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markham

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About Me

  • Location
    london
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    cunard, seabourn
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    eastern med

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  1. The answer will depend on what your insurance policy states. If you don't know then ask. Upgrade it to one that gives more or less what you want. That's today's challenge for anyone who wants to take a cruise. There is no standard/global insurance policy much less a uniform answer. Happy and healthy sailing!
  2. I would arrive a day early and stay at the Avenida Palace. Great location and classy old world style. We will do so for the 2 April cruise to Istanbul on Encore. Happy and healthy sailing!
  3. I happen to live in London and my TA is in a nearby city’s suburb. I pay in GBP but as your currency is Euros you have to consider any currency risk you face between booking on your credit card with a deposit and then final payment date which can be weeks or months later. Are you ok to do that? Anyway, all my “Euro” friends tell me they get next to zero discounts, and so they use foreign TAs. I doubt that any have met the TA here unless they make a special trip. Not sure what that would achieve. Why not ask a couple of big cruise specialist UK TAs for their opinions? I would assume first you would get prices for a particular cruise from their website and then from a Euro TA to evaluate terms and conditions. Then decide what to do. Happy and healthy sailing!
  4. I always use my TA for his good service and especially his discounts. Whether or not Seabourn itself would match or exceed these discounts is impossible to know. But the main reason to use a TA is commonsense: if there were a dispute between what I want and what Seabourn might want to offer, and assuming that is not sufficient for me, why in the world would I expect Seabourn to bend? They would be conflicted. But with a large/powerful and resourceful TA I would certainly have a better chance at success. That is why you should use a TA. Happy and healthy sailing!
  5. We had this experience upon arriving at ATH. We had taken the BA evening-arriving flight from LHR in late June. The test took all of 3 minutes in our case. The airport was very quiet so hardly an inconvenience as far as getting to our transport. Happy and healthy sailing!
  6. I want to second a point which wyattsaunt just made. It's about fun on Seabourn ships and sailaway parties. The sailaway party around the pool area and Sky Bar show off the Seabourn vibe best. What a pleasure to attend and they will never be repetitive or humdrum. Always convivial passengers enjoying live music or singers or both. You won't find this effort made on our second favorite line, Silversea (Muse class ships only). Whether you choose the Ody or Enc size ships of Seabourn for fun, you have made the correct choice! Happy and healthy sailing!
  7. Try using Chrome. I gave up on my usual Safari today. Better results when I went in to reserve TK Grill dinners for January. Happy and healthy sailing!
  8. It would seem obvious that teaming up and establishing some formalized hierarchy of responsibilities gives more efficiency and more points of customer contact and better housekeeping management. We liked the change as we experienced during our 2 week July cruise on Ovation. I don’t know how the ship’s reduced capacity would have made a difference to the changes this 2 person cabin servicing delivered. As early risers we found our cabin done and dusted upon our return from breakfast every single day. Happy and healthy sailing!
  9. You were fortunate to book Quest for Antarctica in 2003 as scarcity now makes cabins as rare as hen’s teeth. We have booked too and for the Grand Voyage. First and foremost, Quest at 450 (when full) passengers is the right size for us, as are Odyssey and Sojourn. Specifically about Antarctica, we were on Quest over the 2017-18 Holiday Cruise for the 23 days and the weather was stupendous, such that we had 4 days in South Georgia, and calm seas throughout. But either way, you sail to those places on a generously appointed luxury ship with incredible space per passenger, and this is most evident on the open decks and the Observation Bar. In particular the forward facing and large Obs Bar and forward large open deck on 6 are favorite places to see what is what, and you do not find such facilities on certain other ships. (Check out the deck plans and compare to see what I am suggesting here.) And as Quest is not a true expedition ship, it tends to have a more mixed passenger group, more traditional in style alongside the more fervent explorers. Of course it has a large stable of lecturer/recreation guiding venture experts. Everyone who wants to go ashore in the zodiacs can do so once a day (and sometimes twice as demand drops as the cruise progresses), admittedly maybe less often than the twice of a small expo ship. About the world and what awaits in 2023, well, I expect we will have to exercise that ole common sense while traveling which has served us well so far. For example we were on the 600 passenger Ovation and Silver Moon in July and we chose not to leave the ships in Cyprus due to their Covid rates. Maybe not a big thing really, but we would not forgive ourselves if we brought something back on board and faced all the follow-on consequences. Happy and healthy sailing!
