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Everything posted by nordski

  1. Given national governments' need to establish far-ranging policies to control this virus, I am not surprised that these proposed rules are, indeed, a blunt axe. I believe that COO Cabezas did refer to the need for perhaps a more individual approach on Azamara by using the phrase "leverage these protocols". However, it would take a great deal of leveraging to reestablish the Azamara experience. Too much, I would say. However, I take this announcement as it's intended, a step forward. It is certainly not nearly sufficient to bring us back and on board. But is it a glimmer of light down a still very long tunnel?
  2. Glad you are taking us along with you. Lovely photos of the Greek countryside. The goats were a blessing to Greece (meat and milk) but also a detriment (denuding the landscape). But we can just enjoy their charms.
  3. Grandma Cruising, glad to hear that the worst of the storm missed your location. Looking forward to more info and photos once the weather really improves.
  4. I found this interesting. A good friend who now resides in Antwerp flew into Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Thursday. Upon arrival, she was offered this deal if she took the Covid Test offered at that facility. A discount of 20% from Air Canada and, since she must quarantine for 14 days, one free month of a streaming TV service (Crave). It was a good deal; she took it. In other flight news, we no longer have inexpensive direct service to Manchester, England. A couple that we know have flown to see the grandkids in Liverpool, but had to do so via Glasgow and connecting to Manchester. Air Canada is still struggling to provide a semblance of their former routes and service.
  5. This tree is always first to display its autumn colours and it serves as a sentinel for the change that is about to become more noticeable. We are now in the midst of a rolling transition of students returning to education. In general, about 70% are physically entering school buildings while the rest are online for their teacher contacts. Our fingers are crossed that all goes well, but the number of cases has now trended in the wrong direction for about a week.
  6. I’ve seen some estimates by Public Health officials that it won’t be until the end of 2022 that there will be relatively full control of the disease. That may reflect a world-wide view, so particular geographic areas may see success well before that. Like you, I will hope for the best.
  7. This is off topic, except it might be relevant to you and Grandma Cruising as residents of Yorkshire. Were you aware that as part of the industrial unrest that erupted in your area in 1911, particularly in the city of Hull, there were also “school strikes”? And these walkouts spread across much of Northern England. I’ve just finished reading an interesting article about these strikes, and if I really start to feel sorry for myself because of missing out on cruises a good antidote is to read about the nature of the “Council Schools” and working conditions on the docks in port cities like Hull.
  8. Thanks for these wonderful pictures. We were supposed to be cruising around Scotland in August, and these photos will encourage us to look for another opportunity to do so. We will also certainly consider your positive words about travelling by land. Although, this week I saw a video of a traveller hiking in the Highlands wrapped in a raincoat and experiencing a significant, blustery, rain storm. But he assured viewers that he was having a good time! 😄
  9. All of us need to keep our fingers crossed! But you must be proud to potentially play a positive role in your state. Thanks for posting here. It is a respite from the rancour sometimes found on other threads, often reflecting a rancour all too prevalent throughout our societies.
  10. Thanks for those photos. It would be remarkable to stroll those gardens and imagine the life of Edith Sitwell and her brothers, although Edith seems to have been quite happy to be rid of those environs or, at least, her parents who lived there. How do you get to the Peloponnesus? We are really envious of that planned winter break. As in England, there Is considerable controversy here as schools undertake to reopen. Our eldest teaches at a Secondary School and our youngest works at the University of Toronto. So each is involved in the attempts to avoid a serious outbreak of Covid 19 in those settings. It is remarkable how much we have now learned about this disease and how much more we need to know.
  11. Thanks for the clarification.
  12. You are correct about sometimes people sitting on multiple reservations, but sometimes it was an even more devious plan. Not certain if I remember the details correctly, but there was a group of Oceania cruisers who would reserve two classes of cabins, cancel the higher class at the last minute, and then apply for the now available upgrade at their lower class price. Hence the introduction of the non refundable deposit. I’ve always assumed that non refundable meant just that, so I just accept the practice. As you posted, the only certain path to compensation is if the cruise line cancels.
