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Carol From California

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Everything posted by Carol From California

  1. We had some friends on the cruise who booked air with Regent. They had difficulty getting the Emirates flights. They did end up getting Emirates for the return flight. We could have booked air with Regent but when we compared the fare we could do it ourselves for less so we took the credit from Regent. We booked directly with Emirates online. After you book you can set up your free transfers on their website. They picked us up at our house and drove us to LAX. When we landed in Dubai they set us up at an airport hotel and included transfers to the hotel and back to the airport. If your layover is 8 hours or more (I think) they put you up in the hotel for the layover. Then when we landed in Cape Town they took us to our hotel. On the way back we did the exact thing. When we arrived at LAX they drove us home. So we ended up with 8 transfers (free) and 2 hotel nights for the layovers. When we got to the hotel on the way there, I got an Uber driver to drive us around and show us all the famous sites, hotels, etc. We went to the biggest mall, the fountains, etc. That's as much of Dubai as I wanted to see (no desire to stay there), but I would imagine you could stay over 1 night and take a private tour. They could arrange it. There were absolutely no problems leaving the airport.
  2. We did the Botlierskop Game Reserve Excursion. We loved it!
  3. Adda Elephant Park by 4 x 4. We loved it! Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve to see white lions, but let me warn you it is very bumpy and not advised if you have a bad back like me. If you book the pre-cruise or post-cruise safari we really loved Bayethe at Shamwari.
  4. We took the credit that Regent was offering and booked ourselves with Emirates for less money. Emirates includes all your transfers with your fare. On the stopover they included a short hotel stay so you could rest and shower. We had an Uber drive us around as we had never been to Dubai. We wanted to try Emirates so that was the reason we decided to go with them.
  5. We were on the holiday cruise Cape Town to Cape Town a year ago and did the pre-cruise safari at Bayethe in Shamwari. LOVED IT! It was a great experience. We saw lots of animals up close. We saw an elephant herd and I could have reached out and touched them when they walked by. We say giraffes, hippo's and rhino's. So many other animals. The lodge is lovely. We loved the tents. They are not really tents. They were great! Our guide was fantastic. I highly recommend it.
  6. One more comment about the boots. We were on an Antarctic cruise in 2018 with a different cruise line. We bought the boots that were the same type you could loan, and the same type that Scenic is using. We were concerned about our feet getting cold so we brought along some foot warmers but never even needed to use them. The boots are well-insulated. We wore one pair of thick wool socks and our feet were never cold.
  7. You can never tell how rough the Drake crossing will be. We were in Antarctica in February, 2018. On the way down we had the "Drake Lake". It was very calm. On the way back we had the "Drake Shake". There were huge waves and lots of rocking. We were on the Silversea Cloud and the chairs in the restaurants are chained to the floor for a reason. There were many people who got seasick. I get seasick so I have the prescription patch and never got seasick at all. Are you prone to seasickness? Bring appropriate meds and you will be fine. Enjoy your cruise! Antarctica is amazing!
  8. The photo of the Silver Origin in your post is of the ship in its "under construction" state. Here's what it's going to look like when its completed. I personally think it looks better than the Celebrity Flora. https://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=1387
  9. We are booked for December on the new Silversea Origin. I read that Silversea and Celebrity are part of the same company and they each built a new ship for the Galapagos that is virtually the same ship, but just outfitted differently. Celebrity's ship is called the Flora. We've sailed with Silversea before and liked the luxury aspect so decided to go with Silversea. We did an expedition cruise with Silversea on the Cloud and loved it. Both the Silversea Origin and the Celebrity Flora offer an included stay in Quito pre-cruise.
  10. We did Antarctica with the Cloud (first season) in February, 2018. Loved the video! Brought back so many great memories of our trip. We are doing the Arctic in summer but are trying the Scenic Eclipse for that one. Thanks for sharing your video.
  11. I love the watermelon and duck salad too. I took a Red Ginger cooking class one time on board and made it then. Never made it at home but we got the recipe too.
  12. Thanks! I am aware of being able to use both. I did have an Am Ex offer from Oceania so I have taken advantage of that.
  13. I think you must have posted this on Facebook and I did respond there as follows: I live in Los Angeles so maybe I can help. When we fly in to LAX (returning home from our vacation) we use a private limo company. The problem is they don't know how long it will take you to clear customs, immigration, and to retrieve your bags. They do monitor your flight but they are not allowed to simply wait at the curb, and they don't want to keep driving around and around. When we clear customs and immigration we call them. They are usually sitting in a holding area and then arrive within 5-10 minutes at the curb. When we call them they let us know what type of vehicle is picking us up and the license plate number. If you are using a different company for your pick up you should ask them how they do it. If you decide to do Uber or Lyft, when you first walk out to the curb, the first lanes are reserved for the Lyft and Uber shuttles. They whisk you away to an area outside of the airport where you get your vehicle. If you want to use the company I use their name is Black Car Limo. 1-800-600-2922. http://blackcarlimo.com/. You can also email them: blackcarlimo@yahoo.com. If you decide to use my company or another company, you do have to cross over from the Uber/Lyft shuttle lanes to the second lane. That's were the private companies pick you up. You did not say what hotel you are staying at. You should ask them what they recommend. You also did not state how you are getting to the ship. You can use my company for both. Let me know if you have any other questions.