  10. Yes, let’s plan on a terrific expedition cruise experience with the Wind. It would not take much on the “people side” for Silversea to deliver a more satisfactory experience than the one I had on the Cloud with the CD (who announces the groups to appear for embarking on the zodiacs) to make for a more convivial place. As for the physical plant, it will be what it will be, and I hope for the best. I remember sliding myself into the pool on deck and leaping out in a second. The water was way too hot and as a consequence the expo team could not do some exercise they showed up to start. All due to old systems and/or lack of monitoring. With the low deck side doors for zodiac boarding open the heat in all the corridors would whoosh out of the ship when the large automated doors to the pool deck opened. The Cloud was originally built for warm weather cruising. Ditto the many cabin floods resulting in people changing cabins on 5 deck. And the seating in the MDR was so flat and tired they were painful. Very disappointing at those prices is one way to look at this cruise. I would be gratified if all these things have since been addressed on the back of passenger feedback! The expedition nature of the cruise meant very casual dress standards and a very good series of lectures on all sorts of topics. Lots of folks with shared interests, especially photography. While the lack of sightings of wildlife and heavy glacier ice retreat were let-downs for me, I was enriched by the lectures and saddened by the living standards of the local peoples. A most memorable cruise as a result. You are all very fortunate to go to Antarctica now and reserve those cabins. I wish you a wonderful voyage! Happy and healthy sailing!
  11. For many people the idea of choosing another cruise line is difficult. Firstly, there is no substitute for the atmosphere you have grown to enjoy on Seabourn, assuming you like Seabourn in the first place. I am talking about the friendliness and resourcefulness of the crew and officers, the more professional and better resourced cruise directors, entertainment and other options such as those on deck caviar events, live music with dancing under the stars, marina days and beach days. You won't find anything comparable elsewhere. But about Antarctica, there is Silversea and I hope that all who go on their small ships but know Seabourn's style are happy on them. They have very limited offerings versus Quest, partly due their size (220 vs 450 pax), age and the apparent choices Silversea makes on all their ship for a more sedate environment. I have sailed on the Cloud in Greenland and Canada two years ago and was displeased with the cold drafts in corridors and the theater, occasional flooding of cabins, shabby furniture, overall ship maintenance and standoffish CD. On the other hand going now is sensible. Who wants to wait another year or 2 when we have so many travel goals? As far as the German ships are concerned, I might want to try them, and as you say they are trying to offer "international" service. Not sure though for some reason. Probably there are other choices more familiar, simple as that. Happy and healthy sailing!
  12. I am sure that there is no vaping allowed indoors. Seabourn elaborates what is permitted and where it's permitted. Why not ask them via email specifying your next cruise and the ship? Happy and healthy sailing!
  13. Cruiseej, You are so right! I hope that you have a chance to take those cruises and remain healthy up to, through and after them. We are all due for a break. Happy and healthy sailing!
  14. My point was and is that you don’t have to worry about the cohesion of the EU. We live in difficult times and most national governments are coping as well as they can, as can be expected and that bubbles up to the international level eg the EU. Things would certainly improve with more and better vaccination rates in all countries and if the citizenry would be more respectful of science. Simple as that. We will live with the consequences of our individual and group decisions for many years to come. Whether “full American football stadiums” represent anything positive and favorable relative to reducing the threat of this virus remains to be seen. Millions have already died, 35-40 million doses of vaccines are distributed per day, but we have a long journey. Nothing to do with North Korea. More about staying the course. Happy and healthy sailing!
  15. Each country makes its own choices about inward tourism and returning citizens as far as health matters are concerned, as it should be. The EU vision never contemplated the consequences of a deadly virus. Tourism is hardly an important issue in this context. On balance, you may recall that in second quarter 2020 certain states in the US created restrictions and guidance relating to visitors and travel from states outside their region in order to reduce movement between regions. If the US took its responsibilities further than it appears willing to do now it might be well served to impose restrictions and limits on inward travel from states whose vaccination rates are relatively poor versus the states/regions with better rates. There is a world of difference between the performance of certain southern states and NY/New England. That’s the bigger picture, and one casualty of all this remains the cruise industry. I mean really, what country coping with this virus would choose to open its ports even for a few hours to throngs of unvaccinated and/or careless people? Global vaccination rates and smart behaviors eg masking indoors including covering the nose are just not there yet. Happy and healthy sailing!
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