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Everything posted by 2552phxcrzr

  1. Did you post this on the roll call for the cruise in question? You might have better luck there?
  2. If you have no interest in a more in depth trip to Antarctica, the four days will give you a pretty nice glimpse. Of course, it is all weather dependent. Even after two expedition trips to Antarctica, we enjoyed our four days in the region on Insignia’s world cruise in 2023. This link will take you to the first footprint in my write up for that part of our trip. You can scroll through the photos and use the left and right arrows under the write up to move to the next footprint to see subsequent write-ups. This will give you an idea of what you might experience. The photos/videos were taken either with an iPhone or with a camera that had a maximum 250mm reach. https://findpenguins.com/8pccjefaitoru/footprint/63f0ef820e1a25-16267159
  3. Similarly, there were always bear guards setting up a perimeter on our landings. Both of the zodiac bear encounters were on zodiac cruises, once with the bear ashore, once with the bear on sea ice. The Churchill trip was fantastic … never got bored with seeing the bears. There were few other encounters with other animals. There’s just something really special about waking up to see a polar bear curled up and sleeping outside your window at the lodge. The tundra buggy took us to different parts of the tundra, so there was some scenery changes, too. I believe there are shorter tundra hotel trips. And probably more operators as well. We went with the original tundra Buggy operation in 2009. Photos here if interested: https://eenusa.smugmug.com/North-America-US-Canada-Mexico/Canada/Polar-Bears-of-Churchill-Nov
  4. Yes. We’ve done this in the past. Although we notified O in advance, the cabin was not set up as requested. So, we just asked the steward to do it after we embarked. He did so while we were at dinner.
  5. What @jeff74 said about Churchill for polar bears. We did this in 2009, staying at the Tundra Lodge for 4 nights instead of commuting from the town everyday to see the bears. Lost count after 50 bears … many of them coming right up to the tundra vehicles. When we did Svalbard with Silversea in 2011, we were already out on zodiacs when we encountered bears twice. In both instances, we were kept a considerable distance from shore for safety reasons. Our best sightings of bears were from the ship, but no comparison to Churchill.
  6. Thank you @vlthom for the answer to my question. This is what I was expecting, so no surprise. I appreciate the confirmation. @grmmybtty thanks as well for taking the time to respond.
  7. Anyone have experience with what happens with SimplyMore amenities when you claim your free cruise? I know how it was handled with O Life, which wasn’t an issue with our Platinum free cruise since we booked cruise-only back then. The question is do they remove the SimplyMore free excursion credit and free drinks? Excursions will be opening for booking soon for our August 2025 cruise. Having read that excursions fill up quickly under SimplyMore, I don’t want to waste my time going through the list and booking excursions, only to have them taken away when it is time to claim the cruise as our Diamond perk. Thanks in advance.
  8. Thank you. That’s very helpful. Just being able to leave the bags with them will make it easier that day since check out from our AirBNB is 10a. Don’t need to necessarily have access to the cabin as we do plan to continue to explore Vienna that day.
  9. Trying to organize our time on the day that we embark Kadlin. Any thoughts on when we can board the vessel?
  10. @Australia08 ... Thank you for your report; looking forward to future posts as you have time. I write a blog and often have to finish it up after we return home (case in point our 4.5-month trip to Australia that just ended on 1 May). Your efforts are greatly appreciated.
  11. @Australia08 I assume it is possible to stay in town instead of returning to the Kadlin with the guide (we did this several times when we did the Christmas Markets.
  12. We did the Ushuaia to New Zealand via the Ross Sea 30-day with Oceanwide on Ortelius a few years ago and had a wonderful experience. The cabins had just been redone on the top levels ... basic but comfortable. The food was good. No crew issues. Everyone was friendly. We had some pax who did not understand the nature of expedition cruising in the polar regions and they caused some issues. It's not an itinerary I would recommend to anyone who is a first time cruiser to Antarctica, but we'd been down there before and loved this itinerary, which included helicopters at no extra expense. We are booked to go with them again for the Remote Weddell Sea itinerary next year. We've done expeditions with both Quark and Oceanwide and have been pleased with both, so our decisions on which to go with are itinerary-driven.
  13. True … if you do the cruise-fly. We’ve been to the Antarctic twice on expedition vessels and would take the cruise across the Drake both ways rather than risk losing time waiting for the vessel to come and get us because the flight(s) got canceled.
  14. Friends of ours booked a fly-cruise on the Aurora and are down in the Antarctic now. Their flight out had to be canceled and the ship had to come to Punta Arenas to pick them up. So not only did they end up not avoiding the Drake, they lost a couple of days waiting for the ship to come and get them. Those flights are very weather-dependent.