  13. Oh, I did not take your comment personally! I knew you were referring to a particular setting, but I also knew that your argument held in a more general way. Given the present circumstances, it was good to be reminded that I need to keep responding in a positive way. I appreciated that.
  14. I tried to qualify the “thankless” with “rather”. In the past 6 months or so, sometimes the posts have become very contentious and personal. I can remember there was at least one issue on which the former CBO, Bill Leiber, went into “radio silence” to let the fires burn themselves out a bit (he admitted as such). Unfortunately, this fire is quite the inferno in heat and time span. But I take your point and will heed your advice to remain positive about what will possibly ensue.
  15. Indeed, Of course monitoring this Forum would be a rather thankless task, albeit a very useful one. I do hope that Bonnie is safe and healthy, and that eventually we have her back as part of this community when Azamara returns to service.
  16. Depending on any new pandemic-inspired rules in force when Azamara commences to cruise again, I wonder if the Azamazing Evenings will look rather different than they have in the past. That is if, initially, they are even offered at all. So I agree. It may be a while before details are posted.
  17. I’ll certainly echo those thoughts, especially the latter.
  18. Farmers tried to make a go of it up until at least the 1950’s, but even with their stern resolve success was ephemeral. They were tough people. Had they acquired land just 15 km. north of here, they could grow potatoes in a manner that would remind them of life back home. Noisy estate machinery is common here as well. Of course property managers yearn for the efficiency of beautiful weather, just the days that you wish to be outside. Locally, we now have a fad of people setting up fire pits in their backyards. Of course, the resulting smoke recognizes no property boundaries. Makes one appreciate the more stringent smoking rules now enforced on cruise lines.
  19. Off this morning for a hike at a local Provincial Park. Because of Covid, I now go earlier in the morning to avoid an increased number of ramblers who are out to find a stress-relieving ambience. As we wait for schools to open, and perhaps an increase in cases, we are trying to fit in appointments with auxiliary medical offices: dentists, optometrists, etc. I have included a few photos of the Park. It is located on an extensive geologic formation, the Niagara Escarpment, and the trails I walk on are part of the Bruce Trail, which runs from Niagara Falls to Tobermory (circa 900 km.) In the late 1800’s, this particular lot would have been settled by a family from Ulster. They cleared the land, although natural vegetation has now reclaimed it, but this is a difficult place indeed to successfully farm. You can see part of a stone fence they built. There was no shortage of that msterial
  20. I’m not that familiar with the turns of phrases, but just below us is a town called Caledon and the settlers’ names included Raeburn, Wiggins, Lindsay, Maxwell, and Nisbett. If not in language, the Ulster Scots have still left their mark.
  21. I would have been rather chagrined to see an itinerary that included Corfu and Kataklon, but now that you and Phil have made suggestions re: Corfu, it wouldn't seem so unattractive. And perhaps, after almost 50 years it might be time to revisit Olympia. The ruins may not have changed but I'm certain the tourist experience has. 🙂
  22. How far is Luxor from Safaga? Egypt is still a dream for me, not so much for my wife 😀
  23. Thanks for those suggestions.
  24. That may explain why Corfu is not a huge attraction to us. We have usually arrived there after Split, Koper, Sibenik, Kotor, etc. Perhaps, after those ports, a day on the ship is a good choice.
  25. Laurieb started an excellent thread on "Favourite European Ports. The theme of that thread was an excellent reminder as to how many favourites there are, albeit for often very different reasons. That started me thinking about ports that we have often found somewhat underwhelming, ports where staying on the ship and relaxing seems to be a sensible course of action. However, perhaps we have just missed the port"s attractions. So I wonder if a thread might elicit some excellent alternative suggestions as to activities to consider. I will mention one that we have never considered essential to an itinerary: Corfu. We have taken a tour of the island, visited a kumquat marmalade store, wandered the streets of Corfu Town, and nothing seems to draw us back. There is a nice park to wait for the ship's shuttle, but "nice" is a low bar. We just don't see why it seems to be such a popular port. In case we return. I'd love to hear about Corfu's attractions that we have missed, but perhaps others can suggest other ports where they choose to use their Spa Coupons.
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