  14. American Express Platinum gives 5X points for flights if you book directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. They give 5X points on hotels if you book and prepay (pay in advance) on amextravel.com. They do not give 5X on cruises. If you want the travel insurance and 3X on cruises, best to pay with Chase Sapphire Reserve card. This may be different for Canada.
  15. We did this cruise in February 2018. I agree on not wearing jeans when you go out on the landings. The waterproof boots you should buy or rent are Muck boots. You can buy them on Amazon or rent them. They are to your knees. Wear with one pair of wool waterproof socks and you will be fine. Remember you will walking through lots of penguin poop. These boots are perfect for that. Here is a link to the Silversea clothes supplier https://silversea.shiptoshoretraveler.com/packant, but we were able to find all online at a reasonable cost. We were fine with the recommended base layer, insulation layer, and then the outer layer which is the parka they provide. We thought collapsible trekking poles were great to have. Found them on Amazon. A neck gaiter was also great to have and we found them on Amazon too. Let me know if you have any questions.
  16. I logged in to my American Express account. I then looked up American Express Offers. There were 100. For Oceania it states: Spend $750+, get 22,500 Membership Rewards® Points. It expires 12-31-19. I use my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card to book my cruises because you get 3x reward points. You also get travel insurance by paying with the Sapphire card.
  17. That's why we have choices. If you want to be certain you can choose to pay for Medjet or similar coverage. I am willing to take the chance.
  18. Good point. If you want to be sure it's a US hospital then I would recommend you get the insurance elsewhere that does guaranty this. Out of curiosity what do you pay for a policy like that? Is it Medjet? What it says about the Global Assist Program is highlighted below. A medical evacuation may be provided at no cost to the Card Member or covered family member from point of illness or injury (when the Card Member or covered family member is under the care of a local medical service provider or facility) to a more appropriate medical facility or to a hospital near the person’s home as determined by the Premium Global Assist Hotline designated physician. The Premium Global Assist Hotline designated physician, in consultation with the local medical service provider or facility, will determine whether such transport is medically necessary and advisable. The event must be within the first 90 days of the trip and cannot be a pre-existing condition. A pre-existing condition is any sickness, illness, or injury that has manifested itself, become acute, or was being treated in the 60 day period immediately prior to the start of a trip. The person needing evacuation may need to complete a medical information release as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (a “HIPAA Release”), or provide authorization for next of kin to complete the release. Emergency transportation services in connection with the medical emergency may also be provided to a covered family member pursuant to the full Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance Terms and Conditions at the end of this document. Subject to additional important terms, conditions and exclusions. Please see full Terms and Conditions at the end of this document.
  19. This is the card I have and was referring to. https://card.americanexpress.com/d/platinum-
  20. I have the standard American Express Platinum card and it is covered with mine. I agree that you need to read the fine print.
  21. Here are the Global Assist benefits for the American Express Platinum card. I have the regular Platinum card, not the Delta card. https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/features-benefits/policies/global-assist-hotline/faq.html Here is what it says about Emergency Medical Transportation: 7. What is Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance? In the event that you or another covered family member (your spouse or domestic partner, dependent up to age 23, or age 26 if full-time student traveling on the same itinerary as the CardMember) becomes injured or suffers an illness which is not pre-existing while traveling on a trip less than 90 days, the Premium Global Assist Hotline medical department will assess your medical needs and coordinate your transportation. Emergency medical transportation may be provided at no cost to the Card Member or covered family member to the nearest appropriate medical facility as determined by the Premium Global Assist Hotline designated physician, from point of illness or injury, when the Card Member or covered family member is under the care of a local medical service provider or facility. In addition, the Premium Global Assist Hotline designated physician, in consultation with the local medical service provider or facility, must determine that such transport is medically necessary and advisable due to inadequacy of local facilities. The person needing transportation may need to complete a HIPAA Release, or provide authorization for next of kin to complete the release. Emergency transportation services in connection with the medical emergency may also be provided to a covered family member pursuant to the full Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance Terms and Conditions. Subject to additional important terms, conditions and exclusions. Please see full Terms and Conditions at americanexpress.com/GAterms.
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