7. I only expect the 125% FCC on the deposit amount we paid... We had also not made the final payment yet. Of course, once we talk to our Travel Agent, we will confirm all. At this point we are planning on just keeping the cruise credit on this deposit amount and not asking for a refund.
  8. Yes- we watched the Cunard video regarding this announcement this morning in the US on Facebook. Although our August trip to Alaska will definitely not happen for us this year, we are glad that Cunard has already made the decision. This has allowed us this morning to make cancellations on some of our lodging before and after the cruise as well as rental cars we had reserved. We will be working on cancelling the plane tickets next. One day we will have the opportunity to see Alaska... Until then, stay safe.
  9. I’m on week 5 of social distance in Florida. We continue to do Fixer-Up work around our home. We were fortunate to have much of the supplies we needed here already before the start of this, and the rest have been delivered. It has been a way to stay busy and be able to accomplish some tasks even in these strange times. We have made some good food including some delicious homemade breads. Luckily we both love cooking. Grocery delivery has been our choice in this- and so far has worked. We have not needed to buy some of the items (like t.p. and cleaning supplies) that have been running out consistently... so we shall see down the line how it goes when we do need them. We continue to look at our August Alaska voyage on Cunard, but the longer things go on, the more we are resigned that it most likely won’t happen this year. We were hopeful at the start, but not so much now.
  10. Our booking is for August in Alaska... it has certainly been an “interesting” process and waiting game with all of this since the pandemic... We have been basically been waiting to see what Cunard is going to announce. Like many of us on this forum, my husband and I already truly love the Cunard brand... because we know how special it is on board we have been more resigned to trying to be patient. I feel bad for the people who have not had the chance to experience how wonderful Cunard is... and that this crazy and unprecedented time is their impression of the brand. As our 60 days to pay off the remainder approaches, we will have to make some decisions even if announcements are not made from Cunard. BUT If our voyage does not happen, I can promise you we will want to continue with Cunard. It is our favorite, by far.
  11. We have now passed the three-week mark in social distance. We have spent the week working from home and also doing some home improvement projects with supplies we already had here and a few that we had delivered to the house. We are not good at sitting still, either one of us, so having some goals/projects has helped our sanity. When times get tough in life, one of our personal survival skills we both use is getting busy. It helps us focus and feel like we are accomplishing something positive during this strange time. We also continue to check in on our beloved family and friends... numerous calls... FaceTime... anything for connection in this strange time. I have taken some online exercise classes during these three weeks... and that has been interesting... they are certainly not as good as real aerobic exercise classes... but they will do for now.
  12. We also have an August booking for another cruise line... Who knows- it is crazy for sure... We keep looking at the final payment date, and not knowing what we really want to do. Luckily the cruise is allowing for you to transfer your booking without penalty. That may be what we choose in the end to transfer over to next August- but it feels right to wait and see. We are also realistic that the cruises will want to keep your money and offer future cruise credits instead... so we want to make sure we are being wise. Right now our game plan is to wait until we are closer to the final payment date and make the decision. Find out where the world and the cruise industry is by then... and make a decision from there.
  13. I booked Alaska on Cunard for this August... so if it happens, great... if not... I would plan for it another year.
  14. Hello from Central Florida. We have been socially distanced for over a week. We are self employed- and even though our business (which usually includes massive travel) is on necessary hiatus during this, we are working from home all the same. I think the fact that we already, in our normal lives, make our own schedule has helped us transition into this temporary strange new normal we are facing, but it is still hard for us to fathom. Our local grocery, Publix, has an excellent delivery service... so if anyone has one near them, I highly suggest the app. Sure, you can't find some of the very limited items, but we have has success with the service and we also had a good experience sending groceries to my grandfather in another state from his Publix. We do like to cook- so that has been helpful. We take socially distanced walks every day in the Florida sun and have enjoyed being in our backyard. We are lucky to have realized we have a bunny nest in the backyard, and occasionally we see the mother bunny come by the nest for her short daily visit (rabbits only visit the nest once or twice a day at the most). We have liked seeing the birds and the squirrels too. We do have a Cunard voyage booked for August to Alaska... but we shall see. I would like to think that it will happen, but we are realistic to know that all is up in the air. Until then, we remember very fondly our last Cunard voyage this past August... we love the brand... and we continue to hope that we will sail again on one of the beautiful ships in the future, even if it does not happen the way we have planned.
  15. Lissie I adore Hawaii... been on three trips to the islands- so gorgeous... but I can honestly say that everything is quite expensive there.
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