  15. Have not seen any other company doing that particular itinerary. We booked with Oceanwide to do it. Like you, have been on Ortelius before … 30 days from Argentina to New Zealand by way of the Peninsula and Ross Sea. Looking forward to exploring a different area this time and happy to be returning to South Georgia.
  16. We were on Oceania Insignia for 200+ days last year for the world cruise + a Caribbean cruise at the front end. The world cruise alone was 198 days. We were at sea for about 80 of those days … and the balance was ports of call. We hit 40-45 countries … several countries had more than 1 stop — for example Brazil and Japan each had about 10 stops, Mexico and Chile had 6-7 stops — and 20 or so were overnight stays. If you go to the website of the companies offering world cruises, you can do the math on countries and compare them.
  17. Saw no damage in Cairns as I wandered around. I didn’t leave the city, so no first hand knowledge of the environs. That said, due to damage to the range, the Kuranda Rail is not operating until February I believe. O operated the Kuranda tours by bus. The reef boats were all taken into open waters to ride out the storm, so they seemed to be OK. Certainly, the Reef Fleet Terminal was filled with boats when we were there, and I know the O tour out to the Marine World Pontoon operated as expected.
  18. No art classes on Regatta … at least not on this cruise. Can’t speak to the other itineraries. Other than that, the cruise is progressing nicely. Cooktown, which was to have been after Cairns has been canceled and replaced with a day at sea. No surprise … the entire Far North Queensland suffered considerably from Cyclone Jasper earlier this month and the Government has declared it a natural disaster area; clean-up is in progress at present. So, three sea days (on day 2 now) to reach Darwin on the 31st. Our temps in the ports have been generally very hot … with high humidity. Condensation on the ceiling in the Terrace Café during the day has been an ongoing problem … they have rugs all around the buffet area to keep people from slipping. I imagine this is not a problem in more moderate climates. (We had similar problems on Insignia during the world cruise, so this is not a Regatta-specific problem.) Have noticed that some parts of the ship are warmer than others, though I have not been anywhere where it felt uncomfortable. Have overheard people complaining to the front desk staff about A/C in the cabins being insufficient/not working. We are in a deck 4 cabin and have no complaints. We do keep the drapes closed when the sun is on the port side of the ship. Someone mentioned in another thread that there was a refrigerated container on deck 11. We saw it being taken off in Sydney. So whatever the reason was for having it onboard, it no longer applies.
  19. Will drop you a note … we will be going to Canberra for a few days after we return to Sydney on the Indian Pacific in March.
  20. Book marked to follow along. Have a terrific time.
  21. Life is good on Regatta. We left out of Sydney on the 21st … had a slightly rocky (10 ft swells) day at sea on the way to Brisbane … hot and humid day in Brisbane (12 mile shuttle ride from the Cruise Terminal into the city, so no cruise up the river this time) … a lovely day in Mooloolaba (ended with a big rainstorm … rough seas made for interesting tendering, which I later heard had been canceled and some were unable to get off the ship) … the Holiday spirit is well and alive on the ship … at sea today heading to Townsville with Santa on board handing gifts out to the few kids on the ship.
  22. I will be reading along, but won’t be able to comment since I have problems doing that in Blogger on my iPad for whatever reason that I have not been able to resolve. As we are also traveling at the moment, it’s the only device I have with me. Just wanted to say thanks and let you know that there will be at least one person reading along. Having published blogs for our world cruises I know how much work goes into it, and I wanted to acknowledge your efforts.
  23. Determine what is important to you to see when you go in order to pick the right time of the year. For example, if you want to see fluffy chicks, you can’t go too late in the season. On the other hand, whales seem to be more populous later in the season. These are just some examples. When we did our first expedition in 2017, I remember finding a calendar for wildlife in the Antarctic somewhere on the web that helped us determine that early January should be our target. (I’m traveling for the next while, otherwise I’d find the calendar on my laptop and attach it.)
  24. Check out Quark and Oceanwide. We did first with Quark … including South Georgia and Falklands. Second trip was Ushuaia to New Zealand … by way of the Ross Sea … an amazing 30-day experience with helicopters (on Ortelius). We are booked with Oceanwide again for 2025 … this time to the Wendell Sea. We were delighted with our experiences each time. Most recently we dipped into the Antarctic Peninsula on an Oceania world cruise … not the same as an expedition, and in our case, I nice to have on the itinerary because of our previous expedition experiences. We did not find that being return visitors to Antarctica dimmed our pleasure at all. Admittedly, we were more relaxed on the peninsula part of the second cruise since we’d been there before. But that didn’t stop us from enjoying every outing be it on a zodiac or on a landing.
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