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  1. What would it matter if there were refugees? I hope you are not implying that if they were they should not have been rescued.
  2. Substituting for "bad luck" and then "luck" in an old Albert King blues song----If it weren't for misinformation, I would have no information at all.😊
  3. No big deal or reason to need to apologize. Like I said, I did the same thing.
  4. No, haven't been. The national park we last visited was quite different than those, the FDR park in New Hyde Park, NY.
  5. I made the same mistake in a post asking that question and cheng corrected me. If it is a round trip cruise, you only need a foreign port, not a distant foreign port.
  6. I have not really thought about it and would of course have to discuss it with DW. I consider it our best cruise ever and would not mind at all repeating it. Thinking about travel is very difficult at this time obviously. The cruise we had planned for this summer was a Norwegian Fjords cruise, and we booked one excursion pre-cruise---getting back to Heathrow from Southampton with a stop at Stonehenge. That would have been one off the bucket list. Right now if I had to bet on what we would do next it might be more domestic. DW is interested in National Parks. A company that we used for escorted tours twice, once in Central Europe and once for Peru (Machu Picchu came off the bucket list) has several such tours plus a Southern Music tour that interest me and DW says she also finds interesting. As you are will aware you can modify group tours in St. Petersburg. On ours we added a synagogue when someone wanted that and no one objected. When we started the guide asked if there was anything we wanted to see that was not on the tours, and I mentioned the subways sounded interesting from what I had read, and she took us on a few subway stops having our driver meet us. DW is an art teacher and wanted lunch skipped for an extra hour in the Hermitage. That was one that no one else approved of, but did compromise taking 1/2 hour of lunch time and adding it to the Hermitage. If we did do another Baltic, we might consider an all day Hermitage tour, maybe even both days as I'm not sure you could cover all of it in even 2 days.
  7. When were your Alla tours? Ours was in 2007 on a cruise for our 30th anniversary. I am sure you have noticed that it is not only Alla who is praised in these boards, but also several other Russian tour companies. Every now and then someone asks to compare agencies, and it is generally hard to do as everyone who does go back seems to be pleased with the service they had and sticks with the same agency. I feel like one of the few who could recommend more than one. Of course our Alla tour was magnificent. And a good part of the reason was our wonderful guide, Viktoria. She confided in our group that she had done all she needed to open her own agency and would the next season. That turned out to be SPB. Having had her as a guide and after reading many extremely positive reviews of her agency, I would also feel comfortable also recommending them. And unfortunately trying to hurry this pandemic by reopening too quickly has had only the opposite effect.😢
  8. Good luck. I hope it works out plus you post about the experience, especially how similar or different it was from the cruise experience pre-Covid.
  9. Our Baltic cruise would have been so much worse if we had not been able to book a private tour company. We ended up using Alla after I contacted several companies and found them the most compatible. I posted in our roll call and we ended up with a group of 10. Not only was the tour superb, but we became close with the others on our tour.
  10. It is definitely Carnival Corporation as several of the complaints seem to be about Princess.
  11. And they had plenty of time in the past to start complying instead of just seeing it as a cost of business.
  12. I believe that quotation from Nancy Pelosi is about the ACA, better known as Obama Care. If she did not say that, somebody else did about that at the time proposed law.
  13. And what happens to them if the cruise lines persist in enforcing if you want to get off at a port you must use our excursions rule?
  14. So far that is what has been happening in Europe. But as for the future, no one at this point really knows. I do fear that the cruise lines would like to keep it this way to enhance their revenue from shore excursions.
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